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Mukhlesur Rahman and Jayanta Roy
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Jayanta Roy Successfully Defends Plant Sciences Ph.D. Dissertation

Authored on
Nov 10, 2021
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Jayanta Roy successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation in Plant Sciences with an emphasis in Genetics and Plant Breeding at North Dakota State University (NDSU) on October 12, 2021. Roy’s dissertation title is “Genome-wide Association Mapping and Genomic Prediction for Resistance to Sclerotinia Stem Rot in Rapeseed/Canola (Brassica napus L.) Germplasm Collections,” and his advisor is Dr. Mukhlesur Rahman, associate professor and oilseed (canola and flax) breeding and genetics project leader in the Department of Plant Sciences.

Roy’s research focused on sclerotinia stem rot (SSR), a devastating disease of rapeseed/canola (Brassica napus L.) that causes significant seed yield loss, reduced oil content, and oil quality. Phenotypic evaluation of a diverse panel of rapeseed/canola germplasm collections helped to identify promising SSR resistant genotypes, and genome-wide association mapping revealed useful marker-trait associations and putative candidate genes. This information will be a guide to develop functional molecular markers linked to SSR resistance to facilitate a cost-effective marker-assisted selection. Genomic prediction analyses resulted in a medium to high predictive ability to predict SSR resistant genotypes. The study concluded that genome-wide association mapping and genomic prediction holds promise for the genetic improvement of SSR resistance in rapeseed/canola.  

Roy earned his B.Sc. in Agriculture from Khulna University in Bangladesh and his M.S. in Biotechnology from Bangladesh Agricultural University. He chose to pursue his Ph.D. at NDSU because of the opportunities available in the Department of Plant Sciences for extensive basic and applied research in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics, which help students learn to “think critically and become an independent researcher.”

“The Department of Plant Sciences provides knowledge, skills, and strengthens students’ professional skills to build on their future career,” says Roy. 

During his Ph.D. studies at NDSU, Roy received the John F. Soper Plant Sciences Scholarship and for three years received the Charles and Linda Moses Presidential Graduate Fellowship. He was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in 2018 and the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture in 2019. Also in 2019, he was awarded the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Love of Learning Award.

Roy was a member of the Plant Sciences Graduate Student Association and served one year as the Communication Officer. He was also a member of the NDSU Cricket Club.

He has accepted a position as a postdoctoral research fellow in the NDSU Department of Plant Sciences bean genetics and genomics program led by Dr. Phillip McClean, professor and director of the Genomics & Bioinformatics graduate program.

Roy’s graduate committee members were Rahman, McClean, Dr. Elias Elias, and Dr. Luis del Rio Mendoza.

Author: Kamie Beeson
Editor: Shannon Ueker