Dr. Sumit Singh Dagar

Dr. Sumit Singh Dagar
PhD (Scientist D)

Our research group is interested in studying diversity, ecology and taxonomy of various anaerobic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, methanogens) from different habitats for their potential exploitation in various fields like ligno-cellulose degradation, bio-fuel production, and other industrial applications.
Email: ssdagar@aripune.org, dagarsumit@gmail.com

Education & Scientific Career:

  • Visiting Academic Researcher (2012) at IBERS, Aberystwyth University, Wales (UK)
  • Research Associate (2011-2012) at National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal (India)
  • PhD in Dairy Microbiology (2011) from National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal (India)
  • MSc in Microbiology (2007) from Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra (India)
  • BSc in Life Science (2005) from Hindu College, Sonepat (India)


  • Research fellowship awarded by ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), India
  • Awarded “The Stapledon Memorial Trust” Fellowship at IBERS, Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK
  • Awarded “FEMS Young Scientist Meeting Grant (YSMG)” to assist in attending FEMS meeting 2012-09

Culture and Preservation of Anaerobic Microbes:

  • Anaerobic microbes (viz. bacteria, fungi and methanogens) form one of most important and underexplored group that have several agriculture and environmental implications. We use conventional, molecular biology and bioinformatics tools to isolate, characterize and identify these microbes. In addition, we screen them for their efficient enzymatic system for industrial applications. We are also interested in maintaining and supplying anaerobic cultures to interested research institutions and universities.

Biological pre-treatment of lignocellulosic biomass:

  • In general, plant biomass is composed of recalcitrant lignocellulose which is otherwise indigestible for the animals. The reticulo-rumen micro-organisms that has co-evolved with the ruminants, utilizes special enzymes and enzyme complexes to degrade these polysaccharides into easily digestible sugars and subsequently ferment them. These enzymes could be harnessed for their potential applications in pre-treatment of fibers, biofuel and bioenergy productions. We use enzymatic assay for detection of such enzymes.

Interactions between microbial communities involved in anaerobic digestion:

  • Anaerobic digestion is a process of breaking-down of organic material, by a complex bionetwork of different microbial groups, in the absence of oxygen. These microbial groups include hydrolytic, acidogenic, acetogenic bacteria, and methanogenic archaea. This coordinated and complex metabolic interaction between different microbial groups enables efficient digestion. The research in our lab is involved in understanding the composition of this bionetwork and its genetic structure exploiting both conventional and genomic approaches.

Funding & Collaborators:

  • Research funding is provided by Agharkar Research Institute for in-house projects (MIC 32 and MIC 10) on “Mining the anoxic ecosystems for efficient fibrolytic microbes” and “Culture Collection”

Important Links

Selected Publications (2011 Onwards)

1. Dagar SS, Singh N, Goel N, Kumar S and Puniya AK (2014) Role of anaerobic fungi in wheat straw degradation and effects of plant feed additives on rumen fermentation parameters in vitro. Beneficial Microbes. 12: 1-8

2. Gruninger RJ, Puniya AK, Callaghan TM, Edwards JE, Youssef N, Dagar SS et al. (2014) Anaerobic fungi (phylum Neocallimastigomycota): advances in understanding their taxonomy, life cycle, ecology, role and biotechnological potential. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 90: 1–17. DOI:10.1111/1574-6941.12383.

3. Kumar S, Choudhury PK, Carro MD, Griffith GW, Dagar SS, et al. (2014) New aspects and strategies for methane mitigation from ruminants. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 98: 31-44.

4. Sirohi SK, Choudhury PK, Dagar SS, Puniya AK and Singh D (2013) Isolation, characterization and fibre degradation potential of anaerobic rumen fungi from cattle. Annals of Microbiology. 63:1187-1194

5. Kumar S, Dagar SS and Puniya AK (2013) Changes in methane emission, rumen fermentation and microbial groups in response to diet and microbial interactions. Research in Veterinary Science. 94:263-268

6. Sirohi SK, Singh N, Dagar SS, and Puniya AK (2012) Molecular tools for deciphering microbial community structure and diversity in rumen ecosystem. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 95:1135-54

7. Dagar SS, Kumar S, Mudgil P, Singh R and Puniya AK (2011) D1/D2 domain of large subunit rDNA for differentiation of Orpinomyces spp. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 77: 6722-6725

8. Kumar S, Dagar SS and Puniya AK (2011) Isolation and characterization of methanogens from rumen of Murrah buffalo. Annals of Microbiology. 62:345-350