Dr. Rhitoban Ray Choudhury
Associate Professor , Biological Sciences

Email rhitoban(AT)iisermohali.ac.in
Phone +91 172 2293
Fax +91 172 2240266
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Research Area
Evolution, Genetics and Genomics
Research Focus

I am an evolutionary geneticist by training but my interests range from molecular ecology to functional genomics. I am particularly interested in the evolution of arthropod-endosymbiont interactions with a special emphasis on Wolbachia, evolutionary genetics with the parasitic wasp Nasonia as the model system and molecular evolution and functional genomics of arthropod-bacterial symbiosis. I am also interested in phylogeography with particular emphasis on Indian taxa. The biological questions that I seek to answer often involves the use of various techniques ranging from field work to genomic tools. If students interested to join my lab have any interesting projects and ideas within and without the above areas of study they are encouraged to contact me directly. Presently the two broad research areas are:

Symbiosis: Wolbachia is one of the most abundant endosymbionts of the world and infects majority of terrestrial arthropods. They also cause various reproductive alterations in their hosts like cytoplasmic incompatibility, feminization, male-killing and parthenogenesis. I am interested in various aspects of Wolbachia biology like its abundance in Indian insects, the genetic basis of these reproductive alterations, evolutionary history of host-bacterial symbiosis, etc.

Evolutionary Genetics: The parasitic wasp Nasonia is an excellent model system for the genetic dissection of complex traits. These four species are relatively easy to interbreed and also have a wealth of molecular markers along with sequenced genomes. I am interested in investigating the genetic basis of various biological traits using Nasonia as a model system.

Selected Publications

  • Raychoudhury R and Werren JH (2012). Host genotype changes bi-directional to uni-directional cytoplasmic incompatibility in Nasonia longicornis. Heredity, 108: 105-114.
  • Raychoudhury R, Baldo L, Oliveira DCSG, Werren JH (2009). Modes of acquisition of Wolbachia: Horizontal transfer, hybrid introgression and co-divergence in the Nasonia species complex. Evolution, 63(1): 165-183.
  • Raychoudhury R, Desajrdins CA, Buellesbach J, Loehlin DW, Grillenberger BK, Beukeboom L, Schmitt T, Werren JH (2010a). Behavioral and genetic characteristics of a new species of Nasonia. Heredity, 104:278-288.
  • Oliveira DCSG, Raychoudhury R, Lavrov DV, Werren JH (2008). Rapidly evolving mitochondrial genome and directional selection in mitochondrial genes in the parasitic wasp Nasonia (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Molecular Biology and Evolution, 25(10): 2167-2180.
  • Baldo L, Dunning-Hotopp JC, Jolly KA, Bordenstein SR, Biber SA, Ray Choudhury R, Hayashi C, Maiden MC, Tettelin H, Werren JH (2006). Multi-Locus sequence typing system for the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 72: 7098-7110.