Hridip Kumar Sarmah

Hridip Kumar Sarmah

Assistant Professor

MSc (Tezpur) PhD (RGU, Arunachal)

Environmental Biotechnology, Microbial Biotechnology

Department of Biotechnology
Gauhati University, Guwahati, 781014

Present status

Assistant Professor in Environmental Biotechnology since 25th March 2008

Educational Qualifications

BSc From Cotton College with Hons in Zoology (1st Class 1st position)

MSc from Tezpur University in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (1st Class 2nd position)

PhD awarded by Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh (Awarded on 25th December 2005)


Dr Sarma primarily focusses on the following subjects at the postgraduate level

1. Biochemistry

2. Environmental Biotechnology

3. Plant and Animal Biotechnology

4. Biostatistics and Research Methodology

5. Industrial Biotechnology (Open Course)

Thrust areas of Research:

  • Yeast metabolic regulation and quorum sensing
  • Natural product bioprospecting from microorganisms
  • Physiological and immune responses on Antheraea assama
  • Wildlife genetics of Rhinoceros and Pachyderms
Primary focus: Fungal Biology and Environmental Biotechnology
For hundreds of years yeasts have been known to produce substances useful to humans through the process of fermentation. Indigenous yeasts inherent in fermented products perpetuated for thousands of years by ethnic tribes and communities of northeast India has not been appreciated fully. We as a team are involved in deciphering the role of quorum sensing molecules from indigenous yeasts that enhances the possibilities of secondary metabolite production. Besides, the expression of cartotenoids and other pigmented products like photoprotective molecules during the later stages of fermentation by yeasts like Wickerhamomyces anomalous, Pichia spp., Rhodotorula taiwanensis etc are being studied. The role of molecular factors affecting signal communication amongst yeasts like Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomycopsis fibuligera and Candida glabrata in consortia are studied with much attention to delineate the basis of single spp yeast domination in mixed cultures.

Natural product bioprospecting from microorganisms

We are also involved in identifying microbes from natural sources that can bioremediate crude oil contaminated sites and can assist in nitrogen fixation in soil. A collaborative work with IASST had assisted us to isolate a Pseudomonas bacteria capable of degrading hydrocarbons in oil field formation water. Two of my students has been trying to identify solutions to problems of fungal diseases in host plants of silkworm through the study of plant microbe interactions.
Wildlife genetics of Rhinoceros and Pachyderms
Presently, other than yeasts, I am also interested in understanding population genetics of rhino and pachyderms through molecular systematics involving microsatellite markers in an effort to facilitate conservationists and wildlife researchers to design suitable strategies for wildlife conservation. I have been keenly associated with ‘Aaranyak’ for more than 15 years, a SIRO recognized Institute of eminence in the field of Wildlife Conservation and is also an external member of the Wildlife Genetics laboratory of Aaranyak headed by Udayan Borthakur and Dr Bibhab Talikdar.
Physiological and immune responses on Antheraea assamamensis Helfer
We also do have collaborative association with B Borooah college and Dibrugarh University investigating on characterizing factors affecting immune responses in muga silkworm caused by fungal pathogens and microsporidians that disturb the melanization pathway concomitant to prophenoloxidase activation and inhibition.

The Gauhati University accorded Dr. Sarma with recognition for research guidance since 30/10/2010 vide Gauhati University Resolution No. R/EC-7/2010/156 w.e.f. 31/08/2010.

PhD awarded students: 04

Name of the student : Siddhartha Narayan Borah

Title of the thesis : Studies on the antifungal properties of biosurfactant produced by soil bacteria with reference to Fusarium verticilloides and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Pisi

Period of Research : 2012-2016

Degree Awarded : 2017

Name of the student : Mihirjyoti Pathak

Title of the thesis : Production, purification and characterization of bioflocculant from a bacterium capable of inhabiting petroleum hydrocarbon source and its application in treatment of oil field formation water

Period of Research : 2012-2016

Degree Awarded : 2017

Name of the student : Deep Prakash Parasar

Title of the thesis : Determination of molecular phylogeny of yeasts isolated from traditional starter cultures of Assam with emphasis on pigment characterization of pigment producing isolates

Period of Research : 2011-2016

Degree Awarded : 2018

Name of the student : Pranjal Kumar Das

Title of the thesis : Evaluation of genetic status of Rhinoceros unicornis in India employing noninvasive molecular methods

Period of Research : 2010-2016

Degree Awarded : 2018


Other PhD enrolled students

Name of the student : Jintu Rabha

Title of the thesis : Studies on the rhizosphere microflora of som plants (Persea bombycina Kost.) and induction of systemic induced resistance for controlling foliar diseases

Status : Thesis to be submitted soon

Name of the student : Mridusmita Choudhury

Title of the thesis : Expression and purification of invH gene of salmonella and its immunogenic studies in mice

Status : Thesis submitted for evaluation

Name of the student : Bhaskarjyoti Nath

Title of the thesis : Screening and characterization of quorum sensing molecules in yeasts isolated from traditional starter cultures and their role in ethanol production

Status : Finally registered

Name of the student : Ranjita Das

Title of the thesis : Exploration and diversity of actinobacteria prevalent in microbiologically unexplored protected forest ecosystems of Assam for antimicrobial metabolites

Status : Finally registered (Joint guidance with Dr. Debajit Thakur of IASST, Guwahati).

Guidance to MSc Dissertation students:

1. Dr. Dipu Bharali                                2009

2. Mr. Jintu Rabha                                2010

3. Ms. Priyanki Das                              2010

4. Dr. Deep Prakash Parasar               2011

5. Ms 

6. Ms

Book chapters

Hridip Kumar Sarma, 2002. Isolation and Characterization of Yeast Strains from Indigenous Starter Culture for Alcoholic Fermentation. In: S. C. Tiwari & G. D. Sharma (eds.) Microbial Diversity: Status and Potential Applications. ISBN No. 81-287-0000-6. Scientific Book Publishers, Guwahati.

Tiwari, S. C., Prabal Sen and Hridip Kumar Sarma. 2002. Diversity of Frankia -actinomycetes Among Non-Leguminous Plants. In: S. C. Tiwari & G. D. Sharma (eds.) Microbial Diversity: Status and Potential Applications. ISBN No. 81-287-0000-6. Scientific Book Publishers, Guwahati.


Hridip K. Sarma, Bipin K. Sharma and S. C. Tiwari*. 2003.A novel calcimycin antibiotic from gram positive actinomycete Frankia microsymbiont. Current Science, Vol. 85 (10): 1401-1403. (2002 Impact Factor: 0.694).

Hridip K. Sarma, Bipin K. Sharma, S. C. Tiwari and Arun K. Mishra*. 2005. Truncated hemoglobins: A single structural motif with versatile functions in fungi, bacteria and unicellular eukaryotes.  Symbiosis. (Springer). Vol. 39 (3): 153-158. Balban Publishers, Rehovot/ Philadelphia, USA. (2004 Impact Factor: 1.147).

Hridip K. Sarma, Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, Md. Firoz Ahmed and Bibhab K. Talukdar*. 2005. Reconsidering ourselves: Assessing oneself and our present educational scenario. Current Science. Vol. 89 (7): 1066-1067. (2004 Impact Factor: 0.728).

Hridip K. Sarma, Bipin K. Sharma, Satya Shila Singh, S. C. Tiwari and Arun K. Mishra*. 2006. Polymorphic distribution and phenotypic diversity of Frankia strains in nodule lobes of Hippöphae salicifolia D. Don.  Current Science, Vol. 90 (11): 1516-1521. (2005 Impact Factor: 0.737).

Bipin K. Sharma, Hridip K. Sarma and S. C. Tiwari*. 2007. Variation in physico-chemical properties of soils under natural stands of seabuckthorn in Sikkim. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science. Vol. 55 (2): 215-217. (2006 Impact Factor: NA)

Anju Singh, Arun Kumar Mishra*, Satya Shila Singh, Hridip Kumar Sarma and Ekta Shukla. 2008. Influence of iron and chelator on siderophore production in Frankia strains nodulating Hippöphae salicifolia D. Don.  Journal of Basic Microbiology (Wiley-VCH). Vol. 48: 104-111. (2007 Impact Factor: 1.051).

Bhaben Tanti*, Lisha Gurung, Hridip Kumar Sarma and Alak Buragohain. 2010. Ethonobotany of starter cultures used in alcoholic fermentation by a few ethnic tribes of northeast India.  Indian J Traditional Knowledge, Vol 9(3): 463-466. (2009 Impact Factor: 0.232).

Debabrat Baishya* and Hridip Kumar Sarma. 2010. Isolation of amylolytic bacteria from viscera of Labeo rohita (Ham.) and optimization of α-amylase extraction.  American J Microbiology. 1(2): 30-35. (Impact Factor-NA)

Alak K. Buragohain*, Bhaben Tanti, Hridip K. Sarma, Pranjan Barman and Kishore K. Das. 2012. Characterization of yeast starter cultures used in household alcoholic beverage preparation by a few ethnic communities of northeast India.  Annals of Microbiology. (Springer). DOI. 10.1007/s 13213-012-0537-1. (2011 Impact Factor-1.549).

Jintu Rabha, Dhruva Kumar Jha*, Hridip Kumar Sarma, Amrita Acharya, Usha Chakraborty, Bishwanath Chakraborty. 2014. Characterization of bacteria from rhizosphere of Persea bombycina with multiple growth promoting traits. Indian Phytopathology. 67(2): 126-133. (Impact Factor: NA, NAAS RATING-4.59).

Mihirjyoti Pathak, Arundhuti Devi*, Hridip Kumar Sarma, Banwari Lal. 2014. Application of bioflocculating property of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain IASST201 in treatment of oil field formation water. Journal of Basic Microbiology. (Wiley-VCH). 54: 1-12. (2013 Impact Factor-1.822).

Siddhartha Narayan Borah, Debahuti Goswami, Jiumoni Lahkar, Hridip Kumar Sarma, Mojibur Rahman Khan, Suresh Deka*. 2014. Rhamnolipid produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa SS14 causes complete suppression of wilt by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. pisi in Pisum sativumBioControl. (Springer). DOI 10.1007/s10526-014-9645-0. (2013 Impact Factor-1.694).

Subhash Chandra Tiwari*, Thangjam Gopeshwar Singh, Hridip Kumar Sarma. 2014. Occurrence and diversity of phenotypically distinct yeast strains isolated from starter cultures used in alcoholic fermentation by two ethnic tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.  International Journal of Biosciences, 4(1): 212-219. ISSN: 2222-5234. (Impact Factor = NA)

Arun Kumar Mishra, Pawan Kumar Singh, Anumeha Singh, Satya Shila Singh, Amrita Srivastava, Alok Kumar Srivastava, Hridip Kumar Sarma*. 2015. Phylogeny and evolutionary genetics of Frankia strains based on 16S rRNA and nifD-K gene sequences.  Journal of Basic Microbiology. (Wiley-VCH). 54: 1-8. DOI 10.1002/jobm.201400914. (2014 Impact Factor-1.823).

MihirJyoti Pathak, Arundhuti Devi*, Krishna Gopal Bhattacharyya, Hridip Kumar Sarma, Sanjukta Subudhi, Banwari Lal. 2015. Production of a non-cytotoxic bioflocculant by a bacterium utilizing petroleum hydrocarbon source and its application in heavy metal removal. RSC Advances. (Royal Society for Chemistry). DOI: 10.1039/C5RA08636A. (2014 Impact Factor-3.840).

Pranjal Kumar Das, Udayan Borthakur*, Hridip Kumar Sarma, Bibhab Kumar Talukdar. 2015. Population genetic assessment of extant populations of greater one horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) in India.  European J Wildlife Research. (Springer). DOI: EJWR-D-15-00031R2. (2014 Impact Factor-1.634).

Siddhartha Narayan Borah, Suresh Deka, Hridip Kumar Sarma. 2016. First report on Fusarium verticillioides causing stalk rot of maize in Assam. Plant Disease. 100 (7). DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-01-16-0074-PDN. (2015 Impact factor 3.021).

Siddhartha Narayan Borah, Debahuti Goswami, Hridip Kumar Sarma, Swarnjit Singh Cameotra, Suresh Deka*. 2016. Rhamnolipid biosurfactant against Fusarium verticillioides to control stalk and ear rot disease in maize.  Frontiers in Microbiology. 7:1505. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01505. (2015 Impact Factor-4.165).

Mridusmita Choudhury, Probodh Borah, Hridip Kumar Sarma, Luit Mani Barkalita, Naba Kumar Deka, Isfaqul Hussain, Md Iftikar Hussain. 2016. Multiplex PCR assay for detection of some major virulence genes of Salmonella enteric serovars from diverse sources.  Current Science, 111(7): 1252-1258. (2014 Impact factor-0.926).

Prapti Das, Hridip Kumar Sarma, Pranjan Barman, K. Bastola, Bhaben Tanti. 2016. Characterization of α-galactosidase from yeast associated with starter culture used in household alcohol production in Northeast India.  Vol 16: 100-105. (2015 Impact factor-0.287).

Deep Prakash Parasar, Hridip Kumar Sarma*, JibonKotoky. 2017. Exploring the genealogy and phenomic divergences of indigenous domesticated yeasts cultivated by six ethnic communities of Assam, India. Journal of Biological Sciences (2016 Impact Factor-0.63).

Mihirjyoti Pathak, Hridip Kumar Sarma, Krishna G Bhattacharyya, Sanjukta Subudhi, Varsha Bisht, Banwari Lal and Arundhuti Devi*. 2017. Characterization of a novel polymeric bioflocculant produced from bacterial utilization of n-Hexadecane and its application in removal of heavy metals. Frontiers in Microbiology. DOI: 103389/ fmicb.2017.00170. (2016 Impact Factor-4.241).

Principal Investigator of Research Projects

i)Title- Assessment of indole acetic acid induced quorum sensing molecules in yeasts and their possible role in metabolic regulation during indigenous alcoholic fermentations.

Duration: 3 years (DBT-Twinning) from 2013-2016

Status: PI (completed)

Funding agency: DBT.Government of India.

ii)Title- Assessment of the acquisition of drug resistant UTI pathogens infecting women in Guwahati city, Assam and in-vitro evaluation of microbial secondary metabolites against drug resistant UTI pathogens.

Duration: 3 years Status: PI (completed) from 2013-2016

Funding agency: DST NASI Young Women Fellowship scheme under my supervision.

iii) Title-Characterization of novel photoprotective MAAs and antimicrobial carotenoids from natural pigmented yeasts endemic to northeastern region 

Duration: 3 years (DBT-Twinning) from 2018

Status: PI (Ongoing)

Funding agency: DBT.Government of India.

Co-Investigator of Research Projects

i)Title- Screening of indigenous medicinal plant variety for development of potential antimalarial drug- drug intermediate and characterization of potent plant species through DNA barcoding.

Duration: 3 years Status: Co-PI (completed)

Funding agency: DBT, Government of India.

ii) Title- Establishment of Institutional Biotech HUB in Gauhati University.

Duration: 8 years (2010 till date)

Status: Co-PI (Ongoing)

Funding agency: DBT, Government of India.

iii) Title- Development of bioformulation with AMF, PGPF and PGPR for improvement of health status of muga host plant (Perseabombycina) and induction of resistance against foliar fungal pathogens.

Duration: 3 years

Status: Co-PI (completed)

Funding agency: DBT.Government of India.


Work Experiences (in chronological order)
Sl No. Positions held Name of the Organization From (Date) To (Date)
1 BCIL Trainee (1st batch) Biotech Consortium India Limited 16/08/2000 15/02/2001
2 Field Assistant Biotech Consortium India Limited 16/02/2001 20/08/2001
3 Junior Research Fellow NERIST, Arunachal Pradesh 21/12/2001 08/07/2004
4 Senior Research Fellow NERIST, Arunachal Pradesh 09/07/2004 08/07/2005
5 Research Officer Aaranyak, SIRO organization for conservation of biodiversity in north-eastern region 22/07/2005 31/12/2005
6 Lecturer on Contract Centre for Studies in Biotechnology, Dibrugarh University, Assam 06/01/2006 30/11/2007
7 Programme Coordinator (Biotechnology Division) Aaranyak, SIRO organization for conservation of biodiversity in north-eastern region 17/12/2007 24/03/2008
8 Assistant Professor Gauhati University 25/03/2008 till date


National Merit Scholarship for M.Sc from DBT, Govt of India (1997-1998).

NEC scholarship for M.Sc course in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (1998-1999).

DST Fellowship for PhD (2001-2003), CSIR-SRF (2004)

Member, Institutional Biosafety Committee of Gauhati University (2012-2016) & Tender Committee Member of Guwahati Biotech Park, IITG (2010 till date)

Visiting Professor, Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati (since 2009)

Co-PI, Institutional Biotech Hub, GU (2010 till date).

Member, International Committee for Frankia and Actinorhizal plant research. Enlisted in University of Connecticut, USA as a global researcher in Frankia-actinorhizal symbiosis. (Details in (since 2008).

Member, Indian Phytopathological Society, India since October, 2013

Member, Biotech Society of India since 2011

Member, Aaranyak, a SIRO recognized organization for conservation of wildlife in northeast India since 1996.