Dr. Haresh Keharia


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Dr. Hareshkumar R Keharia
Reader in Biosciences (Microbiology)
Address for correspondence: B. R. D. School of Biosciences, Sardar Maidan, Vidyanagar-Vadtal Road, Bakrol, P.O Box. 39, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar -388 120. Anand. Gujarat.
Telephone: (M) 9924136347
E-mail: haresh970@gmail.com

Academic and Professional Career:

- M.Sc. in Microbiology (1995) from M. S. University of Baroda, Baroda.

- Cleared CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test for JRF and Lecturership under CSIR Research Fellowship Scheme in December 1994.

- Ph. D. in Microbiology on Thesis titled, “Bioremediation of dyes in textile and dyestuff industrial wastewaters: Basic and applied aspects” (2003) at Department of Biosciences, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand, Gujarat.

- Served as Lecturer in Microbiology from 28th November 1995 to 11th December 2003 at V. P. Science College, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand, and Gujarat.

- Served as Lecturer in Biosicences since 12th December 2003 to 1st April 2007 and currently working as Reader in Biosciences (Microbiology) since 2nd April 2007 at P. G. Department of Biosciences, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand, Gujarat.

Thrust Research Areas:

Bioremediation

· Currently, I am working on bio-reduction of hexavalent chromium using bacterial cultures isolated by us and trying to characterize the mechanism of chromium reduction in the selected bacterial isolates. Simultaneous we are also looking for microbial strains which can be useful for biosorption of heavy metals.

· I have been working on bioremediation of textile dyes in textile effluents since one decade and have been able to successfully develop a bacterial consortium capable of degrading textile dyes as well as capable of degrading polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Further work on characterization of mechanism of dye and aromatic hydrocarbon degradation is being done.

Microbial endophytes

· We have isolated bacterial endophytes from hanging roots of banyan tree, and these endophytes exhibit strong antifungal activity. Further, characterization of these cultures has enabled us to identify the antifungal peptides as members of iturin and fengycin family. Further work on characterization of detailed structures of these peptides and the application of these isolates as biocontrol agents is in progress.

Bioprospecting

· We have initiated work on fungal oils and are looking for fungal strains which are able to accumulate economically important oils. As a part of primary screening exercise we have isolated 32 oleaginous fungal cultures which are being subjected to secondary screening for the type of oils they accumulate. One of the fungal isolate, identified as Pythium sp. shows substantial oil accumulation with significant fraction of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

· The work on value addition to Jatropha seed press cake has been recently initiated in our laboratory. This seed press cake left over after extraction retains substantial amounts of protein and carbohydrates and thus can have potential application as cattle/poultry feed, fertilizer, etc. However, the presence of toxic components such as lectins, saponins, phorbol esters etc. prevent it further biological use. Amongst all, phorbol esters are highly toxic and most stable toxic substances present in Jatropha seeds. We have isolated fungal and bacterial cultures which are capable to grow on Jatropha seed press cake and are now looking for economic importance of the microbial isolates. Our main objective would be to develop economical applications of Jatropha seed press cake for e.g. as substrate for solid state fermentation, microbial detoxification for used as poultry or fish feed etc.

· The work on antifungal agents produced by soil bacteria has also been initiated after our success in characterization of antifungal peptides by banyan endophytes. As a result we have been able to isolate 58 different bacterial strains exhibiting broad spectrum of antifungal activity. Further work on these cultures is under progress.

Bionanotechnology

· In association with Prof. Datta Madamwar’s research laboratory we worked on synthesis and characterization of silica and magnetite nanoparticles. These nanoparticles were then used as carriers for immobilization of lipase and were then evaluated for application in repeated synthesis of food esters. The work on microbial synthesis of nanoparticles is also initiated.


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Ph. D. Students enrolled:

1. Baby Kavita, Bioremediation of hexavalent chromium

2. Khyati Pathak, Purification and characterization of antifungal peptides produced by banyan endophytes.

3. Shilpa Gupte, Bioremediation of textile dyes

4. Anjali Bose, Microbial technology for value addition to agrowastes.

Publications:

1. Characterization of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase of Streptomyces spp. Vaishnav, P., Randev, S., Jatiani, S., Aggarwal, S., Keharia, H., Vyas, P. R., G. Nareshkumar & G. Archana. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 38, 931-935 (2000).

2. Transformation of textile dyes by white rot fungus Trametes versicolor. Haresh Keharia and Datta Madamwar. Applied Biochemistry & Biotechnology, U.S.A. 102, 99-108 (2002).

3. Bioremediation concepts for treatment of dye containing wastewater: A review. Haresh Keharia and Datta Madamwar. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 41, 1068-1075 (2003).

4. Decolorization screening of synthetic dyes by anaerobic methanogenic sludge using a batch decolorization assay. Haresh Keharia, Hardik Patel and Datta Madamwar. World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology, 20 (4), 365-370 (2004).

5. A Review Article – Biodegradation of textile and dyestuff industrial effluent: An overview of scientific principles. Haresh Keharia and Datta Madamwar. Concise Encyclopedia of Bioresource Technology, Haworth Press, U.S.A., Ed. Ashok Pandey, pg. 167-175 (2004).

6. Decolorization and degradation of textile dye Reactive Violet 5 by newly isolated bacterial consortium. S. Moosvi, H. Keharia and D. Madamwar World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology, 21(5) 667-672 (2005).

7. Synthesis Characterization and Biodegradation of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Partially Carboxymethylated Starch (PCMS) Blend. Patel, N. K., Pandya, P. D., Keharia, H., Patel, H. & Sinha, V. K. International Journal of Polymeric Materials, 54, 985-992 (2005).

8. Biodegradable composition based on Low Density Polyethylene. Patel, N. K., Pandya, P. D., Keharia, H., Patel, H. & Sinha, V. K. International Journal of Polymeric Materials, 54, 993-999 (2005).

9. Decolorization of diazo-dye reactive blue 172 by Pseudomonas aeruginosa NBAR12, Bhatt, N., Patel, K. C., Keharia, H. & Madamwar, D. Journal of Basic Microbiology, 45, 407-418 (2005).

10. Ethyl isovalerate synthesis using Candida rugosa lipase immobilized on silica nanoparticles prepared in nonionic reverse micelles. Dandavate, V., Keharia, H. & Madamwar, D. Process Biochemistry, In Press (2009).

11. Production, partial purification and characterization of organic solvent tolerant lipase from Burkholderia multivorans V2 and its application for ester synthesis. Dandavate, V., Jinjala, J., Keharia, H. & Madamwar, D. Bioresource Technology, In Press (2009).

Projects Completed:

1. UGC sponsored Minor Research Project on “Microbial decolorization of textile dyes” during 1999 to 2001 (Amount Rs. 45,000/-).

2. DST sponsored major research project on “Microbial remediation of chromium containing industrial effluents”, from Feb 2006 to Jan 2009 (Amount Sanctioned Rs. 9,84,000/-).

Ongoing Research Projects:

1. UGC sponsored major research project on “Purification and characterization of antifungal compounds produced by banyan endophytic bacilli”, from May 2006 to April 2009 (Amount Sanctioned Rs. 5,68,100/-)