Ritesh Mewalal

Biosciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Telephone : (865) 576 3472
Fax : (865) 574-5353
Email : mewalalr@ornl.gov
Email : ritesh.mewalal@gmail.com
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ORCID : 0000-0002-0153-2434

Ritesh Mewalal

Postdoctoral Research Associate

  • Ph.D., University of Pretoria, 2016
  • M.Sc, University of Pretoria, 2011
  • B.Sc., Hons, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2008
  • B.Sc., Biochemistry & Genetics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2007

Research Interests:

    Specific terpenes can be used as a stand-alone or blend-in with current missile, jet, gasoline and diesel fuels. Plant naturally synthesize these compounds as part of their primary and secondary metabolism. We use a system biology approach to dissect the genetic circuitry underlying the biosynthesis of these metabolites. A better understanding of this biological process and a catalogue of the genes responsible will form the foundation of synthetic biology for commercial deployment of terpene-derived biofuels.

    Symbiotic fungi and biomass-dedicated crops coexist in a complex interaction that facilitates the cycling of water, carbon, nutrients as well as protection from a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses. Cross-talk is imperative for spatial-temporal establishment and maintenance of this interaction which is mediated by an underlying genetic component from both fungi and plant. We aim to understand the role of specific genes and metabolites in this interaction for engineering biological systems with enhanced carbon sequestration and biomass production.

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