SK Gupta

SK Gupta
Principal Scientist
Crop Improvement
Asia Program

Dr SK Gupta, Principal Scientist, heads ICRISAT’s pearl millet breeding research. Since 2008, his focus has been on developing hybrid parents (both seed and restorer parents) of pearl millet with high productivity and abiotic and biotic stress tolerance. He has been instrumental in disseminating these to partners to enable them to develop high-yielding hybrids to suit different agro-ecologies. Earlier, while working as Plant Breeder at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (2001-2008), he developed about 10 promising varieties of chickpea, pigeonpea, green gram and black gram.

Dr Gupta was the Objective Lead for coordinated breeding activities of the South Asian and West African pearl millet breeding programs in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded HOPE project (2010-2015); Product Line lead for ‘Pearl millet in South Asia and Eastern Africa’ (2012-2016), and Flagship Leader (2015-16) in the CGIAR Research Program – Dryland Cereals. He has collaborated with several Central Asian countries in the ICBA-ICARDA-ICRISAT project to identify pearl millet cultivars suitable for salinity affected areas. While partnering with multiple universities in the USA, he coordinated the standardization of genomic selection model for pearl millet, identified mechanisms of flowering period heat tolerance in pearl millet, and the development of high biomass pearl millet for 2G biofuels. With the purpose of developing and disseminating promising hybrid parents of pearl millet, he has over the last 10 years been coordinating with about 30 International and regional seed companies under the aegis of the ICRISAT-Pearl Millet Hybrid Parents Research Consortium (PMHPRC). He was member of the International Pearl millet Genome Sequencing Consortium and was involved in the publication of the pearl millet genome sequence in 2017.

Dr Gupta has extensive international collaborations with partners in more than 20 countries. He has mentored several PhD research scholars, published about 90 research papers in reputed national and international journals, books and conference proceedings, and is an active member of many professional societies.

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