LOEWE Center for
Insect Biotechnology
& Bioresources

Krishnendu Mukherjee

Dr. rer. nat.

Group leader

Phone: +49 641 99-39526

Email: krishnendu.mukherjee@agrar.uni-giessen.de

Room: 2.42

Building: TIG


Educational qualifications


PhD in natural sciences (Dr. rer.nat.)

PhD from Justus-Liebig University, Germany

Dissertation title: Galleria mellonella as an alternative model host for the human pathogenic bacteria Listeria monocytogenes

Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Andreas Vilcinskas, Department of Applied Entomology, Justus-Liebig University, Germany

Masters in agro-biotechnology

International Masters programme in agro-biotechnology from Justus-Liebig University, Germany, securing very good (1.9) grade (equivalent to first class)

Dissertation title: Interaction of four fungal isolates of the order Sebacinales with barley (Hordeum vulgare): Characterization of fungal morphology, root colonization and host gene expression

Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Karl Heinz Kogel, Department of Phytopathology, Justus-Liebig University, Germany

Bachelors in biotechnology

Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology from Bangalore University securing first class. (2005)

Teaching experience

  • MSc Agrobiotechnology, Justus-Liebig University, Germany
  • MSc Molecular Systems Biology, Justus-Liebig University, Germany
  • M.Sc. Insect Biotechnology and Bioresources

Research Interests

Interactions between symbiotic or pathogenic microbes are central to both health and diseases of humans, animals, and plants. Fast adaptation of the pathogens to the existing prophylaxis has made the treatment process challenging, with limitations of suitable model hosts to study the evolved mechanisms. Our scientific research interest broadly includes the development of alternative strategies, so required for combating pathogens along with understanding the mutualistic interactions between microbes and their host, for the beneficial health implications.

We are investigating genetic and epigenetic regulations during physiological development, immune responses and pathogen infections in insect models like Galleria mellonella, Tribolium castaneum and Harmonia axyridis. The major focus of our present scientific research is on epigenetic mechanisms like histone acetylation, DNA methylation and regulation of miRNAs during insect metamorphosis, gut microbe homeostasis, and infection with human pathogenic and entomopathogenic bacteria and fungi. Apart from establishing the lepidopteran Galleria mellonella as a pre-clinical infection model for human pathogens, we are also developing insect models for translational pharmacological research.


Gegner J, Baudach A, Mukherjee K, Halitschke R, Vogel H, Vilcinskas A (2019) Epigenetic mechanisms are involved in sex-specific trans-generational immune priming in the lepidopteran model host Manduca sexta. Front. Physiol.,
Heitmueller M, Billion A, Dobrindt U, Vilcinskas A, Mukherjee K (2017) Epigenetic mechanisms regulate innate immunity against uropathogenic and commensal-like Escherichia coli in the surrogate insect model Galleria mellonella Infection and Immunity,
Mukherjee K, Grizanova E, Chertkova E, Lehmann R, Dubovskiy I, Vilcinskas A (2017) Experimental evolution of resistance against Bacillus thuringiensis in the insect model host Galleria mellonella results in epigenetic modifications. Virulence, 19 , 1-13.
Mukherjee K, Vilcinskas A (2017) The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii communicates with the insect host Galleria mellonella during infection Virulence, Nov 23 , 0.
Dubovskiy IM, Grizanova EV, Whitten MM, Mukherjee K, Greig C, Alikina T, Kabilov M, Vilcinskas A, Glupov VV, Butt TM (2016) Immuno-physiological adaptations confer wax moth Galleria mellonella resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis. Virulence, epub ahead of print , 1–11.
Mukherjee K, Baudach A (2016) Epigenetic Control of Polyphenism in Aphids. , in Biology and Ecology of Aphids, Vilcinskas A (Eds.) , 89–99. CRC Press:
Mukherjee K, Twyman RM, Vilcinskas A (2015) Insects as models to study the epigenetic basis of disease Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 118 (1–2) , 69–78.
Nollmann FI, Heinrich AK, Brachmann AO, Morisseau C, Mukherjee K, Casanova-Torres ÁM, Strobl F, Kleinhans D, Kinski S, Schultz K, Beeton ML, Kaiser M, Chu YY, Phan Ke L, Thanwisai A, Bozhüyük KA, Chantratita N, Götz F, Waterfield NR, Vilcinskas A, Stelzer EH, Goodrich-Blair H, Hammock BD, Bode HB (2015) A photorhabdus natural product inhibits insect juvenile hormone epoxide hydrolase. Chembiochem, 16 (5) , 766–771.
Mukherjee K, Vilcinskas A (2014) Development and immunity-related microRNAs of the lepidopteran model host Galleria mellonella. BMC Genomics, 15 (705) , 1–12.
Berisha A, Mukherjee K, Vilcinskas A, Spengler B, Römpp A (2013) High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry Driven Discovery of Peptidic Danger Signals in Insect Immunity PLoS ONE, 8 (11) , 1–10.
Dubovskiy IM, Whitten MM, Yaroslavtseva ON, Greig C, Kryukov VY, Grizanova EV, Mukherjee K, Vilcinskas A, Glupov VV, Butt TM (2013) Can insects develop resistance to insect pathogenic fungi? PLoS One, 8 (4) , e60248.
Dubovskiy IM, Whitten MMA, Kryukov VY, Yaroslavtseva ON, Grizanova EV, Greig C, Mukherjee K, Vilcinskas A, Mitkovets P, Glupov VV, Butt TM (2013) More than a colour change: Insect melanism, disease resistance and fecundity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280 (1783) , 1–10.
Mukherjee K, Hain T, Fischer R, Chakraborty T, Vilcinskas A (2013) Brain infection and activation of neuronal repair mechanisms by the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes in the lepidopteran model host Galleria mellonella. Virulence, 4 (4) , 324–332.
Mukherjee K, Raju R, Fischer R, Vilcinskas A (2013) Galleria mellonella as a Model Host to Study Gut Microbe Homeostasis and Brain Infection by the Human Pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology, 135 , 27–39.
Vilcinskas A, Mukherjee K, Vogel H (2013) Expansion of the antimicrobial peptide repertoire in the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 280 (1750) , 1–9.
de Melo NR, Abdrahman A, Greig C, Mukherjee K, Thornton C, Ratcliffe NA, Vilcinskas A, Butt TM (2013) Myriocin Significantly Increases the Mortality of a Non-Mammalian Model Host during Candida Pathogenesis. PLoS ONE, 8 (11) , 1–13.
Mukherjee K, Fischer R, Vilcinskas A (2012) Histone acetylation mediates epigenetic regulation of transcriptional reprogramming in insects during metamorphosis, wounding and infection. Frontiers in Zoology , 9 (1) , 25.
Gomes CS, Izar B, Pazan F, Mohamed W, Mraheil MA, Mukherjee K, Billion A, Aharonowitz Y, Chakraborty T, Hain T (2011) Universal stress proteins are important for oxidative and acid stress resistance and growth of L. monocytogenes EGD-e in vitro and in vivo. PLoS One 6(9), , e24965.
Mraheil MA, Billion A, Mohamed W, Mukherjee K, Kuenne C, Pischimarov J, Krawitz C, Retey J, Hartsch T, Chakraborty T, Hain T (2011) The intracellular sRNA transcriptome of Listeria monocytogenes during growth in macrophages. Nucleic Acids Research 39(10), , 4235-4248.
Mukherjee K, Mraheil MA, Silva S, Müller D, Cemic F , Hemberger J, Hain T, Vilcinskas A, Chakraborty T (2011) Anti-Listeria activities of Galleria mellonella hemolymph proteins. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77(12), , 4237-4240.
Mukherjee K, Altincicek B, Hain T, Domann E, Vilcinskas A, Chakraborty T (2010) Galleria mellonella as a model system for studying Listeria pathogenesis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76(1), , 310-317.
Mukherjee K, Domman E, Hain T (2010) Galleria mellonella as alternative model host for human pathogenic microorganisms. , in Insect Biotechnology, Vilcinskas A (Eds.) , 3-14. Springer, : New York
Altincicek B, Berisha A, Mukherjee K, Spengler B, Römpp A, Vilcinskas A (2009) Identification of collagen IV derived danger/alarm signals in insect immunity by nanoLC-FTICR MS. Biological Chemistry 390(12), , 1303-1311.
Waller F, Mukherjee K, Deshmukh SD, Achatz B, Sharma M, Schäfer P, Kogel KH (2008) Systemic and local modulation of plant responses by Piriformospora indica and related Sebacinales species. Journal of Plant Physiology 165(1), , 60-70.