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Mala Ganiger
Graduate Student

Major Professor: Dr. Zhiyuan Chen


  • 2009 - Present: Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana State University

  • 2004 - 2007: M.Sc. (Agricultural Biotechnology), University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

  • 2000 - 2004: B.Sc. (Agriculture), University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India


  • Nov 2008 - July 2009: Research Associate, Cotton Agriculture Research Station, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

  • Feb - Nov 2008: Senior Research Fellow, Cotton Agriculture Research Station, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

  • Mar - Aug 2007: Technical Research Assistant, Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology, Dharwad, Karnataka, India



Asian soybean rust (ASR) caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi was first observed in Japan 1902, and has since spread throughout the world. In recent years, ASR was reported in Africa and South America and is rapidly spreading since. In November 2004, for the first time P. pachyrhizi was reported in Louisiana and soon thereafter in other southeastern U.S. states. The threat of widespread infections of soybean by P. pachyrhizi has increased in the past few years due to its ability of over wintering on a number of alternative hosts including kudzu, causing potential high inoculums accumulation in the early spring and due to the lack of resistant commercial varieties. It has been reported that P. pachyrhizi infection can cause quick defoliation and severe yield losses up to 80%.


So far, a few soybean lines have been identified showing resistance against specific isolates of P. pachyrhizi collected internationally and in USA. However, the resistance of these lines is not durable and is overcome by the virulent ASR isolates. At present the disease is controlled mainly through the timely and costly fungicide applications. Therefore, to overcome the menace of ASR, there is a critical need of novel sources of resistance.


In our lab, I am using Proteomics based approach to examine host-pathogen interactions at the molecular level to identify host and fungal proteins induced during compatible and incompatible interactions. Soybean Near isogenic lines (NILs) with different resistance levels to ASR are being used and identified proteins will be characterized using VIGS (Virus Induced Gene Silencing) to understand their role in host-pathogen interactions.



  1. Ganiger, M. C., Bhat, S., Chettri, P., and Kuruvinashetti, M. S. 2009.  Production of endoglucanase by Trichoderma for Control of Phytopathogenic Fungus Sclerotium rolfsii. Journal of Applied Sciences Research 5(7): 870-875.

  2. Ganiger, M. C., Bhat, S., Chettri, P., and Kuruvinashetti, M. S. 2008.  Cloning and expression of Endoglucanase Genes from Trichoderma species in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Journal of Applied Sciences Research 4(11): 1546-1556.


Chettri, P., Ganiger, M. C., and Krishnaraj, P. U.  2010. Trichoderma: Biology and its Potential for Biocontrol. In Molecular Biology of Plant Pathogens. Gangawane, L.V. and Khilare, V. C. eds. p 40-57. Daya Publishing House, India.


  1. Ganiger, M. C., Walker, D. R., and Chen, Z. 2011. Differences in responses and protein profiles of soybean near isogenic lines (NILs) to Phakopsora pachyrhizi inoculation. Phytopathology 101: S58.

  2. PARK, S., Chen. Z, Ganiger, M. C., and Fortunato, A. A. 2010. Protein profile differences between soybean accessions resistant and susceptible to soybean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi). Phytopathology 100: S96.

  3. Ganiger, M. C., Bhat, S., and Kuruvinashetti, M. S. 2007. Cloning and Expression of Endoglucanase Genes from Trichoderma spp. in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Karnataka journal of Agricultural sciences 20(4): 960.


Department of Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology
302 Life Science Building
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 
(225) 578-1464

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