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Kumari is interested in dissecting gene regulatory networks that underpin high photosynthetic performance and water use efficiency of certain plants under high temperatures and drought conditions and how internal leaf anatomy relates to the photosynthetic performance. Plants are broadly categorized into C3 and C4 and C4 plants have better photosynthetic, nitrogen and water use efficiencies when compared to C3 plants, especially under arid conditions because of their specialized leaf anatomy called Kranz anatomy. During her PhD at the University of Duesseldorf (Germany), she had worked on identifying novel genes that determine C4 specific leaf anatomy.

Her present research at the Department of Plant Sciences is focused on manipulating cell divisions of Rice leaves to understand how changes in leaf anatomy liked to the photosynthetic performance of plants.