Research interests
Students & Staff

    Latha Rangan
    Associate Professor
    Department of Biotechnology
    IIT Guwahati
    Assam 781 039
    Tel: +91 (0361) 2582214 (O)/2582245 (Lab)

Research interests

Molecular systematics, Biofuel, IPR

My lab and research group try to address the research questions in areas of bioenergy, functional genomics, data mining and molecular systematics with special reference to bioresources of Northeast India using an integrative approach.

Bioenergy - Plant sources for fuels that replace fossil fuels is a topical subject and the in-depth study on ‘Karanj’ as a source of biodiesel has helped in addressing some of the key issues (Kesari et al. 2008, 2009a, 2009b). Long term objective is to develop, the necessary knowledge and range of technologies to improve biofuel crops with more efficient biofuel and bioenergy.

Functional Genomics and Data Mining - Studies undertaken to delineate the molecular mechanism responsible for the metabolic transition for conferring the ability of crop to adapt to abiotic stress. The work has also led to research on functional genomics and molecular breeding programme in rice, with a view to breeding varieties resistant to salinity particularly for coastal agri-ecosystems (Rangan et al. 2009).
            While several plant genome sequencing projects are under way, gene prediction methods are still far from perfect. The group investigated the context sequences surrounding TIS in multi-cellular eukaryotes, with a focus on two model plants and a comparison to human for the first time (Jaiswal & Rangan 2007; Rangan et al., 2008). Further, the research group is looking to evaluate the codon biases surrounding TIS using statistical models.



Ø      2001 - PhD, University of Madras (Research work carried at IRRI, Manila).
Ø      1995 - MSc, University of Madras
Ø      1993 - BSc., University of Madras


Post Doctoral Research

 Ø      2001-2004 - Research Associate, NBI, Leicester, UK
 Ø      April 2001 - Nov 2001, Research Associate, MSSRF, Chennai


Post held till now 

Ø      Dec 2009 - Continuing, Associate Professor, Dept of Biotech., IIT Guwahati
 Ø      Nov 2004 - Nov 2009, Assistant Professor, Dept of Biotech., IIT Guwahati
 Ø      March 2004 - Oct 2004, Research Associate, TERI, New Delhi

Professional Recognition, Awards, Fellowships  

         Ø  2010 - Best Poster award in section "Energy and Environmental Science" at 2nd Indian Youth Science Congress held at SRM University, Chennai.
     Ø  2009 - TWAS Best Paper Award, Malaysia
         Ø  2008 - Certificate of Recognition as Genomics Pioneer, HUGO
     Ø  2007 - Dr R.B Ekbote Prize, MACS

Seminars/Workshops/Conferences Organized 

L Rangan. Regional seminar organized under MHRD sponsored scheme on ‘Awareness program on Intellectual Property Rights and Patents for Capacity Building’ at IIT Guwahati 15-17 September 2006. Co-ordinator and Resource Person. (


  • Biofuel
  • Molecular systematics
  • Genetic engineering for fragile environment
  • Analytical Bioinformatics

The group has developed a repository of a number of partial length genes isolated from the Curcuma species with practical implications in DNA Barcoding. GenBank accession EU492360-EU492385 (

Sponsored Projects as Principal Investigator

Sl.No. Funding Source Status Project
1 DST SERC project on molecular characterization in Karanj
Ongoing Work involves cloning of fatty acid saturation genes and analysis of spatial and temporal expression from seeds of candidate plus tree Karanj.
2 DIT project on DNA Barcoding
Ongoing Work involves DNA Barcoding based biodiversity inventory in Zingiberaceae of NE India.
3 DBT project on analytical bioinformatics in model crops
Completed Work involved sequence analysis surrounding translation initiation site (TIS) of entire genome of   model crops viz. Arabidopsis and rice.
4 CSIR project on gene mapping studies in Rice
Completed Work involved studying the expression of translation initiation factor (eIF1) gene, impact of salt sodium chloride in leaf and roots of rice varieties and mapping of the gene in segregating populations’ of rice.
5 DST Fast Track project on Biodiesel (2005-2008) Completed Work involved systematic collection for identification of candidate plus tree (CPT), biochemical, genetic characterization and analysis in potential biodiesel plant, P. pinnata with respect to its yield trait from North Guwahati.



Selected publications since 2007

-      G. Dwivedi, S. Hallihosur, L Rangan* (2010) Evergreening- A deceptive devise in patent rights. Technology in Society DOI.10.1016/j.techsoc.2010.10.009

-      V Kesari, MS Vinod, A Parida, L Rangan* (2010). Molecular marker based characterization in candidate plus trees of P. pinnata, a potential
biodiesel legume from North Guwahati, Assam. Annals of Botany Plants DOI 10.1093/aobpla/plq017.

-      V Kesari, L Rangan* (2010). Development of Pongamia pinnata as an alternative biofuel crop- current status of plantations in India and scope.
Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology
13(3): XXX-XXX (DOI 10.1007/s12892-010-0064-1).

-      Tushar, S Basak, GC Sarma, L Rangan* (2010). Ethnomedical uses of Zingiberaceous plants of Northeast India. Journal of Ethnopharmacology
132(1): 286-296.

-       A Das, V Kesari, L Rangan* (2010). Plant regeneration in Curcuma species and assessment of genetic stability of regenerated plants.
Biologia Plantarum
54 (3): 423-429 

-      V Kesari, A Das, L Rangan* (2010). Effect of genotype and auxin treatments on rooting response in stem cuttings of CPTs of Pongamia pinnata,
a potential biodiesel legume crop. Current Science 98(9): 1234-1237

-      V Kesari, A Das, L Rangan* (2010). Physico-chemical characterization and microbial assay from seed oil of Pongamia pinnata, potential biofuel
crop. Biomass and Bioenergy 34: 108-116.

-      A Das, Tushar, V Kesari, L Rangan* (2010). Aromatic Joha Rice of Assam- A Review. Agriculture Reviews 31:1-10

-      V Kesari, M Sudarshan, A Das, L Rangan* (2009). PCR amplification of the genomic DNA from the seeds of Ceylon Ironwood, Jatropha,
and Pongamia. Biomass and Bioenergy 33: 1724-1728.

-      L Rangan*, A Rout, M Sudarshan, G Gregorio (2009). Molecular cloning, expression and mapping of translational initiation factor eIF1 gene in
Oryza sativa
. Functional Plant Biology 36(5): 442-452.  

-      A Singh, S Hallihosur, L Rangan* (2009). Changing landscape in biotechnology patenting. World Patent Information 31: 219-225. 

-      V Kesari, K Anitha, L Rangan* (2009). Effect of auxin on adventitious rooting from stem cuttings of candidate plus tree Pongamia pinnata (L.), a
potential biodiesel plant. Trees- Structure and Function 23: 597-604. 

-      V Kesari, K Anitha, L Rangan* (2008). Systematic characterization and oil analysis in candidate plus trees of biodiesel plant P. pinnata. Annals
of Applied Biology
152: 397-404. 

-      L Rangan*, C Vogel, AK Srivastava (2008). Analysis of context sequence surrounding translation initiation site from complete genome of model
plants. Molecular Biotechnology 39: 207-213. 

-      M Jaiswal, M Prasanna, L Rangan* (2007). Resonant recognition model for prediction of lead-in regions in proteins. IEEE CS Frontiers in
the Convergence of Bioscience and Information Technologies 101-106. Print ISBN: 978-0-7695-2999-8

-      M Jaiswal, L Rangan* (2007). Context sequence for transcription factors surrounding start codon in model crops. Current Science. 93: 215-218.

Students & Staff

        PhD students

Mr. Sudipta Ghosh, Joint supervision (2010 - continuing)
Mr. S Basak, Joint supervision (2009 - continuing)
Mr. AM Ramesh, Joint supervision (2009 - continuing)
Mr. Tushar (2009 - continuing)
Ms. A Das (2007- continuing)
Ms. V Kesari (2006 - 2010) Completed

MTech project students

Mr. R. Sarath (2010 - continuing)

BTech project students

Mr. Mudit Gupta, Joint supervision (2010 - continuing)
Mr. T Venkata Ramesh, Joint supervision (2010 - continuing)
Mr. Deepak Suman (2009-2010)

Mr. A Jain (2008- 2009)
Mr. M Chauhan (2008- 2009)
Mr. S Agarwal (2007- 2008)
Mr. M Jaiswal (2006-2007)
Mr. AK Srivastava (2005-2006)
Mr. L Kumar (2005

Project staff

Dr. Vigya Kesari (2010- Continuing)- SRF in a DIT sponsored project
Ms. M Sudarshan (2008- 2009)
Dr. A Rout (2006-2007)


Last updated: 15th Nov 2010