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Smita Nair

Smita Nair
Assistant Professor
Attached Department: 

Centre for Plant Biotechnology & Molecular Biology (CPBMB)

College of Agriculture, Vellanikkara
Mobile Phone No: 
Address (Residence): 

Smita Nair did her BSc. in Agriculture and MSc. (Agriculture) in Plant Biotechnology from College of Horticulture, Kerala Agricultural University. She is doing her PhD. (Biosciences) program from Mangalore University with Central Plantation Crops Research Institute as the research centre. Her area of specialization is molecular biology, molecular diagnostics, plant pathogen interaction studies, bioinformatics and genome editing. She has around 7 years of research experience. She worked at CPCRI for 5.5 years in the field of molecular diagnostics and plant pathogen interaction, and at Agrigenome Labs Pvt Ltd, Kochi for 1.5 years where the area of work was the development of CRISPR-CAS9 genome editing platform for marine algae. She has published 15 research articles in peer reviewed journals and has co-authored one book chapter and one book. She has also made six paper presentations in National and International conferences.

Selected publications

  1. Smita Nair, Ramaswamy Manimekalai, Palliyath Ganga Raj, Vinayaka Hegde. 2016. Loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for detection of coconut root wilt disease and arecanut yellow leaf disease phytoplasma. World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 32:108

  2. Smita Nair, O. M. Roshna, V. P. Soumya, V. Hegde, M. Suresh Kumar, Ramaswamy Manimekalai, George V. Thomas Real-time PCR technique for detection of arecanut yellow leaf disease phytoplasma. Australasian Plant Pathology. DOI-10.1007/s13313-014-0278-7

  3. Smita Nair, Ramaswamy Manimekalai, V. P. Soumya, K.C. Likhitha. 2016. Dual labeled probe based real time PCR method for detection of 16SrXI-B sub-group phytoplasma associated with coconut root wilt disease in India. . Australasian Plant Pathology. DOI 10.1007/s13313-016-0406-7

  4. Smita Nair, R. Manimekalai, V. P. Soumya and G. P. Rao. 2015. Taqman quantitative PCR for detection of Indian arecanut yellow leaf disease phytoplasma. Phytopathogenic Mollicutes. Vol. 5 (2): 113-116.

  5. Manimekalai Ramaswamy, Smita Nair, A. Naganeeswaran, Anitha Karun, Suresh Malhotra and V. Hubbali. 2018. Transcriptome sequencing and de novo assembly in arecanut, Areca catechu L elucidates the secondary metabolite pathway genes. Biotechnology Reports 17: 63–69.

  6. Manimekalai Ramaswamy, Smita Nair, V. P. Soumya and George V. Thomas. 2013. Phylogenetic analysis identifies a ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae’-related strain associated with yellow leaf disease of areca palm (Areca catechu L.) in India. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 63, 1376–1382

  7. Manimekalai Ramaswamy, Smita Nair, V. P. Soumya, Evidence of 16SrXI group phytoplasma DNA in embryos of root wilt diseased coconut palms. Australasian Plant Pathology. DOI- 10.1007/s13313-013-0251-x

  8. R. Manimekalai, Smita Nair, V.P. Soumya, O.M. Roshna and G.V. Thomas, 2011. Real-time PCR technique-based detection of Coconut Root (wilt) phytoplasma. Current Science. 101: 1209-1213.

  9. R. Manimekalai, Smita Nair, K.P. Gangaraj, V.P. Soumya, and G.P. Rao. 2015. Isolation and Characterization of Partial secA Gene from Coconut Root Wilt and Arecanut Yellow Leaf Disease Phytoplasma and assessment of its possible use for sero diagnostics. Indian Phytopathology. Vol 68, No 4.

  10. Manimekalai R, Soumya V.P., Smita Nair, George V. Thomas, Baranwal V.K. 2014. Molecular characterization identifies 16SrXI-B group phytoplasma (‘Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae’-related strain) associated with root wilt disease of coconut in India. Scientia Horticulturae 165:288–294

  11. R. Manimekalai, O.M. Roshna, K.P. Gangaraj, Smita Nair, R. Viswanathan and R. Rabindran. 2014. Molecular characterization based on spermidine/putrescine ABC transporter gene of sugarcane grassy shoot (16SrXI), coconut root wilt (16SrXI), aster yellows (16SrI) and brinjal little leaf (16SrVI) phytoplasmas. Phytopathogenic Mollicutes. 4:16-21

  12. Smita Nair and R. Keshavachandran, 2006. Genetic variability of Chakkarakolli (Gymnema sylvestre RBr.) in Kerala assessed using morphological and biochemical markers. Journal of Tropical Agriculture. 44:64-67

  13. Smita Nair and R. Keshavachandran, 2006. Molecular diversity in Chakkarakolli (Gymnema sylvestre RBr.) assessed through isozyme and RAPD analysis. Journal of Tropical Agriculture. 44:31-37

  14. R. Manimekalai, K.P. Deeshma, K.P. Manju, V.P. Soumya, M. Sunaiba, Smita Nair and K.S. Ananda. Molecular marker-based genetic variability among Yellow Leaf Disease (YLD) resistant and susceptible arecanut (Areca catechu. L.) genotypes. Indian J. Hort. 69(4), December 2012: 455-461

  15. R. Manimekalai, V.P. Soumya, Smita Nair, Rajeev RG, Rao, GP. PCR detection of phytoplasma from different tissues of root wilt diseased coconut palms. Phytopathogenic Mollicutes. DOI: 10.5958/2249-4677.2016.00004.9

Book Published -

  • R. Manimekalai, George V. Thomas and Smita Nair. 2010. Manual in Bioinformatics. CPCRI, Kasargod

Book Chapter -

  • R. Manimekalai, Smita Nair and Roshna OM. Diagnostics and Management Phytoplasmal Diseases, In 178 Advances in Horticulture Biotechnology (Vol-6) pg. 178-183.

Honors and Awards

  • Secured First rank in PG entrance test conducted by KAU and secured University first rank in the MSc. Plant Biotechnology programme

  • Got 3rd prize for oral presentation at the National Seminar on “Applications of Bioinformatics in Agriculture”


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College of Agriculture
Kerala Agricultural University
Thrissur Kerala 680656
:+91-487 2438300