Neeraj Kumar

Research Assistant Professor
Plant and Environmental Sciences Department

Office: 100C Biosystems Research Complex
Phone: 864-656-9959
Email: nkumar2@clemson.edu

 

 Educational Background

Ph.D. Ag. Botany (Genetics & Plant Breeding)
C.C.S. University, Meerut 2006

J.R.F. Department of Biotechnology
C.C.S. University, Meerut 2001

M.Phil. Ag. Botany (Genetics & Plant Breeding)
C.C.S. University, Meerut 1999

M.S. Ag. Botany (Genetics & Plant Breeding)
C.C.S. University, Meerut 1997

B.S. Agriculture
C.C.S. University, Meerut 1995

 Profile

Dr. Neeraj Kumar is currently affiliated as Research Assistant Professor with the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PES) at Clemson University, Clemson, SC. He is currently working in a multi-institutional DOE ARPA-E TERRA project led by Professor Steve Kresovich of Clemson University. He has over 12 years of experience in plant genetics, breeding and genomics. Dr. Kumar’s research largely focused on the trait improvement for the development of new germplasm and varieties in cereal crops using marker-assisted backcross breeding. His research has resulted in crop varieties and a number of publications in internationally recognized journals. In the current project, he is focusing on the identification of phenotype-by-genotype trait associations for above- and below-ground traits for the development of superior sorghum hybrids using molecular genetic approaches. In addition, he is also using genetic populations derived from multiple parental lines to identify QTLs for various trait of interest in sorghum.

 Research Interests

The trait improvement is the key for improving existing crop varieties and also for developing new superior varieties using molecular genetic approaches. My current research focus is on the identification of phenotype-by-genotype trait associations and transferring useful genes through marker-assisted background selection approach for crop improvement. We are using various types of genetic populations derived from multi-parental lines to identify novel genes/markers associated with desirable phenotypic traits.

 Publications

Peer-reviewed International Journals
1. Gill KS, Kumar N, Randhawa HS, Carter AH, Yenish J, Morris CF, Baik B-K, Higginbotham RW, Guy SO, Engle DA, Chen XM, Murray TD, Lyon DJ (2020) Registration of ‘Mela CL+’ soft white winter wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations Doi.org/10.1002/plr2.20006.
2. Hinojosa L, Kumar N, Gill KS, Murphy KM (2019) Spectral reflectance indices and physiological parameters in quinoa under different irrigation regimes. Crop Science 59(5):1927.
3. Kumar N, Kiszonas A, Ibba MI, Morris CF (2019) Identification of molecular markers associated with super soft kernel texture in wheat. Journal of Cereal Science Doi.org/10.1016/j.jcs.2019.04.014.
4. Kumar N, Orenday-Ortiz Jose, Kiszonas A, Jr., Jeffrey B, Morris C (2019) Genetic analysis of a unique ‘super soft’ kernel texture phenotype in soft white spring wheat. Journal of Cereal Science 85: 162-167.
5. Kumar N, Randhawa HS, Higginbotham RW, Chen X, Murray T, Gill KS (2017) Targeted and efficient transfer of value-added genes into wheat variety. Molecular Breeding DOI: 10.1007/s11032-017-0649?1.
6. Rustgi S, Shafqat MN, Kumar N, Baenziger PS, Ali ML, Dweikat I, Campbell BT and Gill KS (2013) Genetic dissection of yield and its component traits using high-density composite map of wheat chromosome 3A: Bridging gaps between QTLs and underlying genes. PLoS One 8(7): e70526.
7. Mir RR, Kumar N, Girdharwal N, Jaiswal V, Prasad M, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2012) Genetic dissection of grain weight in bread wheat through QTL interval and association mapping. Molecular Breeding 29:963?972.
8. Bennypaul HS, Mutti JS, Rustgi S, Kumar N, Okubara PA, Gill KS (2012) Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of genes expressed in root, leaf and meiotic tissues of wheat. Functional & Integrative Genomics 12:143?156.
9. Lee H, Rustgi S, Kumar N, Burke IC, Yenish JP, Gill KS, von Wettstein D, Ullrich SE (2011) Single nucleotide mutation in the barley acetohydroxy acid synthase (AHAS) gene confers resistance to imidazolinone herbicides. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108:8909?8913.
10. Kumar J, Jaiswal V, Kumar A, Kumar N, Mir RR, Kumar S, Dhariwal R, Tyagi S, Khandelwal M, Prabhu KV, Prasad R, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2011) Introgression of a major gene for high grain protein content in some Indian bread wheat cultivars. Field Crops Research 123:226?233.
11. Kumar J, Mir RR, Kumar N, Kumar A, Mohan A, Prabhu KV, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2010) Marker-assisted selection for pre-harvest sprouting tolerance and leaf rust resistance in bread wheat. Plant Breeding 129:617?6211.
12. Kumar N, Roy JK, Kulwal PL, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2009) QTL analysis for growth related traits in inter-varietal mapping population of common wheat. Journal of Genetics and Breeding 61:30?38.
13. Gupta PK, Balyan HS, Kulwal P, Kumar N, Kumar A, Mir R, Mohan A, Kumar J (2007) QTL analysis for some quantitative traits in bread wheat. Journal of Zhejiang University Science B 8:807?814.
14. Kumar N, Kulwal PL, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2007) QTL mapping for yield and yield contributing traits in two mapping populations of bread wheat. Molecular Breeding 19:163?177.
15. Kumar N, Kulwal PL, Gaur A, Tyagi AK, Khurana JP, Khurana P, Balyan HS, and Gupta PK (2006) QTL analysis for grain weight in common wheat. Euphytica 151:135?144.
16. Kumar N, Balyan HS, Gupta RK, Gupta PK (2006) Genetic analysis of grain protein content in bread wheat. Journal of Genetics and Breeding 60:29?36.
17. Singh R, Kumar N, Bandopadhyay R, Rustgi S, Sharma S, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2006) Development and use of anchored-SSRs to study DNA polymorphism in bread wheat. Molecular Ecology Notes 6:296?299.
18. Balyan HS, Gupta PK, Kulwal PL, Kumar N (2006) QTL analyses for three grain quality traits in bread wheat using intervarietal mapping populations. Czech Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding 41:281?283.
19. Balyan HS, Gupta PK, Rustgi S, Bandopadhyay R, Goyal A, Singh R, Kumar A, Kumar N, Sharma S (2006) Development and use of SSRs of bread wheat for genetic and physical mapping and transferability to the species of Triticum-Aegilops complex. Czech Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding 41:141?144.
20. Gupta PK, Rustgi S, Kumar N (2006) Genetic and molecular basis of grain size and grain number and its relevance to grain productivity in higher plants. Genome 49:565?571.
21. Kulshreshtha R, Kumar N, Balyan HS, Gupta PK, Khurana P, Tyagi AK, Khurana JP (2005) Structural characterization, expression analysis and evolution of the red/far-red sensing photoreceptor gene, PHYTOCHROME C (PHYC), localized on the ‘B’ genome of hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Planta 221:675?689.
22. Kulwal PL, Kumar N, Gaur A, Khurana P, Khurana JP, Tyagi AK, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2005) Mapping of a major QTL for pre-harvest sprouting tolerance on chromosome 3A in bread wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 111:1052?1059.
23. Kulwal PL, Kumar N*, Kumar A, Gupta RK, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2005) Gene networks in hexaploid wheat: interacting quantitative trait loci for grain protein content. Functional & Integrative Genomics 5:254?259 [*Equally Contributed].
24. Gupta PK, Rustgi S, Sharma S, Singh R, Kumar N, Balyan HS (2003) Transferable EST-SSR markers for the study of polymorphism and genetic diversity. Molecular Genetics and Genomics 270:315?323.
25. Prasad M, Kumar N, Kulwal PL, Röder M, Balyan HS, Dhaliwal HS, Gupta PK (2003) QTL analysis for grain protein content using SSR markers and validation of associated markers using NILs in bread wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 106:659?667.
26. Kumar S, Kumar N, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2003) 1BL.1RS translocation in some Indian bread wheat genotypes and strategies for its use in future wheat breeding. Caryologia 56:23?30.
27. Sharma S, Balyan HS, Kulwal PL, Kumar N, Varshney RK, Prasad M, Gupta PK (2002) Study of inter-specific SSR polymorphism among 14 species from Triticum-Aegilops group. Wheat Information Service 95:23?28.
28. Varshney RK, Prasad M, Roy JK, Kumar N, Singh H, Dhaliwal HS, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2000) Identification of eight chromosomes and a microsatellite marker on 1AS associated with QTL for grain weight in bread wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 100:1290?1294.

Book Chapters
29. Kumar N*, Rustgi S (2013) Agronomically relevant traits transferred to major crop plants by alien introgressions. In: Pratap A, Kumar J (Eds.), Alien Gene Transfer in Crop Plants, Innovations, Methods and Risk Assessment (Vol. I) Springer, New York, USA, ISBN: 978?1?4614?8584?1, P211. [*Equally Contributed & Corresponding Author].

Products as Wheat Varieties:
30. Gill KS, Kumar N, Carter A, Randhawa HS, Morris C, Baik B, Higginbotham R, Engle D, Guy S, Murray TD, Burke I, Lyon D, Chen X (2013) Developed two-gene Clearfield soft white common winter variety ‘Curiosity CL+’ using marker assisted background selection approach. Released in October 1st, 2013.
31. Gill KS, Kumar N, Carter A, Randhawa HS, Morris C, Baik B, Higginbotham R, Engle D, Guy S, Murray TD, Burke I, Lyon D, Chen X (2013) Developed two-gene Clearfield soft white common winter wheat variety ‘Mela CL+’ using marker assisted background selection approach. Released in October 1st, 2013.
32. Gill KS, Kumar N, Randhawa HS, Murphy K, Carter A, Morris C, Higginbotham R, Engle D, Guy S, Drew L, Murray TD, Chen X, Schillinger W (2016) Developed two-gene Clearfield soft white common winter variety ‘Resilience CL+’ using marker assisted background selection approach. Released in October 1st, 2016.

Non-peer Reviewed Publications
33. Morris CF, Kumar N, Ibba MI, Kiszonas AM, Orenday-Ortiz J (2019) "Super Soft" wheat kernel texture-Where does it come from? Abstract submitted in Ist International Wheat Congress, Saskatoon, July 21-26th, Saskatchewan, Canada.
34. Balyan HS, Varshney RK, Roy JK, Prasad M, Kulwal PL, Kumar N, Rustgi S, Kumar A, Mir RR (2016) From development of molecular markers to marker-assisted breeding: a successful journey. In: Balyan HS (editor) A tribute to Professor PK Gupta: Legendary Teacher and Scholar Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut. December 14?16th, 2016, P54.
35. Kumar J, Kulwal PL, Kumar N, Mir RR, Kumar A, Prabhu KV, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2008) Marker assisted selection for improvement of grain protein content and pre-harvest sprouting tolerance in bread wheat. Published in International Conference on Molecular Biology & Biotechnology October 19-21th, 2008.
36. Mir RR, Mohan A, Kumar N, Kulwal PL, Prasad M, Girdharwal N, Kumar V, Singh R, Kumar J, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2008) Genome-wide QTL analysis for grain weight and pre-harvest sprouting in bread wheat. Published in International Conference on Molecular Biology & Biotechnology October 19-21.
37. Mir RR, Kumar N, Prasad M, Girdharwal N, Kumar J, Balyan HS, Gupta PK (2008) Single-locus and two-locus QTL analysis to detect main effect and epistatic QTL for grain weight in bread wheat. In: Appels R, Estwood R, Lagudah E, Lengridge P, Lynne MM, (editors), proceedings XI International Wheat Genetics Symposium, Sydney University Press, Brisbane, Australia.
38. Gupta PK, Balyan HS, Kumar J, Kulwal PL, Kumar N, Mir RR, Kumar A, Mohan A (2008) QTL analysis and marker assisted selection for improvement in grain protein content and pre-harvest sprouting tolerance in bread wheat, In: Appels R, Estwood R, Lagudah E, Lengridge P, Lynne MM, (editors), proceedings XI International Wheat Genetics Symposium, Sydney University Press, Brisbane, Australia.
39. Gupta PK, Balyan HS, Bandopadhyay R, Kumar J, Mohan A, Kumar N, Kulwal PL, Rustgi S, Singh R, Goyal A, Kumar A, Kumar V, Girdharwal N, Rouf Mir R (2006) Development and use of molecular markers for wheat genomics and breeding, Annual Wheat Newsletter 52: 43?46.
40. Gupta PK, Balyan HS, Bandopadhyay R, Kumar N, Sharma S, Kulwal PL, Mohan A, Rustgi S, Singh R, Goyal A, Kumar A (2005) Development and use of molecular markers for wheat genomics, Annual Wheat Newsletter 51:51?55.
41. Gupta PK, Balyan HS, Bandopadhyay R, Kumar N, Sharma S, Kulwal PL, Rustgi S, Singh R, Goyal A, Kumar A (2004) Development and use of molecular markers for wheat genomics. Annual Wheat Newsletter 50: 52?56.
42. Gupta PK, Balyan HS, Prasad M, Roy JK, Bandopadhyay R, Kumar N, Sharma S, Kulwal PL, Rustgi S, Singh R, Goyal A, Kumar A, Prashanth SN (2003) Development and use of molecular markers for QTL mapping and genomics research in bread wheat. Annual Wheat Newsletter 49: 42?46.
43. Gupta PK, Balyan HS, Kumar S, Prasad M, Roy JK, Kumar N, Sharma S, Kulwal PL, Rustgi S, Singh R (2002) Development and use of molecular markers for genetic mapping and marker-assisted selection (MAS) in wheat. Annual Wheat Newsletter 48:76?80.
44. Gupta PK, Balyan HS, Prasad M, Roy JK, Kumar N, Sharma S, Kulwal PL (2001) Marker assisted selection for some quality traits in bread wheat. Annual Wheat Newsletter 47:68?72.