Dr. Rajaguru Aradhya serves as Assistant Professor in School of Biotechnology. He earned his PhD from Genetic Reproduction and Development institute, Auvergne University, France. His PhD work contributed towards ‘understanding of quiescent nature of muscle stem cells in Drosophila Melanogaster termed Adult Muscle Precursors’. Dr. Aradhya finished his post-doctorate at MSKCC, Rockefeller University, New York, where he contributed to ‘microRNA control of peripheral nervous system development in Drosophila Melanogaster’. Prior to the PhD he also worked in the laboratory of Dr. Maneesha Inamdar, JNCASR, India, where he worked on the characterization of pericardial cells in Drosophila Melanogaster.

Dr. Aradhya aims to understand molecular aspects regulating the development of mesodermal derivatives both in Drosophila and mammalian counterparts. His main research areas are developmental biology, cell morphogenesis, adult stem cells and cardiac function analysis.


  • 2005: Masters in Zoology
    Bangalore University, India
  • 2014: PhD Developmental Biology and Genetics
    Genetic Reproduction and Development institute, Auvergne University, France.
  • 2016: Post-doctorate in Developmental Biology
    MSKCC, Rockefeller University, New York.


  • AFM Fellowship (2012) funding from INSERM, France Government.
  • Junior Research fellowship from Council For scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India (2005 and 2006).
  • Qualified TOEFL (2006).


  1. Rhone Drosophila Conference ( Journée Mouche Rhone) , 2010, Lyon, France, June 2010.
  2. French annual Drosophila conference, Clermont-Ferrand, France, August, 2010.
  3. Developmental biology and Genetics meeting organised by French society for Developmental Biology (SFBD) and French Society of Gentetics (SFG), November 2013.


  1. MYORES (European Muscle Development Network) – Muscle development congress, Saint Julian’s/Malta, November 2009.
  2. EMBO Conference Series – Stem cell research: Development, Regeneration and Disease. Paris/France, April 2011.
  3. Gorden research conference – Myogenesis, Wateville valley/USA, August-September 2011.
  4. Gordon research conferenceMyogenesis, Il-Ciocco/Italy, July 2013.  


Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title


Dr. Rajaguru Aradhya, Zmojdzian, M., Da Ponte, J. Philippe, and Jagla, K., “Translating Ribosome Affinity Purification from Rare Cell Populations of Drosophila Embryos”, JOVE, no. 103, 2015.[Abstract]

Measuring levels of mRNAs in the process of translation in individual cells provides information on the proteins involved in cellular functions at a given point in time. The protocol dubbed Translating Ribosome Affinity Purification (TRAP) is able to capture this mRNA translation process in a cell-type-specific manner. Based on the affinity purification of polysomes carrying a tagged ribosomal subunit, TRAP can be applied to translatome analyses in individual cells, making it possible to compare cell types during the course of developmental processes or to track disease development progress and the impact of potential therapies at molecular level. Here we report an optimized version of the TRAP protocol, called TRAP-rc (rare cells), dedicated to identifying engaged-in-translation RNAs from rare cell populations. TRAP-rc was validated using the Gal4/UAS targeting system in a restricted population of muscle cells in Drosophila embryos. This novel protocol allows the recovery of cell-type-specific RNA in sufficient quantities for global gene expression analytics such as microarrays or RNA-seq. The robustness of the protocol and the large collections of Gal4 drivers make TRAP-rc a highly versatile approach with potential applications in cell-specific genome-wide studies. More »»


Dr. Rajaguru Aradhya, Zmojdzian, M., Da Ponte, J. Philippe, and Jagla, K., “Muscle niche-driven Insulin-Notch-Myc cascade reactivates dormant Adult Muscle Precursors in Drosophila”, eLife, vol. 4, p. e08497, 2015.[Abstract]

How stem cells specified during development keep their non-differentiated quiescent state, and how they are reactivated, remain poorly understood. Here, we applied a Drosophila model to follow in vivo behavior of adult muscle precursors (AMPs), the transient fruit fly muscle stem cells. We report that emerging AMPs send out thin filopodia that make contact with neighboring muscles. AMPs keep their filopodia-based association with muscles throughout their dormant state but also when they start to proliferate, suggesting that muscles could play a role in AMP reactivation. Indeed, our genetic analyses indicate that muscles send inductive dIlp6 signals that switch the Insulin pathway ON in closely associated AMPs. This leads to the activation of Notch, which regulates AMP proliferation via dMyc. Altogether, we report that Drosophila AMPs display homing behavior to muscle niche and that the niche-driven Insulin-Notch-dMyc cascade plays a key role in setting the activated state of AMPs. More »»


N. Figeac, Jagla, T., Dr. Rajaguru Aradhya, Da Ponte, J. Philippe, and Jagla, K., “Specification and behavior of AMPs, muscle-committed transient Drosophila stem cells”, Fly, vol. 5, pp. 7-9, 2011.[Abstract]

During development, transient stem cells play critical roles in the formation of specific tissues. Adult Muscle Precursors (AMPs) are at the origin of all adult Drosophila muscles and as we report here represent a novel population of muscle-committed transient stem cells. Similar to vertebrate muscle stem cells, AMPs keep Notch signaling active and express Enhancer of split m6 (E(spl)m6) gene, a read-out of Notch pathway. To get insights into AMP cell specification we performed a gain-of-function screen and found that the rhomboid-triggered Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) signaling pathway controls both the specification and the subsequent maintenance of AMPs. Our findings are supported by the identification of EGF-secreting cells in the lateral domain and the EGF-dependent regulatory modules that drive expression of the ladybird gene in lateral AMPs. Interestingly, by targeting GFP to the AMP cell membranes we also demonstrated that AMPs send long cellular processes and form a network of interconnected cells. As revealed by laser ablation experiments, the main role of AMP cell connections is to maintain their correct spatial positioning. More »»


Dr. Rajaguru Aradhya, N, F., T, J., JP, D. Ponte, and K, J., “Drosophila adult muscle precursors form a network of interconnected cells and are specified by the rhomboid-triggered EGF pathway”, Development, vol. 137, no. 12, pp. 1965-73, 2010.[Abstract]

In Drosophila, a population of muscle-committed stem-like cells called adult muscle precursors (AMPs) keeps an undifferentiated and quiescent state during embryonic life. The embryonic AMPs are at the origin of all adult fly muscles and, as we demonstrate here, they express repressors of myogenic differentiation and targets of the Notch pathway known to be involved in muscle cell stemness. By targeting GFP to the AMP cell membranes, we show that AMPs are tightly associated with the peripheral nervous system and with a subset of differentiated muscles. They send long cellular processes running along the peripheral nerves and, by the end of embryogenesis, form a network of interconnected cells. Based on evidence from laser ablation experiments, the main role of these cellular extensions is to maintain correct spatial positioning of AMPs. To gain insights into mechanisms that lead to AMP cell specification, we performed a gain-of-function screen with a special focus on lateral AMPs expressing the homeobox gene ladybird. Our data show that the rhomboid-triggered EGF signalling pathway controls both the specification and the subsequent maintenance of AMP cells. This finding is supported by the identification of EGF-secreting cells in the lateral domain and the EGF-dependent regulatory modules that drive expression of the ladybird gene in lateral AMPs. Taken together, our results reveal an unsuspected capacity of embryonic AMPs to form a cell network, and shed light on the mechanisms governing their specification and maintenance. More »»


D. Das, Ashoka, D., Dr. Rajaguru Aradhya, and Inamdar, M., “Gene expression analysis in post-embryonic pericardial cells of Drosophila”, Gene Expression Patterns, vol. 8, pp. 199 - 205, 2008.[Abstract]

Increasing evidence suggests conservation of cardiovascular molecules between vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrate Rudhira, an evolutionary conserved \{WD40\} protein is expressed during primitive erythropoiesis, neoangiogenesis and tumors. We report here the expression profile of the Drosophila ortholog of Rudhira (DRudh) in the fly life cycle. \{DRudh\} is expressed specifically in all post-embryonic pericardial cells (PCs) and garland cells (GCs). This is the first report of a cytoplasmic marker highly specific to post-embryonic PCs. Embryonic \{PCs\} belong to three distinct genetic classes based on Odd-skipped (Odd), Even-skipped (Eve) and Tinman (Tin) expression. To identify which among these three classes of \{PCs\} expresses \{DRudh\} in post-embryonic stages, we analyzed expression of embryonic \{PC\} markers in the post-embryonic stages. Unlike in the embryo all larval \{PCs\} show an identical gene expression profile. While Odd and Eve expression is mutually exclusive in the embryonic PCs, these two markers are co-expressed in larval \{PCs\} but show a distinct subcellular localization. Tin is not expressed in any post-embryonic PC. Additionally larval \{PCs\} also express the \{GATA\} factor, Serpent (Srp) and the extracellular matrix protein, Pericardin (Prc). While \{PC\} number is known to decrease post-embryogenesis, which of the Odd or Eve lineage embryonic \{PCs\} persists is not known. Co-expression of the two distinct lineage markers only in post-embryonic stages indicates a complex temporal regulation of gene expression in PCs. More »»


D. Das, Dr. Rajaguru Aradhya, Ashoka, D., and Inamdar, M., “Post-embryonic pericardial cells of Drosophila are required for overcoming toxic stress but not for cardiac function or adult development”, Cell and Tissue Research, vol. 331, pp. 565–570, 2008.[Abstract]

The Drosophila heart is composed of two cell types: cardioblasts (CB) and pericardial cells (PC). Whereas CBs act to maintain rhythmic contractions, the functions of accessory PCs are not clear. The close association between these two cell types has led to speculation of a cardio-regulatory role for PCs. However, we find that viability and cardiac function are normal in larvae following post-embryonic ablation of PCs by induced cell death. Removal of PCs during the larval instars or before metamorphosis results in viable and fertile adults. Interestingly, such animals have a reduced lifespan and increased sensitivity to toxic chemicals. Thus, although PCs may have an embryonic role in cardiogenesis, they do not appear to play a part later in cardiac function as suggested. However, the role of PCs in the uptake and sequestering of toxins, their sensitivity to toxic stress and the decreased lifespan of animals without PCs indicate the importance of PCs in organismal homeostasis. More »»


D. Das, Dr. Rajaguru Aradhya, Ashoka, D., and Inamdar, M., “Macromolecular uptake in Drosophila pericardial cells requires rudhira function”, Experimental Cell Research, vol. 314, pp. 1804 - 1810, 2008.[Abstract]

The vertebrate reticuloendothelial system (RES) functions to remove potentially damaging macromolecules, such as excess hormones, immune-peptides and -complexes, bacterial-endotoxins, microorganisms and tumor cells. Insect hemocytes and nephrocytes – which include pericardial cells (PCs) and garland cells – are thought to be functionally equivalent to the RES. Although the ability of both vertebrate scavenger endothelial cells (SECs) and \{PCs\} to sequester colloidal and soluble macromolecules has been demonstrated the molecular mechanism of this function remains to be investigated. We report here the functional characterization of Drosophila larval \{PCs\} with important insights into their cellular uptake pathways. We demonstrate the nephrocyte function of \{PCs\} in live animals. We also develop and use live-cell assays to show that \{PCs\} take up soluble macromolecules in a Dynamin-dependent manner and colloids by a Dynamin-independent pathway. We had earlier identified Drosophila rudhira (Drudh) as a specific marker for PCs. Using \{RNAi\} mediated knock-down we show that Drudh regulates macropinocytic uptake in PCs. Our study establishes important functions for Drosophila PCs, describes methods to identify and study them, provides a genetic handle for further investigation of their role in maintaining homeostasis and demonstrates that they perform key subsets of the roles played by the vertebrate RES. More »»