Contact Information:

Research Scientist - Bioinformatics

Corteva Agriscience, Hyderabad, India



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Ramu Punna

Genomic Selection Application Coordinator

Research Interests:


I am interested in developing low cost and high throughput genotyping technologies to help breeders  genotype a large number of samples to increase genetic gain and help breeders to implement genomic selection (GS) as a routine practice in their breeding programs. Currently, my focus is to apply these technologies in maize, sorghum, rice, wheat, chickpea, and cassava. For this work, I am collaborating with the breeders working in CGIAR institutes such as CIMMYT, ICRISAT, IRRI, and IITA.


I am  also interested in studying cassava. Cassava shows higher levels of inbreeding depression, drop yield by 65% in the first generation of selfing. I am researching the distribution of deleterious mutations in cassava genome and estimating the mutation burden in cultivated cassava clones. I have sequenced a large number of cultivated cassava clones and developed cassava HapMapII with 241 clones. In the initial analysis, I found that genetic load is increased in cassava after domestication. Breeders are managing the load by keeping the majority of deleterious mutations in a heterozygous state to mask the deleterious effects on cassava plant fitness. I am in the process of developing strategies to purge genetic load from cultivated cassava clones. I am also developing genomic selection models to incorporate mutational burden information to improve the prediction accuracy in cassava. 


•    Ph.D. in Genetics, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana, India


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