Abhaya M. Dandekar

Abhaya Dandekar

Position Title

Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

152 Robbins Hall

Research Interests

Molecular, biochemical and genomic dissection of phenotypic traits in fruit trees

Plant phenotypes describe the physiological and genetic basis of agriculturally significant problems. My laboratory is interested in dissecting phenotypic traits to define the underlying molecular genetics, physiological and biochemical mechanisms that regulate their expression. Our focus is on trees and on phenotypic traits that regulate productivity and quality of fruit and nuts. We categorize genes through the analysis of their encoded functional products, mRNA, small RNA, proteins and/or metabolites that contribute to the genetic basis of phenotypic traits. An outcome of this effort is the discovery of novel genes, the development of trait specific diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group
  • Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Plant Biology

Specialties / Focus

  • Computational Biology
  • Epigenomics
  • Integrated Genetics and Genomics
  • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Genomics
  • Synthetic Biology


  • BIT 160 Principles of Plant Biotechnology , Winter
  • BIT 001 Introduction to Biotechnology , Spring
  • PLS 298 Transgenic plant and in vitro plant-based expression systems , Spring
  • HRT 298 Horticulture Core Course, Fall


  • 1974 MSc Microbiology M.S. University of Baroda, India
  • 1979 PhD Microbiology M.S. University of Baroda, India
  • 1982 Post Doc Molecular Biology National Institutes of Health, USA


Escobar, M.A., E.L. Civerolo, K.R. Summerfelt and A.M. Dandekar. 2001. RNAi-mediated oncogene silencing confers resistance to crown gall tumorigenesis. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 98: 13437-13442.

Koichiro Ushijima, K., H. Sassa, A.M. Dandekar, T.M. Gradziel, R. Tao, and H. Hirano. 2003. Structural and transcriptional analysis of self-incompatibility (S) locus of almond (Prunus dulcis): identification of a pollen-expressed F-box gene with haplotype-specific polymorphism. Plant Cell 15(3): 771-781.

Dandekar, A.M., G. Teo, B.G. Defilippi, S.L. Uratsu, A.J. Passey, A.A. Kader, J. R. Stow, R.J. Colgan and D.J. James. 2004. Effect of down-regulation of ethylene biosynthesis on fruit flavor complex in apple fruit. Transgenic Res. 13: 373-384.

Aguero, C.B., Uratsu, S.L., Greve, L.C., Powell, A.L.T., Labavitch, J.M., Meredith, C.P. and Dandekar, A.M. 2005. Evaluation of tolerance to Pierce’s Disease and Botrytis in transgenic plants of Vitis vinifera L. Expressing the Pear PGIP gene. Molecular Plant Pathology 6(1) 43-51.

Barckley, K.K., S.L. Uratsu, T.M. Gradziel and A.M. Dandekar. 2006. Multidimensional Analysis of S-alleles from Cross-Incompatible Groups of California Almond Cultivars. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 131: 632-636.

Sudarshana, M.R., M.A Plesha, S.L. Uratsu, B.W. Falk, A.M. Dandekar, T-K. Huang and K.A. McDonald. 2006. A chemically inducible cucumber mosaic virus amplicon system for expression of heterologous proteins in plant tissues. Plant Biotechnology J. 4: 551-559.

Martinelli, F., S.L. Uratsu, R.L. Reagan, Y. Chen, D. Tricoli, O. Fiehn, D.M. Rocke, C.S. Gasser and A.M. Dandekar. 2009. Gene regulation in parthenocarpic tomato fruit. J. Exptl. Bot. 60(13): 3873-3890.

Kumar, P., S. Uratsu, A. Dandekar and B. Falk. 2009. Tomato bushy stunt virus recombination guided by introduced miRNA target sequences. J. Virol. 83 (20): 10472-10479.

Muir, R.M., A.M. Ibanez, S.L. Uratsu, E.S. Ingham, C.A. Leslie, G.H. McGranahan, N. Batra, S. Goyal., J. Joseph., E.D. Jemmis and A.M. Dandekar 2011. Mechanism of gallic acid biosynthesis in bacteria (E.coli) and walnut (J.regia). Plant Mol. Biol. 75: 555-565.

Akagi, A., A. Dandekar and H. Stotz. 2011. Resistance of Malus domestica fruits to Botrytis cinerea depends on endogenous ethylene biosynthesis. Phytopathol. 101 (11): 1311-1321.

Wu, J., Y.Q. Gu. Y. Hu, F.M. You, A.M. Dandekar, C.A. Leslie, M. Aradhaya, J. Dvorak and M-C. Luo. 2012. Characterizing the walnut genome through analysis of BAC end sequences. Plant Mol. Biol. 78: 95-107.

Dandekar, A.M., H. Gouran, A.M. Ibanez, S.L. Uratsu, C.B. Aguero, S.McFarland, Y. Borhani, P.A. Fieldstein, G.E. Bruening, R. Nascimento, L. Goulart, P.E. Pardington, A. Choudhary, M. Norvell, R. Civerolo and Goutam Gupta. 2012. An engineered innate immune defense protects grapevines from Pierce’s Disease. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 109(10): 3721-3725.

Martinelli, F., S.L. Uratsu, U. Albrecht, R.L. Reagan, M.L. Phu, M. Britton, V. Buffalo, J. Fass, E. Leicht, W. Zhao, D. Lin, R.D. D’Souza, C.E. Davis, K.D. Bowman and A.M. Dandekar. 2011. Transcriptome profiling of citrus fruit response to huanglongbing disease. PLoS ONE 7(5): e38039. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038039.

You, F.M., K.R. Deal, J. Wang, M.T. Britton, J.N. Fass, D. Lin, A. Dandekar, C.A. Leslie, M. Aradhya, M-C. Luo and J. Dvorak. 2012. Genome-wide SNP discovery in walnut with an AGSNP pipeline updated for SNP discovery in allogamous organisms. BMC Genomics 13: 354 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-354.

Martinelli, F., R.L. Reagan, S.L. Uratsu, M.L. Phu, U. Albrecht, W. Zhao, C.E. Davis, K.D. Bowman and A.M. Dandekar. 2013. Gene regulatory networks elucidating Huanglongbing disease mechanisms. PLoS ONE Sep 25;8(9):e74256. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074256.

Walawage, S.L., M.T. Britton, C.A. Leslie, S.L. Uratsu, Y-Y. Li and A.M. Dandekar. 2013. Stacking Resistance to Crown Gall and Nematodes in Walnut Rootstocks. BMC Genomics 14(1): 668-681.

Chakraborty S., R. Minda, L. Salaye, A.M. Dandekar, S.K. Bhattacharjee and B.J. Rao. 2013. Promiscuity-based enzyme selection for rational directed evolution experiments. In, J. Samuelson (ed.), “Enzyme Engineering: Methods and Protocols”. Pub: Springer New York. Methods in Molecular Biology. 978: 205-216.

Ibanez, A.M. F. Martinelli, R.L. Reagan, S.L. Uratsu, A.Vo, M.A. Tinoco, M.L. Phu, Y. Chen, D.M. Rocke and A.M. Dandekar. 2014. Transcriptome and metabolome analysis to elucidate puffing disorder in citrus. Plant Sci. 217-218: 87-98.

Luo, M-C., F.M. You, P. Li, J-R. Wang, T.Wu, A.M. Dandekar, C.A. Leslie, M. Aradhaya, P.E. McGuire and J. Dvorak. 2015. Synteny analysis in Rosids with the walnut physical map reveals a suite of genomic characteristics common to long-lived woody perennials. BMC Genomics 16:707 (DOI 10.1186/s12864-015-1906-5).

Wu, T., Y. Wang, Y. Zheng, Z. Fei, A. Dandekar, K. Xu, Z. Han and L. Cheng. 2015. Suppressing sorbitol synthesis substantially alters the global expression profile of stress response genes in apple (Malus Domestica) leaves. Plant & Cell. Physiol. 56(9): 1748-1761.

Nascimento, R., H. Gouran, S. Chakraborty, H. Gillespie, H.O. Almeida-Souza, A. Tu, B.J. Rao, P.A. Feldstein, G. Bruening, L.R. Goulart and A.M. Dandekar. 2016. The type II secreted lipase/esterase LesA is a key virulence factor required for Xylella fastidiosa pathogenesis in grapevines. Nat. Sci Rep. 6, Article number: 18598 (doi:10.1038/srep18598).

Martinez-Garcia, P., M. Crepeau, D. Puiu, D. Gonzalez-Ibeas, J. Whalen, K. Stevens, R. Paul, T. Butterfield, M. Britton, R. Reagan, S. Chakraborty, S. Walawage, H. Vasquez-Gross, C. Cardeno, R. Famula, K. Pratt, S. Kuruganti, M. Aradhya, C. Leslie, A. Dandekar, S. Salzberg, J. Wegrzyn, C. Langley, and D. Neale. 2016. The walnut (Juglans regia) genome sequence reveals rich diversity in genes coding for the biosynthesis of nonstructural polyphenols. Plant J. 87: 507-532.

Pasamontes, A., W.H.K. Cheung, J. Simmons, D.J. Peirano, E.E. Grafton-Cardwell, T. Kapaun, A.M. Dandekar, O. Fiehn and C.E. Davis. 2016. Citrus tristeza virus infection in sweet orange citrus trees and a mandarin x tangor cross alters low molecular weight metabolites assessed using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Metabolomics 12:41 (DOI 10.1007/s11306-016-0959-z).

Chakraborty, S., M. Britton, P.J. Martínez-García and A.M. Dandekar. 2016. Deep RNA-Seq profile reveals biodiversity and plant-microbe interactions in walnut (Juglans regia) tissues. AMB Expr. 6:12 DOI 10.1186/s13568-016-0182-3.

Chakraborty, S., R. Nascimento, H. Gouran, P.A. Zaini, B.J. Rao, L.R. Goulart and A.M. Dandekar. 2016. Sequence/structural analysis of xylem proteome emphasizes pathogenesis-related proteins, chitinases and β-1,3-glucanases as key players in grapevine defense against Xylella fastidiosa. Peer J. 2016 May 24;4:e2007. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2007. eCollection 2016.

Gouran, H., H. Gillespie, R. Nascimento, S. Chakraborty, P.A.Zaini, A. Jacobson, B.S. Phinney, D. Dolan, B.P. Durbin-Johnson, E.S. Antonova, S.E. Lindow, M.S. Mellema, L.R. Gulart and A.M. Dandekar. 2016. A secreted protease PrtA controls cell growth, biofilm formation and pathogenicity in Xylella fastidiosa. Nat Sci. Rep.  Aug 5;6:31098. doi: 10.1038/srep31098.

Martinelli, F., D. Dolan, V. Fileccia, R.L. Reagan, M. Phu, T.M. Spann, T.G. McCollum, A.M. Dandekar. 2016a. Molecular responses to small regulating molecules against Huanglongbing disease. PLOS ONE. Jul 26;11(7):e0159610. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159610. eCollection 2016. PMID:27459099

Bjornson, M., A. Dandekar, J. Chory and K. Dehesh. 2016. Brassinosteroid’s multi-modular interaction with the general stress network customizes stimulus specific responses in Arabidopsis. Plant Sci. 250: 165-177.

Martinelli, F., R.L. Reagan, D. Dolan, V. Fileccia, A.M. Dandekar. 2016b. Proteomic analysis highlights the role of detoxification pathways in increased tolerance to Huanglongbing disease. BMC Plant Biol. Jul 28;16(1):167. doi: 10.1186/s12870-016-0858-5.