Smrutisanjita Behera , Ph.D.

Molecular Genetics

Research Interest

Calcium is an important second messenger in plants. Stimulus specific calcium signal evoke specific response reaction in plant cells. Such specific calcium signals do not act in isolation. Often, calcium signals are interlinked with other signaling machineries like ROS, lipids and change in pH. Sphingolipids, which are also involved in various cellular and physiological processes in plants act as modulators to process calcium signals. Our research focuses on the following.

  1. Dissecting the signaling components and molecular mechanisms involved in plant pathogen interaction in rice.
  2. Investigating the Role of Calcium channels in pathogen recognition and immune response in plants.
  3. Understanding the function of sphingolipids in plant pathogen interaction.
  4. Study the interaction between sphingolipids signaling and calcium signaling in plants during plant pathogen interaction.


  • DST-INSPIRE faculty, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, India (2016-2021)
  • Postdoctoral Research, University of Milan, Italy (2014-2015)
  • Research Associate, University of Münster, Germany (2013-2014)
  • PhD, University of Münster, Germany (2008-2013)
  • MSc, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, School of Life sciences (2005-2007)

Honours & Awards

  • DST-INSPIRE faculty award, 2016
  • Post doctoral fellowship from Programma ‘Futuro in Ricerca 2010’, Italy within the scientific area of Biological Sciences
  • International fellowship from CEDAD-IMPRS International Graduate School (2008-2011)
  • Fellowship from Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR), Italy (2007-2008)
  • Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lectureship conducted by CSIR-UGC (2007)

Patents & Publications


  1. Steinhorst L, He G, Moore KL, Schültke S, Schmitz Thom1 I, Cao Y, Hashimoto K, Andrés Z, Piepenburg K, Ragel P, Behera S et al. A Ca2+-sensor switch for tolerance to elevated salt stress in Arabidopsis. Developmental cell. 2022, 57(17) 2081-2094. ISSN: 1534-5807. IF: 13 
  2. Mukherjee M, Geeta A, Ghosh S, Prusty A, Dutta S, Sarangi AN, Behera S, Adhikary SP, Tripathy S. Genome Analysis Coupled With Transcriptomics Reveals the Reduced Fitness of a Hot Spring Cyanobacterium Mastigocladus laminosus UU774 Under Exogenous Nitrogen Supplement. Front Microbiol. 2022 Jul 1;13:909289. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.909289. PMID: 35847102; PMCID: PMC9284123. IF: 4.07
  3. Yuan P, Jewell JB, Behera S, Tanaka K, Poovaiah BW. Distinct Molecular Pattern-Induced Calcium Signatures Lead to Different Downstream Transcriptional Regulations via AtSR1/CAMTA3. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020, 21(21), 8163; (ISSN: 1422-0067), IF: 4.5
  4. Hazak O, Mamon E, Lavy M, Stenberg H, Behera S, Schmitz-Thom I, Bloch D, Dementive O,  Gutman I, Danziger T, Schwarz N, Abuzeineh A, Mockaitis K, Estelle M, Hirsch J, Kudla J, Yalovsky S. A novel Ca2+-binding protein that can rapidly transduce auxin responses during root growth. PLOS Biology, 2019, doi. org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000085. (Print ISSN: 1544-9173, web ISSN 1545-7885), IF: 8.3
  5. Behera S, Zhaolong X, Luoni L, Bonza MC, Doccula FG, De Michelisa MI, Morris RJ, Schwarzländere M, Costa A. Cellular Ca2+ signals generate defined pH signatures in plants. Plant Cell. 2018 Nov;30(11):2704-2719. (Print ISSN: 1040-4651, web ISSN: 1532-298X), IF: 8.2
  6. Teardo E, Carraretto L, Wagner S, Formentin E, Behera S, De Bortoli S, Larosa V, Fuchs P, Lo Schiavo F, Raffaello A, Rizzuto R, Costa A, Schwarzländer A, Szabò I: Physiological characterization of a plant mitochondrial calcium uniporter in vitro and in vivo. Plant Physiology 2017 Feb 28;173(2):1355-1370. (Print ISSN: 0032-0889, Online ISSN: 1532-2548), IF: 5.9
  7. Hussain J, Chen J, Locato V, Sabetta W, Behera S, Cimini S, Griggio F, Martínez-Jaime S, Graf A, Bouneb M, Pachaiappan R, Fincato P, Blanco E, Costa A, De Gara L, Bellin D, De Pinto MC, Vandelle E: Constitutive cyclic GMP accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana compromises systemic acquired resistance induced by an avirulent pathogen by modulating local signals. Scientific Reports 2017 May 3;7:46593. (ISSN: 2045-2322), IF: 4.1
  8. Yu J, Meng Z, Liang W, Behera S, Kudla J, Tucker MR, Luo Z, Chen M, Xu D, Zhao G, Wang J, Zhang S, Kim YJ, Zhang D. A Rice Ca2+ Binding Protein Is Required for Tapetum Function and Pollen Formation. Plant Physiology 2016 Nov 23;172(3):1772-1786. (Print ISSN: 0032-0889, Online ISSN: 1532-2548), IF: 5.9
  9. Behera S, Long Y, Schmitz-Thom I, Wang X-P, Zhang C, Li H, Steinhorst L, Manishankar P, Ren X-L,  Offenborn J N, Wu W H, Kudla J, Yi W: Two spatially and temporally distinct Ca2+ signals convey Arabidopsis thaliana responses to K+ deficiency. New Phytologist 2017 Jan 31;213(2):739-750. (ISSN 1469-8137), IF: 7.4 
  10. Loro G, Wagner S, Doccula FG, Behera S, Stefan S, Kudla J, Schwarzländer M, Costa A, Zottini M: Chloroplast-specific in vivo Ca2+ imaging using Yellow Cameleon fluorescent protein sensors reveals organelle-autonomous Ca2+ signatures in the stroma. Plant Physiology 2016 Aug 1;171(4):2317-2330. (Print ISSN: 0032-0889, Online ISSN: 1532-2548), IF: 5.9 
  11. Wagner S, Behera S, De Bortoli S, Logan D C, Fuchs P, Carraretto L, Teardo E, Cendron L, Nietzel T, Füßl M, Doccula F G, Navazio L, Fricker M D, Van Aken O, Finkemeier I, Meyer A J, Szabò I, Costa A, Schwarzländer M: The EF-Hand Ca2+ Binding Protein MICU  Choreographs Mitochondrial Ca2+ Dynamics in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell 2015 Nov 3;27(11):3190-3212 (Print ISSN: 1040-4651, web ISSN: 1532-298X), IF: 8.2 
  12. Arabidopsis thaliana responses to K+ deficiency. New Phytologist 2017 Jan 31;213(2):739 -750. (ISSN 1469-8137), IF: 7.4 
  13. Behera S, Wang N, Zhang C, Schmitz‐Thom I, Strohkamp S, Schültke S, Hashimoto K, Xiong L, Kudla J: Analyses of Ca2+ dynamics using a ubiquitin-10 promoter-driven Yellow Cameleon 3.6 indicator reveal reliable transgene expression and differences in cytoplasmic Ca2+ responses in Arabidopsis and rice (Oryza sativa) roots. New Phytologist 2015 Apr 5;206(2):751-760 (ISSN 1469-8137), IF: 7.4
  14. Teardo E, Carraretto L, De Bortoli S, Costa A, Behera S, Wagner R, Lo Schiavo F, Formentin E, Szabo I: Alternative splicing-Mediated targeting of the arabidopsis GLUTAMATE RECEPTOR 3.5 to mitochondria affects organelle morphology. Plant Physiology 2015 Jan 3;167(1):216-227. (Print ISSN: 0032-0889, Online ISSN: 1532-2548), IF: 5.9 
  15. Bonza MC, Loro G, Behera S, Wong A, Kudla J, Costa A: Analyses of Ca2+ Accumulation and Dynamics in the Endoplasmic Reticulum of Arabidopsis Root Cells Using a Genetically Encoded Cameleon Sensor. Plant Physiology 2013 Nov 30;163(3):1230-1241. (Print ISSN: 0032-0889, Online ISSN: 1532-2548), IF: 5.9
  16. Costa A, Drago I, Behera S, Zottini M, Pizzo P, Schroeder J I, Pozzan T, Lo Schiavo F: H2O2 in plant peroxisomes: An in vivo analysis uncovers a Ca2+-dependent scavenging system. The Plant Journal 2010 Jun 2;62(5):760-772 (ISSN: 0960-7412), IF: 5.7



  1. Doccula FG, Luoni L, Behera S, Bonza MC, Costa A. In vivo analysis of calcium levels and glutathione redox status in Arabidopsis epidermal leaf cells infected with hypersensitive response-inducing Bacteria Pseudomonas syringe pv. tomato AvrB (PstAvrB). 2018. Methods in Molecular Biology. 1743:125-141. ISSN: 1064-3745
  2. Behera S, Krebs M, Loro G, Schumacher K, Costa A, Kudla J: Ca2+ imaging in plants using genetically encoded Yellow Cameleon Ca indicators. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 08/2013; 2013(8). DOI:10.1101/pdb.top066183 ISBN:978-1-936113-58-3.
  3. Behera S, Kudla J: High-Resolution Imaging of Cytoplasmic Ca2+ Dynamics in Arabidopsis Roots. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 07/2013; 2013(7). DOI:10.1101/pdb.prot073023 ISBN:978-1-936113-58-3.
  4.   Behera S, Kudla J: Live Cell Imaging of Cytoplasmic Ca2+ Dynamics in Arabidopsis  Guard Cells. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 07/2013; 2013(7). DOI:10.1101/pdb.prot072983 ISBN:978-1-936113-58-3.