Prof. J Gowrishankar
Former Director and Professor, IISER Mohali (December 2019 - March 2024)
Department of  Biological Sciences




+ 91 9160430111


Research Area
E. coli genetics and physiology


Research Focus

The broad theme of Dr Gowrishankar’s research has been the use of genetic and molecular approaches to understand various physiological processes in the bacterium Escherichia coli, including osmoregulation, solute transport, RNA processing and turnover, maintenance of genome integrity, and the interplay between transcription, translation, and DNA replication.


Awards and Recognitions:

Dr. Gowrishankar is an elected Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Indian Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences, India. He has been the recipient of Young Scientist awards of INSA and CSIR, BM Birla Prize, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, FICCI Award, CSIR Technology prize, New Millennium Medal of Indian Science Congress, Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award, J C Bose National Fellowship, the Moselio Schaechter Award of the American Society for Microbiology, and the INSA Senior Scientist award. In 2013, Dr Gowrishankar was conferred the Padma Shri award by the Government of India.


Selected Publications:

  1. Gowrishankar, J., and R. Harinarayanan. 2004. Why is transcription coupled to translation in bacteria? Molecular Microbiology 54:598-603.
  2. Laishram, R. S., and J. Gowrishankar. 2007. Environmental regulation operating at the promoter clearance step of bacterial transcription. Genes and Development 21:1258-1272.
  3. Saxena, S., and J. Gowrishankar. 2011. Modulation of Rho-dependent transcription termination in Escherichia coli by the H-NS family of proteins. Journal of Bacteriology 193:3832-3841.
  4. Anupama, K., J. K. Leela, and J. Gowrishankar. 2011. Two pathways for RNase E action in Escherichia coli in vivo and bypass of its essentiality in mutants defective for Rho-dependent transcription termination. Molecular Microbiology 82:1330-1348. Corrigendum. (2019) 112: 1371.
  5. Marbaniang, C. N., and J. Gowrishankar. 2012. Transcriptional cross-regulation between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, demonstrated using ArgP-argO of Escherichia coli and LysG-lysE of Corynebacterium glutamicum. Journal of Bacteriology 194:5657-5666.
  6. Leela, J. K., A. H. Syeda, K. Anupama, and J. Gowrishankar. 2013. Rho-dependent transcription termination is essential to prevent excessive genome-wide R-loops in Escherichia coli. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110:258-263.
  7. Gowrishankar, J. 2015. End of the beginning: elongation and termination features of alternative modes of chromosomal replication initiation in bacteria. PLoS Genetics 11:e1004909.
  8. Raghunathan, N., R. M. Kapshikar, J. K. Leela, J. Mallikarjun, P. Bouloc, and J. Gowrishankar. 2018. Genome-wide relationship between R-loop formation and antisense transcription in Escherichia coli. Nucleic Acids Research 46:3400-3411.
  9. Kapshikar, R.M. and J. Gowrishankar. 2019. Direct inhibition of transcription in vitro by the isolated N-terminal domain of the Escherichia coli nucleoid protein H-NS and by its paralogue Hha. Microbiology 165:463-474.
  10. Raghunathan, N., S. Goswami, J. K. Leela, A. Pandiyan, and J. Gowrishankar. 2019. A new role for Escherichia coli Dam DNA methylase in prevention of aberrant chromosomal replication. Nucleic Acids Research 47:5698-5711.
  11. Ali, N. and J. Gowrishankar. 2019. Cross-subunit catalysis and a new phenomenon of recessive resurrection in Escherichia coli RNase E. Nucleic Acids Research DOI:10.1093/nar/gkz1152.
  12. Leela, J. K., N. R. Raghunathan, and J. Gowrishankar. 2021. Topoisomerase I essentiality, DnaA-independent chromosomal replication, and transcription-replication conflict in Escherichia coli. Journal of Bacteriology 203:e00195-21.
  13. Mallikarjun, J., L. SaiSree, P. Himabindu, K. Anupama, M. Reddy, and J. Gowrishankar. 2022. Modulation of RecFORQ- and RecA-mediated homologous recombination in Escherichia coli by isoforms of translation initiation factor IF2. Journal of Bacteriology 204:e00569-21.
  14. Mallikarjun, J. and J. Gowrishankar. 2022. Essential role for an isoform of Escherichia coli translation initiation factor IF2 in repair of two-ended DNA double-strand breaks. Journal of Bacteriology 204:e00571-21.
  15. Goswami, S. and J. Gowrishankar. 2022. Role for DNA double strand end-resection activity of RecBCD in control of aberrant chromosomal replication initiation in Escherichia coli. Nucleic Acids Research 50:8643-8657.