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Sarwar Azam Name:


Areas of Specialization:

Sarwar Azam


Genome sequencing, Gene expression, Genome-wide association studies (GWAS), Comparative genomics, Evolutionary biology, Bioinformatic tools & Pipeline development

Education and training:
Sarwar Azam completed M Tech degree in Computational and Systems Biology from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2009. After working for a short period at National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), he joined International Crop Research Center for the Semi-Arid Tropic (ICRISAT) in 2010 as Visiting Scientist (Bioinformatics). Later he continued as a Special Project Scientist at ICRISAT in the field of computational genomics. He joined NIAB in November 2013.

Research experience and interests:
Sarwar’s research experience spans genetics, genomics and computational biology. His major contribution has been in the field of genome sequencing where he generated reference sequences for two plant genomes i.e., Cicer arietinum (chickpea) and Cajanus cajan (pigeonpea) and two bacterial genomes i.e., Sphingopyxis wildii and Sphingobium fuliginis. He has also contributed in finding quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for different traits in chickpea and identified candidate genes for various traits by analysing RNAseq data in different species. He also developed pipeline to analyse NGS data for SNPs identification (ISMU), synteny visualisation (GCT) and few other databases. Currently, his research interest includes genome sequencing, transcriptomics and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to improve the genetic and productive efficiency of livestock. He is also keen to develop fundamental knowledge and bioinformatics tools to facilitate genomic studies in animals.

Selected awards, honours and fellowships:
  1. Certificate of Appreciation for the outstanding contribution in the area of Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics as part of Bioclues Innovation, Research and Development (BIRD) award, 2011

  2. Exceptional Scientific Article in a High Impact Journal Award, ICRISAT, 2011

  3. CSIR – UGC NET examination in Life sciences held in June 2008, December 2008 & June 2009

  4. DBT fellowship 2007-2009 for M.Tech. course

  5. BCIL Fellowship for BITP from DBT, Govt. of India, 2006

Selected publications:
  1. Parthasarathy S, Azam S, Lakshman Sagar A, Narasimha Rao, et. al. 2017. Genome-guided insights reveal organophosphate-degrading Brevundimonas diminuta as Sphingopyxis wildii and define its versatile metabolic capabilities and environmental adaptations. Genome Biology and Evolution 9(1):77-81.

  2. Faisal SM, Varma VP, Subathra M, Azam S, et. al. 2016. Leptospira surface adhesin (Lsa21) induces Toll like receptor 2 and 4 mediated inflammatory responses in macrophages. Scientific Reports 6:39530.

  3. Azam S., Rao SB, Jakka P, Narasimha Rao V, Bhargavi B, Gupta VK, Radhakrishnan G. 2016. Genetic characterization and comparative genome analysis of Brucella melitensis isolates from India. International Journal of Genomics 2016:3034756.

  4. Angela WH, Sharma M, Thatcher LF, Azam S, Hane JK., et al. 2016. Comparative genomics and prediction of conditionally dispensable sequences in legume–infecting Fusarium oxysporum formae speciales facilitates identification of candidate effectors. BMC Genomics 17:191.

  5. Sinha P, Pazhamala LT, Singh VK, Saxena RK, Krishnamurthy L, Azam S., et al. 2015. Identification and validation of selected universal stress protein domain containing drought-responsive genes in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L.). Frontiers in Plant Science 6:1065.

  6. Jaganathan D, Thudi M, Kale S, Azam S, et al. 2014. Genotyping-by-sequencing based intra-specific genetic map refines a ‘‘QTL-hotspot” region for drought tolerance in chickpea. Molecular Genetics and Genomics 290(2):559-71.

  7. Kudapa H, Azam S, Sharpe AG, et al. 2014. Comprehensive transcriptome assembly of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) using Sanger and Next Generation Sequencing platforms: Development and applications. PLoS One 9(1):86039.

  8. Azam S, Rathore A, Shah T, et al. 2013. ISMU: Integrated SNP mining and utilization pipeline for accelerated breeding. PLoS One 9(7):e101754.

  9. Varshney RK, Song C, Saxena RK, Azam S, et al. 2013. Draft genome sequence of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) provides a resource for trait improvement. Nature Biotechnology 13(3):240-6.

  10. Varshney RK, Chen W, Li Y, Bharti AK, Saxena RK, Schlueter, JA, Gonoghue MTA, Azam S, et al. 2012. Draft genome sequence of pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan), an orphan legume crop of resource-poor farmers. Nature Biotechnology 30:83–9.

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Mission: Development of sustainable and  globally competitive livestock industry through innovative technology.

Vision: To demonstrate excellence in promoting and commercializing leads in biotechnology and to produce globally competitive livestock products, pharmaceuticals and biologicals for animal health care.

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