Kiran is a research scientist in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology at University of California, Riverside, a Tata fellow and a J. H. Comstock graduate student award winner. He received a PhD in Biology (Microbial Ecology/Entomology) from the University of London in 2015, a Master's in Plant Breeding & Genetics from Cornell University in 2010, and an M.S. in Entomology from TNAU, Coimbatore in 2009.

He has broad interests in plant virology, entomology and molecular biology and has a multidisciplinary research background in plant-microbe and vector-virus interactions research. His current work on the California Citrus Research Board funded project involves the development and evaluation of innovative RNAi-based products targeting multiple citrus pathogens and pests. In the future, he plans to explore the potential of microbial systems in addressing major agricultural and ecological challenges.


Ph.D. Biology (Microbial Ecology/Entomology), Oct. 2011-July 2015

University of London, Royal Holloway & Bedford New College, Egham, Surrey, UK

Master of Professional Studies (Plant Breeding & Genetics), June 2009-July 2010

Cornell University, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Ithaca, NY, USA

Master of Science (Entomology), July 2007-May 2009

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Bachelor of Science (Agriculture), August 2003-May 2007

College of Agriculture, Kolhapur (ACK), Maharashtra, India


Research Scientist, June 2020 ̶present

University of California, Riverside, CA, USA

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Oct. 2017-June 2020

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Nov. 2015-Oct. 2017

University of Georgia, Tifton, GA, USA


J. H. Comstock Graduate Student Award (Entomological Society of America),

XXV International Congress of Entomology, Orlando, FL, USA, Sept. 2016

Scholarships & Fellowships

1. College Overseas Fees Scholarship [£36,314]

Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, Oct. 2011-2014

2. Navajbai Ratan Tata Fellowship [$32,215]

Cornell-Sathguru Foundation, India, June 2009-2010

3. Junior Research Fellowship [₹183,900],

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), India, July 2007-May 2009

Conference prizes

New Phytologist Poster Prize (Runner-up), New Phytologist Trust, UK, Nov. 2013

Travel awards, training, field study & outreach grants

1. Program Enhancement Funds [$450 (Entomological Society of America)], Sept. 2019

Entomology 2019 Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Nov. 17-20, 2019

2. NC State Postdoc & House Officers Travel Award [$750 (declined)],

NC State University, USA, April 2019

3. Conference Participation Funds [£300+£225+£400],

Royal Entomological Society, UK, Feb. 2015, March 2014 & Jan. 2012

4. Postgraduate Research Study Costs Grant [£500], Royal Holloway, UK, May 2014

5. Company of Biologists Travel Grants [£500+£300],

Society for Experimental Biology, UK, April 2014 & Feb. 2012

6. Indian Subcontinent Fund Award [£1,000],

Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, March 2014

7. New Phytologist Symposium Grant [$200], New Phytologist Trust, UK, Oct. 2013

8. Annual Fund Award [£1,000], Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, July 2013

9. Institute of Plant Medicine Travel Award [$200],

Kyungpook National University, S. Korea, July 2012



Research Scientist

Development and evaluation of innovative RNAi-based products targeting multiple citrus pathogens and pests

Our team at UC Riverside has discovered a novel species of virus-like RNA in citrus. My current work is focused on exploring the tremendous potential of this RNA as a VIGS vector by (i) the delivery of wild type and recombinant infectious clones in citrus, (ii) evaluating its effects on commercial citrus in field conditions and (iii) studying its natural transmission via insect vectors and pollen.


Postdoctoral Research Associate

Development of novel insect-delivered virus tools for crop improvement and protection using genetic engineering

At NC State University, my research contributed to developing new genetic engineering tools to efficiently and rapidly achieve a plant trait modification in a desired manner. Our team attempted to use a natural two-step delivery system (plant viruses and insect vectors) to transfer modified genes to plants with an overarching goal of conferring protective traits to target plants within a single growing season.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Plant- vector-virus interactions: molecules, ecology and applications

This project at UGA explored how economically important plant viruses interact with their host plants and insect vectors. More specifically, I studied the virus-mediated changes in host plant biochemistry, and behavior and fitness of insect vectors. I studied three diverse pathosystems, each involving different viruses, vectors and plants.

Ph.D. (Microbial Ecology)

Interactions between plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, foliar-feeding insects and higher trophic levels

This multidisciplinary research project explored the interactions between soil microbes, plant-insect herbivores and higher trophic levels. I used molecular, statistical and biochemical approaches to study these interactions. Through a series of manuscripts, we showed that addition of common bacterial species as a simple seed inoculant can alter plant microbiome, plant and insect fitness, and natural enemy responses.

Master of Science (Entomology)

Characterization of gut microflora of silkworm, Bombyx mori L.

My masters research involved studying gut microbes of the silkworm, Bombyx mori using microbial, biochemical and molecular approaches. I further studied the role of select gut microbes in host insect infection and probiotics.

Master of Professional Studies (Plant Breeding and Genetics)

Breeding Sweet Sorghum as a dual purpose bio-fuel and food crop for India

This project presented a summary of the findings and recommendations for improving sorghum as a dual purpose ethanol and grain crop in India. This work reviewed the key features that make sorghum particularly amenable to genetic improvement and uniquely suited for Indian agriculture.




  1. Kwon, S-J, Bodaghi, S, Dang, Gadhave, KR*, Ho, T, Osman, F, Maher, AR, Tzanetakis, IE, Simon, AE & Vidalakis, G*. (2021). Complete nucleotide sequence, genome organization and comparative genomic analyses of citrus yellow vein associated virus (CYVaV). Frontiers in Microbiology (in press).


  1. Gadhave, KR*, Gautam, S, Rasmussen, D & Srinivasan, R. (2020). Aphid transmission of Potyvirus: the largest plant-infecting RNA virus genus. Viruses. Equal contribution. [Link]

  2. Gadhave, KR, Gautam, S, Dutta, B, Coolong, T, Adkins, S & Srinivasan, R. (2020). Low frequency of horizontal and vertical transmission of cucurbit leaf crumple virus in whitefly Bemisia tabaci Gennadius. Phytopathology. [Link]

  3. Gautam, S, Gadhave, KR, Buck, JW, Dutta, B, Coolong, T, Adkins, S & Srinivasan, R. (2020). Virus-virus interactions in a plant host and in a hemipteran vector: Implications for vector fitness and virus epidemics. Virus Research. contribution. [Link]

  4. Gentzel, IN, Park, CH, Bellizzi, M, Xiao, G, Gadhave, KR, Murphree, C, Yang, Q, LaMantia, J, Redinbaugh, MG, Balint-Kurti, P, Sit, T & Wang, G-L. (2020). A CRISPR/dCas9 toolkit for functional analysis of maize genes. Plant Methods. [Link] [PDF]

  5. Gautam, S, Mugerwa, H, Sundaraj, S, Gadhave, KR, Murphy, JF, Dutta, B & Srinivasan, R. (2020). Specific and spillover effects on vectors following infection of two RNA viruses in pepper plants. Insects. [Link]


  1. Gadhave, K.R., Dutta, B., Coolong, T. & Srinivasan, R. (2019). A non-persistent aphid-transmitted Potyvirus differentially alters the fitness of its vector and non-vector. Scientific Reports. [Link] [PDF]


  1. Gadhave, K.R.†, Devlin, P.F.†, Ebertz, A., Ross, A. & Gange, A.C. (2018). Soil inoculation with Bacillus spp. modifies root endophytic bacterial diversity, evenness and community composition in a context specific manner. Microbial Ecology. †Equal contribution [Link] [PDF]

  2. Gange, A.C. & Gadhave, K.R. (2018). Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria promote plant size inequality. Scientific Reports 8:13828. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-32111-z. [Link] [PDF]

  3. Gadhave, K.R. & Gange, A.C. (2018). Interactions involving rhizo-bacteria and foliar feeding insects. In: Ohgushi, T., Wurst, S., Johnson, S. Aboveground-Belowground Community Ecology. Springer Publishing Company, NY. [Link] [PDF]


  1. Gadhave, K.R., Dutta, B., Coolong, C. Sparks, A. N., Adkins, S. & Srinivasan, R. (2017). First Report of a Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus in cucurbits in Georgia, United States. Plant Health Progress. doi:10.1094/PHP-03-17-0016-BR [Link] [PDF]

  2. Barman, A.K., Gadhave, K.R., Dutta, B. & Srinivasan, R. (2017). Plasticity in host plant utilization by two host-associated lineages of Aphis gossypii Glover. Bulletin of Entomological Research. doi:10.1017/S0007485317000852 [Link] [PDF]


  1. Gadhave, K.R., Hourston, J. & Gange, A.C. (2016). Developing soil microbial inoculants for pest management: Can one have too much of a good thing? Journal of Chemical Ecology 42: 348-356 [Link] [PDF]


  1. Gadhave, K.R., Finch, P., Gibson, T.M. & Gange, A.C. (2015). Plant growth-promoting Bacillus suppress Brevicoryne brassicae field infestation & trigger density-dependent & density-independent natural enemy responses. Journal of Pest Science. doi:10.1007/s10340-015-0721- [Link] [PDF]

  2. Gadhave, K.R. & Gange, A.C. (2015). Bacillus spp. alter the life history traits of the specialist, Brevicoryne brassicae L. Agricultural & Forest Entomology 18: 35-42 [Link] [PDF]


  1. Yan, J., Qi, N., Wang, S., Gadhave, K.R., Zhao, J. & Yang, S. (2014). Characterization of secondary metabolites of an endophytic fungus from Curcuma wenyujin. Current Microbiology 69: 740-744 [Link] [PDF]


  1. Gadhave, K.R., Thangamalar, A., Muthuswami, M. & Subramanian, S. (2009). Characterisation of gram negative bacterial isolates from gut of few multivoltine silkworm breeds. KJAS 22: 517-518 [Link] [PDF]

  2. Subramanian, S., Gadhave, K.R., Mohanraj, P. & Thangamalar, A. (2009). Use of 16S rRNA probes for characterization of gut microflora of silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) breeds. KJAS 22: 476-478. [Link] [PDF]

Non-peer-reviewed publications

Gadhave, K. (2014). The Curious Case of the Large Blue Butterfly - a Conservation Success Story. In: Entomology Today (ed. Levine, R). Entomological Society of America [Link]