Agepati Srinivasa Raghavendra earned BSc (1969), MSc (1971) and PhD (1975), all from Sri Venkateswara University. Availing the Humboldt Foundation Fellowship, he worked with leading plant physiologists/biochemists in Germany, including Professors U Heber, HW Heldt, P Westhoff and R Scheibe. He also collaborated with scientists from Japan, France, Germany and UK for extended periods. He started his career as Scientist at Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (ICAR), Vittal in 1974; worked as Assistant Professor, Botany Department, Sri Venkateswara (SV) University, Tirupati (1976-82); Deputy Director and Head, Plant Physiology Division, Rubber Research Institute, Kottayam (1982-85); and Associate Professor (1985), Professor (1996), Department of Plant Sciences, and Dean, School of Life Sciences (2004), all at University of Hyderabad.
Academic & Research Achievements: Raghavendra contributed significantly towards discovery of several C4 plants, C3-C4 intermediates; regulation of C4-phosphoenolpyruvate essentiality of mitochondrial respiration for optimizing photosynthesis and mitochondrial enrichment in bundle sheath cells as the basis of reduced photorespiration in C3-C4 intermediates. After the initial work on the characterization of C4 photosynthesis, his work extended into the mechanisms of stomatal function. Some of his techniques of isolating active mesophyll protoplasts from pea and monitoring pH in plant cells proved to be very popular and innovative. He has published more than 185 research papers, and authored a number of reviews and book chapters, besides a highly referred book on Photosynthesis.
Other Contributions: Raghavendra established an active research group to study photosynthetic carbon assimilation initially at SV University, Tirupati and later at the University of Hyderabad. He is on the Editorial Board of the journal Photosynthesis Research and the multi-volume series on Advance in Photosynthesis and Respiration, both published by Springer, Germany. Currently, he is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Plant Biology.
Awards and Honours: Professor Raghavendra won several awards; notably Young Scientist Medal by INSA (1977), Young Scientist Award (1976) by AP Academy of Sciences, Career Award by UGC (1986), Recognition Award by National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), New Delhi (2003-2004), AP Scientist of the Year (2005), Dr K Ramaiah Memorial Award by NAAS (2005-06) and Professor TS Sadasivan Lecture Award by INSA (2006). He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, NAAS, AP Academy of Sciences (Vice President also) and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World.