Post Doctorate Research Associate
Post Doctorate Research Associate


Dr. Vimal Kumar Balasubramanian is a post-doctoral research associate working with the Plant and Ecosystem Phenotyping team in PNNL’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Division and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) user program. He is working on an Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research program-funded research project named “Sypro,” in which one aspect uses various omics platforms to understand abiotic stress responses in various cell types of poplar (Hybrid aspen) trees.  

Previously, his research experience in graduate studies involved understanding the genetic factors that contribute to biomass development, especially the non-structural cell wall polysaccharides and lignin. His research interests are understanding the systems aspect of the plant stress response and biomass development under growth-limiting abiotic stress conditions and developing genetically altered plants with improved growth and stress tolerance. 

Research Interest

  • Cell-type omics analysis of abiotic stress plasticity in poplar leaf and root 

  • Understanding molecular factors regulating carbon allocation to sink tissues (roots) in poplar 

  • Functional studies of genes involved in carbon allocation using gene editing in poplar and Arabidopsis 


  • PhD in Plant Science, Texas Tech University, 2018 

  • MS in Plant Science, Uppsala University, 2014 

  • BTech in Biotechnology, Anna University, 2010 

Awards and Recognitions

  • PSS Tereshkovich Outstanding Doctoral Student, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Texas Tech University, (2018 – 2019)  

  • Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Texas Tech University, (2018 – 2019)   

  • Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation Awards, 2nd Place Texas Tech University (2017 – 2019)  


  • Vimal Balasubramanian, Venugopal Mendu, Christopher Cobos. (Filed on 8/15/17). “Possible Food Colorant from Sorghum bicolor roots.” Patent no: D-1432.  

  • Venugopal Mendu, Ning Yuan, and Vimal Kumar Balasubramanian. (Filed on 12/20/2017). “Increasing the cell wall and cellulose content in plants by mutating FKF1 gene.” Patent no: D-1493.  



Balasubramanian V.K., Jansson C., Baker S.E., Ahkami A.H. (2021) Molecular Mechanisms of Plant–Microbe Interactions in the Rhizosphere as Targets for Improving Plant Productivity. In: Gupta V.V.S.R., Sharma A.K. (eds) Rhizosphere Biology: Interactions Between Microbes and Plants. Rhizosphere Biology. Springer, Singapore.  


Thu, S. W., K. M. Rai, D. Sandhu, A. Rajangam, V. K. Balasubramanian, R. G. Palmer, and V. Mendu. 2019. “Mutation in a PHD-Finger Protein MS4 Causes Male Sterility in Soybean.” BMC Plant Biology 19 (1).

Yuan, N., V. K. Balasubramanian, R. Chopra, and V. Mendu. 2019. “The Photoperiodic Flowering Time Regulator KKF1 Negatively Regulates Cellulose Biosynthesis.” Plant Physiology 180 (4): 2240-2253.


Yuan, N., K. M. Rai, V. K. Balasubramanian, S. K. Upadhyay, H. Luo, and V. Mendu. 2018. “Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of LRR-RLKs Reveal Functional Conservation of the SIF Subfamily in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum).” BMC Plant Biology 18 (1).


Pawar, P. M. A., C. Ratke, V. K. Balasubramanian, S. L. Chong, M. L. Gandla, M. Adriasola, T. Sparrman, M. Hedenström, K. Szwaj, M. Derba-Maceluch, C. Gaertner, G. Mouille, I. Ezcurra, M. Tenkanen, L. J. Jönsson, and E. J. Mellerowicz. 2017. “Downregulation of RWA Genes in Hybrid Aspen Affects Xylan Acetylation and Wood Saccharification.” New Phytologist 214 (4): 1491-1505.


Balasubramanian, V. K., K. M. Rai, S. W. Thu, M. M. Hii, and V. Mendu. 2016. “Genome-Wide Identification of Multifunctional Laccase Gene Family in Cotton (Gossypium spp.); Expression and Biochemical Analysis During Fiber Development.” Scientific Reports 6.

Rai, K. M., S. W. Thu, V. K. Balasubramanian, C. J. Cobos, T. Disasa, and V. Mendu. 2016. “Identification, Characterization, and Expression Analysis of Cell Wall Related Genes in Sorghum Bicolor (L.) Moench, a Food, Fodder, and Biofuel Crop.” Frontiers in Plant Science 7 (AUG2016).


Rai, K. M., V. K. Balasubramanian, C. M. Welker, M. Pang, M. M. Hii, and V. Mendu. 2015. “Genome Wide Comprehensive Analysis and Web Resource Development on Cell Wall Degrading Enzymes from Phyto-Parasitic Nematodes.” BMC Plant Biology 15 (1).

Ratke, C., P. M. A. Pawar, V. K. Balasubramanian, M. Naumann, M. L. Duncranz, M. Derba-Maceluch, A. Gorzsás, S. Endo, I. Ezcurra, and E. J. Mellerowicz. 2015. “Populus Gt43 Family Members Group into Distinct Sets Required for Primary and Secondary Wall Xylan Biosynthesis and Include Useful Promoters for Wood Modification.” Plant Biotechnology Journal 13 (1): 26-37.

Welker, C. M., V. K. Balasubramanian, C. Petti, K. M. Rai, S. De Bolt, and V. Mendu. 2015. “Engineering Plant Biomass Lignin Content and Composition for Biofuels and Bioproducts.” Energies 8 (8): 7654-7676.