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Venkata Ganaparthi Defends M.S. Thesis

Venkata Ganaparthi successfully defended his Plant Sciences Master’s thesis, Transfer of FHB Resistance Genes into Winter Wheat, on November 18, 2020 at North Dakota State University. He was advised by Dr. Francois Marais.

December 28, 2020

Venkata Ganaparthi successfully defended his Plant Sciences Master’s thesis, Transfer of FHB Resistance Genes into Winter Wheat, on November 18, 2020 at North Dakota State University. He was advised by Dr. Francois Marais, professor and leader of the hard red winter wheat breeding program.

Ganaparthi’s research focused on developing resistance to head scab in wheat, a major threat to yield. A potent resistance gene, Qfhb.rwg.5A.2,  was transferred into three different NDSU winter wheat germplasm and SNP markers linked to the gene were identified. Further studies are being carried out to understand the influence of genetic background on resistance expression and the identification of superior yielding lines with improved resistance. An unknown novel resistance gene fragment identified in Thinopyrum distichum was transferred into spring wheat. Cytogenetic studies and resistance screening are needed to confirm the alien introgression.

Ganaparthi is originally from Vengayapalem, Andhra Pradesh, India and earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Acharya N.G. Ranga Agriculture University (ANGRAU) in Guntur, India. 

He says he chose to pursue his Master’s degree at NDSU because it is a land grant university and the people are friendly. “Breeding programs here at NDSU are dynamic and provide a knowledge base to develop as a good researcher,” he says. He also complimented the course work, research opportunities, greenhouse and lab facilities, and faculty and staff of the Department of Plant Sciences, saying these assets help prepare students for their future career goals. 

During his graduate studies at NDSU, Ganaparthi received the David Miller Scholarship in 2019 and the Charles and Linda Moses Presidential Graduate Fellowship in 2020. He also was a member of the NDSU Plant Sciences Graduate Student Association and the United States Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative.

Ganaparthi’s future plans are to work as a researcher in plant genetics and breeding in an academic or research institution.

His graduate committee consisted of Marais, Dr. Nonoy Bandillo, Dr. Ted Helms and Dr. Shaobin Zhong.

Author: Kamie Beeson, kamie.a.beeson@ndsu.edu
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, karen.hertsgaard@ndsu.edu

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