Dr Sam Periyannan

Adjunct Associate Professor

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation


I was brought up on a small farm in Southern part of India, and I have come to find scientific research in Agricultural science as fascinating and rewarding. In particular, genetics and breeding of disease resistance have captured my interest, given that plant disease is a major threat to global food security. With a PhD from the University of Sydney, I started my scientific career as Postdoctoral fellow at the Cereal Rust Resistance team of CSIRO Agriculture & Food, Canberra and as a lead researcher and team member cloned five rust disease resistance genes in wheat. Further in collaboration with JIC, UK, identified a rapid resistance gene isolation technology called “MutRenSeq”. Currently, using the platform to isolate additional rust resistances aimed towards the development of gene cassettes for durable rust resistance. Through my Adjunct position at QAAFI, University of Queensland I actively take part in training next-generation researchers on the molecular genetics of cereal disease resistance.

Research Interests

  • Molecular Genetics of Plant Disease Resistance
    Genetic analysis, mapping and cloning of rust disease resistance in cereals. Molecular biology of wheat-stripe rust disease interaction

Research Impacts

Plant disease have emerged as a major threat to global food security particularly the rust disease that cause severe epidemics in the world food crop wheat. Through molecular genetic analysis, our research delivers molecular markers for rapid breeding of rust disease resistant wheat lines. Subsequently, the isolation of rust resistance genes using conventional and modern genetic approaches enable the understanding of the fundamental biology behind rust and wheat interaction.


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Book Chapter

  • Mago, Rohit, Till, Bradley, Periyannan, Sambasivam, Yu, Guotai, Wulff, Brande B. H. and Lagudah, Evans (2017). Generation of loss-of-function mutants for wheat rust disease resistance gene cloning. In Sambasivam Periyannan (Ed.), Wheat rust diseases: methods and protocols (pp. 199-205) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-7249-4_17

  • Yu, Guotai, Hatta, Asyraf, Periyannan, Sambasivam, Lagudah, Evans and Wulff, Brande B. H. (2017). Isolation of wheat genomic DNA for gene mapping and cloning. In Sambasivam Periyannan (Ed.), Wheat rust diseases: methods and protocols (pp. 207-213) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-7249-4_18

  • Periyannan, Sambasivam (2017). Preface. Wheat rust diseases: methods and protocols. (pp. V-V) edited by Sambasivam Periyannan. New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7249-4

Journal Article

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision