Thangavelu Scientific
Dr.R.Thangavelu [Principal Scientist]
Qualification Ph.D, PDF (Aus), MBA
Specialization / Discipline Plant Pathology- Biological control, Diagnostics and Mode of action
Department Plant Pathology
Official email,
Salient Research Achievements
(in bullets)
  • Developed management practices for Fusarium wilt disease.
  • Identified effective endophytic and rhizospheric fungal and bacterial bioagents and botanicals for the eco-friendly management of Fusarium wilt disease.
  • Developed molecular markers for the diagnosis and detection of Fusarium wilt and eumusae leaf spot pathogen/diseases.
  • Developed management of eumusae leaf spot disease of banana.
  • Identified and characterized Foc pathogen infecting Cavendish banana in India as race-1 (VCG 0124).
  • Identified Corm rot disease (caused by Sclerotium rolfsii) as a new disease in banana.
  • Identified the presence of 9 strains of Foc and 11 strains of Mycosphaerella eumusae in India by molecular characterization and VCG analysis.
  • Identified effective botanicals and bioagents for the management of anthracnose and crown rot diseases of banana.
Current Research
  • Survey, etiology and management of Rhizome rot of banana - Co-PI
  • Isolation and identification of Pheromones for banana stem weevil - Co-PI
  • Investigation on Musa nematodes Diversity biology, behavior, and their interactions –CO-PI
Current Research
  • Screening of banana germplasm from NE for Fusarium wilt resistance and molecular characterization in contrasting genotypes under DBT sponsored project for NE - PI
  • Molecular Dissection of defense against Sigatoka infection in Banana; Exploitation of Musa germplasm of North East for development of Sigatoka resistant hybrid under DBTs programme for the NE under DBT sponsored project for NE- PI
  • Integrated management of Fusarium wilt - Tropical Race 4 :- A Devastating strain on banana - PI
  • Collaborative Project on Management and Mitigation of the Spread of Tropical Race-4 of Foc on Banana - Mapping of the TR-4 affected areas of Banana in India - PI
Area of Interest Marker identification, molecular characterization, biological control, identification of defense genes for Fusarium wilt and eumusae leaf spot disease of banana, identification of principle compound from the botanicals and bioagents etc.
Total Research Publications 45

Selected peer-reviewed research publications

  • Thangavelu, R. Arthee, M. Loganathan and S. Uma. 2019. Fusarium Wilt-Tropical Race 4-An Emerging Threat to Banana Cultivation and Its Management. International Journal of Innovative Horticulture. 8(1):9-21.
  • Dita, M. L.A.J. Teixeira, W. O’Neill, A.B. Pattison, M.P. Weinert, C.Y. Li S.J. Zheng, C. Staver, R. Thangavelu and A. Viljoen, 2020. Current state of Fusarium wilt of banana in the subtropics. Acta Hortic. 1272. ISHS 2020. DOI 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1272.7.
  • Thangavelu, R. M. Loganathan, R. Arthee, M. Prabakaran and S. Uma. 2020. Fusarium wilt: a threat to banana cultivation and its management.  CAB Reviews 2020 15, No. 004. doi: 10.1079/PAVSNNR202015004.
  • Thangavelu, R., Mostert, D., Gopi, M., Ganga Devi, P., Padmanaban, B., Molina, A. B., Viljoen, A. 2019. First detection of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 (TR4) on Cavendish banana in India. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 154 (3) pp 777-786.
  • Ganga Devi, P. Thangavelu, R. 2019. Development of species specific SCAR based molecular marker for the detection of Pseudocercospora eumusae, the causal agent of eumusae leaf spot disease in banana. Journal of Plant Pathology.
  • Thangavelu, R. and Ganga Devi, P. 2018. Rapid and sensitive detection of Pseudocercospora eumusae pathogen causing eumusae leaf spot disease of banana by loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method. 3 Biotech, 8:442-852.
  • Mostert DMolina ABDaniells JFourie GHermanto CChao CPFabregar ESinohin VGMasdek NThangavelu RLi CYi GMostert LViljoen A. 2017. The distribution and host range of the banana Fusarium wilt fungus, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, in Asia. PLoS One.12(7): e0181630. doi: 10.1371
  • Kalaiponmani, K. Thangavelu, R. and G. Varun, G. 2017. Optimization of protein isolation and preliminary comparative Proteomics of pathogenic fusarium oxysporum f. Sp. Cubense (p-foc) and non pathogenic fusarium oxysporum (np-fo). Journal of Plant Pathology 99 (2), 361-369 (Equal contribution)
  • Saravanakumar, A.S., Uma, S. Thangavelu, R. Backiyarani S., Saraswathi, M.S., Sriram, V. 2016.   Preliminary analysis on the transcripts involved in resistance responses to eumusae leaf spot disease of banana caused by Mycosphaerella eumusae, a recent add-on of the Sigatoka disease complex 2016. Turkish Journal of Botany, 40: 1-11 (NAAS-5 – CITATION -0)
  • Thangavelu, R. Varun, G. and Ganga Devi, P. 2016. Identification of differentially expressed genes from Fusarium oxysporum f.sp cubense and Trichoderma asperellum (prr2) interaction in susceptible banana cultivar Grand Naine. Turkish Journal of Botany. DOI: 10.3906/bot-1511-19.
  • Uma S., Backiyarani S., Saravanakumar, A.S., ChandraSekar, A., Thangavelu R., and Saraswathi, M.S. 2016. Identification of Mycosphaerella eumusae responsive unique genes/transcripts from a resistant banana cultivar. DOI:  10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1114.16. (NAAS-NIL – CITATION -0)
  • Thangavelu R. and Gopi M. 2015. Combined application of native Trichoderma isolates possessing multiple functions for the control of Fusarium wilt disease in banana cv. Grand Naine, Biocontrol Science and Technology, 25:10, 1147-1164. (NAAS-6.94 CITATION -0)
  • Thangavelu R. and Gopi M. 2015. Field suppression of Fusarium wilt in banana using combined application of native endophytic and rhizospheric bacterial isolates possessing multiple functions,Phytopathologia Mediterranea, 54:2, 241-252. (NAAS-6.97– CITATION -0)
  • Backiyarani, S., Uma, S., Nithya, S., Chandrasekar, A., Saraswathi, M.S., Thangavelu, R., Mayilvagananan, M., Sundararaju, P. and Singh, N.K. 2015. Genome-wide analysis and differential expression of chitinases in banana against root lesion nematode (Pratylenchuscoffeae) and eumusae leaf spot (Mycosphaerellaeumusae) pathogens. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 175, 585-98.
  • Gopi, M. and Thangavelu, R. 2014. Suppression of Fusarium wilt disease of banana by Zimmu (Allium cepaL. X Allium sativum L.) leaf extract. African Journal of Microbiology Research. 8(31), 2904-2915. (NAAS-4 – CITATION -0)
  • Thangavelu, R. Ganga Devi, P. Gopi, M. Mustaffa, M.M. 2013. Management of Eumusae leaf spot disease of banana caused by Mycosphaerella eumusae with Zimmu (Allium sativum x Allium cepa) leaf extract. Crop Protection 46: 100-105. (NAAS-7.49 – CITATION -5)
  • Sangeetha, G., Thangavelu, R. Usha Rani, S. Muthukumar, A. 2013. Antimicrobial activity of medicinal plants and induction of defense related compounds in banana fruits cv. Robusta against crown rot pathogens. Biological Control, 64, 16–25. (NAAS-7.64– CITATION -10)
  • Mustaffa M.M. and Thangavelu R. 2011. Status of Fusarium wilt in India. Proceedings of International ISHS–Promusa Symposium on Global perspectives on Asian Challenges. Acta Horticulture. 897, 323-329.
  • Thangavelu R., Muthukumar, K., Ganga Devi, P. Mustaffa, M. M. 2011. Genetic Diversity of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense isolates (Foc) of India by inter simple sequence repeats (ISSR) analysis. Molecular Biotechnology. 51, 203-211.
  • Thangavelu R., Suganya Devi, P., Chrismala P.M., and Mustaffa M.M. 2011. Cross infection and genetic Diversity of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp.cubense, the causal agent of Fusarium wilt in Banana. International ISHS–Promusa Symposium on Global perspectives on Asian Challenges. Acta Horticulture. 897, 353- 362.
  • Sangeetha G., Thangavelu R. and Usha Rani, S. 2010. Evaluation of plant oils for suppression of crown rot disease and improvement of shelf life of banana (Musa spp. AAA subgroup, cv.Robusta) International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 45, 1024–1032.
  • Sangeetha, G., Thangavelu, R., Usha Rani, S., Muthukumar, A. and Udayakumar, R. 2010. Induction of systemic resistance by mixtures of antagonist bacteria for the management of crown rot complex on banana. Acta Physiology Plantarum. 32, 1177–1187.
  • Thangavelu R. and Mustaffa M. M. 2010. First reports of corm rot disease caused by Sclerotium rolfsii in banana. Australasian Plant Disease Notes. 5, 30–33.
  • Thangavelu, R. and Mustaffa, M. M. 2010. A potential isolate of Trichoderma viride NRCB1 and its mass production for the effective management of Fusarium wilt disease in banana. Tree and Forestry Science and Biotechnology. 4, 76-84.
  • Thangavelu, R. and Mustaffa, M. M. 2010. First Report on the Occurrence of a Virulent Strain of Fusarium Wilt Pathogen (Race-1) Infecting Cavendish (AAA) Group of Bananas in India. Plant Disease. 94, 1379.
  • Thangavelu, R and Jayanthi, A. 2009. RFLP analysis of rDNA-ITS of native non–pathogenic Fusarium oxysporum isolates and their field evaluation for the suppression of Fusarium wilt disease of banana. Australasian Plant Pathology. 38, 13-21.
  • Thangavelu, R., Sangeetha, G. and Mustaffa. M. M. 2007. Cross-infection potential of crown rot pathogen (Lasiodiplodia theobromae) isolates and their management using potential native bioagents in banana. Australasian Plant Pathology. 36, 595–605.
  • Thangavelu, R., Palaniswami, A. and Velazhahan, R. 2004. Mass multiplication of Trichoderma harzianum using biodegradable banana waste for the control of Fusarium wilt of banana. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 103(1), 259-263.
  • Thangavelu, R., Sundararaju, P. and Sathiamoorthy, S. 2004. Management of anthracnose disease of banana caused by Colletotrichum musae using plant extracts. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology. 79 (5), 664 – 668.
  • Thangavelu, R., Palaniswami, A., Doraiswamy, S. and Velazhahan, R. 2003. The effect of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense on induction of defense enzymes and phenolics in banana. Biologia plantarum. 46 (1), 107-112.
  • Thangavelu, R., Palaniswami, A., Ramakrishnan, G., Sabitha Duraiswamy., Muthukrishnan. S. and Velazhahan, R. 2001. Involvement of Fusaric acid detoxification by Pseudomonas fluorescens strain Pf10 in the biological control of Fusarium wilt of banana caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense. J. of Plant Diseases and protection. 108 (5), 433-445.
  • Radhajeyalakshmi, R., Meena, B., Thangavelu, R., Deborah, S.D., Vidhyasekaran, P. and Velazhahan, R. 2000. A 45-kDa chitinase purified from pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) shows antifungal activity. J. of Plant Diseases and protection. 107(6), 605-616.
  • Neethi Baruah, Ashok Bhattacharyya, R. Thangavelu and K. C. Puzari  2018. In vitro Screening of Native Banana Rhizospheric Microbes and Endophytes of Assam against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense . Int. J. Curr. Microbiol. App. Sci 7(6): 1575-1583.
  • Sumathi, S.and. Thangavelu, R. 2016. Biodiversity of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) in banana plantations in India. Plant Archives16 (1): 210-216
  • Sumathi, S.and. Thangavelu, R. 2016. Co-Inoculation of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) and their Mycorrhizae Helper Bacteria (MHB) effectively suppresses Fusarium Wilt in Banana. Plant Archives 16 (1) : 365-375
  • Saraswathi, M.S., Kannan, G., Uma,S.,  Thangavelu, R. and Backiyarani, S. 2016. Improvement of banana cv. Rasthali against Foc (VCG 0124/5) through induced mutagenesis: Determination of LD50 specific to mutagen, explants, toxins and in vitro and in vivo screening for Fusarium wilt resistance. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. 54: 345-353
  • Ganga Devi, P. and Thangavelu R. 2014. Genetic diversity analyses of Mycosphaerella eumusae causing Septoria leaf spot disease of banana in India. Indian Phytopathology. 67 (4), 388-395.
  • Saraswathi, M.S., Praveena, S. Uma, S. Thangavelu, R., Kannan, G., Backiyarani, S. and Arivazhagan, T. 2014. Development of an efficient micro propagation technique for Musa cv. Udhayam (ABB). Indian Journal of Horticulture. 71 (4), 452-457.
  • Padmanaban, B. Thangavelu, R. Gopi, M. and Musataffa, M. M. 2009. Effect of mass  multiplication media on sporulation, field efficacy and shelf life of Beauveria bassiana against rhizome and pseudostem weevils of banana. Journal of Biological control. 23, 277-283.
  • Sundararaju, P. and Thangavelu, R. 2009. Influence of Pratylenchus coffeae and Meloidogyne incognita on the Fusarium wilt complex of Banana. Indian Journal of Nematology. 39, 71-74.
  • Sundararaju, P., Thangavelu, R. and Cannayane, I. 2002. Management of Pratylenchus coffeae and Melodogyne incognita on banana by using endophytic fungi. Current Nematology. 13(1), 69-71.
  • Padmanaban, B., Thangavelu, R. and Sundararaju, P. 2000. Occurrence of Giant African snail, Achatina fulicaboa on banana. Indian J. Entomology. 62, 95-97.
  • Meena, B., Ramamoorthy, V, GulsarBanu, J., Thangavelu, R. and Muthusamy, M. 2000. Screening of rice genotypes against sheath blight disease. Journal of Eco Biology. 12 (2), 103-109.
  • Thangavelu R., Padmasri M., Satyanarayana K., and Reddy, A.P.K. 1996. Effect of different Neem based formulations on Rice blast. Indian J. of Plant Protection, 23, 153-156.
  •  Thangavelu, R. and Ramabadran, R. 1993. Quantitative changes in Nitrogen content due to lignite humic acid application. Madras Agric. J. 80(10), 575-580.
  • Best oral presentation Award for the paper entitled ‘Development of Fusarium wilt race 1 tolerant mutants through mutation breeding’ authored by M.S.Saraswathi, G.Kannan, R.Thagavelu, T.R.Ganapathi, M.Bathrinath, S.Sathish, S.Backiyarani and S.Uma in International Conference  on Banana held between 22-25th February 2020 at Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • R. Thangavelu, S. Uma, M. Gopi, M. Prabakaran, M. Loganathan, S.Saraswathi, S. Backiyarani, P. Durai, N. Marimuthu, and R. Arthee, 2020. Sustainable management of Fusarium wilt –Tropical race 4 – A boon to the banana growers - Received best poster award in the technical session 9 –Advances in Fungal and bacterial disease management during the International conference on Banana- 2020 which was held at Hotel Breeze Residency, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
  • CHAI-APPRECIATION AWARD -2019  by Confederation of Horticulture Associations of India, New Delhi
  • Outstanding contribution to Science Award -2019 for commendable contribution to Fusarium wilt and leaf spot disease of banana by Dr. B. Vasantharaj David foundation, Chennai
  • Best Thesis Award for the Ph. D thesis entitled “Genetic diversity analysis of Sigatoka leaf spot pathogens and its management through microbial consortia” which was submitted by Dr. P. Ganga Devi and supervised by Dr. R. Thangavelu during the conference ICB 2020.
  • Outstanding Scientist award by the Society for Biotic and Enviromental and Research- Tripura in 2019
  • CHAI-Dr. Ray Best Dissertation Award-2019, for the thesis entitled “Identification and Evaluation of Antagonistic Microbes and Botanicals for the Management of Fusarium Wilt Disease (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense) in Banana”.
  • Fellow of CHAI –2014 by the Confederation of Horticultural Association of India.
  • During the tenure of Chairman - publication committee, NRCB has received “Best annual report award-2012-13” for the small-institute category.
  • Best poster presentation award for the poster entitled “In vitro and In vivo evaluation of botanicals for the management of Eumusae leaf spot disease of banana” at the National conference on “Adaption to Climatic Change for Sustained production of Banana” Which was held during 7th - 10th April, 2012 at Jalgaon, Maharashtra.
  • AIPUB fellow award for the year 2011 from the Association for the Improvement in Production and Utilization of Banana (AIPUB) during the National Conference on Adaption to Climate Change for Sustained production of Banana which was held at Jain Hills, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, from 7th - 10th April, 2012.
  • Biotechnology overseas associateship award 2006 from the Department of Biotechnology, Min. of Science and Technology, Govt. of India.
  • Chief Minister best writer award in Agriculture and Veterinary category for the book entitled “Improved Technology for Banana cultivation” from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the year 2009.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru award for the best Ph.D research in crop protection by ICAR (Govt. of India) for the year 2003.
  • National junior fellowship by ICAR (Govt.of India) in 1998.


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