Skip to main content
Close Search

Senthil (Sen) Subramanian

Photo of Senthil (Sen) Subramanian
Title Associate Professor
Office Building Edgar S. McFadden Biostress Lab
Room Number 254C
Mailing Address South Dakota State University
Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science
SNP 254C, Box 2140C
Brookings, SD 57007

I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Master’s in Biotechnology in India. I obtained a Ph.D. in biology from the Hong University of Science and Technology studying ABA biosynthesis and signaling in Arabidopsis advised by Dr. Chris Rock (currently at Texas Tech, Lubbock, TX). I had my post-doctoral training studying the roles of plant flavonoids in soybean-microbe interactions at the Danforth Plant Science Center, St Louis working with Dr. Oliver Yu (currently CTO of Conagen Inc., and adjunct professor at MIT, Boston, MA). I am currently an Associate professor in the Departments of Plant Science, and Biology & Microbiology at South Dakota State University, and am a Senior Investigator in BioSNTR, a virtual bioscience research center co-funded by NSF-EPSCoR and the state of SD. My lab is interested in the regulation of hormone action during symbiotic nodule development.

Professional Memberships

Member, American Society of Plant Biologists (Sectional meeting organizer, 2016; elected Secretary/Treasurer, 2017/18),
Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Area(s) of Research

Our global agricultural nitrogen needs are met by a combination of chemical fertilizers, and biological nitrogen fixation that occurs in specialized organs called root nodules in crop plants such as soybean. My lab's research program seeks to meet our agricultural nitrogen needs in a sustainable manner by increasing the proportion of biologically fixed nitrogen. Towards this goal, my lab has identified key plant hormone mechanisms that regulate nodule formation in soybean. This knowledge is key to develop strategies that maximize biological nitrogen fixation capacity in soybean.

Most land plants grow in intimate association with complex microbiota. Plant-associated microbes can act as protectants against phytopathogens, improve growth through production of phytohormones, acquisition of nutrients, help plants withstand various abiotic stresses and more. Therefore, plant health and productivity can be significantly improved in a sustainable manner by enabling the presence of an optimal beneficial microbial community. My lab has engaged with a team of researchers including bioinformaticians, soil scientists, agronomists, and microbiologists with the goal of determining and optimizing the ideotype microbiomes of crop plants.

Specialty Area

  • Soybean nodule development
  • Plant Genetics and Genomics
  • Plant Microbiome
  • Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Plant Molecular Biology


B.Sc (Agriculture), 1992, Annamalai University, India
M.Sc (Biotechnology), 1995, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India
Ph.D. (Biology), 2002, Hong Kong University of Science and Tech., Hong Kong