Associate Professor Priti Krishna

Associate Professor - School of Environmental and Rural Science

Priti Krishna

Phone: +61 2 6773 3075



My research interests lie in understanding molecular mechanisms underlying plant stress responses. My research group was among the first to establish the role of brassinosteroid, a relatively new plant hormone, in plant stress tolerance. Brassinosteroid controls many important agronomic traits such growth, yield, plant architecture, xylem differentiation, seed germination and others. BR-related genes therefore offer a unique possibility of increasing crop yields through changing plant architecture, metabolism and protecting plants from environmental stresses. While continuing to unravel the mechanisms, using genetic, genomic and molecular biology approaches, by which brassinosteroid confers broad range stress tolerance, we are now focusing on BRs role in root development. This research has considerable potential for optimising root growth for different soil types for better use of soil nutrients and water, and increased resistance to pathogens.

  • Molecular mechanisms of brassinosteroid–mediated stress tolerance in plants
  • Molecular basis of brassinosteroid function in root growth
  • Gene discovery for drought and salinity tolerance

Enhanced salinity tolerance

Enhanced salinity tolerance in seedlings overexpressing a brassinosteroid-related gene (35S::BP1) as compared to wild type (WT) and loss-of-function mutant bp1.


BSc., MSc., PhD (University of Calgary, Canada)

Teaching Areas



Google Scholar citations

Recent Publications

Sahni S, Prasad BP, Liu Q, Grbic V, Sharpe A, Singh SP, Krishna P. 2016. Overexpression of thebrassinosteroid biosynthetic gene DWF4 in Brassica napus simultaneously increases seed yield and stress tolerance. Sci Rep. 6:28298.

Divi UK, Rahman T, Krishna P. 2016. Gene expression and functional analyses in brassinosteroid-mediated stress tolerance. Plant Biotechnol J. 14:419-432. 

Fatima T, Kesari V, Watt I, Wishart D, Todd JF, Schroeder WR, Paliyath G, Krishna P. 2015. Metabolite profiling and expression analysis of flavonoid, vitamin C and tocopherol biosynthesis genes in the antioxidant-rich sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.). Phytochem. 118:181-191.  

Zhurov V et al. 2014. Reciprocal responses in the interaction between Arabidopsis and the cell-content-feeding chelicerate herbivore spider mite. Plant Physiol. 164:384-399.

Isidro J, Knox R, Singh AK, Clarke F, Krishna P, DePauw R, Clarke J, Somers D. 2012. Brassinosteroid leaf unrolling QTL mapping in durum wheat. Planta.  236:273-281.

Fatima T, Snyder CL, Schroeder WR, Cram D, Datla R, Wishart D, Weselake RJ, Krishna P. 2012. Fatty acid composition of developing sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) berry and the transcriptome of the mature seed. PLoS ONE. 7(4):e34099

Chen L, Hamada S, Fujiwara M, Zhu T, Thao NP, Wong HL, Krishna P, Ueda T, Kaku H, Shibuya N, Kawasaki T, Shimamoto K. 2010. The Hop/Sti1-Hsp90 chaperone complex facilitates the maturation and transport of a PAMP receptor in rice innate immunity. Cell Host Microbe. 7:185-196.

Zhang Z, Sullivan WP, Felts SJ, Prasad BD, Toft DO, Krishna P. 2010. Characterization of plant p23-like proteins for their co-chaperone activities. Cell Stress Chaperones. 15:703-715.

Divi U, Rahman T, Krishna P. 2010. Brassinosteroid-mediated stress tolerance in Arabidopsis shows interactions with abscisic acid, ethylene and salicylic acid pathways. BMC Plant Biol. 10:151.

Divi U, Krishna P. 2010. Overexpression of the brassinosteroid biosynthetic gene AtDWF4 in Arabidopsis seeds overcomes abscisic acid-induced inhibition of germination and increases cold tolerance in transgenic seedlings.   J. Plant Growth Regul. 29:385-393.

Prasad BD, Goel S, Krishna P. 2010. In silico identification of carboxylate clamp type tetratricopeptide repeat proteins in Arabidopsis and rice as putative co-chaperones of Hsp90/Hsp70. PLoS ONE 5:e12761.

Research Supervision Experience

Student Opportunities

Brassinosteroid is a hot topic of research, offering basic research opportunities with applied outcomes. I am looking for highly motivated students to undertake research, from Honours to PhD, in projects on this topic, and would be happy to assist with IPRA and APA scholarship applications.