Naveenkumar Athiyannan

Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellow



Research Interests

Naveenkumar Athiyannan's research is broadly focuses on genetics and genomics to understand plant-pathogen interactionparticularly, the interaction of cereal crops such as wheat and barley against the fungal pathogens that cause rust disease. To combat rust disease, these crops have evolved with resistance mechanisms. Athiyannan is currently utilizing the recent advances in cereal genomics to identify the genetic components that confer resistance to rust diseases.

Selected Publications

  1. Athiyannan N, Abrouk M, Boshoff WHP, Cauet S, Rodde N, Kudrna D, Mohammed N, Bettgenhaeuser J, Botha KS, Derman SS, Wing RA, Prins R*, Krattinger SG* (2022) Long-read genome sequencing of bread wheat facilitates disease resistance gene cloning. Nature Genetics 54: 227-231.
  2. Athiyannan N, Aouini L, Wang Y, Krattinger SG* (2022) Unconventional R proteins in the botanical tribe Triticeae. Essays in Biochemistry 2022: EBC20210081.
  3. Abrouk M, Athiyannan N, Muller T, Pailles Y, Stritt C, Roulin AC, Chu C, Liu S, Morita T, Handa H, Poland J, Keller B, Krattinger SG* (2021) Population genomics and haplotype analysis in spelt and bread wheat identifies a gene regulating glume color. Communications Biology 4:375.


  • PhD, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, Australia, 2019
  • MSc, Biochemistry, Kongunadu Arts and Science College, Bharathiar University, India, 2009

Professional Profile

  • 2019-present: Postdoctoral Fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2018-2019: Research Assistant, CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Canberra, Australia
  • 2015-2018: Postgraduate Researcher, CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Canberra, Australia
  • 2010-2015: Senior Research Fellow, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • The Indian Science Congress
  • Society for Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology (India)
  • Society of Biological Chemists (India)
  • Australian Society for Plant Scientists (ASPS)


  • CSIRO Chairman’s Medal for Science and Excellence (Team award), CSIRO, Canberra, Australia, 2017
  • Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) Travel award, 2017
  • CSIRO Agriculture and Food Director’s Diversity and Inclusion Award (Team award)
  • The Crawford Fund Conference Scholar, 2015
  • The University of Queensland Centennial Scholarship, 2014
  • Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship, 2014