Welcome to the California Department of Food and Agriculture

Top Left Column Heading

Bottom Left Column Heading

CDFA Logo

Right Column Heading

Plant Pest Diagnostics Center

Dr. Umesh Kodira

Environmental Program Manager II

Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture
3294 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, CA 95832-1448, U.S.A.
916-738-6664 office, 916-262-1190 fax, umesh.kodira@cdfa.ca.gov

 

Curriculum vitae

Education

  • Ph.D., Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis (UCD). March 1993.  Ph.D. degree in Plant Pathology with research and dissertation in Nematology.
  • M.Sc., (Agri.), Plant Pathology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India. December 1986.  Master’s degree in Plant Pathology with research in Nematology.
  • B.Sc., (Agri.), University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India. September 1984.

Employment

  • Chief, Plant Pest Diagnostics Center (PPDC), California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services (PHPPS).  (02/2016–present).
    • Administration and management of the Plant Pest Diagnostics Center (PPDC) to ensure timely and accurate diagnostics of plant pests and diseases in support of the pest prevention programs of the Department.  The PPDC is the only official diagnostic facility for the state of California.  This branch serves as a scientific resource and provides professional expertise to a number of clients including the Department, the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal and state agencies, County Agricultural Commissioners, the University of California Cooperative Extension, the agriculture industry and the public.  The PPDC has five laboratories (Botany, Entomology, Nematology, Plant Pathology, and Seed) with 50+ permanent and 20-30 seasonal employees.  Duties include management of personnel, budget, and oversight of various scientific resources including specimen collections, research activities, and providing scientific consultation to other branches and external clientele.
  • Director, Pest Detection and Emergency Programs (PDEP), USDA - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Plant Health Programs (PHP). (05/2013–09/2015)
    • Oversight and management of Bio-surveillance, Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) and National Agricultural Pest Information System (NAPIS), Pest Evaluation and Response, Survey Supply Procurement Program, New Pest Response Guidelines, Farm Bill, Federally Recognized State Managed Phytosanitary (FRSMP) Program, Emergency Management Leadership Council (EMLC), Emergency Support Function (ESF-11) and Incident Command System (ICS), and Continuity of Operations (COOP).  Duties included administration and management of program, personnel, and budget.
  • Chief, Governmental Relations Branch (GRB), USDA-APHIS, Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) Policy Coordination Programs (PCP). (12/2010–05/2013)
    • Responsible for administration and management of the branch, which involved coordinating policy issues with other federal agencies nationally and internationally, as well as with the states and tribes.  Responsible for outreach to the public and stakeholders, and in collaboration with APHIS International Services (IS) and USDA Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS), provided international capacity building assistance for biotechnology regulatory activities.  Provided agency liaison and staff coordination on developing policy analyses, USDA’s comprehensive import policy for GE products and low level presence policy issues, and other matters related to APHIS-BRS regulations and related policy directives, including coordinating review and comment on World Trade Organization (WTO) notifications and guidance documents.  Served as a key contact point for domestic and international governmental stakeholders, and supported and/or participated in BRS’ international activities (Technical Working Group meetings with Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and South Korea; Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) - High level Policy on Agricultural Biotechnology; and the meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) serving as a Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 6)).
  • Chief, Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch (PPDB), California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services (PHPPS).  (11/2003–12/2010).
    • Administration and management of the Plant Pest Diagnostics Center (PPDC) to ensure timely and accurate diagnostics of plant pests and diseases in support of the pest prevention programs of the Department.
  • Program Supervisor, Nursery, Seed, and Cotton Program (NSCP), Pest Exclusion Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture. (10/2001–10/2003)
    • Responsibilities included administration and management of licensing of nurseries and coordination of statewide regulatory activities and the Registration and Certification programs, statewide enforcement of seed laws and regulations, and oversight of several Advisory Boards.  Served as the Chair of the Departments’ Nematode Study Committee, and on the Board of Directors of the California Crop Improvement Association.
  • Senior Agricultural Biologist, Nursery, Seed, and Cotton Program, Pest Exclusion Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture. (6/1999–10/2001).
    • Assisted in coordinating and administering various activities of a statewide nursery program.  Lead person for the CDFA Nursery lab that tests samples for the fruit tree and grapevine certification programs.
  • Associate Plant Pathologist, Nursery, Seed, and Cotton Program, Pest Exclusion Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture. (3/1997–6/1999).
    • Assisted with administering various activities of statewide nursery program, including official correspondence and Advisories to the county agricultural commissioners and the nursery industry.
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis. (11/1994–2/1997).
    • Research on epidemiology, control, and development of DNA-based detection techniques for pathogenic Xanthomonas sp. on carrot and lettuce.
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis. (2/1993–11/1994).
    • Research on epidemiology and control of economically important viruses affecting cantaloupe and mixed melons in California.
  • Research Assistant, Department of Nematology, University of California, Davis.  (9/1988–1/1993).
    • Research on the nature and mechanisms of interaction between plant-parasitic nematodes and their effects on host plants, population biology, and modeling nematode population dynamics.
  • Research Associate, Plant Quarantine Unit, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India. (10/1987–7/1988).
    • Responsible for screening export and import seed materials for fungi, bacteria, and nematodes and maintaining records.  Supported the quarantine officers at the National Germplasm Center to facilitate issuance of phytosanitary certificates for export.

Publications

  1. Meng, X.Q., Umesh, K.C., Davis, R.M., and Gilbertson, R.L. 2004. Development of PCR-based assays for detecting Xanthomonas campestris pv. carotae, the bacterial leaf blight pathogen, from different substrates. Plant Disease 88: 1226–1234.
  2. Umesh, K.C., R.M. Davis, and R.L. Gilbertson. 1998. Seed Contamination Thresholds for Development of Carrot Bacterial Blight Caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. carotae. Plant Disease 11:1271–1275.
  3. Umesh, K.C. and H. Ferris. 1994. Influence of temperature and host plant on the interaction between Pratylenchus neglectus and Meloidogyne chitwoodi. Journal of Nematology 26:65–71.
  4. Umesh, K.C., H. Ferris, and D.E. Bayer. 1994.Competition between Pratylenchus neglectus and Meloidogyne chitwoodi. Journal of Nematology 26:286–295.
  5. Umesh, K.C., J. Valencia, C. Hurley, W.D. Gubler, and B.W. Falk.1994. Stylet-oil provides limited control of aphid-transmitted viruses in melons. California Agriculture 49:22–24.
  6. Umesh, K.C. and H. Ferris. 1992. Effects of temperature on Pratylenchus neglectus and on its pathogenicity to barley. Journal of Nematology 24:504–511.
  7. Umesh, K.C., K. Krishnappa, and D.J. Bagyaraj. 1988. Interaction of burrowing nematode, Radopholus similis (Cobb 1893) Thorne 1949, and VA mycorrhiza, Glomus fasciculatum (Thaxt.) Gerd. and Trappe in Banana (Musa acuminata Colla.). Indian Journal of Nematology 18:6–11.

Extension Publications (accessible here)

  1. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1992. Nematodes. Alfalfa Pest Management Guidelines. University of California Integrated Pest Management Guidelines, PMG 2:32–34.
  2. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1994. Nematodes. Apple Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 12:40–42.
  3. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl 1996. Nematodes. Apricot Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 11:24–25.
  4. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1996. Nematodes. Carrot Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 30:22–23.
  5. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1996. Nematodes. Celery Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 31:19–20.
  6. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1998. Nematodes. Cherry Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 13:31–33.
  7. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1996. Nematodes. Citrus Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 28:98–100.
  8. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1997. Nematodes. Cole Crops Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 25:53–55.
  9. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1996. Nematodes. Cucurbits Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 27:45–46.
  10. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1997. Nematodes. Dry Bean Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 19.
  11. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1997. Nematodes. Fig Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 4:8.
  12. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1996. Nematodes. Grape Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 18:52–54.
  13. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1996. Nematodes. Lettuce Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 15:26–27.
  14. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1996. Nematodes. Onion/Garlic Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 26:25–26.
  15. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1995. Nematodes. Peach/Nectarine Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 10:33–35.
  16. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1992. Nematodes. Pear Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 16:60–62.
  17. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1997. Nematodes. Pecan Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 9:3.
  18. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1996. Nematodes. Peppers Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 29:24–25.
  19. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1997. Nematodes. Pistachio Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 5:10.
  20. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1997. Nematodes. Potato Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 6:40–41.
  21. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1997. Nematodes. Small Grains Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 21:54-55.
  22. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1996. Nematodes. Sugarbeet Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 24:50–52.
  23. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1997. Nematodes. Turfgrass Pest Management Guidelines. L&O 1:48–49.
  24. Kodira, U.C., and B.W. Westerdahl. 1997. Nematodes. Walnut Pest Management Guidelines. PMG 3:25–26.

Scientific Presentations

  1. Umesh, K.C., R.M. Davis, and R.L. Gilbertson. 1996. Establishment of thresholds of seed contamination for development of bacterial blight of carrots and development of a PCR-based method for rapid detection of Xanthomonas campestris pv. carotae. 26th International Carrot Conference, Toronto, Canada, 9/29–10/02/1996.
  2. Umesh, K.C., R.M. Davis, and R.L. Gilbertson. 1996. Seed contamination thresholds associated with occurrence of bacterial blight of carrots and development of a DNA-based detection method for Xanthomonas campestris pv. carotae. Joint Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society and The Mycological Society of America. Indianapolis, IN, 7/27–8/1/1996.
  3. Umesh, K.C., S.T. Koike, and R.L. Gilbertson. 1996. Association of Xanthomonas campestris pv. vitians on lettuce seed. Joint Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society and The Mycological Society of America. Indianapolis, IN, 7/27–8/1/1996.
  4. Umesh, K.C. 1995. Virus disease problems of melons in California. Department of Plant Pathology Seminar Series, Winter 1995. University of California, Davis, CA. 2/14/1995.
  5. Umesh, K.C. 1994. An up-date on melon-virus problems in California. Vegetable Crops Workshop and Training Conference. University of California, Davis, CA. 12/11–15/1994.
  6. Umesh, K.C., J. Valencia, W.D. Gubler, R.E. Plant, and B.W. Falk. 1994. Epidemiological studies on aphid-transmitted viruses affecting melons in California. Annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, Albuquerque, NM. 8/10–14/1994.
  7. Umesh, K.C. 1994. Management strategies for soilborne diseases in a field/vegetable crops farming operation. Farm Advisors training, Imperial County, CA. 2/24/1994.
  8. Umesh, K.C. and H. Ferris. 1992. Interspecific competition between Meloidogyne chitwoodi and Pratylenchus neglectus on barley. Annual meeting of the Society of Nematologists, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 8/2–6/1992.
  9. Umesh, K.C. and H. Ferris. 1991. Effect of temperature on the biology of Pratylenchus neglectus. Annual meeting of the Society of Nematologists, Baltimore, MD. 7/7–11/1991.
  10. Umesh, K.C., K. Krishnappa, and D.J. Bagyaraj. 1989. Interaction of Radopholus similis with Glomus fasciculatum in banana. Annual meeting of the Society of Nematologists, Davis, CA. 8/13–17/1989.
  11. Krishnappa, K., N.G. Ravichandra, and K.C. Umesh. 1987. Nematode parasites of fruit crops in India. 8th workshop of the All India coordinated research project on plant-parasitic nematodes with integrated approach for their control. New Delhi, 6/9–12/1987.