Scientific Staff

Dr. Vilas A Tonapi

Dr. Vilas A Tonapi

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


Profile video Click here

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:

  • Chapke,R.R. and Tonapi, V.A. 2019. Effectiveness of training on improved sorghum production technologies, value-addition and sweet sorghum perspectives. Journal of Agricultural, Forestery and Fisheries 8(2):36-44. DOI 10.11648/j.aff20190802.12 (ISSN:2328-563X(Print); ISSN: 2328-5648 (online)).
  • Aruna, C., Ratnavathi, C.V., Suguna, M., Ranga, B., Praveen Kumar, P., Annapurna, A. Bahadure, D.M. and Tonapi, V.A. 2019. Genetic variability and GxE interactions for total polyphenol content and anti-oxidant activity in white and red sorghums (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench). Plant Breeding DOI:10.1111/pbr.12756 (JrnID: P089; IF: 7.39).
  • Chapke, R.R. and Tonapi, V.A. 2018. Adoption and socio-economic benefits of improved post-rainy sorghum production technology. Agricultural Research Journal (Springer): 1-9, DOI 10.1007/s40003-018-0359-x.
  • Praveen, M., Uttam, A.G., Tonapi, V.A. and Madhusudhana, R. 2018. Fine mapping of Rf2, a major locus controlling pollen fertility restoration in sorghum A1 cytoplasm, encodes a PPR gene and its validation through expression analysis. Plant Breeding 137(2) :148-161 (JrnID: P086; IF: 7.34).
  • Das, I.K., Rakshit, S., Sharma, K.K., Chattannavar, S.N., Gholve, V.M., Jayalaksmi, S.K., Tonapi, V.A. 2018. Development of a charcoal rot rating index for multilocation trials of sorghum. Crop Protection108: 102–109. (JrnID: C147; IF: 7.83).


  • Das, I.K., Sunil Kumar, Kannababu, N. and Vilas A. Tonapi 2019. Pokkahboeng resistance in popular rabi sorghum cultivars and effects of the disease on leaf chlorophyll. Indian Phytopathology DOI 10.1007/s42360-019-00146-5 (JrnID: I104; IF: 5.90).
  • Ganapathy, K.N., Dayakar Rao, SujayRakshit, VishalaDevender, VenkateshaSollepuraChinnegowda, Tonapi, V.A. 2019. Variation in Nutritional and shelf life parameters among rabi sorghum cultivars and effect of processing on these parameters. Agricultural Research 8(4) 513-522 (JrnID: A090; IF: 5.90).
  • Padmaja, P.G., Shwetha, B.L., Kalaisekar, A., Elangovan, M. and Vilas A Tonapi 2019. Effect of sorghum grain quality on progeny emergence of Sitophiulsoryzae L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Indian Journal of Entomology 81(2):261-265 (JrnID: I054; IF: 5.89).
  • Padmaja, P.G., Shwetha, B.L., Kalaisekar, A. and Vilas A Tonapi 2019. Effect of host plant on growth, tissue proteins and gut enzymes of pink borer Sesamiainferens in millets. Indian Journal of Entomology 81(2):280-285(JrnID: I054; IF: 5.89).
  • Jain, S.K., Elangovan, M. Patel, P.R., Tyagi, R.K. Sushil Pandey and Vilas A Tonapi. 2019. Characterization of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) germplasm under CRP-Agro Biodiversity. Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources 32(1):107-109. DOI 10.5958/0976-1926.2019.00014.7 (JrnID: I082; IF: 5.12).


  • Kannababu, N., Venkatesh Bhat, B., Prabhakar, Raghavendra Rao, K.V. and Vilas A Tonapi. 2018. Millets: Maintenance Breeding for Seed Quality Assurance. pp 228. ISBN 81-89335-71-5.
  • Subbarayudu, B., Madhavi, M., Ravi Kumar, S., Shyam Prasad, G., Sudhakar, R. and Vilas A.Tonapi 2018. ChirudhanyalanuAasinchuKeetakalu, TegulluVatiSasyarakshnamariyusaguloniMelukavalu : Millets : Insects, Diseases and production Technologies. Indian Institute of Millets Research, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad. pp 75. ISBN-89335-75-8.
  • Bhat, B.V., Arunachalam, A., Kumar, D., Tonapi, V.A. and Mohapatra, T. 2019. Millets in the Indian Himalaya. ICAR-Indian Institute of Millet Research, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad 88 pages. ISBN 81-89335-89-8.
  • Bhat, B.V., Ratnavathi, C.V., Rao, B.D., Chapke, R., Swarna, R., Padmaja, P.G., Prasad, G.S., Das, I.K., Aruna, C., Venkateswarlu, R., Kannababu, N., Sooganna, Rao, S.S., Singode, A., Talwar, H.S., Babu, K.S., Tonapi, V.A. 2019. Manual on good Agricultural Practices in millets. Published by: ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad. 53 pages. ISBN No. 81-89335-88-X
  • Talwar, H.S., Kannababu, N., Bhat, B.V., and Tonapi, V.A. 2019. Climate Resilience in Millets. 232 pages. ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research, Hyderabad, India. ISBN 81-89335-85-5.

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

Dr. Vilas Tonapi