- 2003 The best poster presentation award, Indian Photobiology Society, India.
- 2000 PhD fellowship award-, International Center for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology, New Delhi, India.
- 1996 Prof B.L.T.de Silva memorial prize in Botany 1996 (prize for the best performance in special degree program), University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- 1994 Department of Botany staff prize (The highest score in Botany in the first two years examinations among those reading for a special degree programme ), University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- NSF grant RG/ 2007/ BT09 (2007)Title: Light regulated development in plant- translational research in Rice (Oryza sativa)Principal Investigator: G.H Chamari M Hettiarachchi
- SASNET planing Grant (Sweden)Title: Light Regulated development in plantsPrincipal Investigator: Magnus HolmCo- investigators: Sudip Chattopadyaya Chamari Hettiarachchi
Involvement of other organizations:
– Life member of Sri Lanka Institute of Biology – Life member of Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS)
– Member of Sri Lanka Association for Improving Higher Education Effectiveness (SLAIHEE) – Member of the General Research Committee (2004), Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS)
– Member of section D (Botany & Agriculture), the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) (2003 – 2004) & (2010 – 2011)
– Visiting lecturer for the Department of Chemical Engineering and Processing, University of Moratuwa, Department of Botany, University of Kelaniya and Institute of Chemistry, Sri Lanka
– visiting lecturer for the M.Sc programme in Applied Organic Chemistry, conducted by Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
– Research supervisor for M.Sc students in M.Sc in Biotechnology conducted by Post Graduate Institute of Science and Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Refereed journal articles:
Jayathissa R,N., Perera, R.P., Hettiarachchi, C., Weerawarna, P.M., (2011) Invitro antibacterial activity of 4 phenyl -1- (2- phenyl- allyl) pyridinium bromide: A novel class of antibacterial compounds. Indian Journal of Microbiology (on line publication)
Ratnayake, R.M.L.K., Hettiarachchi, G.H.C.M., (2010). Development of an efficient Agrobacterium mediated transformation protocol for Sri Lankan rice variety – Bg 250. Journal of Tropical Agricultural Research, 22 (1), 45-53.
Datta, S., Johansson, H., Hettiarachchi, C., Irigoyen, M.L., Desai, M., Rubio, V., Holm, M., (2008). LZF1/SALT TOLERANCE HOMOLOG, an Arabidopsis B-box protein involved in light dependent development and gene expression, undergoes COP1-mediated ubiquitination. The Plant Cell, 20, 2324-2338.
Datta, S., Johansson, H., Hettiarachchi, C., Holm, M., (2008) STH2 has 2 B there, An insight into the role of B-box containing protein in Arabidopsis. Plant Signaling & Behavior 3, 547-548.
Datta, S., Hettiarachchi. C., Johansson, H., Holm, M. (2007) SALT TOLERANCE HOMOLOG 2 (STH2), a B- box protein in Arabidopsis that activates transcription and positively regulates light mediated development. The Plant Cell, 19, 3242-3255.
Sibout, R., Sukumar, P., Hettiarachchi, C., Holm, M., Munday, G.K., Hardtke, C.S. (2006) Double mutant phenotypes reveal a pivotal role of Arabidopsis HY5 and HYH in controlling auxin signaling homeostasis in embryogenesis and seedling development. PLOS Genetics, 2, 1898-1911
Datta, S., Hettiarachchi, G.H.C.M., Deng, X-W., Holm, M. (2006) Identification of CONSTANS Like 3 (COL3) as a positive regulator of red light signaling and root growth. The Plant Cell , 18, 70-84.
Hettiarachchi, G.H.C.M., Reddy M.K, Sopory, S.K., Chattopadhyay S. (2005) Regulation of TOP2 by various abiotic stresses including cold and salinity in pea and transgenic tobacco plants. Plant and Cell Physiology, 46(7), 1154 –1160.
Hettiarachchi, G.H.C.M., Yadav, V., Reddy, M.K., Chattopadhyay, S., Sopory, S.K. (2003). Light mediated regulation defines a minimal promoter region of TOP2. Nucleic Acid Res, 31, 5256-5265.
Hettiarachchi, G.H.C.M., Gooneratne, J., Hirimburegama, W.K. (2001). Effect of initial moisture content and relative humidity on the accumulation of aflatoxin in maize grains (Zea mays) during storage. J of NSF, Sri Lanka, 29, 29-33.
Nilaweera T.D., Jayasekara, N. S., Hettiarachchi, G.H.C.M., (2009). Preliminary RAPD- PCR studies on six Sri Lankan traditional varieties of Oryza sativa L. Pro Sri Lanka Asso. Advmt Sci, 65, Abstract (Part I) 71. Oral presentation
Kumari, T.G.K., Hettiarachchi. G.H.C.M., (2009). Cloning of STH3 gene in pACMBIA 1303 vector. Pro Sri Lanka Asso. Advmt Sci, 65, Abstract (Part I) 212. Poster
Luxshani. T., Jayasekara, N.S., Hettiarachchi. G.H.C.M., (2009). Population variation of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci using RAPD –PCR. Pro Sri Lanka Asso. Advmt Sci, 65, Abstract (Part I), 214. Poster
Abeywardana, T.J., Ratnayake, R.M.L.K, Hettiarachchi, G.H.C.M.. (2008) Cloning of STH2 gene, to transform Bg 360 and Bg 250 Sri Lankan rice varieties. Pro Sri Lanka Asso. Advmt Sci, 64 (1) 173. Oral presentation
Liyanage ,V.N.P., Ratnayake, R.M.L.K, Hettiarachchi, C., Perera, R.P., (2008) Study of interactions of a novel class of vesicular monoamine inhibitors with bacterial cells to investigate the uptake mechanism. Pro Sri Lanka Asso. Advmt Sci, 64 (1) Poster.
Johansson, H, Datta, S, Hettiarachchi, C., Holm, M. (2008). STO and STH1 interacts with both COP1 and HY5 to regulate photomorhogenesis. Abstract. 19th International conference on Arabidopsis research. Montreal, Canada
Holm, M., Johansson, H., Hettiarachchi.C., Datta, S. (2007) HY5 interacting B-box proteins are members of a novel class of transcription factors and regulate plant growth and development. Abstract. 18th International conference on Arabidopsis research. Beijing, China.
Hettiarachchi, C., Datta, S, Holm, M. (2006) HY5 interacting B-box proteins are members of a novel class of transcription factors and regulate plant growth and development. Abstract. International Photo Biology meeting, France. Oral Presentation
Hettiarachchi, C, Datta, S, Holm, M. (2005) Characterization of HY5 interacting B-box proteins that regulate plant growth and development. Abstract, 5th Workshop in the Nordic Arabidopsis Network, Denmark. Oral presentation
Hettiarachchi, C, Datta, S, Holm, M. (2005) Characterization of HY5 interacting B-box proteins that regulate plant growth and development. Abstract, 16th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research, Madison, USA, Poster presentation
Hettiarachchi, G.H.C.M, Gooneratne J., Hirimburegama W.K. (1997) Influence of relative humidity and initial moisture content on accumulation of aflatoxins in maize seeds. Pro Sri Lanka Asso. Advmt Sci 53 (1) 113.
Gooneratne J., Jayawardana S.N., Hettiarachchi G.H.C.M. ., Chandrakumara W.A.D.S., Wijetilake L.C. (1997) Effect of field conditions on the pre-harvest contamination of aflatoxin producing organisms in maize during “Yala” 1996 and “Maha” 96/97. Pro Sri Lanka Asso. Advmt Sci. 53 (1) 114.
- Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2003)
Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Molecular Biology & Biochemistry: Title of Thesis Analysis of light and stress responsive DNA topoisomerase II promoter and interacting trans-acting factors from Pisum sativum. (Research carried out in International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and thesis submitted to JNU for the award of Ph.D degree.
- University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
B.Sc. Special Degree in Botany (1996) Second Class Upper Division (Top of the batch) Title of DissertationEffect of some physical parameters on the accumulation of aflatoxin in maize seeds.
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry & Microbiology
Applying knowledge gained from studies of Arabidopsis thaliana on the agriculturally important crop rice (Oryza sativa).Light signaling in plants:Light is an important factor for plant growth and development. During my postdoc, I studied a group of Arabidopsis proteins (STO, STH, STH2 & STH3) that were identified through their interactions with two key regulators of light signaling, COP1 and HY5. The productivity of crop plants might be enhanced by over expressing central regulator of light signaling pathways. The main aim of this project is to overexpress the (Salt Tolerance Homolog 2) STH2 gene in rice to improve its quality and productivity.Abiotic stress signaling in plants:The Arabidopsis plants with mutations in the STH2 gene show hypersensitivity to Abscisic acid (ABA), a drought and salt stress regulating hormone, and to NaCl in germination and root growth assay. Furthermore, we have found that the expression of several key regulators of ABA signaling is altered in the sth2 mutant indicating that the STH2 gene plays an important role in response to drought and salinity. The main objective of this project is to apply this knowledge on rice in an effort to obtain drought tolerance Sri Lankan rice varieties.