Explore BTI - Greenhouse at sunrise
Explore BTI
Learn about BTI's history, mission, and latest news.

Fnu Pavan Kumar
 &emdash;  Postdoctoral Scientist

Fnu Pavan Kumar


  • Potato tuber herbivory increases resistance to aboveground lepidopteran herbivores 2016

    Kumar, P., Vargas Ortiz, E., Garrido, E., Poveda, K., and Jander, G.
    Oecologia 182(1),  177-87
    Full text...
  • Detoxification of host plant’s chemical defense rather than its anti-predator co-option drives b-glucosidase-mediated lepidopteran counter adaptation 2015

    Poreddy, S., Mitra, M., Schöttner, M., Chandran, J., Schneider, B., Baldwin, I.T., Kumar, P. and Pandit, S. S.
    Nature Commun 6:8525,  doi: 10.1038/ncomms9525
    Full text...
  • Pyridine-type alkaloid composition affects bacterial community composition of floral nectar 2015

    Aizenberg Gershtein, Y., Izhaki, I., Santhanam, R., Kumar, P., Baldwin, I. T. and Halpern, M.
    Scientific Reports 5:11536,  DOi: 10.1038/srep11536
    Full text...
  • Difference in nicotine metabolism of two herbivores of Nicotiana attenuata renders them differentially susceptible to a common native predator 2014

    Kumar, P., Schoettner, M., Pandit, S. S., and Baldwin, I. T.
    PLOS One 9 (4),  e95982
    Full text...
  • A natural history driven, plant mediated RNAi based study reveals CYP6B46’s role in a nicotine-mediated anti-predator herbivore defense 2013

    Kumar, P., Pandit, S. S., Steppuhn, A., and Baldwin, I. T.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111,  1245-1252
    Full text...
  • Tobacco Rattle Virus vector: A rapid and transient means of silencing Manduca sexta genes by plant mediated RNA interference 2012

    Kumar, P., Pandit, S. S., Baldwin, I. T.
    PLOS One 7 (2),  e31347
    Full text...
  • Spatial and temporal expression patterns of diverse Pin-II genes in Capsicum annuum Linn 2009

    Tamhane, V. A., Giri, A. P., Kumar, P., Gupta, V. S.
    Gene 442:1-2,  88-90
    Full text...

Research Overview

Plants and insects interact with one another at various scales of space and time. Herbivory is often stressful for plants, reducing growth, development and consequently, plant productivity. Potato, the third most important crop and a major food source of developing countries, is impacted by a variety of aboveground and belowground herbivores. However, limited tuber damage by Tecia solanivora (Lepidoptera; see figure)commonly known as the Guatemalan tuber moth, increases the mass of undamaged tubers on the same plants (potato variety Pastusa Suprema), a response known as overcompensation. As a postdoctoral researcher in the Jander lab at the Boyce Thompson Institute, I am investigating: (i) the mechanisms of potato overcompensation responses, (ii) whether and how potato plants initiate defense responses against the Guatemalan tuber moth damage, and (iii) the interactions of belowground (Guatemalan tuber moth) and aboveground (Spodoptera spp.) herbivores of potato plants using a combination of molecular biology (RNAseq, real-time PCR, etc.) and analytical chemistry (U-HPLC, GC-MS) tools.



PhD Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany (2013)
MSc Biotechnology, Gulbarga University, Gulbarga, India (2005)
BSc Biotechnology, Karnataka College, Bidar, India (2003)


BSc gold medalist, Gulbarga University, India (2004)    
V. Bidap higher education scholarship, Karnataka College, India (2004)
Merit student fellowship for MSc studies, Gulbarga University, India (2005)
DAAD doctoral fellowship, Bonn, Germany (2009)