• Gene discovery and allele mining for resistance to fungal pathogens in plants
  • Susceptibility mechanisms of plants to pathogen infection
  • Mechanistic investigation of molecular interaction between plants and fungal pathogens
  • Developing genetic solutions to fungal diseases of wheat and barley


Education and Professional Training: 

2016  Post-doctoral research associate: Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, USA

2009  Ph.D. Plant Biotechnology : Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India

2004  M.Sc. Botany: Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, India

Awards and Honors: 

2021 Dean’s Grantsmanship Award

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland

2020 CAREER Award National Science Foundation
2020 AGNR Junior Faculty Award College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland
2008 NSERC Fellowship, Govt. of Canada

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

2005-2009 National Doctoral Fellowship  Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India
2005-2005 CSIR Junior Research Fellowship and Lectureship Award Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India  
2004 University Gold Medalist in M.S. HNBG University, India



Areas of Interest: 

Genetics of disease resistance and susceptibility in plants

Molecular interactions between plants and their fungal pathogens

Exploring genetic diversity and novel disease resistance in wild relatives of wheat

Current Research: 

Plant pathogens are ever-evolving challenges to the production and quality of crops. Research in my Lab focuses on investigating how some plants are resistant to fungal pathogens whereas others are susceptible. Using Fusarium graminearum, the causal organism of Fusarium Head Blight in wheat and barley, as a model we are investigating the broad-spectrum strategies that the plants use to resist the pathogen spread. At the same time, we are examining why some plants are genetically destined to be susceptible to pathogens. Another area of interest in the lab includes exploring the rich genetic diversity of wild relatives to improve wheat's response against rust diseases. Check out our recent works at Google Scholar.  


    Selected Publications:


    -indicates Graduate students in the Rawat lab; ‡ -indicates Undergraduate students in the Rawat lab; *-indicates Corresponding author



    28. Chhabra, B., Tiwari V.K., Gill, B.S., Dong, Y., Rawat, N.* (2020). Discovery of a promising susceptibility factor for Fusarium Head Blight in wheat. BioRxiv


    27. Rabanus-Wallace, M.T., Hackauf, B., Mascher, M., Lux, T., Wicker, T., Gundlach, H., Báez, M., Houben, A., Mayer, K.F.X., Guo, L., Poland, J., Pozniak, C.J., Walkowiak, S., Melonek, J., Praz, C., Schreiber, M., Budak, H., Heuberger, M., Steuernagel, B., Wulff, B., Börner, A., Byrns, B., Čížková, J., Fowler, D.B., Fritz, A., Himmelbach, A., Kaithakottil, G., Keilwagen, J., Keller, B., Konkin, D., Larsen, J., Li, Q., Myśków, B., Padmarasu, S., Rawat, N., Sesiz, U., Sezgi, B., Sharpe, A., Šimková, H., Small, I., Swarbreck, D., Toegelová, H., Tsvetkova, N., Voylokov, A.V., Vrána, J., Bauer, E., Bolibok-Bragoszewska, H., Doležel, J., Hall, A., Jia, J., Korzun, V., Laroche, A., Ma, X.-F., Ordon, F., Özkan, H., Rakoczy-Trojanowska, M., Scholz, U., Schulman, A.H., Siekmann, D., Stojałowski, S., Tiwari, V., Spannagl, M., Stein, N., 2019. Chromosome-scale genome assembly provides insights into rye biology, evolution, and agronomic potential. bioRxiv (2019).12.11.869693.


    26. Carpenter, N., Wright, E., Malla, S.*, Singh, L., Sanford, D.V., Clark, A., Harrison, S., Murphy, J.P., Costa, J., Chao, S., Brown-Guedira, G.L., Mc Master, N., Schmale, D.G., Griffey, C.A., Rawat, N.* (2020). Identification and validation of Fusarium head blight resistance QTL in the US soft red winter wheat variety Jamestown. Crop Science. 60:2919–2930.



    25. Schoen, A., Joshi, A., Tiwari, V.K., Gill, B.S., Rawat, N.* (2020). Triple null mutations in starch synthase SSIIa gene homoeologs lead to high amylose and resistant starch in hexaploid wheat. BMC Plant Biology. Doi:10.21203/



    24. Singh, L., Wight J.P., Crank, J., Thorne, L., Dong, Y., Rawat, N.* (2020). Efficacy assessment of a new fungicide, Miravis Ace, for control of Fusarium head blight in wheat. Plant Health Progress. 21:365–368.



    23. Singh, L., Anderson, J., Chen, J., Gill, B.S., Tiwari, V.K., Rawat, N.* (2019). Development and Validation of a perfect KASP Marker for Fusarium head blight resistance gene Fhb1 in Wheat. The Plant Pathology Journal 35:200–207.


    22. Rawat, N.*, Joshi, A., Pumphrey, M.O., Singh, L., Mahlandt, A., Chhabra, B., Wilson, D., Gill, B.S., Poland, J., Tiwari, V.K. (2019). A TILLING resource for hard red winter wheat variety Jagger. Crop Science 59:16661-1671.


    21. Singh, L., Schoen, A., Mahlandt, A., Chhabra, B., Steadham, J., Tiwari, V., Rawat, N.* (2019) Development of Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes (TILLING) populations in small grain crops by Ethyl Methanesulfonate mutagenesis. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 149:e59743, doi:10.3791/59743.



    20. Rawat, N.*, Schoen, A., Singh, L., Mahlandt, A., Wilson, A.L., Liu, S., Lin, G., Gill, B.S., Tiwari, V.K.* (2018) TILL-D: An Aegilops tauschii TILLING resource for wheat improvement. Frontiers in Plant Science. 9:1655, doi:10.3389/fpls.2018.01665


    19. Rawat, N., Pumphrey, M.O., Liu, S., Zhang, X., Tiwari, V.K., Kaori, A., Trick, H.N., Bockus, W.W., Akhunov, E., Anderson, J.A. and Gill, B.S.* (2016) Wheat Fhb1 encodes a chimeric lectin with agglutinin domains and a pore-forming toxin-like domain conferring resistance to Fusarium head blight. Nature Genetics. 48:1576–1580, doi:10.1038/ng.3706.


    18. Wang, Y., Tiwari, V.K., Rawat, N., Gill, B.S., Coleman, D., and Gu, Y.Q. (2016). GSP: a web-based platform for designing genome-specific primers in polyploid plants. Bioinformatics 32: 2382–2383, doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btw134.



    17. Tiwari, V.K., Wang, S., Danilova, T., Koo, D.H., Vrana, J., Kubaláková, M., Hribova, E., Rawat, N. et al. (2015). Exploring tertiary gene pool of hexaploid wheat: Sequence based analysis of Chromosome 5Mg of Aegilops geniculata. Plant Journal 84:733-746.


    16. Salunke, R., Rawat, N., Kumari, N., Tiwari, V.K., Randhawa, G.S., Dhaliwal, H.S., and Roy, P. (2014). Effect of grain hardness on bioavailability of iron in wheat as determined using the coupled invitro digestion/Caco-2 model. LWT-Food Science Technology 59:433-438.


    15.  Rawat, N., Neelam, K., Dhaliwal, H.S. (2013). Biofortification of cereals to overcome hidden hunger. Plant Breeding 132:437-445.



    14. Neelam, K., Rawat, N., Tiwari, V.K., Gandhi, N., Arun, P.C., Kumar, S., Randhawa, G.S., Prasad, R., Dhaliwal, H.S. (2013). Development and molecular characterization of wheat- Aegilops longissima derivatives with high grain micronutrients. Australian Journal of Crop Science 7:508-514.



    13. Rawat N., Sehgal, S.K., Joshi, A., Rothe, N., Wilson, D.L., McGraw, N., Vadlani, P.V., Li, W., Gill, B.S. (2012). A diploid wheat TILLING resource for wheat functional genomics. BMC Plant Biology 12:205.



    12. Rawat, N., Tiwari, V.K., Neelam, K., Randhawa, G.S., Friebe, B., Gill, B.S., Dhaliwal, H.S. (2011). Development and molecular characterization of wheat-Aegilops kotschyi addition and substitution lines with high grain protein, iron, and zinc. Genome 54:943-953.



    11. Salunke, R., Rawat, N., Neelam, K., Tiwari, V.K., Randhawa, G.S., Dhaliwal, H.S., Roy, P. (2011). Determination of bioavailable Zinc from biofortified wheat using a coupled in vitro digestion/Caco-2 reported-gene based assay. Journal of Food composition Analysis 25:149-150.


    10. Salunke, R., Neelam, K., Rawat, N., Tiwari, V.K., Randhawa, G.S., Dhaliwal, H.S., Roy, P. (2011). Bioavailability of iron from wheat- Aegilops derivatives selected for high grain iron and protein content. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 59: 7465.


    9. Neelam, K., Rawat, N., Tiwari, V.K., Tripathi, S. K., Randhawa, G.S., Dhaliwal, H.S. (2012).  Evaluation and identification of wheat- Aegilops addition lines controlling high grain iron and zinc content and mugineic acids production. Cereal Research Communication 40:53-61.


    8. Neelam, K., Rawat, N., Tiwari, V.K., Kumar, S., Chhuneja, P., Singh, K., Randhawa, G.S., Dhaliwal, H.S. (2011). Introgression of group 4 and 7 chromosomes of Ae. peregrina in wheat enhances grain iron and zinc density. Molecular Breeding 28:623-634.


    7. Tiwari, V. K., Rawat, N., Neelam, K., Malik, S., Randhawa G.S., Dhaliwal, H.S (2010). Substitution of 2S and 7U chromosomes of Aegilops kotschyi in wheat enhances grain iron and zinc concentration. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 121:259-269.


    6. Neelam, K., Tiwari, V. K., Rawat, N., Tripathi, S.K., Randhawa G.S., Dhaliwal, H.S (2010). Identification of Aegilops species with higher production of phytosiderophore and iron and zinc uptake under micronutrient-sufficient and -deficient conditions. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization 8:132-141.


    5. Tiwari, V. K., Rawat, N., Neelam, K., Malik, S., Randhawa G.S., Dhaliwal, (2010). Random chromosome elimination in synthetic wheat- Aegilops amphiploids leads to development of a stable partial amphiploid with high grain micro and macronutrient content and powdery mildew resistance. Genome 53:1053-65.


    4. Rawat, N., Tiwari, V.K., Singh, N., Randhawa, G.S., Singh, K., Chhuneja, P., Dhaliwal, H.S. (2009). Evaluation and utilization of Aegilops and wild Triticum species for enhancing iron and zinc content in wheat. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 56:53-64.


    3. Rawat, N., Tiwari, V.K., Neelam K., Randhawa, G.S., Singh, K., Chhuneja, P., Dhaliwal, H.S. (2009). Development and characterization of wheat- Aegilops kotschyi amphiploids with high grain iron and zinc. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization 7:271-280.


    2. Tiwari, V.K., Rawat, N., Chhuneja, P, Neelam, K., Aggarwal, R, Randhawa, G.S, Dhaliwal, H.S, Keller, B, Singh K. (2009). Mapping of Quantitative Trait Loci for Grain Iron and Zinc Concentration in A Genome Diploid Wheat. Journal of Heredity 100:771-6.


    1. Tiwari, V. K., Rawat, N., Neelam K., Randhawa, G.S., Singh, K., Chhuneja, P. Dhaliwal, H.S. (2008). Development of Triticum turgidum ssp. durum- Aegilops longissima amphiploids with high iron and zinc content through unreduced gamete formation in F1 hybrids. Genome 51:757-766.



    Achievements in Teaching:

    PLSC420: Principles of Plant Pathology - Fall 2016