Anu Singh-Cundy , PhD

Associate Professor · She/her/hers


I grew up in northern India, and spent much of my youth birding and botanizing in the Himalayas. As an undergraduate at Delhi University, I got interested in cell and molecular biology. At Western, I study cell-cell interactions in plants, with a focus on a gene family called HD-AGPs. My students and I have shown that HD-AGPs are multi-functional extracellular proteins that evolve rapidly and have a role to play in breeding barriers between sister species.

Research Interests

Plant cell biology, especially pollen-pistil interactions; regulation of pollen tube growth; post-pollination gene expression; and, biochemistry of the plant extracellular matrix and its remodeling during vegetative and reproductive development.

Educational & Professional Experience


Penn State, University Park           1988-1993, Post-doctoral associate, Molecular and Cell Biology

Cornell University, Ithaca               1988, Ph.D., Plant biology

Delhi University, Delhi                   1980, B.Sc., M.Sc.



2003-present Associate Professor, Biology Department, Western Washington University

1996-2003     Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Western Washington University

1994-1996     Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology Program, Department of Biology, Utah State University

1988-1992     Post-doctoral associate with Prof. Teh-hui Kao, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Penn State

1982-1988     Research Assistant/Teaching Assistant/McKnight Foundation Fellow, Cornell University; Ph.D. Advisor:  Prof. Dominick J. Paolillo, Jr.

Recent Publications

Publications (WWU graduate students: bold font; WWU undergraduates: italics):

Callaway, TD and Singh-Cundy, A. 2019.  HD-AGPs as Speciation Genes: Positive selection in a proline-rich domain in non-hybridizing species of Petunia, Solanum, and Nicotiana. Plants 8:211.

Twomey, CM, Brooks, JK, Corey, JM,  and Singh-Cundy, A. 2013. Characterization of PhPRP1, a histidine domain arabinogalactan protein from Petunia hybrida pistils. J Plant Physiol 170:1384-1388.

Holden, J, Marty, JA and Singh-Cundy, A.  2003.  Pollination-induced ethylene promotes the early phase of pollen tube growth in Petunia inflata.  J Plant Physiol 160: 261-269

Lubliner, N and Singh-Cundy, A.  2003. Characterization of the pollen growth transition (PGT) in self-incompatible Petunia inflata.  Plant Reprod 15: 243-253

Karunanadaa, B, Singh, A and Kao, TH  1994.  Characterization of a predominantly pistil-expressed gene encoding a γ-thionin-like protein of Petunia inflata.  Plant Mol Biol. 26:  459-464

Lee, HS, Singh, A and Kao, TH  1992.  RNase X2, a pistil-specific ribonuclease from Petunia inflata, shares sequence similarity with solanaceous S-proteins.  Plant Mol. Biol.  20:  1131-1141

Singh, A and Kao, TH  1992.  Gametophytic self-incompatibility systems:  molecular, cellular and evolutionary aspects.  Int. Rev. Cytol.  140:  449-483

Singh, A, Evensen, KB and Kao, TH  1992.  Ethylene production following compatible and incompatible pollinations in Petunia inflata.  Plant Physiol.  99:  61-68

Singh, A, Ai, Y and Kao, TH  1991.  Characterization of ribonuclease activity of three S-allele-associated proteins of Petunia inflata.  Plant Physiol.  96:  38-45

Ai, Y, Singh, A, Coleman, CE, Ioerger, TR, Kheyr-Pour, A and Kao, TH  1990.  Self-incompatibility in Petunia inflata:  isolation and characterization of cDNAs encoding three S-allele-associated proteins.  Plant Reprod.  3:  130-138