Senior Scientist
Enzymology, Plant-microbe interactions, Functional genomics
+91-1894-233339 Ext. 356; +91-9418830880
PhD (CSIR-IHBT, Palampur) and postdoc (UW-Madison, Madison, USA, and McGill University, Canada)

My research interests and long term goals are: (1) to identify enzymes with novel functions and exploit them in healthcare and agriculture industry and (2) to understand the mechanisms of genetic resistance in crops against bacterial and fungal pathogens at the molecular and biochemical levels and exploit this information for crop improvement.


1. "Ramanujan Fellowship” by SCIENCE & ENGINEERING RESEARCH BOARD, DST, GOI in 2017.

2. "Shimamoto Travel Award" to attend the IS-MPMI XVII Congress, July 17-21, 2016 in Portland, Oregon, USA.

3. "Start Up Research Grant (Young Scientist)" by SCIENCE & ENGINEERING RESEARCH BOARD, DST, GOI in 2015. 

4. "Travel Grant to attend 20th Penn State Plant Biology Symposium" on May 13-16, 2015 University Park, Pennsylvania, USA. 

5. "Protein Science Young Investigator Travel Grant" from The Protein Society, USA to attend “The Protein Symposium-2013” held at Boston, MA, USA.

6. "Travel grant" from Department of Science and Technology (DST) and perdeim from Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Govt. of India to attend 13th International Botanical Congress at Melbourne, Australia in 2011.

7. Awarded with "CSIR-Senior Research Fellowship” in 2008. 

8. Qualified "CSIR/UGC Test for lectureship (NET)" in Dec 2004 in Life Sciences awarded by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Govt. of India.

9. Qualified "Graduate aptitude test for engineering (GATE)" with 94.82 percentile in 2004 conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science and seven Indian Institutes of Technology.

Scientific Editorial Roles:

Review Editor on the Editorial Board of Computational Genomics (speciality section of Frontiers in Genetics, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology and Frontiers in Plant Science).

Reviewer for several peer reviewed jounrals (

Academic Roles:

1. Mentor for U.S. Bose Scholar Program(

2. Assistant Professor (Biological Sciences) in Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR).

Science Networking:

1. One of the founder members of SCI-ROI (Science and Research Opportunities in India:


20. Kumar P., Kumar P., Sharma, D., Verma, S.K., Halterman, D., Kumar, A.* (2021). Genome-wide identification and expression profiling of basic Leucine Zipper transcription factors following abiotic stresses in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). PLoS One 10.1371/journal.pone.0247864 (Accepted for publication). *Corresponding author (IF: 2.740)

19. Munaiz, E.D., Martinez, S., Kumar, A., Caicedo, M., Ordas, B. (2020). The Senescence (Stay-Green): an Important Trait to Exploit Crop Residuals for Bioenergy. Energies, 13: 790. (IF: 2.709)

18. Karre, S., Kumar, A., Yogendra, K.N., Kage, U., Kushalappa, A.C., Charron, JB. (2019). HvWRKY23 regulates flavonoid glycoside and hydroxycinnamic acid amide biosynthetic genes in barley to combat Fusarium head blight. Plant Molecular Biology, 100: 591–605. (IF: 3.302)

17. Baghel, M., Nagraja, A., Srivastav, M., Meena, N.K., Kumar, M.S, Kumar, A., Sharma, R.R. (2019). Pleiotropic influences of brassinosteroids on fruit crops- a review. Plant Growth Regulation, 87: 375–388. (IF: 2.388)

16. Kumar, A., Mosa, K., Ji, L., Kage, U., Madalageri, D., Dhokane, D.,Rana, N.P. (2017). Metabolomics assisted biotechnological interventions for developing plant-based functional foods and nutraceuticals. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 58(11):1791-1807. *Corresponding author. (IF: 7.862)

15. Kumar, A., Jansky, S., Halterman, D. (2017). Potato stem cuttings to study Verticillium dahliae infection for resistance breeding and -omics studies. American Journal of Potato Research, 94: 270-274. (IF: 0.858)

14. Karre, S., Kumar, A., Dhokane, D., Kushalappa, A.C. (2016). Metabolo-transcriptome profiling of barley reveals induction of a novel chitin elicitor receptor kinase gene (HvCERK1) conferring resistance against Fusarium graminearum. Plant Molecular Biology, 93: 247-267. (IF: 3.302)

13. Kumar, A., Sharma, M., Bhardwaj, P.K., Singh, D., Kumar, S. (2016). Copper, zinc superoxide dismutase from Caragana jubata: a thermostable enzyme that functions under a broad pH and temperature window. Process Biochemistry, 51: 1434-1444. (IF: 2.592)

12. Kumar, A., Yogendra, K.N., Karre, S., Kushalappa, A.C., Dion, Y., Choo, T.M. (2016). WAX INDUCER1 (HvWIN1) transcription factor regulates free fatty acid biosynthetic genes to reinforce cuticle to resist Fusarium head blight in barley spikelets. Journal of Experimental Botany, 67: 4127-39. (IF: 5.908)

11. Yogendra, K.N., Kumar, A., Sarkar, K., Li, Y., Pushpa, D., Mosa, K., Duggavathi, R., Kushalappa, A.C. (2015). Transcription factor StWRKY1 regulates phenylpropanoid metabolites in potato to resist late blight. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66: 7377-7389. (IF: 5.908)

10. Kumar, A., Karre, S., Dhokane, D., Kage, U., Hukkeri, S., Kushalappa, A.C. (2015). Real-time quantitative PCR based method for the quantification of fungal biomass to discriminate quantitative resistance in barley and wheat to fusarium head blight. Journal of Cereal Science, 64: 16-22. (IF: 2.938)

9. Kage, U., Kumar, A., Dhokane, D., Karre, S., Kushalappa, A.C. (2015). Functional molecular markers in crop improvement. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 36: 917-930. (IF: 8.108)

8. Kumar, A., Randhawa, V., Acharya, V., Singh, K., and Kumar, S. (2015). Amino acids flanking the central core of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase are important in imparting activity after autoclaving. Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics, 34: 475-485. (IF: 3.549)

7. Kumar, A., Kaachra, A., Bhardwaj, S., Kumar, S. (2014). Copper, zinc superoxide dismutase of Curcuma aromatica is a kinetically stable protein. Process Biochemistry, 49: 1288-1296. (IF: 2.592)

6. Kumar, A*., Kage, U., Mosa, K., Dhokane, D. (2014). Metabolomics: a novel tool to bridge phenome to genome under changing climate to ensure food security. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, 3: e154. DOI: 10.4172/2167-0412.1000e154. (Editorial; *Corresponding author).

5. Kumar, A., Dutt. S., Bagler, G., Ahuja, P.S., and Kumar, S. (2012). Engineering a thermo-stable superoxide dismutase functional at sub-zero to >50 °C, which also tolerates autoclaving. Scientific Reports, 2: 387; DOI, 10.1038/srep00387. (IF: 3.998)

4. Bafana, A., Dutt. S., Kumar, A., Kumar, S., and Ahuja, P.S. (2011). The basic and applied aspects of superoxide dismutase. Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic, 68:129-138. (IF: 2.62)

3. Ghawana, S., Paul, A., Kumar, H., Kumar, A., Singh, H., Bhardwaj, P.K.,Rani, A., Singh, K., Raizada, J., Singh, R.S., Ahuja, P.S., and Kumar., S. (2011). An RNA isolation system free of Guanidinium salts for isolation of RNA from plant tissues rich in secondary metabolites. BMC Research Notes, 4:85. 

2. Ganguli, A., Bansal, S., Malik, N., Rana, A. K., and Ghosh, M. (2004). Microbiological Quality and Safety of Two Popularly Consumed Raw, Street Vended Foods in India. Food Science and Biotechnology, 13: 417-420. (IF: 1.513)

1. Ghosh, M, Rana, A.K., Bansal, S, and Ganguli, A. (2005). Predictive Microbiology: An Emerging Tool for Assessing Food Safety and Quality. Bioinformatics India, 3: 95-99.


Book Chapters:

1. Singh, R., Joshi, R., Munaiz, E., Kumar, S., Kumar, A.* (2021). Application of metabolomics to food systems. In: Foodomics: Omic Strategies and Applications in Food Science. Chapter 17, pp 416-442. Ed. J. Barros-Velazquez, Royal Society of Chemistry, London, UK. (Invited Chapter). *Corresponding author


National/international participations/oral talks

1. Served as a Panel member for an international webinar on “Genomic Selection in Crop Plants” organized by Plantgenomia on 24th October 2020.

2. Served as a Panel member of “Dr. Gurdev Singh Khush Webinar on Rice Genomics" on August 22, 2020. This webinar was organized by the Department of Biotechnology, PU, Chandigarh, to celebrate the birthday of renowned Scientist Dr. Gurdev Singh Khush.

3. Delivered a talk on “Dissection of resistance mechanisms in cereal and horticultural crops against fungal pathogens” in a one-day virtual symposium on “Application of Next-Generation Data Analysis in Omics organized by School of Agricultural Biotechnology, PAU, Ludhiana on 26.10.2020. (Keynote speaker).

4. "Dissecting disease resistance mechanisms in potato for verticillium wilt” at Vegetable Science department of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana on 07-03-2017. (Invited speaker).

5. "Molecular determinants of resistance in plants against fungal diseases at CAFT training, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, PAU, Ludhiana in Aug. 2019 (Invited Speaker).

6. Understanding the molecular determinants of resistance to Verticillium dahliae: from trials and tribulations to successes and prospects. A special seminar at the Department of Horticulture, UW-Madison, WI, USA. (Oral talk).

7. Molecular Determinants of Resistance to Verticillium dahliae. From 23-27, July 2017 at Fargo, North Dakota, USA. (Oral talk).

8. Verticillium wilt studies in potato: genotyping and phenotyping. NCCC215-2016 Potato Breeding and Genetics Technical Committee Meeting at Holiday Inn Expressat O’Hare, Chicago, Illinois from December 5-6, 2016. (Oral talk).

9. Evaluation of resistance in potato genotypes against race 1 and race 2 strains of Verticillium dahlia. From: July 31August 4th, 2016 at100th Annual Meeting of The Potato Association of AmericaatGrand Rapids, Michigan, USA (Oral talk).

10.A unified forward and reverse genetics approach to dissect potato-disease resistance mechanisms against Verticillium dahliae. Oralpresentation at ABCDS seminar series organized by USDA vegetable crop research unit at Department of Horticulture, UW, Madison, USA on 30th March 2016 (Oral talk).

11.Understanding the molecular mechanisms of verticillium wilt in potato. NCCC215 Potato Breeding and Genetics Technical Committee Meeting Holiday Inn Expressat O’Hare, Chicago, Illinois from December 7-8, 2015 (Oral talk).


Poster presentations:

1. Kumar, A., Jansky, S., Endelman, J., Halterman, D. QTL mapping and candidate gene discovery in potato for resistance to the Verticillium wilt pathogen Verticillium dahliae. From: August 05-09, 2017 at San Antonio, Texas, USA.

2. Kumar, A., Jansky, S., Halterman, D. Identification of genetic determinantsof Verticillium wilt resistance in potato. From: January 13-19, 2017 at Plant & Animal Genomics XXIV-2016, San Diego, USA.

3. Ames, M., Rouse, D.,Kumar,A., and Jansky, S. Data integration and knowledge management to facilitate research on plant-pathogen interactions: case study Solanum tuberosum – Verticillium wilt.From: January 13-19, 2017 at Plant & Animal Genomics XXIV-2016, San Diego, USA. (Poster presentation).

4. Karre, S., Dhokane, D., Kumar, A., Kushalappa, A.C. Barley chitin elicitor receptor kinase (HvCERK1) confers resistance against Fusarium graminearum: 8th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight, At Hotel Delta Ottawa, Canada from Nov. 20-22, 2016.

5. Kumar, A., Halterman, D., Rouse, D., Jansky, S. Segregation of unknown signaling components in potato complicates marker-assisted selection for Ve-mediated Verticillium resistance. From: July 17–21, 2016 at IS-MPMI XVII Congress, Portland, Oregon, USA. 

6. Kumar, A., Kushalappa, A.C. WIN1 transcription channelizes free fatty acids to enforce cuticle in barley spikelets to confer fusarium head blight resistance. From: January 9-13, 2016 at Plant & Animal Genomics XXIV-2016, San Diego, USA.

7. Kumar, A., Kushalappa, A.C. Metabolo-genomics revealed the involvement of fatty acids in cuticle biosynthesis in barley against fusarium head blight. At 20th Penn State Plant Biology Symposium on May 13-16, 2015 University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.

8. Kumar, A., Bhardwaj, P.K., Dutt, S., Kumar, S., Ahuja, P.S.Autoclavable and low temperature operative superoxide dismutase. Poster presented in the XVΙΙΙth International Botanical Congress held at Melbourne, Australia from 23rd -30th July, 2011.

1. Kumar, A., Dutt, S., Ahuja, P.S., and Kumar, S. An autoclave stable recombinant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase with enhanced thermoflexibility (NF0050/2011). Filed in India (Application no. 1031del 2011 dated 11.4.2011).

2. Bhardwaj, P.K., Kumar, A., Kishore, A., Ghawana, S., Rani, A., Singh, K., Singh, H., Singh, R.S., Kumar, H., Sood, P., Dutt, S., Kumar, S., and Ahuja, P.S. Method of cloning stable stress tolerant superoxide dismutase using degenerate primers. US Patent No. US 9212350 B2 (2015/12/15). (Granted).

3. Bhardwaj, P.K., Kumar, A., Kishore, A., Ghawana, S., Rani, A., Singh, K., Singh, H., Singh, R.S., Kumar, H., Sood, P., Dutt, S., Kumar, S., and Ahuja, P.S. Method of cloning stable stress tolerant superoxide dismutase using degenerate primers. European patent Publication no. EP2268661 (Other details: Application no. EP20090727645; PCT no. A2909727645.5; publication date: January 5, 2011).

Technology Transfer: An engineered variant of Cu,Zn SOD with a very unique property of autoclave-stability was developed, patented and the technology for production of enzyme was licensed to M/s PHYTO BIOTECHTM, Kolkata; (MoU signed on 28th Feb, 2014).

Ph.D. students:

Ashish Dhiman (CSIR/UGC-JRF)

Mahima Chauhan (CSIR/UGC-JRF)

Pratibha Chaudhary (CSIR/UGC-JRF)

Senior Technical Officer:

Dr. Anish Kaachra

Laboratory Assistant:

Mr. Kuldeep Pathania


Dr. Pankaj Kumar (former postdoc); presently working as Assistant Professor at YSP UHF, Nauni, Solan.

*Highly motivated candidates aspiring for a Ph.D. degree or postdoctoral training having independent fellowships are welcome to join my lab.

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