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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



  • PhD Plant Biotechnology, University of Dundee at SCRI, Dundee, UK, 2006
  • MSc Biotechnology, Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India, 1994
  • BSc Forestry, Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India, 1991

Current research interests

Genetically characterized potato association panel

My work focuses on various genetics and genomics related aspects of potato research in the Cell and Molecular Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute. I was actively involved in the international potato genome sequencing initiative, notably construction of the reference chromosome-scale pseudomolecules. Following this, as part of the TSB Genomes UK grant, I was actively engaged in the application of genome-wide association studies and genotyping-by-sequencing to mine diverse potato collections for identifying novel alleles affecting important agronomic and processing traits. These efforts have generated a genetically characterized potato association panel, a vast number of well-annotated SNPs and marker-trait associations.

Bulk-Segregant AnalysisWe are exploiting these results for performing genomics-assisted breeding and generating diagnostic markers for target traits in potato. I was also actively involved in the design and development of potato whole-exome capture which we are utilizing for marker-trait analysis (e.g. using bulk-segregant analysis) on important traits including various other applications within the potato group and with external collaborating partners. Currently, I am part of the BBSRC HAPI project team studying molecular-genetic components underlying potato tuber dormancy and sprouting where my efforts also include development of transgenic tester lines for genes underlying QTLs of interest. I also have expertise in constructing Next-Generation Sequencing libraries and their bioinformatics analysis involving SNP discovery and further downstream processing. On the whole my broader focus of work is to exploit genomic technologies for furthering potato research and accelerate breeding efficiencies in potato.

Past research

An embling from a potato synthetic seed (encapsulated somatic embryo) I originally came to the United Kingdom on a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship award to pursue my PhD on the development and molecular characterization of somatic embryogenesis in potato. A novel outcome of the project was the development of a prototype for rapid and efficient multiplication of potato germplasm. Prior to this in India, I was involved in the research and development aspects related to nuclear and pre-basic seed production in potato, selection and micropropagation of elite Eucalyptus trees for pulp and paper industry including the experience of running a commercial tissue culture/micropropagation facility with an annual capacity of producing over five million plants.

  • 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 15/08/20 12:17:31 PM

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.