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Selvaraju Kanagarajan

Selvaraju Kanagarajan
I am a plant molecular biologist focusing on innovative biotechnological approaches to improve agricultural production, nutrition, and human health. Our work includes CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to improve nutritional quality and metabolic engineering of hemoglobin production to promote sustainable agriculture and global food security.


Our work encompasses plant biology, genetics, breeding, biochemistry, and nanotechnology. We have made significant contributions to CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, particularly in enhancing the nutritional quality of oilseed rape and field cress. Our research includes producing human hemoglobin in plants for blood substitutes, developing hemoglobin-based functional foods to combat iron deficiency, and creating vaccines for avian influenza. Our efforts in molecular farming and improving crop resilience and productivity underpin our commitment to sustainable agriculture and global food security.


I teach plant biotechnology and molecular biology courses at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD levels.


We are performing basic and translational research involving several innovative research projects.
1.     CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing in Oilseed Rape: Focused on reducing glucosinolates and phytic acid to improve nutritional profiles for animal feed and human consumption.
2.     Seed Oil Quality Enhancement in Field Cress: Utilizing CRISPR/Cas9 to transform field cress into a sustainable crop with enhanced seed oil quality.
3.     Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Production in Plants: Developing plant-based pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, including human and plant hemoglobins and vaccine antigens.
4.     Plant Resilience and Productivity Research: Leading research to enhance plant resilience and productivity, particularly in legumes, using genome editing, mutation breeding, metabolomics, and nanotechnology.


Doctor of Philosophy, Biotechnology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India. 2005.
Master of Science, Agriculture Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Agricultural University, India. 1999.
Bachelor of Science, Forestry, Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Agricultural University, India. 1997.
Professional Positions
Researcher, Örebro University, Sweden - 14 August 2023 - Present.
Researcher, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden-15 July 2017- Present.
Postdoctoral Fellow - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden 15 July 2015 - 14 July 2017.
Assistant Professor - Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India, 4 August 2014 - 1 July 2015
Postdoctoral Fellow - Örebro University, Sweden May 2013 - May 2015.
Postdoctoral Fellow - Linnaeus University, Sweden May 2009 - April 2013.  
Postdoctoral Fellow - University of New Brunswick, Canada. May 2008 - April 2009.
Postdoctoral Fellow - Chaoyang University of Technology, Taiwan. March 2007 - April 2008. 



Master Students
2024 Joint Main Supervisor Anandhavalli Manikandan, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India
2023 Main Supervisor (30 ECTS) Anusha Harshani Bogahawatta, SLU, Sweden
2016 Main Supervisor (30 ECTS) Axel Ögell Benediktsson, SLU, Sweden
Doctoral Students
2022- Assistant Supervisor, Florentine Ballhaus, SLU, Sweden
2020- Assistant Supervisor, Oliver Moss, SLU, Sweden
2019- Assistant Supervisor, Misteru Tesfaye Woldeyohannes, SLU, Sweden
2018-2022 Assistant Supervisor, Sjur Sandgrind, SLU, Sweden
2016-2020 Assistant Supervisor, Magnus Carlsson, SLU, Sweden
Postdoctoral Fellow
2023-2026 Co-supervisor Vikky Rajulapati, Örebro University, Sweden

Selected publications

1.     Manickam, S., Rajagopalan, VR., Kambale, R., Rajasekaran, R., Kanagarajan, S.*, Muthurajan, R., 2023 Plant Metabolomics: Current Initiatives and Future Prospects. Curr Issues Mol Biol, 45:8894-8906. *Joint corresponding author
2.     Kataria, S., Chandel, M., Kumar, P., Palanisami, M., Moun, N., Kanagarajan, S., Shanmugam, V., 2023. Irrigation-friendly sensor to manage drought in crops through carbon-based signature volatile sensing. Sensors Actuators B: Chem 2023:134975.
3.     Sandgrind, S., Li, X., Ivarson, E., Wang, E.S., Guan, R., Kanagarajan, S., Zhu, L.-H., 2023. Improved fatty acid composition of field cress (Lepidium campestre) by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. Front. Plant Sci. 14, 1076704.
4.     Kuppusamy, A., Alagarswamy, S., Karuppusami, K.M., Maduraimuthu, D., Natesan, S., Ramalingam, K., Muniyappan, U., Subramanian, M., Kanagarajan, S., 2023. Melatonin enhances the photosynthesis and antioxidant enzyme activities of mung bean under drought and high-temperature stress conditions. Plants 12, 2535.
5.     Ramasamy, K., Karuppusami, K. M., Alagarswamy, S., Shanmugam, P. K., Rathinavelu S., Vellingiri G., Muniyappan U., Kanthan T., Kuppusamy, A., Rajendran, M., Kathirvel, A., and Kanagarajan, S., 2023. Role of Melatonin in Directing Plant Physiology. Agronomy 13, 2405.
6.     Tesfaye M., Feyissa T., Hailesilassie T., Kanagarajan S., Zhu L-H., 2023 Genetic diversity and population structure in Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata A. Braun) as revealed by single nucleotide polymorphism markers. Genes. 14, 1757.
7.     Rajaprakasam, S., Shanmugavel, P., Chockalingam, V., Jegadeesan, S., Latha, T.K.S., Ananthan, S.N., Muthurajan, R., Kanagarajan, S., 2023. Comparative metabolomic profiling of horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum (Lam.) Verdc.) genotypes for horse gram yellow mosaic virus resistance. Metabolites 13, 165.
8.     Kalimuthu, R., Meenachi Sellan, K., Antony, D., Rajaprakasam, S., Chokkalingam, V., Chidambaram Padanillay, P., Kanagarajan, S., 2023. Nanopriming action of microwave-assisted bio-functionalized ZnO nanoparticles to enhance the growth under moisture stress in Vigna radiata. ACS Omega, 8:28143-28155.
9.     Kaur, K., Sahu, B.K., Swami, K., Chandel, M., Gupta, A., Zhu, L.-H., Youngblood, J.P., Kanagarajan, S.*, Shanmugam, V., 2022. Phone camera nano-biosensor using mighty sensitive transparent reusable upconversion paper. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 14, 27507-27514. *Joint Corresponding author
10.  Sudhagar, R., Priyanka, S., Chockalingam, V., Sendhilvel, V., Souframanien, J., Raja, K., Kanagarajan, S., 2022. Development and metabolic characterization of horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum Lam. (Verdc.)) mutants for powdery mildew resistance. Agronomy 12, 800.
11.  Li, X., Sandgrind, S., Moss, O., Guan, R., Ivarson, E., Wang, E.S., Kanagarajan, S.*, Zhu, L.-H., 2021. Efficient protoplast regeneration protocol and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated editing of glucosinolate transporter (GTR) genes in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.). Front. Plant Sci. 12, 680859. *Joint corresponding author
12.  Kanagarajan, S., Carlsson, M.L.R., Chakane, S., Kettisen, K., Smeds, E., Kumar, R., Ortenlöf, N., Gram, M., Åkerström, B., Bülow, L., Zhu, L.-H., 2021. Production of functional human fetal hemoglobin in Nicotiana benthamiana for development of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers. Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 184, 955-966.
13.  Muthusamy, S., Vetukuri, R.R., Lundgren, A., Ganji, S., Zhu, L.-H., Brodelius, P.E., Kanagarajan, S., 2020. Transient expression and purification of β-caryophyllene synthase in Nicotiana benthamiana to produce β-caryophyllene in vitro. PeerJ 8, e8904.
14.  Carlsson, M.L.R., Kanagarajan, S., Bülow, L., Zhu, L.-H., 2020. Plant based production of myoglobin - a novel source of the muscle heme-protein. Sci. Rep. 10, 920.
15.  Ivarson, E., Leiva-Eriksson, N., Ahlman, A., Kanagarajan, S., Bülow, L., Zhu, L.-H., 2017. Effects of overexpression of WRI1 and hemoglobin genes on the seed oil content of Lepidium campestre. Front. Plant Sci. 7, 2032.
16.  Han, J.L., Wang, H.Z., Kanagarajan, S., Hao, M.S., Lundgren, A., Brodelius, P.E., 2016. Promoting artemisinin biosynthesis in Artemisia annua plants by substrate channeling. Mol. Plant 9, 946-948.
17.  Wang, H.Z., Kanagarajan, S., Han, J.L., Hao, M.S., Yang, Y., Lundgren, A., Brodelius, P.E., 2014. Studies on the expression of linalool synthase using a promoter-beta-glucuronidase fusion in transgenic Artemisia annua. J Plant Physiol. 171, 85-96.
18.  Kanagarajan, S., Muthusamy, S., Gliszczynska, A., Lundgren, A., Brodelius, P.E., 2012. Functional expression and characterization of sesquiterpene synthases from Artemisia annua L. using transient expression system in Nicotiana benthamiana. Plant Cell Rep. 31, 1309-1319.


Researcher at the Department of Plant Breeding
Postal address:
Växtförädling, Box 190
234 22 LOMMA
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 10, Alnarp

Publications list: