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Bala Rathinasabapathi

Bala Rathinasabapathi

Associate Professor, Horticultural Sciences, University of Florida

Phone: (352) 392-1928ext. 323

Horticultural Sciences
Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Program,
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690



Ph.D., Plant Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, 1990.

Research Interests:

We are interested in metabolic engineering of plants for improved stress tolerance and increased biomass yield. Using a combination of biochemistry, genetics and functional genomics tools, we are identifying genes for increasing plant stress tolerance and increased biomass.

By engineering plants for increased production of non-protein amino acid beta-alanine, we have increased transgenic plant’s high temperature stress tolerance and biomass production. More on this work can be found in this research paper: Fouad WM, Rathinasabapathi B (2006) Expression of bacterial L-aspartate-alpha-decarboxylase in tobacco increases beta-alanine and pantothenate levels and improves thermotolerance. Plant Molecular Biology 60: 495-505.

Another project aims to understand arsenic hyperaccumulation in an unusual tropical fern species which both tolerates and accumulates arsenic in its tissues. Genes from this fern will be of use to engineer plants with improved stress tolerance and phytoremediation properties.