Profile of Dr. M. Thudi

Dr. Mahendar Thudi
Associate Professor 
Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Molecular Biology

  • B.Sc. (Agriculture) – Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, College of Agriculture, Aswaraopet, Telangana, India
  • M.Sc. (Agriculture)  – University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
  • Ph.D. – University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
  • Research Area – 
  • Research interest – 


Position / duration Institution Area of research
Associate Professor

(Oct 26, 2021 to date)

Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central

Agricultural University

Legume genomics and breeding
Distinguished Professor

(Jul 1, 2021 to Oct 25, 2021)

Shandong Academy of

Agricultural Sciences, Jinan


Molecular Breeding of peanut and Asparagus
Senior Scientist

(April 1, 2016 – June 30, 2021)



Chickpea Genomics and Molecular Breeding
Adjunct Professor

(Apr 2018 to date)

University of Southern Queensland, Australia Crop improvement
Acting Theme Leader-ESA Biotechnology (Aug 8, 2018 to Feb 8, 2019) ICRISAT,


Scientist- Applied Genomics and Genotyping Services Laboratory

(Nov 15, 2012- Mar 31, 2016)



Chickpea Genomics and Genotyping Services
Visiting Scientist ICRISAT,


Applied Genomics
  • Associate Editor – Frontiers in Genetics
  • Editorial Board Member – BMC Genomic Data
  • Invited Speaker– in several national and international conferences like Plant and Animal Genome Conference 2018 (Seoul, South Korea), 2015 (Singapore), 2013 (California, USA), InterDrought V, 2017 (Hyderabad, India), International Conference on Biotechnology and Bioengineering Trend 2017 (Hyderabad, India), DBT-ABLE conference 2014 (Bangalore, India);

Products through molecular breeding:

  • High yielding and drought tolerant (BGM 10216) and Fusarium wilt resistant (MABC-WR-SA-1) chickpea molecular breeding varieties released for commercial cultivation in India

Genetic resources:

  • Developed TILLING populations in pearl millet and chickpea- a resource for reverse genetics studies

Mapped several economically important traits

  • Chickpea (drought, heat, salinity, Fusarium wilt, Ascochyta blight, Nutrition related traits)
  • Sorghum (Aluminum tolerance, root traits)
  • Pigeonpea (Fusarium wilt)

Genomic resources:

  • Developed >3000 SSR markers for chickpea and Diversity Array Technology platform with 15360 features
  • Identified millions of variations in the genome including SSRs, SNPs, and InDel markers for use in genetics and breeding applications
  • Developed of SNP database and tool for parallel, automated and rapid quality control analysis of large-scale NGS data
  • Developed 5 genetic maps, consensus map, physical map for chickpea and high-density genetic map for chickpea
  • QTLs for drought tolerance, Salt tolerance, Fusarium wilt and Ascochyta blight
  • Fine mapping of “QTL-hotspot” and identification of candidate genes for drought tolerance
  •  Diagnostic markers for drought tolerance and FW wilt and Ascochyta blight resistance

Genome sequences:

  • Draft genome sequence of pearl millet and re-sequencing of ~1000 pearl millet germplasm lines
  • Contributed to draft genome sequence of chickpea
  • Led sequencing of 35 parental lines of 16 mapping populations, re-sequencing of 129 chickpea release varieties, and 1200 MAGIC lines.

Organization of training/workshops/conferences:

  • Convener for National Seminar on OMICs Technologies for Better Food and Nutrition, Feb 25, 2016 at Telangana University, Dichpally, Nizamabad, Telangana State.
  • Organizing member of Plant Genome Conference July 14-15, 2016, in Brisbane, Australia
  • Organizing Committee member of “Next Generation Genomics & Breeding for Crop Improvement (Dec 17-21, 2018), Advanced Genomics & Breeding Technologies for Accelerating Genetic Gains (Dec 20, 2018), respectively at ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India
  • Organizing Committee member of Mini Symposium on “Advanced Genomics & Breeding Technologies for Accelerating Genetic Gains”, Dec 20, 2018

Organizing Committee member of Basic Training Course on “Molecular Markers for Crop Improvement” Dec 10-14, 2018

As Principal Investigator (on going)

Title of Project Funding Agency Amount Duration
Deciphering the Mechanism of Resistance to Root Lesion Nematode in Chickpea by Using Genetic and Genomic Approaches SERB, Govt of India 68 Lakhs 3 years

 As Principal Investigator (completed)

Title of Project Funding Agency Amount Duration
Identification of candidate genes for early flowering and seed size using MutMap approach SERB, Govt of India 38 Lakhs


3 years
Development of climate resilient chickpea varieties using genomics-assisted breeding and promotion of best suitable cultivars for food and nutritional security in Karnataka state of India Government of Karnataka under SUJALA IV scheme


1.53 Crores


3 years
  1. Manchikatla P, ……Thudi M*, (2021) MutMap approach enables rapid identification of candidate genes and development of markers associated with early flowering and enhanced seed size in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Frontiers in Plant Science 12:688694 *Corresponding author
  2. Jha UC, Nayyar H, Palakurthi R, Jha R, Valluri V, Bajaj P, Chitikineni A, Singh NP, Varshney RK, Thudi M*. (2021) Major QTLs and Potential Candidate Genes for Heat Stress Tolerance Identified in Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Frontiers in Plant Science 2021; doi: 10.3389/fpls.2021.655103 (*Corresponding Author)
  3. Sab S, Lokesha R, Mannur DM, Somasekhar, Jadhav K, Mallikarjuna BP, C L, Yeri S, Valluri V, Bajaj P, Chitikineni A, Vemula A, Rathore A, Varshney RK, Shankergoud I and Thudi M* (2020) Genome-Wide SNP Discovery and Mapping QTLs for Seed Iron and Zinc Concentrations in Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Front. Nutr. 7:559120. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2020.559120. (*Corresponding Author)
  4. Thudi M, et al. (2021) Novel genes and genetic loci associated with root morphological traits, phosphorus-acquisition efficiency and phosphorus-use efficiency in chickpea. Front. Plant Sci. 12:636973. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2021.636973
  5. Bharadwaj C, Tripathi S, Soren KR, Thudi M, et al. (2020) Introgression of “QTL-hotspot” region enhances drought tolerance and grain yield in three elite chickpea cultivars. Plant Genome 14(1):e20076. doi: 10.1002/tpg2.20076 (Joint First Author)
  6. Mannur DM, Babbar A, Thudi M, et al. (2019) Super Annigeri 1 and improved JG 74: two Fusarium wilt-resistant introgression lines developed using marker-assisted backcrossing approach in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Molecular Breeding 39(1): 2 (Joint First Author)
  7. Varshney RK, Roorkiwal M, Sun S, Bajaj P, Chitikineni A, Thudi M, et al. (2021) A chickpea genetic variation map based on the sequencing of 3,366 genomes. Nature 599: 622–627
  8. Varshney RK, Thudi M, et al. (2019) Resequencing of 429 chickpea accessions from 45 countries provides insights into genome diversity, domestication and agronomic traits. Nature Genetics 51:857-864
  9. Varshney RK, Shi C, Thudi M, et al. (2017) Pearl millet genome sequence provides a resource to improve agronomic traits in arid environments. Nature Biotechnology 35:969-975
  10. Mashaki KM, Garg V, Ghomi AAN, Kudapa H, Chitikineni A, Nezhad KZ, Yamchi A, Soltanloo H, Varshney RK, Thudi M* (2018) RNA-Seq analysis revealed genes associated with drought stress response in kabuli chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). PLoS ONE 13(6): e0199774 (*Corresponding Author)
  11. Thudi M, et al. (2016) Recent breeding programs enhanced genetic diversity in both desi and kabuli varieties of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Scientific Reports 6: 38636
  12. Thudi M*, et al. (2016) Whole genome re-sequencing reveals genome wide variations among parental lines of mapping populations in chickpea (Cicer arietinum). BMC Plant Biology 16 (Suppl1):10 (*Corresponding author)
  13. Thudi M, et al. (2011) Novel SSR markers from BAC-end sequences, DArT arrays and a comprehensive genetic map with 1,291 marker loci for chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). PLoS ONE 6(11): e27275
  14. Thudi M, et al. (2014) Genetic dissection of drought and heat tolerance in chickpea through genome-wide and candidate gene-based association mapping approaches. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96758

Moblile No.  – 9701207056
Email id