Rajesh Kumar

Principal Scientist
Areas of Interest: 

My current efforts regarding Research for Development is to develop hybrids/varieties/genetic stock /parental lines in chillies with better accepted fruit qualities, resistance along with good plant architecture. Utilization of male sterility systems (cytoplasmic genetic male sterility, commonly referred as CMS and genetic male sterility, GMS) in developing superior hybrids are being focused. Owing to the paucity of resistant genotypes against chilli leaf curl virus disease (ChiLCVD), we have developed lines having high resistance to ChiLCVD through distant hybridization. The current work is being to elucidate the genetic mechanisms governing resistance in those lines and further employing them in breeding programme to advance in the form of resistant stock/parental lines or varieties. Similarly, the lines also show resistance to anthracnose, so breeding for anthracnose resistant lines also being targeted along with some other population for the same. Early on, I also worked on ‘Genetic Improvement of Tomatoes’ and ‘Garden Peas’ before switching over to chillies. I have developed the first ever CVRC-released paprika chilli variety, Kashi Sinduri, suitable for extraction of oleoresin due to its richness in extractable colour along with negligible pungency. So far, my research work output has provided eleven varieties (four tomatoes, four chillies, two peas, and one paprika chilli) and four genetic stock (three of tomatoes and one of chilli) having specific traits.

Under ‘Seed enhancements of vegetables’ work on vegetable seed production - Breeder and TL seeds is being undertaken.  Enhancing seed yield employing various pollination mechanisms is also underway.

The whole thing mentioned above are being assumed under two major projects, viz. -

Project: Genetic improvements of chillies

Project: Seed enhancement in vegetables

    • Editorial Board Member, Journal ‘Vegetable Science’.
    • Member Secretary, QRT (01.04.2013 – 31.03.2018)
    • Expert for Brainstorming session on “Pathogenomics of Plant viruses” 25thApril 2019 at DBT, New Delhi.
    • Mentor:  MANAGE Sponsored Participants for “Certified Farm Advisor Programme on Advanced Vegetable Production Technologies for Enhancing Productivity and Nutritional Security” (i) Dr. Usha Solanki, HDO, Solan, H.P, and (ii) Mr. M Suresh, Pvt. candidate, Hyderabad, Telangana (2017-18) and Ms. Smitha MK, Agril. Officer, Kerala (2018-19).
    • Mentor: SERB-sponsored National Post-Doctoral Fellowship to Dr. Ashutosh Rai; Project - Genome-wide mining and characterization of microsatellite markers for anthracnose resistance in chilli (Capsicum species) [01.04.2018… 31.03.2020]. Project Fund. Rs. 19,20,000.
    • Harbhajan Singh Gold Medal Award (2015), for best paper published in Journal “Vegetable Science.
    • Letter of Appreciation (2014), by the Director, ICAR-IIVRfor acting as Coordinator for preparation of EFC Memo (of IIVR, Varanasi; DOGR, Pune; DMR, Solan and AICRPs on Vegetable Crops and Mushrooms) for XII five-year plan
    • Distinguished Scientist Awards (2010), Society for Recent Development in Agriculture, Modipuram, Meerut.
    • Expert Member (Horticulture), Board of Studies, – nominated by Vice Chancellor, VBS Purvanchal Univ., Jaunpur, UP, from 02.04.2018 – 01.04.2020.
    • Honorary Member (2014), Advisory Board TOCIC (TePP Outreach cum Cluster Innovation Centre, Min. of Sci. & Tech., New Delhi), IIT-BHU, Varanasi.
    • Best poster award: 6
  • Fellow (2017), Uttar Pradesh Academy of Agricultural Sciences (UPAAS), Lucknow.
  • Fellow (2017), Indian Society of Vegetable Science (ISVS), Varanasi.
  1. Nagendran, Krishnan; Kumari, Sweta; Krishnan, S; Vikas, Dubey; Singh, AK; and Kumar, Rajesh (2019). First report of Tomato leaf curl Joydebur virus infecting chilli (Capsicum annuum) in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.  Plant Disease 103 (11) 2974.
  2. Shukla, Anjali; Singh, VK; Bharadwaj, DR; Kumar, Rajesh; Rai, Ashutosh; Rai, AK; Mugasimangalam, Raja; Parameswaran, S; Singh, Major; Naik, PS (2015).  De novo assembly of bitter gourd transcriptomes: gene expression and sequence variations in gynoecious and monoecious lines.  PloS One 10 (6) e0128331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128331. 
  3. Rai, VP; Kumar, Rajesh*; Singh, SP; Kumar, Sanjay; Kumar, Sanjeet; Singh, Major; Rai, M (2014). Monogenic recessive resistance to Pepper leaf curl virus in an interspecific cross of Capsicum. Scientia Horticulturae 172: 34-38.
  4. Rai, Ved Prakash; Kumar, Rajesh; Kumar, Sanjay; Rai, A; Kumar, Sanjeet; Singh, Major; Singh, SP; Rai, AB; Paliwal, R. (2013). Genetic diversity in Capsicum germplasm based on microsatellite and random amplified microsatellite polymorphism markers. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 19 (4): 575-586.
  5. Garg, Ruchi; Kumar, Sanjay; Kumar, Rajesh; Loganathan, M; Saha, A; Kumar, S; Rai, AB; Roy, BK (2013).  Novel source of resistance and differential reactions on chilli fruit infected by Colletotrichum capsici.  Australasian Plant Pathology 42 (2): 227-233.