Scientific Staff

Dr. Vilas A Tonapi

Dr. Vilas A Tonapi

Discipline: Seed Technology | Designation: Director | At IIMR Since: 1990


Current responsibilities:

  • Administration and Research management as Director, IIMR
  • Coordinating AICSIP trials and nurseries as Project Coordinator, AICRP on Sorghum
  • Strategic issues for seed industry: Research, production and quality control
  • Crop and seed ecology, seed systems and IPR issues

Recent major contributions:

  • Planning, development and management of crop improvement programs and strategies (both conventional and biotechnology led) for food and nutritional security of self and cross-pollinated crops for dry and irrigated ecosystems.
  • Seed production (breeder to certified) of varieties, composites, hybrids and their parents
  • Developmental initiatives in seed Technology, seed quality assurance, new seed policy and development of sustainable Community seed systems.
  • Seed industry development, Protection of Plant varieties, Farmer’s Rihts & IPR management
  • Farmer participatory seed production, DUS Testing, and seed quality control
  • National and international capacity building initiatives in plant breeding and seed production practices
  • Research on physiological, biochemical and molecular basis of seed vigour/longevity
  • Prevalence and spread of sorghum ergot in India and south east Asia; for the first time techniques for the production and inoculation, iterative germination of secondary conidia of sorghum ergot (Claviceps Africana)

Recent awards and recognitions :

  • 2016: ICAR-IISR award for significant contributions in Seed Science & Technology and NSP (Crops)
  • 2016: Legume Research Editorial Award
  • 2014: ICAR award for Centre of Excellence in Seed Production
  • 2011: Two awards- One as best DUS centre and one for capacity building in PPV&FR
  • 2009: Seeds men Association medal and Award for service to seed industry
  • 2008: Consultancy to FAO, Rome, on seed systems for under developed world
  • 2006 & 2007: Best Scientist award of Directorate of Sorghum Research, Hyderabad
  • 2000-02:J.N.TATA Endowment award, GRDC, Australia & USDA scholarships for PDF
  • 1988: R.V. Swaminathan Gold Medal for highest GPA & Best Thesis Award in Seed Tech. at TNAU
  • 1985-88: Indian Council of Agricultural Research Senior Research Fellowship
  • 1983-85: Indian Council of Agricultural Research Junior Research Fellowship
  • 1977-85: National Merit Scholarship, Government of India
  • 1974-77: District Merit Scholarship, Government of Karnataka

Current collaborative activities:

  • State Agricultural Universities
  • ICRISAT, Hyderabad
  • IICT, Hyderabad and BARC, Mumbai
  • CFTRI, Mysore and NIN, Hyderabad
  • ACIAR, Australia
  • Sugar and Ethanol Industry
  • National Institute of Nutrition and Defence Food Research Laboratory
  • Seed Industry and NGOs

Relevant experiences:

  • 2011-12: International visit to seven US universities to study crop improvement prorammes, seed systems, biotechnology and IPR management
  • 2002-03: International sorghum ergot collection mission in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Mexico, Australia and Africa
  • 2001-02: Visiting Scientist, ICRISAT, Patancheru, India;
  • 2001-2016: IPR protection,
  • 2000-02:  Post-Doc at University of Queensland, Australia and CRC for Tropical Plant Pathology, Brisbane, Australia  
  • 1997: Rotary International group study exchange programme to United States of America, Mexico, Malaysia and Singapore

Other interests and commitments:

  • Developing community seed systems and improving quality of farmer saved seeds
  • Teaching post graduate students in seed technology
  • Assignments in seed research, IPR and Plant variety Protection, licensing & commercialization

Recent most significant publications:
Journal papers

  • S. S. PARIHAR, M. DADLANI, S. K. LAL, V. A. TONAPI, P. C. NAUTIYAL and SUDIPTA BASU. 2014. Effect of seed moisture content and storage temperature on seed longevity of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.). Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 84 (11): 1303–9
  • Kannababu N, S rakshit, S Audilakshmi, , Tonapi VA, JV Patil, A Dhandapani, DCS Reddy, K Venugopal, M Swarnalatha, G Balakrishna, K Raghunath and V Subhakar (2013). Genetic  variability among Indian rainy sorghum cultivars revealed by morpho-agronomic traits. Indian Journal of Genetics and Plnat Breeding. 73(1):110-115
  • Shikari Asif Bashir, Khanna Apurva, Krishnan S. Gopala,  Singh U. D,  Rathour R.,  Tonapi V.,  Sharma T.R.,  Nagarajan M.,  Prabhu K. V.,  Singh A. K. 2013.Molecular analysis and phenotypic validation of blast resistance genes Pita and Pita2 in landraces of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Indian Journal of Genetics and Plnat Breeding. 73(2):131-141
  • Sujay Rakshit, K N Ganapathy, S S Gomashe, A Rathore, R B Ghorade, M V Nagesh Kumar, K, Ganeshmurthy, S K Jain, M Y Kamtar, J S Sachan, S S Ambekar, B R Ranwa, D G Kanawade, M Balusamy, D Kadam, A Sarkar, V A Tonapi, J V Patil. 2012. GGE biplot analysis to evaluate genotype, environment and their interactions in sorghum multi-location data. Euphytica 185: 465-479 (EUPH5215R2)
  • Tonapi VA, M Ryley, V Galea, S Bhuiyan and A. Wearing. 2009. Iterative germination and innovative techniques for the production and inoculation of secondary conidia of sorghum ergot (Claviceps Africana). March 2009. Archives of phytopathology and Plant Protection. Vol. 42 (3): 248-254
  • Ravinder Reddy Ch., Vilas A. Tonapi, PG Bezkorovwajnyi, G Thirupathi Reddy and SP Wani. 2008.Village based seed banks in Andhra Pradesh- A case study. Manage Extension Review. Vol.8 (1): 1-18.
  • Tonapi, V.A., Rachana, M.R., Navi, S.S., Reddy, R.K., Thakur, R.P., Bandyopadhyay, R., Varanavasiappan, S., and Seetharama, N. 2007.Effect of temperature and humidity regimes on grain mold sporulation and seed quality in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench). Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection. Volume 40(2) April 2007, pages 113 - 127
  • Vilas A. Tonapi, Harinath Babu, N A Ansari, Varanavasiappan S, Ravinder Redy Ch, Navi SS and N Seetharama. 2007.Studies on Development of Seed Coloring in Redgram, Blackgram and bengalgram .Seed Research. 35 (1): 58-65, June 2007


  • Millets: Ensuring Climate Resilience and nutritional security. Vilas A. Tonapi and JV patil. 2015. 649pp. Astral International Pvt. Ltd. Daya Publishing hiouse, New Delhi 110012ISBN 978-93-5124-644-2 (Hard bound); ISBN 978-93-5130-671-9 (International Edition)
  • Millets: Vision 2050. 2015. Vilas A. Tonapi, B Dayakar Rao, Venkatesh Bhat, KV Raghavendrarao, TG Nageshwar Rao. 2015. 60pp. Indian Institute of Millets Research, Hyderabad 500 030
  • Seed Technology of Millets: Production, quality control and Legal compliance. 2015 Vilas A. Tonapi, Venkatesh Bhat, N Kannababu, M Elangovan, Raghunathrao Kulkarni. 381pp.  ISBN 81-89335-54-5. Indian Institute of Millets Research, Hyderabad 500 030
  • Vilas A. Tonapi, Elangovan, M., N Kannababu, KV Raghavendra Rao, Raghunath Kulkarni, D Chandra Sekara Reddy, Ram Swaroop Meens, HS Gawali and N Seetharama, 2009. Sorghum Cultivars of India: Hybrid, Varieties and parental lines. National Research Centre for Sorghum, Rajendranagar. Hyderabad 500 030, Andhra Pradesh, India. 144pp. ISBN 81-89335-23-5.
  • Vilas A. Tonapi, Elangovan, M., Gururaj Kulkarni, Raghunath Kulkarni, Raghavendra Rao KV, and N Seetharama. 2009. Plant variety protection made easy. National Research Centre for Sorghum, Rajendranagar. Hyderabad 500 030, Andhra Pradesh, India. 201 pp. ISBN 81-89335-25-1.
  • Ravinder Reddy, Ch., Vilas A. Tonapi, P G. Bezkorowajny and N. Seetharama, 2007. Seed System Innovations in in Semi-Arid Tropics of Andhra Pradesh. 224pp. Fodder Innovation Project, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Crops Research Institute for semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, India (AP) 500 030, India. PP 224, ISBN 978-92-9066-502-1.

Book chapter

  • Patil JV, Vilas A. Tonapi and B Dayakar Rao . 2015. Millets improvement and utilization: Progress and prospects- In Millets: Promotion for food, feed, Fodder, nutritional and Environment security,  Proceedings of Global Consultation on Millets promotion for health and Nutritional Security 2015.  . ISBN: 81-89335-52-9 (Editors: Vilas A. Tonapi, B Dayakar Rao and JV patil). Society for Millets Research, IIMR, Hyderabad. 3-44p.
  • M Elangovan and Vilas A. Tonapi . 2015. Sorghum and Millet Genetic Resources. In: Millets- Ensuring Climate Resilence and nutritional security. ISBN 978-93-5124-644-2 (Hard bound); ISBN 978-93-5130-671-9 (International Edition). Astral International Pvt. Ltd. Daya Publishing hiouse, New Delhi 110012i. P. 45-108
  • Vilas A Tonapi, Mahala, RS, M Elangovan, Y Yogeswarrao and OP Yadav. 2015. Public-private partnership with special reference to seed industry. In: Global consultation on millets promotion for health & nutritional security. In:  Millets for Food, feed, fodder, nitritional and environment security. Proceedings of Global Consultation on Millets promotion for health and Nutritional Security 2015.  . ISBN: 81-89335-52-9 (Editors: Vilas A. Tonapi, B Dayakar Rao and JV patil). Society for Millets Research, IIMR, Hyderabad. 55-64p.
  • M. Elangovan, N. Seetharama, I. S. Khairwal, K.T. Krishne Gowda, A. Seetharam, Vilas A. Tonapi and N. Sivaraj. 2009. Sorghum and Millet Genetic Resources Management In: Agrobiodiversity, Vol. I-crop genetic resources and conservation (Eds. S kannaiyan and E Gopalam), Associated publishing company, New Delhi. 352pp. ISBN 81-85211-72-8
  • Vilas A. Tonapi. 2008. PPV and FR Act and national seed policy. In: Sorghum improvement in the New Millenium (Eds. Belum VS Reddy, S Ramesh, A Ashok Kumar and CLL Gowda). International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, Hyderabad.PP 222-231. ISBN 978-92-9066-512-0. 340 pp.
  • Ravinder Reddy, Ch., Tonapi, V.A. Prasad, V. L and Peter Bezkorowajny. 2006. Integrated seed systems for sustainable food, feed and fodder security in semi-arid tropics of India. In: Strategies for millets development and utilization. 2006. (Editors: Drs. N Seetharama & Vilas A Tonapi). 232 pp. ISBN 81-89335-12-X.

Technical articles

  • Vilas A Tonapi, M Elangovan and Raghunath Kulakarni, 2013.Sorghum ergot: A threat for hybrid seed production in India?. In: Global consultation on millets promotion for health & nutritional security, 18-20th December 2013. Society for Millets Research, Directorate of Sorghum Research.. p. 148

Other professional activities

  • Member, Indian Society of Seed Technology, New Delhi
  • Member, Indian Society of Plant Physiology
  • Member, Indian society of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad
  • Member, Society for Millet Research, Hyderabad
  • Treasurer, Society for Millets Research
  • President, UAS-AGRICOs Association

Certified that above facts are correct and I have repeatedly edited and verified to my full satisfaction.

Dr. Vilas Tonapi

Last Updated on 28th June 2016