Assistant Professor

Dr. Tusar T. Saha

Department of Biology

Interests

  1. Disease Vector Biology and Arthropod Genomics
  2. Insect Physiology and Molecular Biology
  3. Biological Control of Agricultural Pests

Education

2005

University of Calcutta
India
Bachelors

2007

University of Calcutta
India
Masters

2013

University of California
USA
Ph.D.

Experience

  • March 2018 – Present, Assistant Professor | Department of Biology, SRM University AP, Amaravati, INDIA
  • Nov 2013 – March 2018, Post Doctoral Researcher | NIH Post Doctoral Fellow at Centre for Disease Vector Research (CDVR) at University of California, Riverside, USA
  • Jan 2009 – Oct 2013, Graduate Student Researcher | Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, USA
  • April 2007 – Aug2008, Research Assistant | Department of Biochemistry, University of Calcutta, INDIA
  • June 2006 – Sept 2006, Research Intern | Division of Plant Biology, Bose Institute, Calcutta, INDIA

Research Interest

  • Juvenile Hormone Signalling Pathway: Juvenile hormone (JH) is an important growth regulator which controls many aspects of insect physiology including development, reproduction, diapauses, polyphenism and social behavior. In spite of its central role, cellular and molecular aspects of JH signaling mostly remain unexplored. A significant part of my research career has been focused on this classic problem of biology. I use mosquito Aedes aegypti as model system to study JH signalling pathway. JH is a unique sesquiterpenoid hormone found only in insects. Because of this specificity, JH and its analogs have been widely used as potent insecticides. Apart from solving a classic problem of basic biology, elucidation of the JH signaling pathway might lead us to novel pesticide targets. Thus, my work bears direct implications to insect pest control, and agricultural sciences.
  • Factors Governing Egg Production in Disease Vector Mosquito: Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous devastating diseases including malaria, dengue, filariasis, chikungunya and more recently zika fever, affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each year globally. The pathogens are transmitted while the female mosquito feeds on vertebrate blood, an obligate source of key nutrients required for egg development. I am interested in characterizing the factors that regulate egg production in mosquitoes. These include factors such as hormones, nutrients and mosquito microRNAs.
  • Temporal Regulation of Mosquito Metabolism: Mosquitoe have a unique physiology catering to its development needs. As a result their metabolic regulation is also expected to be unique, a direction which remains completely unexplored. A direction of my research is focused on deciphering how metabolism is temporally regulated in mosquitoes.
  • Insect Immunity and Host-Parasitoid Interaction: Recently, I have started working on insect immunity and pest-parasitoid interaction aiming to elucidate the molecular mechanisms governing success of biological control agents. To study host-parasitoid interaction we have developed a model system comprising of two closely related wasp species Microplitis mediator (Mm) and Microplitis terminator (Mt), and their common host Helicoverpa armigera (Ha), a polyphagous lepidopteran pest (Mm/Mt-Ha model). Mm and Mt have distinct parasitic success, with Mm successfully colonizing Ha larvae and Mt being encapsulated out by 5d post infection. I plan to use this model to better understand the molecular basis of biological control agricultural pests

Awards & Fellowships

  • 2012 - Travel Award for ASTMH Meeting, 2012, EGSA
  • 2010 - Travel Award for ESA Meeting, 2010, GGB-GSA UCR
  • 2009 - Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship, UCR
  • 2008 - NET in Life Sciences, UGC, India
  • 2008 - GATE Life Sciences, India, MHRD, India
  • 2007 - Rank Certificate (Rank 6th), Biochemistry, University of Calcutta
  • 2005 - Rank Certificate (Rank 4th), Biology, University of Calcutta

Memberships

  • Member of Entomological Society of America (ESA)

Publications

Publications

  • Comparative transcriptomic analysis of Helicoverpa armigera infected with two closely related wasps reveals a critical role of integrin β3 in parasitoid encapsulation – B. Han, J. Qiao, Z. Lin, L. S. Xing, T. T. Saha§, Z. Zou§, Scientific Reports (Provisionally Accepted) (2018, expected) [IF: 4.26] (Co-Corresponding Author)
  • LRFN (leucine-rich repeat and fibronectin type-III domain-containing protein) recognizes bacteria and promotes hemocytic phagocytosis in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas - Huang, M. Yu, H. Chen, M. Zeng, Y. Sun, T. T. Saha, D. Chen§, Fish Shellfish Immuno.l 72, 622-628 (2018) [IF:3.15]
  • microRNA-275 targets sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ adenosine triphosphatase (SERCA) to control key functions in the mosquito gut - Zhao, K. J. Lucas, T. T. Saha, J. Ha, L. Lin, C. H. Chen, V. A. Kokoza, S. Roy, A. S. Raikhel§, PLoS Genet. 13(8), e1006943 (2017) [IF: 6.1]
  • Juvenile hormone and its receptor Methoprene-tolerant control expression of RRS1, mediating ribosomal biogenesis and vitellogenesis in the mosquito Aedes aegypti – J. L. Wang, T. Saha, Y. Zhang, A. S. Raikhel§, J Biol Chem. 292(24), 10306-10315 (2017) [IF: 4.57]
  • Hormone and receptor interplay in regulation of mosquito lipid metabolism – X. L. Wang, Y. Hou, T. Saha, G. F. Pei, A. S. Raikhel§, Z. Zou§, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 114(13), E2709-E2718 (2017) [IF: 9.66]
  • The complete mitochondrial genome of Panopea abrupta (Myoida: Hiatellidae) – M. Yu, S. Zhong, S. Yang, J. Chen, T. T. Saha§, Mitochondrial DNA. 1(1), 883-885 (2016) [IF:1.76] (Co-Corresponding Author)
  • Determination of juvenile hormone titers by means of LC-MS/MS/MS and a juvenile hormone-responsive Gal4/UAS system in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – B. Zhao*, Y. Hou*, J. Wang*, V. A. Kokoza, T. Saha, X. L. Wang, L. Lin, Z. Zou§, A. S. Raikhel§, Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 77, 69-77 (2016) [IF: 3.76]
  • microRNA-309 targets the Homeobox gene SIX4 and controls ovarian development in the mosquito Aedes aegypti – Y. Zhang, B. Zhao, S. Roy, T. Saha, V. A. Kokoza, M. Li, A. S. Raikhel§, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 113(33), E4828-36 (2016) [IF: 9.66]
  • Hairy and Groucho mediate the action of juvenile hormone receptor Methoprene-tolerant in gene repression – T. Saha, S. W. Shin, W. Dou, S. Roy, B. Zhao, Y. Hou, X. L. Wang, Z. Zou, T. Girke, A. S. Raikhel§, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 113(6), E735-43 (2016) [IF: 9.66] A commentary was published on this paper – Something “hairy” in juvenile hormone signaling for mosquito reproduction – M. Jindra§, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 113(6), 1474-6 (2016) 
  • Comparative analysis of peptidoglycan recognition proteins in endoparasitoid wasp Microplitis mediator – R. J. Wang, Z. Lin, H. Jiang, J. C. Li, T. Saha, Z. Y. Lu, Z. Q. Lu§, Z. Zou§, Insect Sci. 24()1, 2-16 (2017) [IF: 2.03]
  • Comparative analysis of peptidoglycan recognition proteins in endoparasitoid wasp Microplitis mediator – R. J. Wang, Z. Lin, H. Jiang, J. C. Li, T. Saha, Z. Y. Lu, Z. Q. Lu§, Z. Zou§, Insect Sci. 24()1, 2-16 (2017) [IF: 2.03]
  • Regulation of gene expression patterns in mosquito reproduction – S. Roy*, T. Saha*, L. Johnson, B. Zhao, J. Ha, K. P. White, T. Girke, Z. Zou§, A. S. Raikhel§, PLoS Genet. 11(8), e1005450 (2015) [IF: 6.1] (Co-First Author)
  • Temporal coordination of carbohydrate metabolism during mosquito reproduction – Y. Hou*, X. L. Wang*, T. Saha*, S. Roy, B. Zhao, A. S. Raikhel§, Z. Zou§, PLoS Genet. 11(7), e1005309 (2015) [IF:6.1] (Co-First Author)
  • High throughput profiling of the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera immunotranscriptome during the fungal and bacterial infections – H. Xiong*, L. S. Xing*, Z. Lin, T. T. Saha, C. Wang, H. Jiang, Z. Zou§, BMC Genomics. 16, 321 (2015) [IF:3.73]
  • Regulation of the gut-specific carboxypeptidase: a study using the binary Gal4/UAS system in the mosquito Aedes aegypti – Zhao, V. A. Kokoza, T. T. Saha, S. Wang, S. Roy, A. S. Raikhel§, Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 54, 1-10 (2014) [IF: 3.76]
  • Juvenile hormone and its receptor, Methoprene-tolerant, control the dynamics of mosquito gene expression – Z. Zou*, T. Saha*, S. Roy*, S. W. Shin, T. W. Backman, T. Girke, K. P. White, A. S. Raikhel§, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110(24), E2173–E2181 (2013) [IF: 9.66] (Co-First Author)  A commentary was published on this paper – Microarrays reveal discrete phases in juvenile hormone regulation of mosquito reproduction – L. M. Riddiford§ Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110(24), 9623-9624 (2013)  
  • bHLH-PAS heterodimer of Methoprene-tolerant and Cycle mediates circadian expression of juvenile hormone-induced mosquito genes – W. Shin, Z. Zou, T. T. Saha, A. S. Raikhel§, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 109(41), 16576–16581 (2013) [IF: 9.66]

Book Chapter and Review

  • Regulatory pathways controlling female insect reproduction – Roy*, T. T. Saha*, Z. Zou, A. S. Raikhel§, Annu Rev Entomol. 63, 489-511 (2018) [IF: 12.87] (Co-First Author)
  • Chapter Five- Regulation of reproductive processes in female mosquito – S. Roy, V. Smykal, L. Johnson, T. T. Saha, Z. Zou, A. S. Raikhel§, Advances in Insect Physiology 51, 115-144 (2016) [IF: 2.72]

Conference Abstracts

  • Intermediate factors of Juvenile Hormone/Methoprene-tolerant mediated gene repression: evidence from adult female mosquito Aedes aegypti T. Saha, S. W. Shin, W. Dou, S. Roy, B. Zhao, Z. Zou, A. S. Raikhel, International Congress of Entomology. Sept 25-30th, 2016, Orlando, Florida, USA [Oral Presentation]
  • Effects of 20-hydroxyecdysone and juvenile hormone over the differential expression patterns of genes during vitellogenesis in female Aedes aegypti T. T. Saha, S. Roy, L. Johnson, B. Zhao, J. Ha, T. Girke, Z. Zou, A. S. Raikhel, 10th International Conference on Juvenile Hormones. June 9-13, 2014, Tsukuba, Japan [Oral Presentation]
  • The juvenile hormone receptor Methoprene-tolerant (Met) controls gene expression dynamics in yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti T. Saha, Z. Zou, S. Roy, S. W. Shin, T. W. H. Backman, T. Girke, K. P. White, A. S. Raikhel, Insect Hormones (19th Ecdysone) International Workshop. July 21-26, 2013, Minneapolis, MN, USA [Poster]
  • Genome-wide analysis of genes controlled by juvenile hormone receptor Methoprene-tolerant in the dengue fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti T. Saha, Z. Zou, S. W. Shin, S. Roy, A. S. Raikhel, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 61st Annual Meeting. Nov.11-15, 2012, Atlanta, GA, USA [Poster]
  • Genome-wide analysis of genes controlled by juvenile hormone receptor Methoprene-tolerant in the dengue fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti T. Saha, Z. Zou, S. W. Shin, T. Girke, K. P. White, A. S. Raikhel, Second International CDVR symposium. Sept. 29-30, 2012, University of California, Riverside, CA [Oral Presentation]
  • Transcriptomic and reverse genetic analysis of gene expression in the juvenile hormone-dependent post-eclosion development of the adult female mosquito, Aedes aegypti T. Saha, Z. Zou, S. W. Shin, A. S. Raikhel, Entomological Society of America 58th Annual Meeting. Dec. 12-16, 2010, San Diego, CA, USA [Poster]
  • Transcriptomic analysis of juvenile hormone regulated post eclosion development in adult female mosquito, Aedes aegypti T. Saha, Z. Zou, S. W. Shin, A. S. Raikhel, International CDVR Symposium. March 27-28, 2010, University of California, Riverside, CA [Poster]

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