Naveenkumar Athiyannan's research is broadly focuses on genetics and genomics to understand plant-pathogen interaction—particularly,
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.