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Ramesh Raju Vetukuri

Ramesh Vetukuri
Associate Professor / Docent Biotron Development leader


We are interested in plant-microbe and microbiome interactions focusing on developing new and sustainable ways to improve plant yield and control diseases. I currently work at the Department of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp. My group focuses on microbes and their effectors, including small RNAs that modulate plant traits.

Our work is currently focused on the following projects:

Spray-induced gene silencing technology to control plant traits and diseases.

Exploiting the biological activity of beneficial microbes in plant breeding (Microbe assisted breeding).

Comparative omics of plant and diverse microbes.

Environmental and ecological analysis of microbiome diversity, pathogenicity, and community interactions.



Interviews about our work on Spray induced gene silencing to control lateblight disease on  lantbruksnytt, Swedish radio P1 and on plantlink network website

Selected publications

Abreha B, Enyew M, Carlsson AS, Vetukuri RR, Feyissa T Motlhaodi T, Ng’uni D, Geleta, M (2021) Sorghum in dryland: morphological, physiological, and molecular responses of sorghum under drought stress. Planta 255, 20.     

Piombo E, Vetukuri RR, Broberg A, Kalyandurg PB, Kushwaha S, Funck Jensen D, Karlsson M, Dubey M. (2021) Role of Dicer-dependent RNA interference in regulating mycoparasitic interactions. Microbiol Spectr 9:e01099-21.

Mulatu A., Alemu T, Megersa N, and Vetukuri RR (2021) Optimization of Culture Conditions and Production of Bio-Fungicides from Trichoderma Species under Solid-State Fermentation Using Mathematical Modeling. Microorg. 9.

Vetukuri RR,  Dubey M, Kalyandurg  PB Carlsson AS, Whisson SC and Ortiz R (2021) Spray-induced gene silencing: an innovative strategy for plant trait improvement and disease control. Crop Breed. Appl. Biotechnol. 21.

Kalyandurg PB, Sundararajan P, Dubey M, Ghadamgahi F, Zahid AM,  Whisson SC, Vetukuri RR  (2021) Spray-induced gene silencing as a potential tool to control 1 potato late blight disease. Phytopathology  

Thorpe P, Vetukuri R R, Hedley PE, Morris J, Whisson MA, Welsh LRJ and Whisson SC (2021) Draft genome assemblies for tree pathogens Phytophthora pseudosyringae and Phytophthora boehmeriae. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics.

Zahid MA, Sandroni M, Vetukuri RR and Andreasson, E. (2021) A fast, non-destructive method for the detection of disease-related lesions and wounded leaves. Biotechniques.

Wang S, Vetukuri RR,  Kushwaha SK,  Hedley PE,  Morris J, Studholme DJ, Welsh LRJ, Boevink PC, Birch PRJ, Whisson SC (2021) Haustorium formation and a distinct biotrophic transcriptome characterize infection of Nicotiana benthamiana by the tree pathogen Phytophthora kernoviae. Molecular Plant Pathology 2021; 00: 1– 15.    

 Vahedi R, Rasouli-Sadaghiani M, Barin M, Vetukuri RR. Interactions between Biochar and Compost Treatment and Mycorrhizal Fungi to Improve the Qualitative Properties of a Calcareous Soil under Rhizobox Conditions. Agriculture. 2021; 11(10):993.                                  

Rouydel Z, Barin M, Rasouli-Sadaghiani MH, Khezri M, Vetukuri RR, Kushwaha S. Harnessing the Potential of Symbiotic Endophytic Fungi and Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria to Enhance Soil Quality in Saline Soils. Processes. 2021; 9(10):1810. 

Ye W, Wang Q, Tripathy S, Zhang M, Vetukuri RR (2021) Editorial: Genomics and Effectomics of Filamentous Plant Pathogens. Front. Genet. 12, 86.

Khalil S, Panda P, Ghadamgahi F, Rosberg A, Vetukuri RR (2021) Comparison of Two Commercial Recirculated Aquacultural Systems and Their Microbial Potential in Plant Disease Suppression.  BMC Microbiol 21, 205.

Stenberg JA, Sundh I, Becher PG, Björkman C, Dubey M, Egan PC, Friberg H, Gil JF, Jensen DF, Jonsson M, Karlsson M, Khalil S, Ninkovic v, Rehermann G, Vetukuri RR, Viketoft M (2021) When is it biological control? A framework of definitions, mechanisms, and classifications. J. Pest Sci. (2004). 1, 3.

Iqbal M, Jamshaid M, Zahid MA, Andreasson E, Vetukuri RR,  Stenberg JA (2021) Biological control of strawberry crown rot, root rot and grey mould by the beneficial fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. BioControl (2021).

Liu Q, Feng Z, Xu W, Vetukuri RR, Xu X (2021) Exogenous melatonin-stimulated transcriptomic alterations of Davidia involucrata seedlings under drought stress. Trees 1, 3.

Revadi SV, Giannuzzi VA, Vetukuri RR, Walker WB, Becher, PG (2021) Larval response to frass and guaiacol: detection of an attractant produced by bacteria from Spodoptera littoralis frass. J. Pest Sci. (2004). 1, 3.  

Vetukuri RR, Masini L, McDougal R, Panda P, de Zinger L, Brus-Szkalej M, Lankinen Å, Grenville-Briggs LJ (2020) The presence of Phytophthora infestans in the rhizosphere of a wild Solanum species may contribute to off-season survival and pathogenicity. Applied Soil Ecology 148:103475.

Vetukuri RR, Kalyandurg PB, Saripella GV, Sen D, Gil JS,  Lukhovitskaya NI, Grenville-Briggs LJ,  Savenkov EI (2020) Effect of RNA silencing suppression activity of Chrysanthemum Virus B P12 protein on small RNA species. – Accepted for publication, Archives of Virology.

Kushwaha S,  Vetukuri RR, Odilbekov F, Pareek N, Henriksson T, Chawade A (2020) Differential Gene Expression Analysis of Wheat Breeding Lines Reveal Molecular Insights in Yellow Rust Resistance under Field Conditions. Agronomy 10, 1888.

Liang D, Andersen CB, Vetukuri RR, Dou D, Grenville-Briggs LJ (2020) Horizontal gene transfer and tandem duplication shape the unique CAZyme complement of the mycoparasitic oomycetes Pythium oligandrum and Pythium periplocum. Front. Microbiol. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.581698.– Accepted for publication

Kumar M, Chawade A, Vetukuri RR, Vivekanand V, Pareek N (2020). Book chapter: Lignocellulolytic and Chitinolytic GlycosideHydrolases: Structure, Catalytic Mechanism, Directed Evolution and Industrial Implementation – Book title: Industrial Applications of Glycoside Hydrolases. - Accepted for publication, Doi:10.1007/978-981-15-4767-6_3

Muthusamy S, Vetukuri RR, Lundgren A, Ganji S, Zhu L, Brodelius PE, Kanagarajan S (2020). Transient expression and purification of β-caryophyllene synthase in Nicotiana benthamiana to produce β-caryophyllene in vitro. PeerJ 8:e8904

Tzelepis G, Hodén KP, Fogelqvist J, Åsman AKM, Vetukuri RR, Dixelius C (2020) Dominance of Mating Type A1 and Indication of Epigenetic Effects During Early Stages of Mating in Phytophthora infestans. Frontiers in Microbiology 11.

Larsson Herrera S, Tha C, Vetukuri RR, Knight A, Grenville-Briggs LJ, Tasin M. (2020) Monitoring and discrimination of Pandemis moths in apple orchards using semiochemicals, wing pattern morphology and DNA barcoding. Crop Protection doi:

Kalyandurg PB, Tahmasebi A, Vetukuri RR, Kushwaha SK, Lezzhov AA, Solovyev AG, Grenville-Briggs LJ, Savenkov EI (2019) Efficient RNA silencing suppression activity of Potato Mop-Top Virus 8K protein is driven by variability and positive selection. Virology.

Liu Q, Vetukuri RR, Xu W, Xu X (2019) Transcriptomic Responses of Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata Baill.) to Heat Stress at the Seedling Stage. Forests.

Vetukuri RR, Tripathy S, Malar C M, Panda A, Kushwaha SK, Chawade A, Andreasson E, Grenville-Briggs LJ, Whisson SC (2018) Draft genome sequence for the tree pathogen Phytophthora plurivora. Genome Biology and Evolution 2018:evy162-evy162.

Vetukuri RR, Kushwaha SK, Sen D, Whisson SC, Lamour KH, Grenville-Briggs LJ (2018) Draft genome of the oomycete taro pathogen Phytophthora colocasiae. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions,

Minina EA, Moschou PN, Vetukuri RR, Sanchez VV , Cardoso C, Liu Q , Elander PH, Dalman k , Beganovic M, Lindberg JY, Marmon S , Shabala L, Suarez MF, Ljung k,  Novák O, Shabala S, Stymne S, Hofius D, Bozhkov PV (2018) Transcriptional stimulation of rate-limiting components of the autophagic pathway improves plant fitness. Journal of Experimental Botany. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ery010.

Vetukuri RR, Whisson SC, Grenville-Briggs LJ (2017) Phytophthora infestans effector Pi14054 is a novel candidate suppressor of host silencing mechanisms. European Journal of Plant Pathology. DOI 10.1007/s10658-017-1222-9.

Rur, M Rämert B, Hökeberg M, Vetukuri RR, Grenville-Briggs L, Liljeroth E (2017) Screening of Alternative Products for Integrated Pest Management of Cucumber Powdery Mildew in Sweden. European Journal of Plant Pathology.

Grenville-Briggs LJ, Kushwaha SK, Cleary MR, Witzell J, Savenkov EI, Whisson SC, Chawade A, Vetukuri RR (2017) Draft Genome of the Oomycete pathogen Phytophthora cactorum Strain LV007 isolated from European Beech. Genomics Data.

Kushwaha SK*, Vetukuri RR*, Grenville-Briggs LJ (2017) Draft Genome Sequence of the Mycoparasitic Oomycete Pythium oligandrum Strain CBS 530.74. Genome announcements.*Joint first author

Kushwaha SK*, Vetukuri RR*, Grenville-Briggs LJ (2017) Draft Genome of Biocontrol Agent Pythium periplocum Strain CBS 532.74. Genome announcements. doi:10.1125/genomeA.00057-17 *Joint first author

Cleary MR, Blomquist M, Vetukuri RR, Böhlenius H, Witzell J (2017) Susceptibility of Phytophthora cambivora, P. plurivora and P. cactorum to common tree species in Sweden. Forest pathology. DOI: 10.1111/efp.12329

Löbmann MT, Vetukuri RR, Zinger LD, Alsanius BW, Grenville-Briggs LJ, Walter AJ (2016) The occurrence of pathogen suppressive soils in Sweden in relation to soil biota, soil properties, and farming practices. Applied Soil Ecology.

Åsman AK, Fogelqvist J, Vetukuri RR, Dixelius C (2016) Phytophthora infestans Argonaute 1 binds microRNA and small RNAs from effector genes and transposable elements. New Phytol. 211(3):993-1007. doi: 10.1111/nph.13946. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Burra DD, Vetukuri RR, Resjö S, Grenville-Briggs LJ, Andreasson E (2015) RNAseq and Proteomics for Analysing Complex Oomycete Plant Interactions. Curr Issues Mol Biol. 19:73-88.

Lukhovitskaya NI, Cowan GH, Vetukuri RR, Tilsner J, Torrance L, Savenkov EI (2015) Importin-α mediated nucleolar localisation of potato mop-top virus TRIPLE GENE BLOCK1 (TGB1) protein facilitates virus systemic movement, whereas TGB1 self-interaction is required for cell-to-cell movement in Nicotiana benthamiana. Plant Physiology 167: 738-752.

Jahan SN, Åsman AKM, Corcoran P, Fogelqvist J, Vetukuri RR, Dixelius C (2015) Plant-mediated gene silencing restricts growth of the potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans J. Exp. Bot., doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv094

Lukhovitskaya NI*, Vetukuri RR*, Sama I, Thaduri S, Solovyev AG, and Savenkov EI (2014) A viral transcription factor exhibits antiviral RNA silencing suppression activity independent of its nuclear localization. J. Gen. Virol. doi10.1099/vir.0.067884-0 *Joint first author

Munch D, Teh O-K, Malinovsky FG, Liu Q, Vetukuri RR, El Kasmi F, Brodersen P, Hara-Nishimura I, Dangl JL, Petersen M, Mundy J, Hofius D (2015) Retromer Contributes to Immunity-Associated Cell Death in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. doi:

Åsman* AKM, Vetukuri RR*, Jahan SN, Fogelqvist J, Avrova AO, Whisson SC, Dixelius C (2014) Fragmentation of tRNA in Phytophthora infestans asexual life cycle stages and during host plant infection. BMC Microbiology 14:308. *Joint first author

Vetukuri RR, Åsman AKM, Jahan SN, Avrova AO, Whisson SC, Dixelius C (2013) Phenotypic diversification by gene silencing in Phytophthora plant pathogens. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 6:e25890.

Vetukuri RR, Åsman AKM, Tellgren-Roth C, Jahan SN, Reimegård J, Fogelqvist J, Savenkov EI, Söderbom F, Avrova AO, Whisson SC, Dixelius C (2012) Evidence for small RNAs Homologous to Effector-Encoding Genes and Transposable Elements in the Oomycete Phytophthora infestans. PLoS ONE 7(12): e51399. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051399

Whisson SC, Vetukuri RR, Avrova AO, and Dixelius C. (2012) Can silencing of transposons contribute to variation in effector gene expression in Phytophthora infestans? Mobile Genetic Elements. 2 (2): 110 – 114.

Vetukuri RR, Zhendong T, Avrova AO, Savenkov EI, Dixelius C, Whisson SC (2011) Silencing of the PiAvr3a effector-encoding gene from Phytophthora infestans by transcriptional fusion to a short interspersed element. Fungal Biol 115:1225-1233.

Vetukuri RR, Avrova AO, Grenville-Briggs LJ, Van West P, Söderbom F, Savenkov, EI, Whisson SC, Dixelius C (2011) Evidence for involvement of Dicer-like, Argonaute and histone deacetylase proteins in gene silencing in Phytophthora infestans. Mol Plant Pathol. 12:772-785.

Bos JI, Armstrong MR, Gilroy EM, Boevink PC, Hein I, Taylor RM, Zhendong T, Engelhardt S, Vetukuri RR, Harrower B, Dixelius C, et al  (2010) Phytophthora infestans effector AVR3a is essential for virulence and manipulates plant immunity by stabilizing host E3 ligase CMPG1. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 107, 9909–9914.


Department of Plant Breeding,
Horticum, Box 101,
Växtskyddsvägen 1,
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences,
SE-230 53 Alnarp,



Researcher, Development Manager at the Cultivation Unit; Biotron Researcher, Development Manager at the Institutionen för växtförädling
Telephone: +4640415340
Postal address:
Odlingsenheten, Biotronen, Box 103
23053 ALNARP
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 14, Alnarp
Postal address:
Odlingsenheten, Biotronen, Box 103
23053 ALNARP
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 14, Alnarp