Dr. Mihir Mandal




University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Ph.D., 2012 (Plant Pathology). Thesis Title: Molecular and Biochemical Characterization of Oleate- and Glycerol-3-Phosphate Regulated Signaling in Plants

G. B. Pant University ofAgriculture  & Technology, Pantnagar, Uttaranchal, India.

M.Sc., 2003 (Molecular Biology & Biotechnology). Thesis Title: Study on the influence of jasmonic acid as potential activator of induced resistance against karnal bunt (Tilletia indica)

Assam Agricultural University, India
B.Sc., 2001 (Agricultural Sciences, Plant Breeding & Genetics).

Research Interests

Plant-Microbe/Microbiome Interactions, Plant Genomics & Molecular Breeding, CRISPR/cas9 Gene Editing in Vegetable Crops, Metabolomics


Professional Appointments and research activities:
US vegetable Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Charleston, SC
ORISE-USDA Postdoctoral Research Associate, 2015 – Present

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Dept. of Biochemistry and Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation 
Postdoctoral Research Associate, 2012 - 2015

University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Department of Plant Pathology
Research Assistant, 2006 -2012

National Institute of Plant Genome Research, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India
Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory
Research Fellow, 2003-2006

Activities and Honors

  • 2017, Recipient of 2017 APS Foundation Plant Pathology Experiential Award.
  • 2012, Recipient of Myrle E. and Verle D. Nietzel Visiting Distinguished Faculty Award for outstanding PhD Dissertation by University of Kentucky.
  • 2011, Scientific image selected as the cover picture of The EMBO Journal, Vol. 30.
  • 2011, Awarded travel grant by ASPB as PhD student to attend the annual meeting.
  • 2010-a, Awarded travel grant by University of Kentucky Graduate School.
  • 2010-b, Awarded travel grant by University of Kentucky Graduate School.
  • 2009, Awarded travel grant by University of Kentucky Graduate School.
  • 2006-2012, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Kentucky. 
  • 2006, Awarded DAAD Research Fellowship from Germany for pursuing Ph.D.
  • 2003-2006, Awarded Junior/Senior Research Fellowship by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-JRF), Government of India.
  • 2003, Awarded Agriculture Research Service (ARS-NET), ICAR, Government of India.
  • 2003, Qualified GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) with 90.23 percentile.
  • 2001-2003, Awarded M.Sc. fellowship by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
  • 1997-2001, Awarded merit scholarship during B.S. by Assam Agricultural University.
  • 1994, Awarded National Merit Certificate by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for outstanding academic performance in Class 10thexam.

current teaching:
Biol 202 (Botany); Biol 202-L (Botany Lab); Biol 405 (Ecology); Biol 405-L (Ecology Lab

current funding as co-pi:

  • National Watermelon Association. Total Funds: $9,500.00; Feb 1, 2018 – Dec 31, 2018 (Project PI: Shaker Kousik; Co-PI:Mihir Mandal).
  • National Watermelon Association. Total Funds: $9,620.00; Feb 1, 2018 – Jan 31, 2019 [Project PI: Shaker Kousik; Co-PI:Mihir Mandal, Scott Adkins & William W Turechek (USDA, ARS, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory), Pamela D Roberts (University of Florida)].

Recent Publications

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Y1GsZP8AAAAJ&hl=en(Total citations: 605)

  1. Mandal MK, Suren H, Ward B, Boroujerdi A, Kousik C (2018). Differential roles of melatonin in plant-host resistance and pathogen suppression in cucurbits. Journal of Pineal Research,https://doi.org/10.1111/jpi.12505.
  2. Kousik C, Mandal MK, Hassell R(2018). Powdery Mildew Resistant Rootstocks Impart Tolerance to Grafted Susceptible Watermelon Scion Seedlings. Plant Diseasehttps://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-09-17-1384-RE.
  3. Kousik C, Ikerd J, Mandal MK, Adkins S, Turechek WW(2018). Watermelon germplasm lines: USVL608-PMR, USVL255-PMR, USVL313-PMR and USVL585-PMR with broad resistance to powdery mildew. HORTSCIENCE, 53: 1212-1217.
  4. Kousik C, Ikerd J, Mandal MK, Adkins S, Webster CG, Turechek WW(2018). Powdery mildew resistant bottle gourd germplasm lines: USVL351-PMR and USVL482-PM. HORTSCIENCE, 53: 1224-1227.
  5. Kousik C, Ikerd J, Mandal MK (2018). Evaluation of watermelon varieties for tolerance to powdery mildew and Phytophthora fruit rot, 2015. Plant Disease Management Reports12: V076.
  6. Kousik C, Ikerd J, Mandal MK (2018). Evaluation of watermelon varieties for tolerance to powdery mildew, 2016. Plant Disease Management Reports12: V075.
  7. Kousik C, Ikerd J, Mandal MK (2018). Evaluation of fungicide rotations and Melcast for management of Phytophthora fruit rot of watermelon, 2016. Plant Disease Management Reports12: V074
  8. Kousik C, Ikerd J, Mandal MK (2016). First Report of Fruit Rot of Ridge Gourd (Luffa acutangula) Caused by Sclerotium rolfsiiPlant Health Progress17: 13-14. 
  9. Desai M,Rangarajan P, Donahue J, Williams SP, Mandal MK, Perera IY, Raboy V, Gillaspy G. (2014).  Two-inositol Hexakisphosphate Kinases drive inositol pyrophosphate synthesis in plants.Plant Journal80: 642 – 653. 
  10. Yu K, Soares JM, Mandal MK, Wang CChanda BGifford AN, Fowler JS, Navarre D, Kachroo A, Kachroo P. (2013). A Feedback Regulatory Loop between G3P and Lipid Transfer Proteins DIR1 and AZI1 Mediates Azelaic-Acid-Induced Systemic ImmunityCell Reports3: 1266 – 1278. 
  11. Mandal MK, Chandra-Shekara AC, Jeong RD, Yu K, Zhu SChanda BNavarre D, Kachroo A, Kachroo P. (2012). Oleic acid-dependent modulation of NITRIC OXIDE ASSOCATED 1-protein levels regulates nitric oxide-mediated signaling in plant defense.Plant Cell24: 1654 – 1674.
  12. Mandal MK, Chanda B, Xia YYu K, Sekine K, Gao Q, Selote D, Navarre D,Kachroo A, Kachroo P. (2011). Glycerol-3-phosphate in systemic signaling. Plant Signaling & Behavior,6:1871-1874. 
  13. Chanda B, Xia Y, Mandal MK, Yu K, Sekine K, Gao Q, Selote D, Hu Y,Stromberg, A, Navarre D, Kachroo A, Kachroo P. (2011). Glycerol-3-phosphate a critical mobile inducer of systemic immunity in plants. Nature Genetics43: 421 - 427. (Faculty of 1000 Biology).
  14.  Ashraf N, Ghai D, Barman P, Basu S, Nagaraju G, Mandal MK, Chakraborty N, Datta A, Chakraborty S. (2009). Comparative analyses of genotype dependent expressed sequence tags and stress responsive transcriptome of chickpea wilt illustrates predicted and unexpected genes and novel regulators of plant immunity. BMC Genomics10: 415. (Highly Accessed Article).
  15. Venugopal SC, Jeong RD, Mandal MK, Zhu S, Chandra-Shekara AC, Xia Y, Hersh M, Stromberg AJ, Navarre D, Kachroo A, Kachroo P. (2009). Enhanced disease susceptibility 1 and salicylic acid act redundantly to regulate resistance gene-mediated signaling. PLoS Genetics5: e1000545.
  16.  Mandal MK, Pandey D, Purwar S, Singh US, Kumar A. (2006).Influence of jasmonic acid as potential activator of induced resistance against karnal bunt in developing spikes of wheat.J Biosci31: 607 – 616. 

Mihir Mandal
Dr. Mihir Mandal
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
  • School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
James S. Thomas Science Center Room 218
(803) 535-5664