Subhadeep Chatterjee obtained his M. Sc degree in Biotechnology from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar in 1998. In his post graduation, He worked on the mechanism of stress response physiology of wheat (Triticum aestivum L). In 1998 he joined CCMB in Dr Ramesh V. Sonti’s laboratory to work on Rice-Xanthomnas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) interaction. During his Ph. D work he identified and characterized two novel virulence functions of this economically important pathogen of rice. These includes a novel quorum sensing system in Xanthomonas called as-regulation of pathogenicity factors, which is required for the production of an extracellular signaling molecule, which promotes Xoo growth in rice leaves, by promoting iron uptake. This was the first report of cell cell signaling in X. oryzae pv. oryzae and of the role of iron in virulence in the genus Xanthomonas. The other was a novel gene (phyA) of X. oryzae pv. oryzae which is required for virulence and encodes a secreted protein and promotes growth of Xoo in medium containing phytic acid (Inositol hexaphosphate) as a sole phosphate source. This was the first report of involvement of a phyA like gene in the virulence of any plant pathogenic bacterium.
In 2005 he joined Prof. Steven E Lindow’s group in University of California, Berkeley to pursue a more complex plant- microbe interaction system that also involves an insect vector for transmission of the bacterial pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa in several economically important plants like-grape, almond, citrus. In his postdoctoral work, he characterized a fatty acid like extracellular signaling molecule in Xylella fastidiosa-it’s mechanism of gene regulation, biofilm formation, virulence and insect colonization. In the applied part of his postdoctoral work, he made transgenic plants (Grape, tomato, Arabidopsis), which can express the bacterial quorum sensing signaling molecules, and were reduced in severity of disease. He also characterized several plant associated bacteria that can degrade pathogen signaling molecules, and hence can suppress their virulence in host plants.