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Clemson University
college of agriculture, forestry and life sciences clemson university

Sachin Rustgi

Associate Professor of Molecular Breeding and Faculty Scholar in Clemson University School of Health Research
Adjunct Associate Professor in Dept. of Crop & Soil Sciences at Wash. State Univ., Pullman
Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, PeeDee Research and Education Center

Office: John B. Pitner Center, Pee Dee REC
Phone: 843-519-0475

Vita: Download CV
Personal Website:


Educational Background

Ph.D. Crop Biotechnology
C.C.S. University, Meerut 2006

M.S. Botany
M.J.P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly 2001

B.S. Biology and Chemistry
M.J.P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly 1999

D.I.S.M. Diploma in Information Systems Management
Aptech, Chandausi 2000

Courses Taught

PES 8900 Crop Biotechnology Journal Club
PLPA 8300 Molecular Plant Pathology Journal Club


Dr. Sachin Rustgi is affiliated as Associate Professor of Molecular Breeding at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University, and Faculty Scholar at the Clemson University School of Health Research and Center for Human Genetics, as well as Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman and Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut. Dr. Rustgi’s research primarily focuses on developing dietary therapies for individuals with celiac disease or allergy to wheat or peanut, developing biomarkers for heat tolerance in wheat, soybean, and peanut, and novel strategies to mitigate the major insect pests or fungal pathogens of the primary South Carolina crops. His research has resulted in several high-impact publications in internationally recognized journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, the Plant Journal, the Journal of Experimental Botany, and Plant Molecular Biology, to name a few. Additionally, Dr. Rustgi has authored or edited three books. Given his academic contributions, he was awarded the Faculty Excellence in Research Award of the Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and See Fellow Award of the Society of Extension Education, Agra, India, and invited to join the Wheat Initiative Expert Working Group on Wheat Quality for Processing and Health.

Research Interests

I oversee the Molecular Breeding program at Clemson University Pee Dee Research & Education Center (PDREC). The program is centered on the research area of 'Next-generation plant breeding and management strategies to cultivate healthy, safe, and abundant crops.' This research focus harmonizes with the mission and vision of the Department and College, as well as Clemson University's broader commitment to discovering sustainable solutions for agriculture and natural resources. Within this extensive research theme, my team has been actively engaged in pursuing several specific objectives, some of which are ongoing activities: 1) Developing wheat and peanut genotypes with reduced immunogenicity through germplasm screening, genetic modification, and gene editing. 2) Identifying biomarkers for heat tolerance in soybean, peanut, and wheat. 3) Exploring the potential use of nucleic acids as pesticides to effectively manage major pests and pathogens affecting crops in South Carolina. 4) Creating cotton genotypes with a reduced regeneration rate after defoliation or those exhibiting a close-to-annual growth habit. 5) Advancing the development of genome editing reagents and innovative gene delivery methods in wheat, peanut, and peach. Throughout these initiatives, I've successfully secured funding to support our diverse research projects, published results, and fostered collaborations with colleagues both within and beyond Clemson University.

Lab Members

Tariq Alam, Ph.D., 2020
Prasanna Shekar, Ph.D., 2021
Zachary Jones, Ph.D., 2022
Hrishikesh Ingole, Ph.D., 2022
Johnson Toyinbo, Ph.D., 2022
Gaganjeet, Ph.D., 2023
Dr. Gautam Saripalli, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2023

Extension and Outreach

1. Alam T, Anco D, Rustgi S (2023) Breeding peanut for reduced allergen content. CU Land-Grant Press 1183.
2. Rustgi S, Jones Z, Yang M, Wen S (2022) Transcriptomic and proteomics studies in common wheat for grain quality traits and Fusarium head blight resistance. Annual Wheat Newsletter 68:49-56.
3. Rustgi S, Jones Z, Ou X, Liu B (2021) Fine tuning the genetic control of chromosome pairing in polyploid common wheat. Annual Wheat Newsletter 67:87-93.
4. Rustgi S, Kashyap S, Alam T, Kerr R, Jones Z, Naveed S, Shekar PV, Gemini R, Reisenauer P (2020) Non-immunogenic wheat needed to feed 10% of the US population suffering from wheat-related disorders. Annual Wheat Newsletter 66:93-98.
5. Rustgi S, Kashyap S, Gandhi N, Naveed S, Windham J, Yang M, Gemini R, and Reisenauer P (2019) A creative solution to gluten-induced disorders using a unique combination of multigene editing and nanoparticle-based gene-delivery. Annual Wheat Newsletter 65:79-84.
6. Rustgi S, Kashyap S, Gandhi N, von Wettstein D, Ankrah N, Gemini R, Reisenauer P (2018) Novel wheat genotypes designed to meet the future needs for safe and surplus food. Annual Wheat Newsletter 64:56-61.
7. Rustgi S, Gandhi N, von Wettstein D, Ankrah N, Gemini R, Reisenauer P (2017) Celiac-safe wheat genotypes: A target not beyond reach. Annual Wheat Newsletter 63:85-88.
8. Rustgi S, von Wettstein D, Ankrah N, Ou X, Sun Y, Gemini R (2016) Quest for celiac-safe wheat. Annual Wheat Newsletter 62:89-92.


1. Rustgi S, Kakati JP, Narayanan S (2024) Shaping plant architecture for improved productivity: Strigolactones and beyond. Advances in Agronomy 186:1-50.
2. Parthiban M, Jan F, Mantoo MA, Kaur S, Rustgi S, Wani FJ, Varshney R, Mir RR (2024) Comprehensive analysis of antioxidants and plant secondary metabolites induced by cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus L.) infestation in wheat.
Physiologia Plantarum 176:e14158.
3. Spivey WW, Rustgi S, Welti R, Roth MR, Burow MD, Bridges WC, Narayanan S (2023) Lipid Modulation Contributes to Heat Stress Adaptation in Peanut. Frontiers in Plant Science 14:1299371.
4. Naveed S, Toyinbo J, Ingole H, Valavanur Shekar P, Jones M, Campbell BT, Rustgi S (2023) Development of high-yielding upland cotton genotypes with reduced regrowth after defoliation using a combination of molecular and conventional approaches. Genes 14(11):2081.
5. Naveed S, Gandhi N, Billings G, Jones Z, Campbell BT, Jones M, Rustgi S (2023) Alterations in Growth Habit to Channel End-of-Season Perennial Reserves towards Increased Yield and Reduced Regrowth after Defoliation in Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Int J Mol Sci 24:14174.
6. Naveed S, Rustgi S (2023) Functional Characterization of Candidate Genes, Gohir.D05G103700 and Gohir.D12G153600, Identified through Expression QTL Analysis Using Virus-Induced Gene Silencing in Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Agriculture 13:1007.


Faculty Scholar CU School of Health Research
Google Scholar Profile
WSU Molecular Plant Sciences Program Profile
Faculty Center for Human Genetics
Member CU Advanced Plant Technology Program
College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences
College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences |