Pankaj Bhowmik

Roles and responsibilities

Senior Research Officer, Cell Technologies and Trait Development

Scientific Support Lead, Sustainable Protein Production Program

Adjunct Professor, Irving K. Barber School, UBC Okanagan; Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

Current research and/or projects

  • Genetic enhancement of protein, off-flavour, anti-nutritional quality and processability in pulse crops.
  • An efficient plant protoplasts isolation and transient transformation and regeneration system for CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene editing.
  • Improving abiotic stress tolerance and quality through genetic manipulation of Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) pathway in barley. 
  • Mobile energy efficient tissue culture laboratory for northern agricultural development and crop improvement.

Research and/or project statements

  • Protein quality in pea and other pulses is limited by the low concentration of the sulfur amino acids methionine, and cysteine.
  • Therefore, enhancement of protein quality by increasing the levels of sulfur amino acids is a priority for new and expanded markets for pea and other pulses.
  • Another barrier to increased use of pulse products in the food industry is the off-flavour.
  • We aim to manipulate genes of interest (LOX and Vicilin) using the innovative new breeding technique – gene editing for improving both essential amino acids and reducing off-flavour in pea.


Ehime University - Matsuyama, Ehime | Ph.D.

Agriculture, 2004

Kagawa University - Takamatsu, Kagawa | Master of Science

Agriculture, 2001

Bangladesh Agricultural University - Mymensingh, Bangladesh | Bachelor of Science

Agriculture, 1996


NSERC visiting Fellow in Canadian Government Laboratory: Department of Bioproduct and Bioprocess, Lethbridge Research Centre Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; September, 2007 – August, 2009 

Izaak Walton Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship: Department of AFNS, University of Alberta, Canada; January, 2006 – August, 2007 

Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellowship: April, 2004 – December, 2005

Key publications

Pandey PK, Bhowmik P, Kagale S. Optimized methods for random and targeted mutagenesis in field pea (Pisum sativum L.). Front Plant Sci. 2022 Sep 8; 13:995542. Doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.995542.

Islam T, Afroz N, Koh C, Hoque MN, Rahman MJ, Gupta DR, Mahmud NU, Nahid AA, Islam R, Bhowmik PK and Sharpe AG. 2022. Whole-genome sequencing of a year-round fruiting jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.) reveals high levels of single nucleotide variation. Front. Plant Sci.,

Nadimi, M.; Loewen, G.; Bhowmik, P.; Paliwal, J. Effect of Laser Biostimulation on Germination of Sub-Optimally Stored Flaxseeds (Linum usitatissimum). Sustainability 2022, 14, 12183.

Zaji, Z. Liu, G. Xiao, P. Bhowmik, J. S. Sangha and Y. Ruan, "Wheat spikes counting using object-level data augmentation," 2022 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I2MTC), Ottawa, ON, Canada, 2022, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1109/I2MTC48687.2022.9806479.

Gao, P., Quilichini, T.D., Yang, H., Li, Q., Nilsen, K.T., Qin, L., Babic, V., Liu, L., Cram, D., Pasha, A., Esteban, E., Condie, J., Sidebottom, C., Zhang, Y., Huang, Y., Zhang, W., Bhowmik, P., Kochian, L.V., Konkin, D., Wei, Y., Provart, N.J., Kagale, S., Smith, M., Patterson, N., Gillmor, C.S., Datla, R. and Xiang, D. (2022), Evolutionary divergence in embryo and seed coat development of U’s Triangle Brassica species illustrated by a spatiotemporal transcriptome atlas. New Phytol, 233: 30-51.

Détain, A., Bhowmik, P., Nathalie Leborgne-Castel, N., and Ochatt, S. 2022. Latest biotechnology tools and targets for improving abiotic stress tolerance in protein legumes. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 197: 104824;

Bhowmik, P., Konkin, D., Polowick, P., Hodgins, C. L., Subedi, M., Xiang, D., Yu, B., Patterson, N., Rajagopalan, N., Babic, V., Ro, D.‐K., Tar'an, B., Bandara, M., Smyth, S. J., Cui, Y., & Kagale, S. (2021). CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in legume crops: Opportunities and challenges. Legume Science, 1– 16.

Lie, K., Seegers S., Cao, W., Wanasundara, J., Chen, J., da Silva, A.E., Ross, K., Franco, A.L., Vrijenhoek, T., Bhowmik, P., Li, Y., Wu, X., and Bloomer, S. 2021. An International Collaborative Study on Trypsin Inhibitor Assay for Legumes, Cereals, and Related Products. J Am Oil Chem Soc. DOI 10.1002/aocs.12459.

Adhikary, D., Kulkarni, M., El-Mezawy, A., Mobini, S., Elhiti, M., Gjuric, R., Ray, A., Polowick, P., Slaski, J.J., Jones, M.P., and Bhowmik, P. 2021. Medical cannabis and industrial hemp tissue culture: present status and future potential. Frontiers in Plant Science.

Chakraborty, M.; Hasanuzzaman, M.; Rahman, M.; Khan, M.A.R.; Bhowmik, P.; Mahmud, N.U.; Tanveer, M.; Islam, T. Mechanism of Plant Growth Promotion and Disease Suppression by Chitosan Biopolymer. Agriculture 2020, 10, 624.

Cho, J-Y., Bhowmik, P., Patricia L. Polowick, P., Sabine G. Dodard, S., El-Bakkari, M., Nowak, G., Fenniri, H., and Hemraz, U.2020. Cellular Delivery of Plasmid DNA into Wheat Microspores Using Rosette Nanotubes. ACS Omega 5 (38), 24422-24433.

Cram, D., Kulkarni, M., Buchwaldt, M. Rajagopalan, N., Bhowmik, P., Rozwadowski, K., Parkin, I., Sharpe, A. and Kagale, S. 2019. WheatCRISPR: a web-based guide RNA design tool for CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing in wheat. BMC Plant Biol 19, 474 doi: 10.1186/s12870-019-2097-z.

Islam, M., Wahid, K. A., Dinh, A. V., & Bhowmik, P. 2019. Model of dehydration and assessment of moisture content on onion using EIS. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 56(6), 2814–2824.             

Bhowmik, P., Ellison, E., Polley, B., Bollina, V., Kulkarni, M., Ghanbarnia, K., et al. 2018. Targeted mutagenesis in wheat microspores using CRISPR/Cas9. Sci. Rep. 8:6502. 

Bhowmik, P., Hassan, M., Molla, K., Rahman, M. and Islam, T. 2018. Application of CRISPR/Cas genome editing tools for the improvement of plant abiotic tolerance. In: Approaches for Enhancing Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, USA, pp 459-472.

Rajagopalan, N., Kagale, S., Bhowmik, P., Song, H. 2018. A Two-Step Method for Obtaining Highly Pure Cas9 Nuclease for Genome Editing, Biophysical, and Structural Studies." Methods Protoc. 1, no. 2: 17.

Shunmugam, A.S.K., Bollina, V., Dukowic-Schulze, S., Bhowmik, P.K.  et al. MeioCapture: an efficient method for staging and isolation of meiocytes in the prophase I sub-stages of meiosis in wheat. BMC Plant Biol 18, 293 (2018).

Haque, E., Taniguchi, H., Hassan, MM. Bhowmik, P., Karim, MR., Śmiech, M., Zhao, K., Rahman, M. and Islam, T. (2018) Application of CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Technology for the Improvement of Crops Cultivated in Tropical Climates: Recent Progress, Prospects, and Challenges. Front. Plant Sci. 9:617. 

Bhowmik P.K, Dirpaul J, Polowick P and Ferrie A. 2011. An efficient high throughput Brassica napus microspore culture system: Influence of percoll gradient separation and precise bud selection on embryogenesis. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult. DOI 10.1007/s11240-010-9913-3.

Chandra, D., Matsui T., Suzuki, H. Kosugi, Y., Fujimura, K., and Bhowmik P.K. 2010. Textural and compositional changes of stored iceberg lettuce in relation to harvest season and storage. International Journal of Vegetable Science 16: 44-59.

Basu, S.K., Dutta, M., Goyal, A., Bhowmik, P.K., Kumar, J., and S. Nandy, S. 2010. Is genetically modified crop the answer for the next green revolution? GM Crops, 1 (2): 68-79.

Aremu, M.O., Basu, S.K., Gyar, S.D., Goyal, A., Bhowmik, P.K. and Datta Banik, S. 2009. Proximate composition and functional properties of mushroom flours from Ganoderma spp., Omphalotus olearius (DC.) Sing. And Hebeloma mesophaeum (Pers.) Quél. Used in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Mal J Nutr 15(2): 233 – 241.

Bhowmik, P.K. and Basu S. 2008. Current developments, progress, issues and concerns in producing transgenic peas (Pisum sativum L.). Transgenic Plant Journal 2(2): 138-150.

Rashid, H., Khan, M.A., Amin, A., Nawab, K., N Hussain, N., and Bhowmik, P.K. 2008. Effect of Parthenium hysterophorus L., root extracts on seed germination and growth of maize and barley. The Americas J. Plant Sci. Biotechnol 2 (2), 51-55

Bhowmik P. K., K. Tamura, Y. Sanada, K. Tase and T. Yamada. 2007. Molecular cloning and characterization of a cDNA encoding sucrose synthase from perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Indian Journal of Botanical Research 3(2): 237-250.

Bhowmik, P. K. and T. Matsui. 2007. Changes in acid invertase and sucrose synthase activity and gene expression during storage of asparagus spears. Indian Journal of Botanical Research 3(2): 251-264.

Bhowmik P. K., K.Tamura, Y. Sanada, K. Tase and T. Yamada. 2006. Sucrose Metabolism of Perennial Ryegrass in Relation to Cold Acclimation. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C- a Journal of Biosciences 61(c): 99-104.

Bhowmik, P. K. and T. Matsui. 2005. Ethylene biosynthetic genes in ‘Moso' bamboo shoot in response to wounding. Postharvest Biology and Technology 38 (2): 188-194.

Bhowmik, P. K. and T. Matsui. 2005. Changes in phenylalanine ammonia lyase activity and gene expression during storage of asparagus spears. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C- a Journal of Biosciences. 60 (2): 128-132.

Bhowmik, P. K. and T. Matsui. 2004. Changes in the Activity and Expression of 1 Aminocyclopropane -1-Carboxylate (ACC) Synthase, ACC Oxidase, and Phenylalanine Ammonia-Lyase in Asparagus Spears in Response to Wound- Induced Ethylene Synthesis. HortScience 39(6):1074-1078.

Bhowmik, P.K., T. Matsui and E. Miki. 2004. α-aminooxi-β-phenylpropionic acid controls phenylalanine ammonia lyase gene expression during storage of asparagus spears. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment 2(1): 10-13.

Bhowmik, P. K., T. Matsui, F. G. Enriquez, A. K. M. S. Alam, H. Suzuki and Y. Kosugi. 2003. Pre- and postharvest fiber development in green asparagus as related to temperature during growth, storage, and handling. Journal of Food, Agriculture Environment 1(4): 50-53.

Bhowmik, P. K., T. Matsui, T. Ikeuchi and H. Suzuki. 2002. Changes in storage quality and shelf life of green asparagus over an extended harvest season. Postharvest Biology and Technology. 26(3): 323-328.

Bhowmik, P.K., T. Matsui, K. Kawada, and H. Suzuki. 2001. Seasonal changes of asparagus spears in relation to enzyme activities and carbohydrate content. Scientia Horticulturae. 88(1): 1-9. 

Pankaj Bhowmik

Pankaj Bhowmik

Senior Research Officer
Aquatic and Crop Resource Development
110 Gymnasium Place
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 0W9
Preferred language: English
Telephone: 306-975-5566


Agriculture, Biotechnology, Horticulture, Molecular genetics