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Dr. Renuka N. Attanayake
PhD (WSU), MSc (WSU), BSc (Kelaniya)
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Telephone: +94 11 291 4480; +94 11 290 3236
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After having my BSc degree from the Department of Botany, University of Kelaniya, I was awarded a graduate assistantship from the Washington State University to pursue an MSc degree in Plant Pathology. There I joined Dr Weidong Chen’s research group at USDA-ARS Grain Legume Genetics and Physiology Research Unit to obtain my MSc and PhD degrees. During my stay in the WSU, I worked on population diversity, detection and identification of powdery mildew fungi using molecular detection methods. Population genetics of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum was studied using ABI genotyping and HPLC was used to toxin analysis. I studied genetic diversity, gene flow, homologous recombination and molecular basis of fungicide resistance of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum populations from canola, potato, pea, lentil and gourds. I then studied linkage analysis of chickpea RILs using Sequenom MALDI-TOF system for SNP genotyping under Dr George Vandemark. I studied agronomically important QTLs of chickpeas and studied the applicability of MAS for future chickpea breading program.

Teaching:

Bioinformatics for MBBT and Botany

Molecular breeding

Molecular Plant Microbe Interaction

Genetics
Research Interests:
Molecular detection of plant pathogens
fungicide resistance
fungal population genetics
Molecular markers and linkage mapping
Professional Society Memberships
Genetics Society of America (GSA)
American Phytopathological Society (APS)
Awards
Travel award to attend Smithsonian workshop on multiple sequence alignment and phylogeny estimation, May 20-22, WA DC, 2012.
Student travel award to attend 52nd soil-borne plant pathogen conference, San Marino, CA 2012
APS-Pacific division student travel award, 2011
2nd place- Student oral presentation competition.  North American Pulse Improvement Association, 2009
GPSA Graduate Student Travel Grant, Washington State University 2008
2nd place- Student oral presentation competition.  North American Pulse Improvement Association, 2007
. APS Student Travel Award , 2008

Peer reviewed journal articles [View Full List of Publications]

Follow the link
http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=SQ9QlhkAAAAJ&hl=en

1.

Attanayake R.N., Tennekoon,V., Johnson, D.A., Porter, L.D., del Rı´o-Mendoza, L., Jiang, D., Chen, W. 2014. Inferring outcrossing in the homothallic fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum using linkage disequilibrium decay.Nature Heredity 1–11, doi:10.1038/hdy.2014.37

http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/hdy201437a.html

2. Attanayake, R. N., Carter, P. A., Jiang, D., del Río-Mendoza, L and Chen, W. 2013. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum populations infecting canola from China and the United States are genetically and phenotypically distinct. Phytopathology 103:750-761.
3. Attanayake, R. N., Porter, L., Johnson D.A., Chen, W. 2012. Genetic and phenotypic diversity and random association of DNA markers of the fungal plant pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum from soil in a fine geographic scale. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 55:28-36
4. Attanayake, R. N., Porter, L., and Chen, W. Genetic and genotypic diversity and lack of population differentiation of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum between soil and infected alfalfa plants (in preparation).
5. Attanayake, R. N and Chen, W. 2013. Detection of homologous recombination in Sclerotinia sclerotiorum populations. Heridity (in review)
6. Attanayake, R. N., Glawe, D. A., McPhee, K. E. Dugan, F. M., Chen, W. 2010. Erysiphe trifolii– a newly recognized powdery mildew pathogen of pea. Plant Pathology. 59: 712–720
7. Attanayake, R.N., Dugan, F.M., Glawe, D. A., McPhee,K.E. 2010. Potential alternative hosts for pea powdery mildew pathogen Erysiphe trifolii. Pisum genetics 42
8. Attanayake, R., Glawe, D., Dugan, F.M., Chen, W. 2009. Erysiphe trifolii causing powdery mildew of lentil (Lens culinaris). Plant Disease.93:797-803. APSnet Feature, August, 2009 (Editor’s pic)
9. Attanayake, K. P. R. N., Glawe, D. A., McPhee, K. E., Dugan, F. M., and Chen, W. 2008. First report of powdery mildew of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) caused by Leveillula taurica in Washington State. Online. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2008-0702-01-BR.
10. Dugan, F. M., Glawe, D.A., Attanayake, R. N., Chen. W. 2009. The importance of reporting new host-fungus records for ornamental and regional crops. APSnet Feature, February 2009. http://www.apsnet.org/online/feature/biogeography/. (Editor’s pic)
11.

Ali, H. S. Alam, S., Attanayake, R.N., Rahman, M., Chen, W. 2012. Population structure and mating type distribution of the chickpea blight pathogen Ascochyta rabiei form Pakistan and the United States. Journal of plant pathology 1 (2).doi: 10.4454/jpp.fa.2012.019

Book chapters
1. Attanayake, R., Chen, W., Glawe, D., Dugan, F. Powdery mildew of lentil. 2011 In: Chen, W., Sharma, H. C., Muehlbauer, F. editors. Compendium of chickpea and lentil disease and pests. APS press, St. Paul, MN. p. 49-51
2. Dugan, F. M., Attanayake R., Glawe, D., Chen, W. In: Chen, W., Sharma, H. C., Muehlbauer, F. editors. Powdery mildew of chickpea. 2011 In: Compendium of chickpea and lentil disease and pests. APS press, St. Paul, MN. p. 51-52
3. Njambere, E., Attanayake, R., Chen, W. 2010. Applications of molecular markers and DNA sequences in identifying fungal pathogens of cool season grain legumes. In: Gherbawy, Y. and Voigt, K., editors. Current Advances in Molecular Fungal Identification. Berlin: Springer. p 79-92.