Dr. Kephas Mphande

Dr. Kephas Mphande holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science with a major in crop science from University of Zambia. He graduated in 2013 and worked for the government of Zambia as an extension agronomist, working with smallholder farmers for five years. He won a Fulbright scholarship in 2018 to study sustainable agriculture and plant pathology at Iowa State University under the direction of Drs. Mark Gleason and Gwyn Beattie. He worked on optimizing meso-tunnel systems for organic production and investigated the etiology and pathogenicity factors of Serratia marcescens affecting cucurbits. After finishing his Ph.D. (Feb 2024) he joined Dr. Dutta’s program where he will develop and optimize cultural practices to reduce Burkholderia spp. complex in organic onion.


  • Mphande, K., Beattie, G. A., & Gleason, M. L. (2024) First report of cucurbit yellow vine disease caused by Serratia marcescens on cucurbit crops in Iowa. Plant disease, 10.1094/PDIS-12-23-2716-PDN. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-12-23-2716-PDN
  • Mphande, K., Badilla-Arias, S., Cheng, N., González-Acuña, J.F., Nair, A., Zhang, W., & Mark L. Gleason, M.L. (2024) Evaluating pollination and weed control strategies under mesotunnel systems for organic muskmelon production in Iowa. (Accepted with revisions for publication in HortTechnology).
  • Nelson, H.M., González-Acuna, J.F., Nair, A., Cheng, N., Mphande, K., Badilla-Arias, S., Zhang, W. & Gleason, M.L. (2023) Comparison of row cover systems for pest management in organic muskmelon in Iowa. HortTechnology, 33(1), 103-110. doi: 10.21273/HORTTECH05096-22
  • Mataa, M., Mphande, K., & Munyinda, K. (2019) Interactive effects of phosphorus and water stress on plant development and yield resilience in common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). African Journal of Agricultural Research, 14(22), 949-962. doi: 10.5897/ajar2019.14069

Dr. Shatrupa Ray

Biography: Dr. Ray completed her doctoral studies at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), India in 2017 focusing on the role of bacterial endophytes in plant growth promotion and biocontrol. From 2017-2019, she served as a research associate in the Department of Agricultural Sciences, BHU where she developed innovative techniques for incorporating bacterial endophytes with biocontrol potential particularly under field conditions. In 2019, Dr. Ray embarked on a new research journey, joining Dr. Ofir Bahar’s lab (Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Israel) as a post-doctoral fellow. Here, her research focused on exploring the role of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris and Acidovorax citrulli outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) in induction of plant immunity. Additionally, she investigated the potential of lipid nanoparticles as OMV mimics for host priming, with a particular emphasis on field conditions.

Continuing her quest for advancing agricultural sciences, Dr. Ray transitioned to Dr. Doron Teper’s lab (Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Israel), in 2021 as a postdoctoral research associate. In this role, she worked on the screening of different wild tomato germplasm libraries for resistances to multiples bacterial pathogens, such as Clavibacter michiganensis and Xanthomonas perforans as well as used genetic and physiological tools to characterize how the resistance is facilitated.  

In her new position in Dr. Dutta’s lab, she will work on virulence factors in onion pathogenic Pseudomonas species, P. viridiflava and P. alliivorans.

Google scholar links for Publications-


Dr. Michelle Pena MacLellan

Research Interests: Biology and molecular aspects of plant-bacterial pathogens interaction. Management of disease development and pathogen spread. Genomics and molecular approaches to identify virulence factors in bacterial pathogens affecting diverse vegetable crops.

Biography: Dr. Pena received a M.S. in Agronomy – Genetics and Plant Breeding and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Livestock Microbiology from the São Paulo State University – Brazil. During her M.S she used barcode approach to find molecular markers (mitochondrial, chloroplastidial and/or nuclear genes) for plants discrimination. For her Ph.D. she focused on the study of citrus-Xanthomonas interactions, working on the functional analysis of hypothetical proteins from Xanthomonas citri spp. citri responsible for bacterial virulence and pathogenicity.

Dr. Pena has served as Postdoctoral Fellow at Auburn University where she worked with pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacteria investigating their diversity, mechanisms of interaction and how we can explore the evolutionary dynamic and the potential influence of these plant-associated microbes on the overall plant health.

In her new position as Postdoctoral Research Associate under Dr. Dutta’s vegetable extension program she will work on pathogenic bacterial (Xanthomonas spp., Pseudomonas spp., Burkholderia spp.) of diverse vegetable crops (onion, cucurbits, pepper, and tomato), investigating their virulence mechanisms, potential survival and seed-to-seedling transmission, integrated disease management and seed treatments to reduce bacterial survival and seedling transmission.

Google scholar links for Publications-


Dr. Navjot Kaur

Research Interests: Vegetable crop pathology, field crop pathology, fungicide resistance, population genomics, host-pathogen interactions, integrated disease management.

Biography: Dr. Kaur finished her M.S. from the South Dakota State University (SDSU) where she focused on two important pathogens of wheat (Fusarium graminearum and Bipolaris sorokiniana). For her Ph.D. at Virginia Tech, she worked on Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB), a major foliar disease of wheat in the mid-Atlantic U.S., which is caused by the necrotrophic fungus Parastagonospora nodorum under the directions of Drs Hillary Mehl and David Haak. Specifically, she quantified sensitivity of P. nodorum to quinone outside inhibitor (QoI) fungicides, monitor P. nodorum populations for the presence of a mutation conferring fungicide resistance using a pyrosequencing approach, and characterize the population structure of the pathogen in Virginia. In her new position as a post-doctoral research associate under Dr. Dutta’s vegetable extension program she will work on fungicide sensitivity, population genomics, and seed infection aspects in two Alternaria spp. and Colletotrichum spp. in brassica and cucurbit crops, respectively. She will also focus on a project that will optimize and facilitate adoption of ‘Carolina strong-back (CSB)’ rootstock in Fusarium wilt of watermelon management in Georgia.

Google Scholar link for Publications-



Dr. Vishal Singh Negi (Currently, Research scientist at the Florida department of Agriculture)

Research Interest: Host-resistance in snapbean (against whitefly-transmitted virus complex) and onion (against Pantoea spp. and Burkholderia spp.).

Biography: Dr. Vishal Singh Negi graduated with his Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering from the University of Hawaii.


  • Karki, K., Negi, V.S., Coolong, T., Petkar, A., Mandal, M.; Kousik, C., Gitaitis, R., Hajihassani, A., Dutta, B. 2022. Micronutrients affect expression of induced resistance genes in hydroponically grown watermelon against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum and Meloidogyne incognitaPathogens 11: 1136. https://doi.org/ 10.3390/pathogens11101136.
  • Negi, A. P., Singh, R., Sharma, A., & Negi, V. S. (2020). Insights into high mobility group A (HMGA) proteins from Poaceae family: An in silico approach for studying homologs. Computational Biology and Chemistry, 87, 107306.
  • Pal, A., & Negi, V. S. (2019). Plant Cenh3 Evolution Is Congruent With The Phylogeny Of Plant Species. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 8(11), 1473-1476.
  • Sharma, A. K., Negi, V. S., Negi, A., Solanki, B. S., & Harkhani, K. (2021). Functional Niche Under Abiotic Stress. In Microbial Metatranscriptomics Belowground (pp. 311-342). Springer, Singapore.
  • Negi, V. S., Pal, A., & Borthakur, D. (2021). Biochemistry of plants N–heterocyclic non-protein amino acids. Amino Acids, 1-12.
  • Negi, V. S., Bingham, J. P., Li, Q. X., & Borthakur, D. (2014). A carbon-nitrogen lyase from Leucaena leucocephala catalyzes the first step of mimosine degradation. Plant physiology, 164(2), 922-934.
  • Pellegrini L, Xue J, Larson D, Pastorino S, Jube S, Forest KH, Saad-Jube ZS, Napolitano A, Pagano I, Negi VS, Bianchi ME.., … & Yang, H. (2017). HMGB1 targeting by ethyl pyruvate suppresses malignant phenotype of human mesothelioma. Oncotarget, 8(14), 22649.
  • Negi, V. S., Bingham, J. P., Li, Q. X., & Borthakur, D. (2013). midD-encoded ‘rhizomimosinase’from Rhizobium sp. strain TAL1145 is a C–N lyase that catabolizes L-mimosine into 3-hydroxy-4-pyridone, pyruvate and ammonia. Amino acids, 44(6), 1537-1547.
  • Negi, V. S., & Borthakur, D. (2016). Heterologous expression and characterization of mimosinase from Leucaena leucocephala. In Biotechnology of Plant Secondary Metabolism (pp. 59-77).
  • Humana Press, New York, NY. Negi, V. S., Pal, A., Singh, R., & Borthakur, D. (2011). Identification of species‐specific genes from Leucaena leucocephala using interspecies suppression subtractive hybridisation. Annals of Applied Biology, 159(3), 387- 398.
  • Yafuso, J. T., Negi, V. S., Bingham, J. P., & Borthakur, D. (2014). An O-acetylserine (thiol) lyase from Leucaena leucocephala is a cysteine synthase but not a mimosine synthase. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 173(5), 1157-1168.
  • Pal, A., Singh Negi, V., Khanal, S., & Borthakur, D. (2012). Immunodetection of curcin in seed meal of Jatropha curcas using polyclonal antibody developed against curcin-L. Current Nutrition & Food Science, 8(3), 213-219.
  • Pal, A., Negi, V. S., & Borthakur, D. (2012). Efficient in vitro regeneration of Leucaena leucocephala using immature zygotic embryos as explants. Agroforestry Systems, 84(2), 131-140.
  • Yafuso, JT, Negi, VS, Bingham, J-P, Borthakur, D. An O-acetylserine (thiol) lyase from Leucaena leucocephala is a cysteine synthase but not a mimosine synthase. Applied Biochemistry & Biotechnology. 2014; 173:1157-1168.
Dr. Sunil Gangurde

Research Interests: Identification of virulence factors in fungal pathogens. Development of genome assemblies for fungal and bacterial plant pathogens. Genetic dissection of peanut agronomic and yield-related traits using high-density genetic mapping. Deploying multi-parent populations in peanut (NAM and MAGIC) to identify the genomic regions associated with late leaf spot resistance. QTL mapping, GWAS for identification of candidate genes, and development of diagnostic markers for effective genomics-assisted breeding. Genomic selection for low heritability traits. Marker-assisted back cross for pyramiding multiple traits in elite lines. Transcriptomics for identification of differentially expressed genes under disease.


  • Deng Q, Liu H, Lu Q, Gangurde SS, Du P, Li H, Li S, Liu H, Wang R, Huang L, Chen R. (2023) Silicon Application for the Modulation of Rhizosphere Soil Bacterial Community Structures and Metabolite Profiles in Peanut under Ralstonia solanacearum Inoculation. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 24(4):3268. (IF: 6.208)
  • Ahmad N, Zhang K, Ma J, Yuan M, Zhao S, Wang M, Deng L, Ren L, Gangurde SS, Pan J, Ma C. (2023) Transcriptional networks orchestrating red and pink testa color in peanut. BMC Plant Biology. 23(1):1-20. (IF: 5.260).

  •   Zhao C, Gangurde SS, Xin X and Varshney RK (2023) Editorial: Creation and utilization of crop germplasm resources. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14:1140037. (IF:6.627).

  • Gangurde SS, Xavier A, Naik YD, Jha UC, Rangari SK, Kumar R, Reddy MS, Channale S, Elango D, Mir RR, Zwart R. (2022) Two decades of association mapping: Insights on disease resistance in major crops. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13:1064059. (IF:6.627)

  • Gangurde SS, Khan AW, Variath MT, Manohar SS, Singam P, Varshney RK, Janila P, Pandey MK (2022) Whole genome sequencing-based discovery of candidate genes and diagnostic marker for seed weight in groundnut. The Plant Genome, e20265 (IF: 4.219).

  • Ghosh, S., Mahadevaiah, S.S., Gowda, S.A. Gangurde SS. et al. (2022) Genetic mapping of drought tolerance traits phenotyped under varying drought stress environments in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Euphytica, 218, 168. (IF:2.185).

  • Jia R, Zhang R, Gangurde SS, Tang C, Jiang B, Li G, Wang Z (2022) Integrated analysis of carotenoid metabolites and transcriptome identifies key genes controlling carotenoid compositions and content in sweet potato tuberous roots (Ipomoea batatas L.). Frontiers in Plant Science. 13. (IF:6.627).

  • Zhang K, Ma J, Gangurde SS, Hou L, Xia H, Li N, Pan J, Tian R, Huang H, Wang X, Zhang Y, Zhao C (2022) Targeted metabolome analysis reveals accumulation of metabolites in testa of four peanut germplasms. Frontiers in Plant Sciences, 13:992124 (IF: 6.627).

  • Liu H, Rao D, Guo T, Gangurde SS, Hong Y, Chen M, Huang Z, Jiang Y, Xu Z and Chen Z (2022) Whole Genome Sequencing and Morphological Trait-Based Evaluation of UPOV Option 2 for DUS Testing in Rice. Frontiers in Genetics. 13:945015. (IF: 4.772)

  • Patil B, Hegde V, Sridhara S, Pandian RTP, Thube SH, Palliath GK, Gangurde SS and Jha PK (2022) Multigene phylogeny and haplotype analysis reveals predominance of oomycetous fungus, Phytophthora meadii (McRae) associated with fruit rot disease of arecanut in India. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, p.103341 (IF: 4.231). 
  • Bomireddy D, Gangurde SS, Variath MT, Janila P, Manohar SS, Sharma V, et al. (2022) Discovery of major quantitative trait loci and candidate genes for fresh seed dormancy in groundnut. Agronomy. 12(2):404 (IF: 3.417). 
  • Tayade AD, Motagi BN, Jadhav MP, Nadaf AS, Koti RV, Gangurde SS, Sharma V, Varshney RK, Pandey MK, Bhat RS. (2022) Genetic mapping of tolerance to iron deficiency chlorosis in Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Euphytica 218, 46 (IF: 1.895). 
  • Parmar S, Sharma V, Bomireddy D, Soni P, Joshi P, Gangurde SS, Wang J, Bera SK, Bhat RS, Desmae H, Shirasawa K. (2022) Recent Advances in Genetics, Genomics, and Breeding for Nutritional Quality in Groundnut. Accelerated Plant Breeding, 4, 111-37. (IF: 3.861). 
  • Rajesh MK, Gangurde SS, Pandey MK, Niral V, Sudha R, Jerard BA, Kadke GN, Sabana AA, Muralikrishna KS, Samsudeen K, Karun A. (2021) Insights on Genetic Diversity, Population Structure, and Linkage Disequilibrium in Globally Diverse Coconut Accessions Using Genotyping-by-Sequencing. Omics: a journal of integrative biology. 25(12), 796-809. (IF: 3.374). 
  • Parmar SP, Deshmukh DB, Kumar R, Manohar SS, Joshi P, Sharma V, Chaudhary S, Variath MT, Gangurde SS, Bohar R, Singam P, Varshney RK, Janila P, Pandey MK (2021) Single Seed-Based High-Throughput Genotyping and Rapid Generation Advancement for Accelerated Groundnut Genetics and Breeding Research. Agronomy. 11(6):1226. (IF: 3.417)
  • Jadhav MP, Gangurde SS, Hake AA, Yadawad A, Mahadevaiah SS, Pattanashetti SK, Gowda MVC, Shirasawa K, Varshney RK, Pandey MK, Bhat RS (2021) Genotyping-by-sequencing based genetic mapping identified major and consistent genomic regions for productivity and quality traits in peanut. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 12:668020 (IF: 5.573)
  • Hong Y, Pandey MK, Lu Q, Liu H, Gangurde SS, Li S, Liu H, Li H, Liang X, Varshney RK, Chen X (2021) Genetic diversity and distinctness based on morphological and SSR markers in peanut. Agronomy Journal, 113:4648-4660 (IF:2.240). 
  • Gangurde SS, Nayak SN, Joshi P, Purohit S, Sudini HK, Chitikineni A, Hong Y, Guo B, Chen X, Pandey MK, Varshney RK (2021) Comparative transcriptome analysis identified candidate genes for late leaf spot resistance and cause of defoliation in groundnut. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(9), 4491 (IF: 5.923).  
  • Sharma M, Gangurde SS, Salgotra RK, Kumar B, Singh AK, Pandey MK (2021) Genetic mapping for grain quality and yield-attributed traits in Basmati rice using SSR-based genetic map. Journal of Biosciences. 46(3):1-4. (IF:1.826
  • Pandey MK, Gangurde SS, Sharma V, Pattanashetti SK, Naidu GK, Faye I, Hamidou F, Desmae H, Kane NA, Yuan M, Vadez V. (2021) Improved genetic map identified major QTLs for drought tolerance-and iron deficiency tolerance-related traits in groundnut. Genes. 12(1):37. (IF:4.096
  • Pujar M, Gangaprasad S, Govindaraj M, Gangurde SS, Kanatti A, Kudapa H, (2020) Genome-wide association study uncovers genomic regions associated with grain iron, zinc and protein content in pearl millet. Scientific Reports, 10, 19473. (IF: 4.379) 
  • Kulkarni SR, Balachandran SM, Ulaganathan K, Balakrishnan D, Praveen M, Prasad AH, Fiyaz RA, Senguttuvel P, Sinha P, Kale RR, Rekha G, Gangurde SS, MK Pandey, RM Sundaram (2020) Molecular mapping of QTLs for yield related traits in recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from the popular rice hybrid KRH-2 and their validation through SNP genotyping. Scientific reports 10 (1):1-21. (IF: 4.379) 
  • Gangurde SS, Wang H, Pandey MK, Shasidhar Y, Fountain JC, Chu Y, Isleib TG, Holbrook CC, Culbreath A, Ozias-Akins P, Varshney RK, Guo B. (2020) The first Nested-Association Mapping (NAM) approach for genetic dissection and identification of candidate genes for seed and pod weights in peanut. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 18, 1457-1471 (IF: 9.803
  • Soni P, Gangurde SS, Ortega-Beltran A, Kumar K, Parmar S, Sudini HK, Lei Y, Ni X, Huai D, Fountain JC, Njoroge S, Mahuku G, Radhakrishnan T, Zhuang W, Guo B, Liao B, Singam P, Pandey MK, Bandyopadhyay R, Varshney RK (2020) Functional biology and molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction for aflatoxin contamination in groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) Frontiers in Microbiology, 11:227. (IF:5.640).  
  • Shasidhar Y, Variath MT, Vishwakarma MK, Manohar SS, Gangurde SS, Sriswathi M, Sudini HK, Dobariya KL, Bera SK, Radhakrishnan T, Pandey MK, Janila P, Varshney RK (2020) Improvement of three Indian popular groundnut varieties for foliar disease resistance and high oleic acid using SSR markers and SNP array in marker-assisted backcrossing. The Crop Journal, 8(1):1-15 (IF: 4.407). 
  • Kumar R, Janila P, Vishwakarma MK, Khan AW, Manohar S,  Gangurde SS, Variath M, Shasidhar Y, Pandey MK, Varshney RK (2019) Whole genome re-sequencing-based QTL-Seq identified candidate genes and molecular markers for fresh seed dormancy in groundnut. Plant Biotechnology Journal. 18(4):992-1003. (IF: 9.803
  • Dodia SM, Joshi B, Gangurde SS, Thirumalaisamy PP, Mishra GP, Narandrakumar D, Soni P, Rathnakumar AL, Dobaria JR, Sangh C, Chitikineni A  (2019) Genotyping-by-sequencing based genetic mapping reveals large number of epistatic interactions for stem rot resistance in groundnut. Theor Appl Genet, 132(4):1001-1016 (IF:5.699).  
  • Pandey MK, Kumar R, Pandey AK, Soni P, Gangurde SS, Sudini HK, Fountain JC, Liao B, Desmae H, Okori P, Chen X. (2019) Mitigating aflatoxin contamination in groundnut through a combination of genetic resistance and post-harvest management practices. Toxins, 11(6):315 (IF:4.546). 

Dr. Mei Zhao (Currently, Faculty at the Chinese Agricultural University)

Research Interests: Biology and host pathogen interactions of bacterial pathogens affecting vegetable crops (onion, cucurbits and pepper).


  • Zhao, M., Shin, G.Y., Stice, S., Coutinho, T., Gitaitis, R., Kvitko, B., and Dutta, B.  2022.  A novel biosynthetic gene cluster across the Pantoea species complex is important for pathogenicity in onion.  Mol. Plant Microbe Interact. (in press)
  • Zhao, M., Tyson, C., Gitaitis, R.,  Kvitko, B., and  Dutta, B. 2022. Rouxiella badensis, a new bacterial pathogen of onion causing bulb rot. Frontiers in Microbiology 13:1054813.
  • Zhao, M., Tyson, C., Chen, H.C., Paudel, S., Gitaitis, R., Kvitko, B., and Dutta, B. 2021. Pseudomonas allivorans sp. nov., a plant-pathogenic bacterium isolated from onion leaf in Georgia, USA. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 45 (1):126278. doi: 10.1016/j.syapm.2021.12627.
  • Zhao, M., Koirala, S., Chen, H.C., Gitaitis, R., Kvitko, B., and Dutta. B. 2021. Pseudomonas capsici sp. nov., a plant-pathogenic bacterium isolated from pepper leaf in Georgia, USA. International Journal of Systematics and Evolutionary Microbiology DOI 10.1099/ijsem.0.004971.
  • Zhao, M., Kvitko, B.H., Gitaitis, R.D., and Dutta, B. 2021. Bacterial streak and bulb rot of onion. Plant Health Instructor  DOI: 10.1094/PHI-E​​-2021-0421-01
  • Jiménez-Guerrero, I., Pérez‐Montaño, F., Da Silva, G. M., Wagner, N., Shkedy, D., Zhao, M., … & Burdman, S. 2019. Show me your secret (ed) weapons: a multifaceted approach reveals a wide arsenal of type III‐secreted effectors in the cucurbit pathogenic bacterium Acidovorax citrulli and novel effectors in the Acidovorax genus. Molecular Plant Pathology.
  • Yang, R., Santos-Garcia, D., Pérez Montaño, F., da Silva, G.M., Zhao, M.,  … & Burdman, S. 2019. Complete assembly of the genome of an Acidovorax citrulli strain reveals a naturally occurring plasmid in this species. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10, 1400.
  • Yang, Y. W., Zhao, M., Zhang, L. Q., Qiao, P., Bai, X., Zhang, X. X., … & Zhao, T. 2019. Development of a multiplex PCR assay based on the pilA gene sequences to detect different types of Acidovorax citrulli. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 158, 93-98.
  • Zhao, M., Walcott, R. R. 2018. Acidovorax citrulli: History, Epidemiology and Management of Bacterial Fruit Blotch of Cucurbits. Pages 39 – 57 in: Plant-Pathogenic Acidovorax Species. APS Press, St. Paul, MN.
  • Zhang, X., Zhao, M., Yan, J., Yang, L., Yang, Y., Guan, W., & Zhao, T. 2018. Involvement of hrpX and hrpG in the Virulence of Acidovorax citrulli Strain Aac5, Causal Agent of Bacterial Fruit Blotch in Cucurbits. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9, 507.
  • Yan, L., Hu, B., Chen, G., Zhao, M., & Walcott, R. R. (2017). Further Evidence of Cucurbit Host Specificity among Acidovorax citrulli Groups Based on a Detached Melon Fruit Pathogenicity Assay. Phytopathology, 107(11), 1305-1311.

Dr. Gaurav Agarwal  (Currently, Research Scientist, Michigan State University, East Lansing)

Research Interests: Application of genomics/molecular approaches to identify virulence factors in bacterial pathogens affecting vegetable crops especially onion using high throughput next generation sequencing (NGS) data and computational tools.


  • Agarwal, G.,  Gitaitis, R.D., and Dutta, B. 2021. Pan-genome of novel Pantoea stewartii subsp. indologenes reveals genes involved in onion pathogenicity and evidence of lateral gene transfer. Microrganisms (in press)
  • Agarwal, G., Choudhary, D., Stice, S.P., Myers, B.K., Gitaitis, R.D., Venter, S.N., Kvitko, B.H., and Dutta, B. 2021. Pan-genome-wide analysis of Pantoea ananatis identified genes linked to pathogenicity in onion. Frontiers in Microbiology (in press)
  • Agarwal, G., Kavalappara, S.R., Gautam, S., Silva, A., Simmons, A., Srinivasan, R., and Dutta, B. 2021. Field screen and genotyping of Phaseolus vulgaris against two begomoviruses in Georgia, USA. Insects 12:49-69. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12010049.
  • Agarwal, G., Stumpf, S., Kvitko, B., and Dutta, B. 2019. Center rot of onion. Plant Health Instructor DOI:10.1094/PHI-I-2019-0603-01​
  • Agarwal G, Clevenger J, Kale SM, Pandey MK, Wang H, Choudhary D, Culbreath AK, Liu X, Holbrook C, Jackson SA, Varshney RK, Guo B (2019) The high-density bin map facilitates QTL mapping of TSWV disease resistance trait in peanut using whole genome re-sequencing. Plant Biotechnol J. 2018 Nov; 16(11): 1954–1967.
  • Dutta B, Gitaitis R, Agarwal G, Coutinho T, Langston D (2018) Pseudomonas coronafaciens sp. nov., a new phytobacterial species diverse from Pseudomonas syringae. PLoS One 13(12): e0208271 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.020827.
  • Agarwal G, Clevenger J, Pandey MK, Wang H, Shasidhar Y, Chu Ye, Fountain JC, Choudhary D, Culbreath AK, Liu X, Huang G, Deshmukh R, Holbrook CC, Bertioli DJ, Ozias-Akins P, Jackson SA, Varshney RK, Guo B (2018) The first whole-genome re-sequencing based high-density genetic map to facilitate candidate gene discovery for resistance to leaf spots and Tomato spotted wilt virus in peanut. Plant Biotechnology Journal doi: 10.1111/pbi.12930. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/pbi.12930
  • Choudhary D, Agarwal G, Wang H, Pandey M, Varshney RK, Guo B (2018) Recent advancements in molecular markers and genomic resources for disease resistance in peanut. (Review article) Legume Research. https://www.arccjournals.com/uploads/Final-article-attachemnt-with-doi-LR-409.pdf
  • Zhao C, Qiu J, Agarwal G, Wang J, Ren X, Xia H, Pandey MK, Guo B, Bertioli DJ, Varshney RK, Wang X (2017) Genome-Wide Identification of Microsatellite Markers from Arachis duranensis and A. ipaënsis and their Application in Cultivated Peanut (A. hypogaea). Frontiers in Plant Science 8:1209; doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01209 https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2017.0120

Dr. Kate Cassity-Duffey (Currently, Assistant Professor in Organic Agriculture, UGA, Athens)

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Research interest: Impact of production practices on disease development and pathogen spread, soil microbiology, and soil health.

Dr. Cassity-Duffy received a Ph.D. in Soil Science and a B.S. in Horticulture from the University of Georgia. Dr. Cassity-Duffy is interested in research with a systems approach that increases sustainable disease management for both organic and conventional vegetable growers. She is particularly excited about exploring the complex mechanisms behind plant health and growth but aims to create usable tools and information for issues facing Georgia growers. She is looking forward to working to better understand how management practices such as irrigation, fertility, and weed pressure affect disease and yield in vegetable systems particularly brassicas and onion.


  • Cassity-Duffey, K., M. Cabrera, D. Franklin, J. Gaskin, D. Kissel, and U. Saha. 2020. Nitrogen mineralization from organic materials and fertilizers: predicting N release. Science Society of America Journal. 84:522-533.
  • Cassity-Duffey, K., M. Cabrera, D. Franklin, J. Gaskin, and D. Kissel. 2020. Effect of soil texture on nitrogen mineralization from organic fertilizers. Submitted to the Soil Science Society of America Journal. 84:534-542.
  • Cassity-Duffey, K., Cabrera, M.L., Habetalassie, M., S. Hassan, J. Rema, and B. Fairchild. 2020. Stacking broiler litter can reduce natural hormones in the litter. Submitted to Poultry Science Journal. 99:1379-1386.
  • Cabrera, M.L., D.E. Kissel, S. Hassan, J.A. Rema, and K.Cassity-Duffey. 2018. Litter type and number of flock affect sex hormones in broiler litter. Journal of Environmental Quality. 47:156-161
  • Cassity-Duffey, K., A, Moore, M. Satterwhite, and A. Leytem. 2017. Effect of temperature on nitrogen mineralization in calcareous soils receiving applications of dairy manure. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 82: 235-242.

Dr. Kiran Gadhave (Currently, Assistant Professor of Entomology, Texas A&M, AgriLife Research)

Biography: Dr. Kiran Gadhave received a Ph.D. in Biology (Entomology/Microbial Ecology) from the University of London in 2015, a Master’s in Plant Breeding & Genetics from Cornell University in 2010, and an M.S. in Entomology from TNAU, Coimbatore in 2009. As a postdoctoral researcher at University of Georgia (Tifton, GA), Kiran studied vector virus interactions in economically important crops in southeastern US. Dr. Kiran Gadhave has broad interests in entomology, plant virology, and molecular biology and has a multidisciplinary research background in plant-microbe and vector-virus interactions research. His current research involves studying the transmission biology of wheat curl mite transmitted virus diseases of wheat thrips transmitted tomato spotted wilt virus in tomato and pepper. The overarching goal of his program at Texas A&M is to develop sustainable pest and disease management strategies.


Gautam, S., Mugerwa, H., Sudarraj, S., Gadhave, K., Murphy, J., Dutta, B., and Srinivasan, R. 2020. Specific and spillover effects on vectors following infection of two RNA viruses in pepper plants. Insects 11: 602-617. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32899551/

Gautam, S., Gadhave, K, Buck, J. W., Dutta, B., Coolong, T., Adkins, S., and Srinivasan, R. 2020The effects of mixed-viral infections in host plants and in the vector (whitefly) on vector preference and fitness and implications for epidemics. Virus research https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168170219307555

Gadhave, K, Gautam, S., Dutta, B., Coolong, T., Adkins, S., and Srinivasan, R. 2020Low frequency non-feeding transmission of cucurbit leaf crumple virus, a bipartite begomovirus, in whitefly Bemisia tabaci Gennadius suggests limited impact on epidemics. Phytopathology 110: 1235-1241.

Gadhave, K, Dutta, B., Coolong, T., and Srinivasan, R. 2019A non-persistent aphid-transmitted Potyvirus differentially alters the vector and non-vector biology through host plant quality manipulation. Nature Scientific Reports 9:2503. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-39256-5

Barman, A., Gadhave, K, Dutta, B., and Srinivasan, R. 2017Plasticity in host utilization by two host-associated lineages of Aphis gossypii Bulletin Entomological Research.

Gadhave, K, Dutta, B., Coolong, T., Adkins, S., and Srinivasan, R. 2017First Report of a Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus in cucurbits in Georgia, United States. Plant Health Progress. 19:9-10. https://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/full/10.1094/PHP-03-17-0016-BR