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Vibha Srivastava

Vibha Srivastava

Professor of Plant Biotechnology

(DREX)-Director Experiment Station

(CSES)-Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences

Phone: 479-575-2354

Fax: (479) 575-7465

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Vibha Srivastava is a plant biotechnologist, she is developing biotechnology and functional genomics methods for crop improvement and genomics. Her research focus is to develop transgenic techniques for precise genetic modification using recombinases, nucleases and gene editing reagents. She has developed methods for multigene engineering, site-directed gene integration, functional genomics, and gene editing in plants. Srivastava also works on the epigenetic aspects such as the role of DNA methylation and histone modifications in gene expression.

Vibha Srivastava teaches a graduate course CSES 5233: Plant Genetic Engineering, and serves as the coordinator of Crop Biotechnology minor. In past, she served on the editorial board of Crop Science, and as Program Chair of Plant Biotechnology Section of the Society of In Vitro Biology. She is currently Associate Editor of Plant Biotechnology Journal and Plant Cell Reports.

Research Emphasis

I. Biotechnology:

Our laboratory is developing DNA recombination (Cre-lox and FLP-FRT) based strategies for precise integrations of the foreign gene into crop genomes using rice as a model. The majority of genetically modified plants produced by conventional techniques are not suitable for long-term propagation because they frequently undergo gene silencing. The position and the complexity of the gene integration locus are the major factors that contribute to the silencing phenomenon. Therefore, to prevent gene silencing, it is important to control the location and the pattern of the integration of the foreign gene.

II. Molecular Genetics

We isolated an epiallele of Arabidopsis Phytochrome A gene, phyA’, that is highly stable in the absence of transgene locus. Northern analysis suggests that this epi-allele is expressed at about 30% that of the wild-type level and contains CG hypermethylation in exon 1. There is no other modification found in the epiallele. We are using forward genetics approach to study the mechanism underlying phyA’ expression.

Courses Taught

  • Plant Genetic Engineering (CSES 5233) Instructor: Plant Molecular Biology Journal Club
  • Advisor, Undergraduate program, Crop Biotech.


  • Ph.D. (1991) Plant Biotechnology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
  • M.Sc. (1985) Biochemistry, G.B. Pant Univ. of Agric. and Tech., Pantnagar, India.
  • B. Sc. (1983) Chemistry, Dayalbagh Educational Institute (DEI), Agra, India.


  • Srivastava, V. and Thomson, J. (2016), Gene stacking by recombinases. Plant Biotechnol J, 14: 471–482. Petolino, J. F., Srivastava, V. and Daniell, H. (2016), Editing Plant Genomes: a new era of crop improvement. Plant Biotechnol. J. 14: 435–436.
  • Srivastava V and Thomson J (2016) Gene stacking by recombinases. Plant Biotechnol. J. 14: 471–482.
  • Nandy S, Zhao S, Pathak B, Manoharan M, and Srivastava V (2015) Gene stacking in plant cell using recombinases for gene integration and nucleases for marker gene deletion. BMC Biotechnology 15:93 doi:10.1186/s12896-015-0212-2.
  • Rangani G, Underwood JL, and Srivastava V (2015) Chromatin analysis of an Arabidopsis Phytochrome A allele reveals the correlation of transcriptional repression with recalcitrance to histone acetylation. Plant Grow. Regul. 75:179-186.
  • Nguyen LD, Underwood JL, Nandy S, Akbudak MA, and Srivastava V (2014) Strong activity of FLPe recombinase in rice plants does not correlate with the transmission of the recombined locus to the progeny. Plant Biotech. Rep. 8 (6): 455-462.
  • Akbudak MA, Nicholson SJ, Srivastava V (2013) Suppression of Arabidopsis genes by terminator-less transgene constructs. Plant Biotech. Rep. 7: 415-424.
  • Riar DS, Norsworthy JK, Srivastava V, Nandula V, and Bond JA (2013) Physiological and Molecular Basis of Acetolactate Synthase-Inhibiting Herbicide Resistance in Barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli). J. Agric. Food Chem. 61:278-289.
  • Nandy S and Srivastava V (2012) Marker-free site-specific gene integration in rice based on the use of two recombination systems. Plant Biotechnol. J. 10(8):904-12
  • Rangani G, Khodakovskaya M, Alimohammadi M, Hoecker U, and Srivastava V (2012) Site-specific methylation in gene coding region underlies transcriptional silencing of the Phytochrome A epiallele in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Mol. Biol. 79:191-202
  • Nicholson SJ, Hoecker U, and Srivastava V (2011) A novel Phytochrome B allele in Arabidopsis thaliana exhibits partial mutant phenotype: a short deletion in N-terminal extension reduces Phytochrome B activity. Plant Grow. Regul. 65: 207-212.
  • Akbudak MA and Srivastava V (2011) Improved FLP Recombinase, FLPe, Efficiently Removes Marker Gene from Transgene Locus Developed by Cre-lox Mediated Site-Specific Gene Integration in Rice. Mol. Biotechnol. 49: 82-89.
  • Nandy S and Srivastava V (2011) Site-specific gene integration in rice genome mediated by the FLP-FRT recombination system. Plant Biotechnol. J. 9:713-721.
  • Khattri A, Nandy S, and Srivastava V (2011) Heat-inducible Cre-lox system for marker excision in transgenic rice. J. Biosci. 36: 37-42.
  • Akbudak MA, More, A, Nandy S, and Srivastava V (2010) Dosage-dependent gene expression from direct repeat locus in rice developed by site-specific gene integration. Mol. Biotechnol. 45:15-23.
  • Srivastava V and Gidoni D (2010) Site-specific gene integration technologies for crop improvement. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol. - Plant. 46: 219-232.
  • Nicholson SJ and Srivastava V (2009) Transgene constructs lacking transcription termination signal induce efficient silencing of endogenous targets in Arabidopsis. Mol. Genet. Genom. 282: 319-328. 
  • Gidoni D, Srivastava V, and Carmi N (2008) Site-specific excisional recombination approaches for agricultural biotechnology. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol. - Plant 44: 457-467.
  • Srivastava V (2008) Breeding major food staples (book review). J. Environ. Qual. 37: 1666.
  • Moore SK and Srivastava V (2008) A bacterial haloalkane dehalogenase (dhlA) gene as conditional negative selection marker for rice callus cells. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol. - Plant 44: 468-473.
  • Chawla R, Nicholson, SJ, Folta, KM, and Srivastava V (2007) Transgene-induced silencing of Arabidopsis phytochrome A gene via exonic methylation. Plant Journal 52: 1105 – 1118.
  • Nicholson SJ, and Srivastava V (2006) Cre/lox technologies for plant transformation. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources 2006 1, No. 034.
  • Moore SK, and Srivastava V (2006) Efficient deletion of transgenic DNA from complex integration locus of rice mediated by Cre/lox recombination system. Crop Sci. 46: 700 - 705.
  • Chawla R, Ariza-Nieto M, Wilson AJ, Moore SK, and Srivastava V (2006) Transgene expression produced by biolistic-mediated, site-specific gene integration is consistently inherited by the subsequent generations. Plant Biotechnol. J. 4: 209 – 218.
  • Srivastava V, Ariza-Nieto M, Wilson AJ (2004) Cre-mediated site-specific gene integration for consistent transgene expression in rice. Plant Biotechnol. J. 2(2):169-79.
  • Srivastava V and Ow DW (2003) Rare instances of Cre-mediated deletion product maintained in transgenic wheat. Plant Mol. Biol. 52: 661-668.
  • Srivastava V and Ow DW (2002) Site-specific gene integration in rice. Mol. Breed. 8: 345-350.
  • Srivastava V and Ow DW (2001) Single copy transformants of maize obtained through c-introduction of recombinase-expressing construct. Plant Mol. Biol. 46: 561-566.


Book Chapters:

  • Srivastava V and Ow DW (2015) Simplifying transgene locus structure through Cre-lox recombination.  Plant Gene Silencing, Methods in Molecular Biology (eds. K. S. Mysore and M. Senthil-Kumar), 95-104.
  • Sobha S, Thulaseedharan A, Saha T, Nandy S, and Srivastava V (2015) Towards the Development of Marker-Free Transgenic Rubber Tree by Synthesizing a “Clean Vector” Utilizing Heat-Inducible Cre-loxP System. Adv. Plant Sc. & Biotech. (eds. S. Krishnan and B.F. Rodrigues), 198 – 210.
  • Srivastava V (2013) Site-Specific Gene Integration in Rice. Rice Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology 956:83-93. (ed. Y. Yang)
  • Srivastava V, Akbudak MA, Nandy, S (2011) Marker-Free Plant Transformation. Plant Transformation Technology Revolution in Last 27 years. (Eds: Y. Dan and D.W. Ow), 108-122.
  • Srivastava V and Ow D (2010) Site-specific recombination for precise and clean transgene integration in plant genome. Plant Transformation Technologies, Blackwell publishing (Eds: C. Neal Stewart, Jr., Alisher Touraev, Vitaly Citovsky, and Tzvi Tzfira), 197 – 209.


Professional Background

  • 1996-2001: Post-doctoral Fellow, Plant Gene Expression Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA. Supervisor: Dr. David W. Ow.
  • 1993-1995: Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Supervisor: Dr. Indra K. Vasil.
  • 1989-1990: Visiting Research Fellow, Freie Universitat, West Berlin, Germany. Supervisor: Dr. Otto Schieder.