Dr. Upendra Kumar is working as Scientist (SS) at ICAR- National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, India and served as Visiting Scientist at CSIRO, Waite Campus, Adelaide, Australia. He obtained his MSc and PhD in Agricultural Microbiology from IARI, New Delhi and received many National and International awards like NRRI Best Scientist Award, 2017; Crawford Fund Fellowship Award, Australia, 2016; Edita David memorial Award by AZRA, 2014 and best oral and poster presentation awards by different organizations. He has guided more than 10 M.Sc. and Ph. D Students and published several research papers in peer-reviewed Journals like Ecological Indicators, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Ecological Engineering, Ecological Genetics and Genomics, Soil and Tillage research etc and has several book chapters, popular article and e-publications in his credit. He has developed a unique combo-kit to screen plant-growth promoting microbes and standardized q-PCR based three functional genes such as npr, apr and acd S. He is maintaining 102 stains of Azolla germplasms under controlled condition and submitted 20,000 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of soil bacterial metagenomes and >100 PGPRs in NCBI, New York, USA and received accession numbers. In his credit, 6 plant growth-promoting fungi have been registered at National Fungal Culture Collection of India (NFCCI), Pune, India. At present, he is working on various projects related to endophytic diazotrophs (BNF), biocontrol of pest and diseases, Azolla cyanobiont and molecular approach to assess soil microbial community under influence of long-term application of fertilizers and pesticides which have been funded by several organizations like DBT, NASF, NCIPM and ICAR.
Dr. Upendra Kumar research interests are Rice Microbiology; Azolla-cyanobiont; Plant-Soil-Microbe Interaction; PGPR; Biocontrol; Soil Microbial Community.