Meet Dr. Niranjan Baisakh

Niranjan Baisakh, Attaway, Denise, Ensley, Carlen  |  8/14/2014 11:45:22 PM

Dr. Niranjan Baisakh

Dr. Niranjan Baisakh is an assistant professor involved with the conversion phase of the Sustainable Bioproducts Initiative (SUBI).

Baisakh is an assistant professor for the LSU AgCenter in the Louisiana State University School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences (SPESS). His areas of specialization and research include: plant (a)biotic stress, molecular biology, functional genomics, genetic engineering, and tissue culture and dihaploid breeding.

For energycane to be a viable biofuel crop it should have the ability to produce high cellulosic biomass in marginal lands that are not suitable for commercial sugarcane cultivation. In Louisiana, the cultivation of sugarcane as dedicated biomass crop will have to be pushed northward, and energycanes will have to be cold tolerant.

Baisakh’s research team is focused on identifying specific genes and gene-networks, and, then, determine the genic regions that govern cold tolerance traits towards development of specific functional markers. For this task, early generation hybrids from the basic breeding program used in the study will be used for quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and determining cold-responsive gene-derived markers.

In addition to working on the LSU AgCenter’s Sustainable Bioproducts Initiative, Baisakh also teaches a graduate level course titled, “Special Topics in Plant Breeding” (AGRO 7073), which is intended to teach students about the potential of genetics and plant breeding in crop improvement by discussing the latest journal publications about contemporary research.

Baisakh has authored and/or co-authored several articles related to using energycane as a biofuel crop. These include: Identification of cold responsive genes in sugar/energycane for their use in genetic diversity analysis and future functional marker development, which he co-authored with others, including SUBI project researchers Anna Hale and Collins Kimbeng. This article appeared in the Oct. 2013 version of Plant Science.

Baisakh received his doctoral degree in botany-plant biotechnology from the Utkal University in India. He received his master’s degree and his bachelor’s degree, both from the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, also in India.

Baisakh has been working for the LSU AgCenter as a since 2008. His professional experience also includes working as: a post-doctoral researcher for the LSU AgCenter, a project scientist in the Philippines, a visiting scientist in China, and as a research scholar in the Philippines and India.

Baisakh is located in Sturgis Hall on the LSU main campus in Baton Rouge.

For more information about what Baisakh and his fellow researchers are doing in relation to biofuels, go to www.lsuagcenter.com/subi.
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