Raman Dhariwal, M.Sc. (Ag.), M.Phil., Ph.D.

Image Raman Dhariwal
Research Biologist

Trait discovery and breeding of spring wheat and triticale at the interface of modern molecular biology, genetics, epigenetics, genomics, crop physiology and plant pathology.

Current research and/or projects

Development of breeder-friendly gene markers for selection of Fusarium head blight resistance

Nested association mapping to identify stripe rust resistance QTLs and their markers in spring wheat

Genome-wide association mapping to identify resistance to leaf spot diseases of spring wheat

Molecular characterization of stem solidness genes from hexaploid wheat

Implementing genomic selection for the development of next-generation CPSR wheat cultivars

Pyramiding of genes/QTLs for Fusarium head blight resistance using marker-assisted selection

Varietal mixtures to discourage pests, manage pest populations, and stabilize wheat yield across environments

Physiological breeding for developing drought-tolerant spring wheat cultivars for Canada

Genetics and breeding of enhanced weed competitiveness and allelopathy in spring wheat

Deciphering the epigenetic regulation of quality traits in wheat

Development of high-yielding spring wheat cultivars for western Canada

Research and/or project statements

Spring wheat and triticale cultivar research and development:

Pre-breeding and resistance germplasm development

Line breeding, doubled haploid production and speed breeding

Population enhancement & characterization

Introgression of key economic traits using traditional breeding, molecular markers and genomic selection

Plant phenotyping and selection for different traits

Data collection, analysis and interpretation

Operation of plant genotyping and trait discovery laboratory

Genetic mapping, next-generation sequencing and gene discovery

Bioinformatics and data science for agriculture

Development of novel tools, their protocols and manuals

Management of large data sets including next-generation sequencing and phenotypic data

Stewardship & quality assurance

Professional activities / interests

My current research interests lie primarily in the area of identification, molecular characterization and breeding of genes/QTL that make wheat plants more resilient against different biotic and abiotic stresses. In particular, I am focusing on breeding and unscrambling of the genetic and molecular basis of resistance and other mechanisms against various devastating diseases (i.e. fusarium head blight, loose smut, common bunt and cereal rusts) and insects (i.e. wheat stem sawfly and orange wheat blossom midge), pre-harvest sprouting, end quality traits, drought tolerance, better agronomics and high grain yield.


Education and awards


Ph.D. in Genetics and Plant Breeding, 2012

Ch. Charan Singh University, India 


Honors & Awards

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Jul 2016, University of Alberta. 

NSERC Visiting Fellowship, Jul 2013, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

Best oral presentation award, Nov 2012, Punjab Agricultural University, International Conference.

NSF Research Fellowship, May 2011, National Science Foundation (NSF), the USA.

DBT Senior Research Fellowship, Dec 2009, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India.

Research Student Representative of the Year 2009, Jan 2009, Chaudhary Charan Singh University, India.

Highest Ranking Student of M.Phil.-2008 batch, Jul 2008, Chaudhary Charan Singh University, India. 

DBT Junior Research Fellowship, Dec 2007, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India.

Highest Ranking Student of M.Sc.-2007 batch, Jul 2007, Chaudhary Charan Singh University, India. 

International experience and/or work

Punjab Agricultural University, India


BREAD (Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development): an alternating dwarfing gene system to improve abiotic stress tolerance in cereals.

May 2011 – Jun 2013


Chaudhary Charan Singh University, India


Analysis of host-pathogen interaction in leaf rust infection of wheat: a tanscriptomic approach

Dec 2007 – May 2011


Development of PCR based molecular markers in jute crop

Dec 2007 – Mar 2011


Molecular characterization of drought tolerance signaling (two-component system)

Dec 2007 – Mar 2011


Marker aided selection (MAS) for leaf rust resistance and pre-harvest sprouting in bread wheat.

Dec 2007 – Dec 2009


A study of sodium azide induced chromosomal aberrations in rice (Oryza sativa)

Jul 2005 – Jul 2007


Key publications

  1. Sangha, J. S. Randhawa, H. Cuthbert, R. D. Dhaliwal, R. Wang W. (2023). Selection of heat and drought stress tolerance in a diverse bread wheat panel. The Canadian Tri-Society meeting CPS-CSA-CSHS), June 17 to 21 2023, Ottawa, ON.

    2023 - View publication details

  2. Wayne Xu, Andriy Bilichak, Raman Dhariwal, Maria A. Henriquez, Harpinder Randhawa
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.10.11.463729

    2021 - View publication details

  3. Dhariwal, R., Henriquez, M.A., Hiebert, C., McCartney, C.A., Randhawa, H.S. (2020). Mapping of major fusarium head blight resistance from canadian wheat cv. Aac tenacious. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, [online] 21(12), 1-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124497

    2020 - View publication details

  4. Brown, P., Zhou, Y., Tan, A.C., El-Esawi, M.A., Liehr, T., Blanck, O., Gladue, D.P., Almeida, G.M.F., Cernava, T., Sorzano, C.O., Yeung, A.W.K., Engel, M.S., Chandrasekaran, A.R., Muth, T., Staege, M.S., Daulatabad, S.V., Widera, D., Zhang, J., Meule, A., Honjo, K., Pourret, O., Yin, C.C., Zhang, Z., Cascella, M., Flegel, W.A., Goodyear, C.S., van Raaij, M.J., Bukowy-Bieryllo, Z., Campana, L.G., Kurniawan, N.A., Lalaouna, D., Hüttner, F.J., Ammerman, B.A., Ehret, F., Cobine, P.A., Tan, E.C., Han, H., Xia, W., McCrum, C., Dings, R.P.M., Marinello, F., Nilsson, H., Nixon, B., Voskarides, K., Yang, L., Costa, V.D., Bengtsson-Palme, J., Bradshaw, W., Grimm, D.G., Kumar, N., Martis, E., Prieto, D., Sabnis, S.C., Amer, S.E.D.R., Liew, A.W.C., Perco, P., Rahimi, F., Riva, G., Zhang, C., Devkota, H.P., Ogami, K., Basharat, Z., Fierz, W., Siebers, R., Tan, K.H., Boehme, K.A., Brenneisen, P., Brown, J.A.L., Dalrymple, B.P., Harvey, D.J., Ng, G., Werten, S., Bleackley, M., Dai, Z., Dhariwal, R., Gelfer, Y., Hartmann, M.D., Miotla, P., Tamaian, R., Govender, P., Gurney-Champion, O.J., Kauppila, J.H., Zhang, X., Echeverría, N., Subhash, S., Sallmon, H., Tofani, M., Bae, T., Bosch, O., Cuív, P.O., Danchin, A., Diouf, B., Eerola, T., Evangelou, E., Filipp, F., Klump, H., Kurgan, L., Smith, S.S., Terrier, O., Tuttle, N. (2019). Large expert-curated database for benchmarking document similarity detection in biomedical literature search. Database: The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation, [online] 2019 1-67. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/database/baz085

    2019 - View publication details

  5. Dhariwal, R., Henriquez, M.A., Hiebert, C., McCartney, C., Graf, R., Randhawa, H. 2018. Canadian heritage wheat variety alleles of flowering and plant height pathway genes associated with low fusarium head blight. 9th Canadian Workshop on FHB & 4th Canadian Wheat Symposium, November 19–22, 2018 Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    2018 - View publication details

  6. Brar, G.S., Dhariwal, R., Randhawa, H.S. (2018). Resistance evaluation of differentials and commercial wheat cultivars to stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis) infection in hot spot regions of Canada. European Journal of Plant Pathology, [online] 152(2), 493-502. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10658-018-1446-3

    2018 - View publication details

  7. Dhariwal, R., Fedak, G., Dion, Y., Pozniak, C., Laroche, A., Eudes, F., Randhawa, H.S. (2018). High density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mapping and quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis in a biparental spring triticale population localized major and minor effect fusarium head blight resistance and associated traits QTL. Genes, [online] 9(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes9010019

    2018 - View publication details