Dr. Celia Chalam Vasimalla

Head of Division
Division of Plant Quarantine
Plant Pathology
celia.chalam(AT), mailcelia(AT)
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Salient Achievements:
• Methodology developed for detection and identification of viruses in germplasm by using a strategic combination of Electron Microscopy (EM), Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Reverse Transcription- Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) by which 45 viruses including 19 viruses not reported from India such as Cherry leaf roll virus (CLRV) and Tomato ring spot virus (ToRSV) were intercepted. The major impact is the exclusion of viruses which could have lead to economic yield losses, if these were not intercepted in quarantine. This also facilitated conservation of virus-free seeds of introduced germplasm in National GeneBank.
• Established modern virology laboratory in Division of Plant Quarantine, ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi which is of international standard.
• Developed a multiplex RT-PCR method for simultaneous detection and discrimination of three viruses (CLRV, ToRSV and GFLRV).
• Prepared pathway-based country-specific generic Pest Risk Analysis for 190 crop species with reference to viruses of which 140 were notified in Gazette.
• Database on Potential Quarantine Pests (PQPs) of cereals, grain legumes, oilseeds and tropical and sub-tropical horticultural crops has been developed as a ready reckoner to quarantine scientists and officials of NPPO.
• Developed three high-yielding, disease resistant varieties viz., Arka Arunima (amaranth), Arka Anupama (spinach) and Selection-9 (carrot) along with breeders.
• Prepared a national map of seed-transmitted viruses of grain legumes based on surveys in 9 states for 3 years and by testing 1842 seed samples from 21 states. The results identified some virus-free sites.
• Seed standards for certification against viruses of pea and soybean were developed.
• Human resource developed through Trainings “Biosecurity and Biosafety”, “Diagnostic Methods for Detection and Identification of Pests” and “Biosafety of Transgenics and Detection of GMOs”.
• Organized 14 Training Workshops on “Strengthening Capacities of Enforcement Agencies (Plant Quarantine and Customs Officials) for Transboundary Movement of living modified organisms” during 2015 to 2018. Training Workshops, each of two days duration have been organized for the plant quarantine and customs officials at different parts of the country. A total of 385 officials, which included Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, Superintendents, Inspectors, Appraisers, Examiners, Preventive Officers from Customs and Joint Directors, Plant Protection Officers, Assistant Plant Protection Officers and Scientific Assistants etc. from Plant Quarantine were trained in these workshops.
  • “Dr RDVJ Prasada Rao Memorial Award” for outstanding contribution to the science of plant protection in Diagnostics and Plant Biosecurity for 2012 by Plant Protection Association of India, Hyderabad.
  • Fellow of Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources 2011 for significant contributions to the field of plant genetic resources.
  • Biography included in 2011-2012 (11th) Edition of Who is Who in Science and Engineering, the world-renowned reference directory by the publisher of Who's Who in America.
  • Biography included  in 2011-2012 (11th) Edition of Who's Who in Asia.
  • Five best paper/ poster awards for papers presented during various national/ international Conferences.
  • Two Commendation Certificates for papers presented during national symposium.
  • Two Gold Medals for securing highest OGPA while completing M.Sc (Ag).
  • C.S.I.R Senior Research Fellowship during Ph.D.
  • "Certificate of Achievement" for Ph.D thesis work at Asia Center of ICRISAT, Hyderabad.
  • Expert Member
    • Project Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (PMEC) (2008 onwards) and Accreditation Panel (2010 onwards) under the National Certification System for Tissue Culture-raised Plants of  Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India.
    •  Visited Germplasm Health Unit of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria in 2010 as an Expert on Plant Virology (Virus indexing of germplasm).
    • Assessment Team of National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, to assess the GMO detection laboratory of Avesthagen Quality Agriculture Services Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore (2007).
    • Team on Vegetable Crops constituted to suggest suitable remedial measures for management of fungal, bacterial and viral diseases of vegetable crops viz., cauliflower, chilli, cucumber, French bean and tomato to farmers in A.P. (1999).
  • Editor, Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources (2010 onwards)
  • Editor, Journal of Mycology and Plant Pathology (2014 onwards)
  • Editor, Indian Journal of Plant Protection (2005-06)
  • Editor, Indian Society of Mycology and Plant Pathology News (2005-2006)
Recent Publications Research Papers
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Last Updated : 20/06/2023