Kutubuddin Ali Molla, Ph.D.

  • Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Yang Lab
Kutubuddin Ali Molla, Ph.D.
419 Life Sciences Building
University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-867-0300
Fax: 814-863-7217

Areas of Expertise

  • Molecular biology, Genetic engineering, Genome editing, CRISPR/Cas9


  1. Ph.D. Botany, Calcutta University, Kolkata, India, 2015
  2. M.S. Botany, Calcutta University, Kolkata, India, 2008
  3. B.S. Botany, Calcutta University, Kolkata, India, 2006

Research Interests

My current research interests stem from the fact that crop plants suffer huge yield loss due to several biotic and abiotic stresses. Genetic engineering and genome editing tools allow us to understand the fundamental plant-biotic/abiotic factor interaction and to overcome limitations of traditional plant breeding to improve resistance to those stresses. My research focuses on understanding the basis of plant resistance as well as the genetic improvement of crop plants. I am interested in precise genome editing in rice using CRISPR/Cas-base editors and Homology Dependent Repair (HDR) methods.

Awards, Honors, and Fellowships

  1. Penn State Post Doc Society 11th Annual Research Exhibition Award, Office of the Postdoctoral Affairs, PSU, University Park, 2018 
  2. Fulbright-Nehru Post Doctoral Fellowship, The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF), 2017
  3. Early Career Research Award, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, 2016
  4. Jawaharlal Nehru Award for P.G. Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Agricultural and Allied Sciences, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Government of India, 2016
  5. International Travel Grant, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, 2015
  6. Young Scientist Award, Indian Science Congress Association, Government of India, 2013
  7. JRF Research Fellowship, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, 2008
  8. National Scholarship, Government of India, 2006


Molla KA, Yang Y. (2019). Predicting CRISPR/Cas-Induced Mutations for Precise Genome Editing. Trends in Biotechnology, published online September 13.

Karmakar, S., Molla, K. A., Gayen, D., Karmakar, A., Das, K., Sarkar, S. N., ... & Datta, S. K. (2019). Development of a rapid and highly efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system for pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp]. GM crops & food, 1-24. Doi:

Molla, K. A.,& Yang, Y. (2019). CRISPR/Cas-Mediated Base Editing: Technical Considerations and Practical Applications. Trends in Biotechnology, published online April 14doi:

Ganie, S. A., Molla, K. A., Henry, R. J., Bhat, K. V., & Mondal, T. K. (2019). Advances in understanding salt tolerance in rice. Theoretical and Applied Genetics132(4), 851-870

Molla, K. A., Azharudheen, T. M., Ray, S., Sarkar, S., Swain, A., Chakraborti, M., ... & Mukherjee, A. K. (2019). Novel biotic stress responsive candidate gene based SSR (cgSSR) markers from rice. Euphytica215(2), 17. 

Panda, D., Molla, K. A., Baig, M. J., Swain, A., Behera, D., & Dash, M. (2018). DNA as a digital information storage device: hope or hype?. 3 Biotech, 8(5), 239.

Chattopadhyay, K., Sharma, S. G., Bagchi, T. B., Molla, K. A.,... & Singh, O. N. (2018). Development of recombinant high yielding lines with improved protein content in rice (Oryza sativa L.). The Journal of Agricultural Science156(2), 241-257.

Vijayan, J., Senapati, S., Ray, S., Chakraborty, K., Molla, K. A.,... & Sarkar, R. K. (2018). Transcriptomic and physiological studies identify cues for germination stage oxygen deficiency tolerance in rice. Environmental and experimental botany147, 234-248.

Karmakar, S., Molla, K.A., Das, K., Sarkar, S.N., Datta, S.K. and Datta, K. (2017) Dual gene expression cassette is superior than single gene cassette for enhancing sheath blight tolerance in transgenic rice. Scientific Reports, 7:7900 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-08180-x

Molla, K.A., Karmakar, S., Chanda, P.K., Sarkar, S.N., Datta, S.K. and Datta, K. (2016) Tissue-specific expression of Arabidopsis NPR1 gene in rice for sheath blight resistance without compromising phenotypic cost. Plant Science, 250:105-114.

Ghosh, S., Molla, K.A., Karmakar, S., Datta, S.K. and Datta, K. (2016) Enhanced resistance to late blight pathogen conferred by expression of rice oxalate oxidase 4 gene in transgenic potato. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture, 126:3, 429–437.

Karmakar, S., Molla, K.A., Chanda, P.K., Sarkar, S.N., Datta, S.K. and Datta, K. (2015) Coexpression of chitinase and oxalate oxidase 4 gene in rice for enhanced resistance against sheath blight. Planta 243:115-130.

Molla, K.A., Debnath, A.B., Ganie, S.A. and Mondal, T.K. (2015) Identification and analysis of novel salt responsive candidate gene based SSRs (cgSSRs) from rice (Oryza sativa L.) BMC Plant Biology, 15:122. DOI 10.1186/s12870-015-0498-1

Ganguly, M., Molla, K.A., Karmakar, S., Datta, K. and Datta, S.K. (2014) Development of pod borer-resistant transgenic chickpea using a pod-specific and a constitutive promoter-driven fused cry1Ab/Ac gene. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 127:2555-2565.

Molla, K.A., Karmakar, S., Chanda, P.K., Ghosh, S., Sarkar, S.N., Datta, S.K. and Datta, K. (2013) Rice oxalate oxidase gene driven by green tissue-specific promoter increases tolerance to sheath blight pathogen (Rhizoctonia solani) in transgenic rice. Molecular Plant Pathology, 14:910-922.