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TIGR2ESS: Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies

A Global Challenges Research Fund project
 

Biography

I am Sivasakthi K, from Pondicherry, India. Before joining my Ph.D., I worked as a Junior Research Fellow in Plant Breeding & Genetics, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru College of Agriculture and Research Institute, Puducherry (2012). I did my Ph.D. on 'Contribution of Water Saving Traits for Drought Adaptation in Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) through Physiological, Molecular and Genetic Approaches'. During my Ph.D. I worked extensively on phenotyping of large set of chickpea mapping populations and association panel using highly automated high throughput crop phenotyping platform (LeasyScan). Prior to my Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) position in the TIGR2ESS Project, I worked as a Research Fellow at Crop Physiology Laboratory in ICRISAT (2017) and mainly focused on 'Precision phenotyping for drought adaptive and agronomic traits in Stay-green chickpea'. I received two awards, the Best Research Scholar Award from Indian Academic Researchers Association (IARA) and the Doreen Margaret Mashler Team Award from Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) for outstanding contribution in plant research. In addition, I have qualified Agricultural Research Service (ARS) - National Eligibility Test (NET) in Agricultural Biotechnology conducted by Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB).

Qualifications
2013-2018: PhD Biotechnology, ICRISAT & Bharathidasan University, India.
2009-2011: MSc Biotechnology (Distinction), Bharathidasan University, India.
2006-2009: BSc Biotechnology (Frist Class), Pondicherry University, India.
 

Research

I am a crop physiologist, mainly focusing on the dissection of drought adaptive traits in large sorghum and pearl millet germplasm collections using high throughput crop phenotyping facilities (LeasyScan and Lysimeter).

i) I am working on Flagship Program (FP) 2 (Crop Sciences - Water Use and Photosynthesis) and FP2a majorly on focus improving Water Use and Yield Stability in Pearl Millet and Sorghum.a) Assessment of sorghum minicore collection for water-use and crop production related traits: Here we used 242 sorghum minicore entries along with 30 cultivars as checks and the worked was carried out using a semi-field phenotyping platform 'Lysimeters'. Two treatments – well-irrigated and water stressed were evaluated in two consecutive post-rainy trails during 2017 and 2018. Traits phenotyped include water extraction at different plant growth stages, phenology, transpiration efficiency, biomass and grain yield, etc.b) Assessment of pearl millet diversity panel for water-use and crop production related traits: Here we used 345 pearl millet inbred lines along with 20 cultivars as checks and the worked was carried out using a semi-field phenotyping platform 'Lysimeters'. Two treatments – well-irrigated and water stressed were evaluated in rainy (2019) and summer seasons (2020). Traits phenotyped include water extraction at different plant growth stages, phenology, tiller numbers, transpiration efficiency, biomass and grain yield, etc.

The phenotyping data generated from both sorghum and pearl millet crops were used for genome wide association studies to identify the loci associated with water-use and crop production traits.

ii) In collaboration with FP2a & FP3, I work on introducing well-characterized, high-yielding, climate-smart varieties of sorghum and pearl millet in farmers fields through farmer-participatory varietal selection approach. Our work is to identify and climate-smart and nutrient dense pearl millet and sorghum varieties for local tribal community in Adilabad village, Telangana, India. Whilst the focus of this project will be addressing food security and poverty within the Adilabad districts, it will also provide an opportunity to strengthen the relationships between researchers at ICRISAT and NIAB, and provide an intellectual leadership opportunity for a Indian based, early-career PDRA.

Publications

Key publications: 
  • Google Scholar link: https://scholar.google.co.in/citations?hl=en&user=4zf5jJAAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate
  • Kaliamoorthy Sivasakthi, Murugesan Tharanya, Jana Kholová*, Sunita Choudhary, Simadri Bhagaban, D. Gokul Krishna, Cherukupally Amrutha Kumar, Rekha Baddam, Vincent Vadez, Rakesh Kumar Srivastava, Rajeev Gupta, Anthony Whitbread. Exploring potential of pearl millet inbred germplasm association panel for plant growth and water use related traits using Lysi-field phenotyping platform. Abstract accepted for Poster presentation at the 2020 “InterDrought-VI”, CIYMMT, Mexico.
  • Murugesan Tharanya, Kaliamoorthy Sivasakthi, Jana Kholova*, Sunita Choudhary, Tsuyoshi Tokunaga, Keerthi Vysyaraju, Sudheer Kumar Peri, Ravi Prakash Saini, Vincent Vadez, Santosh P Deshpande, Rajeev Gupta, Anthony Whitbread. Tapping large genetic variation in water use, grain yield related traits in sorghum minicore collection: New opportunities for enhancing grain yield and drought adaptation. Abstract accepted for oral presentation at the 2020 “InterDrought-VI”, CIYMMT, Mexico (slides presented virtually). https://interdrought2020.cimmyt.org/wpcontent/uploads/sites/62/2020/06/1....
  • Rakesh K. Srivastava, OP Yadav, K Sivasakthi, SK Gupta, DD Serba, S Choudhary, M Govindaraj, Jana Kholová, M Tharanya, C. Tara Satyavathi, Ram B. Singh, Rajeev K. Varshney. Breeding drought-tolerant pearl millet using conventional and genomics-assisted approaches: achievements and prospects (Manuscript submitted to Frontiers in plant Science).
  • Krithika Anbhazhagan,…Kalimoorthy Sivasakthi. Dual-purpose sorghum: a targeted sustainable crop–livestock intervention for the farming communities of Adilabad (Manuscript submitted to Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems team).

Affiliations

Classifications: 
Post-Doctoral Research Associate.
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India.
Not available for consultancy