Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding


Fellow, Elected 2022

Born at Babhulgaon, Maharashtra, on 13th September, 1988,  Dr. Rajkumar completed his education from 6th to 12th class (1999-2006) at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Hingoli.  He completed his B.Sc. (Ag.) from Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapith, Parbhani, Maharashtra in 2010.  Both M.Sc. (Genetics) in 2012 & Ph.D. (Genetics & Plant Breeding) in 2017 from ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. He joined as Scientist in ICAR and posted at Division of Genetics, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi in April, 2016, after completing three months’ foundation training at ICAR-NAARM, Hyderabad (January-March, 2016).

Dr. Rajkumar has received many awards and honours which include DST-SERB International Research Experience to visit Iowa State University, USA for six months (2022), ISGPB - Dr. Srinivasa Ramanujam Memorial Award for Young Scientists (2022), Manihar Best PG Research in Maize Award (2020) of MTAI, ICAR-Jawaharlal Nehru Award (2018) for Outstanding Doctoral Research, ICAR-Senior Research Fellowship (2015), Full Sponsorship for oral paper presentation at 12th Asian Maize Conference, Bangkok, Thailand (2014), ASR-NET in Genetics and Plant Breeding (2013), UGC-Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for Ph. D. (2012-2015) and ICAR-Junior Research Fellowship for M. Sc. with first rank (2010-2012).

Dr. Rajkumar made significant contribution in maize breeding and basic research. He was involved in development of nine biofortified hybrids enriched with lysine, tryptophan and provitamin-A,  two shrunken2 gene-based sweet corn hybrids, two baby corn hybrids, and one field corn hybrid.  He developed first cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS)-T based baby corn hybrid “Pusa HM4 male sterile baby corn (Shishu)” which was released for North Western Plain Zone of the country.  Developed and evaluated series of male sterile baby corn hybrids and inbreds using CMS –T, –C and –S systems. Characterized lycopene epsilon cyclase (lcyE) gene and developed multiplex PCR assay amplifying ?-carotene hydroxylase (crtRB1) and lcyE genes for their utilization in provitamin-A biofortification. Identified resistant maize inbreds for Sitophilus oryzae infestation. Published 55 research papers in journals of repute. Also, authored 25 training manuals, six popular articles, nine book chapters and a review article. He is also involved in teaching and guiding M.Sc. and Ph.D. students since 2019.

The Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding feels proud to bestow on Dr. Rajkumar Uttamrao Zunjare, the fellowship of the society for his outstanding contribution in the field of Plant Breeding and Genetics.