Dr Rakesh Bhatia BSc (Royal Holloway, University of London), MRes (Imperial College London), PhD (Aberystwyth University)

Dr Rakesh Bhatia

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant - Plant Cell Wall Deconstruction


Contact Details


I’m particularly passionate about promoting plant biomass from grasses for bio-refining (biofuels, -materials and -chemicals) to help overcome global environmental and sustainable challenges.




Project 1: “An integrated approach to explore a novel paradigm for biofuel production from lignocellulosic feedstocks”

Goal: Production and characterisation of oligosaccharides from biorefining feedstocks using Steam-Explosion & Ionic Liquid pre-treatments, tailored to the carbohydrate uptake mechanisms of newly designed yeast strains.

Collaboration: University of São Paulo; CTBE; Imperial College London; Bath University.


Project 2: "Genetic engineering of grass cell walls to improve lignocellulosic bioconversion characteristics" 

Goal: This project aims to characterise several novel grass secondary cell wall biosynthesis related transcription factors and cell wall modifying enzymes using the reverse genetic overexpression approach in model species maize and Brachypodium distachyon. We anticipate gaining knowledge of genes controlling secondary cell wall formation for targeted manipulation of grass cell wall architecture and composition to boost the yield and conversion efficiency of grasses for biorefining applications.

Methods: PCR, Microscopy, Real-Time PCR, Histochemistry, Enzymatic Hydrolysis, Transformation, Biomass Pretreatment, Cell Wall Analysis, Lignin Chemistry, Plant Phenotyping, Biomass Compositional Analysis


Bhatia, R, Lad, J, Bosch, M, Bryant, D, Leak, D, Hallett, J, Franco, T & Gallagher, J 2021, 'Production of oligosaccharides and biofuels from Miscanthus using combinatorial steam explosion and ionic liquid pretreatment', Bioresource Technology, vol. 323, 124625. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2020.124625
Bhatia, R, Winters, A, Bryant, D, Bosch, M, Clifton-Brown, J, Leak, D & Gallagher, J 2020, 'Pilot-scale production of xylo-oligosaccharides and fermentable sugars from Miscanthus using steam explosion pretreatment', Bioresource Technology, vol. 296, 122285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2019.122285
Bhatia, R, Dalton, S, Roberts, L, Moron-Garcia, O, Iacono, R, Kosik, O, Gallagher, J & Bosch, M 2019, 'Modified expression of ZmMYB167 in Brachypodium distachyon and Zea mays leads to increased cell wall lignin and phenolic content', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 8800. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-45225-9
Bhatia, R, Gallagher, J, Gomez, LD & Bosch, M 2017, 'Genetic engineering of grass cell wall polysaccharides for biorefining: Engineering grass cell wall polysaccharides', Plant Biotechnology Journal, vol. 15, no. 9, pp. 1071-1092. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12764
Bhatia, R, Dalton, SJ, Roberts, LA, Gallagher, JA & Bosch, M 2014, 'Genetic engineering of lignocellulosic biomass in grasses: from gene function analysis to targeted in planta deconstruction', First International Workshop on Plant Synthetic Biology, Boston, United States of America, 17 May 2014 - 18 May 2014.
More publications on the Research Portal