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Sanjeev Kumar Sharma

Staff picture: Sanjeev Kumar Sharma
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Senior Research Scientist
+44 1382 568741 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Current research interests

Dr Sanjeev Kumar Sharma is a member of the Potato Genetics and Breeding group at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee. He earned his Bachelor’s in Forestry and Master’s in Biotechnology, with a minor in Forestry, from CCS Haryana Agricultural University, India; and pursued his PhD at the University of Dundee, UK under a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship award.

Dr Sharma’s specialism is in potato applied and basic research covering a wide spectrum of expertise from novel methods of propagation and seed production, through to genetics, genomics, marker development, next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics. He has developed a prototype for advanced and accelerated propagation system in potato using somatic embryo-derived synthetic seeds. More recently, he was involved in the international potato genome sequencing project where he co-planned and co-coordinated the project genetic anchoring part which led to the construction of the reference potato chromosome-scale pseudomolecules (G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 2013; 3:2031-2047). He also chaired and coordinated regular meetings of the international potato genome sequencing consortium. He has been actively involved in several other potato related projects including Innovate UK project on potato breeding and genomics, BBSRC-HAPI project on tuber dormancy, EU H2020 G2PSOL and ADAPT projects as well as other industrially funded projects. He is exploiting novel genetic and sequence-based genotyping approaches for trait analyses and allele mining in potato targeting important agronomic and processing as well as disease resistance traits. These include genome-wide association studies (GWAS), sequence-based bulk-segregant analysis (BSA), genomic selection, genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), whole-exome capture (WEC) sequencing and single-primer enrichment technology (SPET). Overall, here his broader focus of research is to exploit genetic, genomic, and biotechnological approaches for furthering potato research and accelerate breeding efficiencies in potato.

He has served as an advisory board panel member for Plant Genomics Congress Europe (2015-2016) and is also serving as reviewer for British Council Newton Fund grants (2018-2022) and KAPPA Programme grants 2020 TACR Czech Republic.


Past research

Before relocating to the UK, Dr Sharma acquired considerable experience in commercial plant tissue culture notably managing technical operations in a large micropropagation facility (Sheel Biotech Ltd, India - established in collaboration with Cultiss, Holland B.V.) with an annual capacity of >5 million plants. He also established an R&D-cum-pilot scale tissue culture laboratory at Thapar Centre for Industrial Research, Patiala, India along with developing indigenous protocols for large-scale production of potato microtubers and upscaled it for generating over 0.5 million microtubers and 1.2 million minitubers per annum. There, he also worked on the selection and micropropagation of elite Eucalyptus trees for the pulp and paper industry including establishment of a clonal demonstration plantation using tissue culture raised Eucalypt saplings.


Employment history

2011 (April) - present: Molecular Geneticist, James Hutton Institute, Dundee, UK

2009 (February) - April 2011: Molecular Geneticist, SCRI, Dundee, UK

2007 (November) to 2009 (January): Scientist E-I, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, India

2006 (June) to 2007 (November): Molecular Geneticist, SCRI, Dundee, UK

2002 (October) to 2006 (June): Commonwealth Doctoral Scholar, University of Dundee, UK

1995 (November) to 2002 (September): Research Scientist (Apr 2000 to Sep 2002); Assistant Research Scientist (Apr 1999 to Mar 2000); Senior Scientific Assistant (Nov 1995 to Mar 1999); Thapar Centre for Industrial R&D, Patiala, India

1994 (November) to 1995 (November): Senior Scientific Officer, M/s Sheel Biotech Ltd (Established in collaboration with Cultiss, Holland B.V.), Gurgaon, India

1994 (July) to 1994 (November): Research Associate, Department of Genetics, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India


  • Sharma, S.K.; Bryan, G.J. (2017) Genome sequence-based marker development and genotyping in potato., In: Kumar Chakrabarti S., Xie C. & Kumar Tiwari,J. (eds.) The Potato Genome. Compendium of Plant Genomes. Springer, Cham., Chapter 17, pp307-316.
  • Millam, S.; Sharma, S.K. (2007) Soil-free techniques., In: Potato Biology and Biotechnology: Advances and Perspectives (eds. D. Vreugdenhil, J.E. Bradshaw, C. Gebhardt, F. Govers, D.K.L. MacKerron, M.A.Taylor, and H.A. Ross). Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp705-716.

  • Sharma, S.K.; Millam, S.; Hedley, P.E.; Hein, I.; McNicol, J.W.; Bryan, G.J. (2008) Somatic embryogenesis in potato., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2007, pp18-19.
  • Millam, S.; Sharma, S.K.; Bryan, G.J.; Matti-Rokka, V.; Middlefell-Williams, J. (2004) Pathways of vegetative development via embryogenesis in Solanum tuberosum L., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2003/2004, pp124-125.

Printed from /staff/sanjeev-kumar-sharma on 09/08/22 12:13:20 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.