Dr Vinod Kumar

Project Leader
Cell and Developmental Biology

Vinod studies how plants sense and integrate environmental signals to give appropriate growth and defence responses.

He is particularly interested in understanding how plants detect temperature changes. He uses the model plant Arabidopsis to study the molecular mechanisms by which seasonal signals define the coordination of growth and pathogen defence.

By understanding these fundamental processes, Vinod aims to develop strategies for developing climate resilience in crop plants.

  • Environmental influence on host-pathogen interactions
  • Mechanism of temperature perception in plants
  • Climate resilience in crop plants


Research in the Kumar lab is centered on the fundamental biological question of how environmental signals are perceived and integrated. 

They are studying the molecular mechanisms by which elevated temperatures suppress plant immunity. Climate change, most importantly increasing global temperatures associated with it, poses a severe threat to global agriculture and biodiversity. Using a combinatorial approach the work is aimed to develop knowledge that could help develop climate resilient crops.

Current projects include, but are not limited to:

  1. Mechanisms of gene regulation in plants
  2. Environmental influence on plant defense responses

Adaptation of gene regulatory mechanisms to local and dynamic environments.

The lab use Arabidopsis thaliana as the discovery platform with a combination of genetics, molecular biology and biochemical approaches.

The Kumar lab welcomes enthusiastic and highly motivated researchers to join us in pursuing a novel area of research.


Tel: 01603 450793

Revealed: a central signal sorting hub in plants

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Temperature resilient crops now an “achievable dream” say authors of new study

read more

Selected Publications

Gangappa S. N., Berriri S., Kumar S. V. (2017)

PIF4 Coordinates Thermosensory Growth and Immunity in Arabidopsis.

Current Biology 27 p243-249

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.11.012

Gangappa S. N., Kumar S. V. (2017)

DET1 and HY5 Control PIF4-Mediated Thermosensory Elongation Growth through Distinct Mechanisms.

Cell Reports 18 p344-351

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.12.046

Kumar S. V., Lucyshyn D., Jaeger K. E., Alós E., Alvey E., Harberd N. P., Wigge P. A. (2012)

Transcription factor PIF4 controls the thermosensory activation of flowering

Nature 464 p242 -

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/nature10928

Kumar S. V., Wigge P. A. (2010)

H2A.Z-containing nucleosomes mediate the thermosensory response in Arabidopsis

Cell 140 p136-47

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.11.006

View All

Vinod Kumar

  • Souha Berriri Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Sreeramaiah Narasimhanahalli Gangappa Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Catherine Gardener Postgraduate Student


For media enquiries, please contact the JIC communications team 01603 450962, jic.communications@jic.ac.uk

Expertise: Gene regulation, Plant-environment interactions, Climate change

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