The focus of our group is to understand the mechanisms driving the development of a single cell zygote into a multicellular embryo using zebrafish as our model organism.

Major cellular processes in the newly fertilized zygote include mitosis, cytokinesis and subcellular localization of transcripts and proteins. All of these early events are under the control of transcripts and proteins that were already in the eggs as the sperm contributes very little besides the DNA (and in some species, centrioles) at fertilization. We are interested in understanding the mechanisms of cell divisions in the early zygote, subcellular localization of maternal transcripts and proteins, suppression and subsequent activation of the zygotic genome and the effect of maternal genes in cell fate determination and development of zebrafish embryos.

We identify and study the genes and mechanisms that are involved in these processes using a combination of genetics, cell biology, embryological manipulations and bioinformatics.

We are funded by the Government of India-Department of Atomic Energy and the Wellcome-DBT India Alliance.