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Name : Dr. Manoj Oak

Designation : Scientist – E

Brief Background :

Dr. Manoj Oak, is currently working as scientist at genetics and plant breeding group.  He has focused on the area of wheat grain quality for the last 26 years. He hascontributed significantly in understanding the wheat grain quality at molecular, biochemical,rheological, and baking levels. Knowledge and the material generated haveopened new avenues for wheat researchers /breeders to improve processing and nutritional qualityof wheat. His main area of interest is characterization of biochemical/molecularcomponents associated with processing and nutritional quality of wheat and developmentof superior wheat cultivars/genetic stocks with enhanced nutritional quality traits.

 He also developed Near Infra Red based models to estimate the oil quality and composition of soybeans.  He developedmicro level tests for various quality traits and characterized genes for grain quality.Developed and used functional markers for molecular breeding. Hedeveloped wheat mutants and trying to identify mutants suitable for various important traits. He is also trying agronomic, genomic biofortification breeding in wheat forincreasing bioavailability of micronutrients in human beings.  He is also developing soybean varieties which do not contain Kunitz trypsin inhibitor and low lipoxygenase activity to improve nutritional quality.

 Dr. Oak has written book chapters, research articles and regularly shares insightfuladvice and tutorials about wheat quality.

 His research and work mainly focuses on the use of wheat quality breeding.  He also does varietal identification and adulteration/fraud detection, mainly through DNA, protein fingerprinting applications.

 He is married to Pratibha and is the father of Manasi and Pranav. Also have hobbies like drawing, bird watching and wild life photography.

He receives the funds for his research from DST, DBT, ICAR, NewDelhi.

Contact Details :


  • B. Sc., 1993 Chemistry, Sangmeshwar College, Solapur (First Class,Hons. With Distinction)
  • M. Sc., 1995, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, India (First Class) 
  • Ph.D., 2004, University of Poona, India (By Thesis)

My interest is to identify genes, underlying QTLs with significant impact on wheat and soybean quality, disease resistance.  Understand the mechanism by which they (genes/QTLs) function and using this knowledge, to facilitate their effective deployment into newer breeding varieties through combination of traditional and modern breeding methods such as marker assisted selection.

Also development of simple biparental and complex multiparental mapping populations in wheat and soybean, to dissect number of qualitative and complex quantitative traits.  These populations will be used in future research programs. The breeding material developed by us under marker-assisted program will be utilized for wheat and soybean improvement in India. In addition, use of protein markers for selection of wheat breeding lines for specific end use. Evaluation of foliar fertilization of micro nutrients on wheat to enhance the nutritional quality and bioavailability.

Development of methods to determine quality of agricultural products, using accurate, reliable, nondestructive and inexpensive Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).

Evaluation of effect of different doses of nitrogen, sulphur, years and dates of sowing on different bread wheat varieties end use quality is newly started to dissect the role of gliadins, glutenins, and gluten.  Breeding soft wheat for superior biscuit making quality was initiated.

In addition, micro methods such micro baking, swelling index of glutenins, micro sedimentation and of various gliadin and glutenin protein markers and there use for prediction of different end uses.  We also do active research on biofortification of wheat for high grain Zn and Fe. The department has well equipped laboratory for molecular and end use quality assessment of wheat and its end products.

Mohammed Saba Rahim, ArtiChauhan, AkanshaMadhawan, Ankita Mishra, AfsanaParveen, Monika Garg, MahendraBishnoi, Vinay Kumar, Manoj Dinesh Oak, Nitin Kumar Singhal, Joy Roy (2020) Development and evaluation of chapatti quality of high amylose wheat mutants on the basis of physicochemical, textural and sensory characteristics. LWT – Food Science and Technology 133 (2020) 110051( (IF: 4.006).

Gautam, Tinku, Amardeep, Saripalli, Gautam,Rakhi, Kumar, Anuj, Gahlaut, Vijay, Gadekar, D. A., Oak, Manoj, Sharma, P. K., Balyan, H. S. Gupta, P. K.(2020) Introgression of a drought insensitive grain yield QTL for improvement of four Indian bread wheat cultivars using marker assisted breeding without background selection. Journal of plant biochemistry and biotechnology, (IF: 1.129), DOI:10.1007/s13562-020-00553-0.

RavindraPatil, Manoj Oak, AnujaDeshpande, ShubhadaTamhankar (2018) Development of a robust marker for Psy-1 homoeologs and its application in improvement of yellow pigment content in durum wheat. Molecular Breeding (2018) 38:136,

Dapkekar, Ashwin, Deshpande, Paresh, Oak Manoj D.,Paknikar, Kishore M.,Rajwade, Jyutika M.,(2018) Zinc use efficiency is enhanced in wheat through nanofertilization. Scientific Reports (8):6832, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-25247-5.

Deshpande P, Dapkekar A, Oak M, Paknikar K, Rajwade J (2018) Nanocarrier-mediated foliar zinc fertilization influences expression of metal homeostasis related genes in flag leaves and enhances gluten content in durum wheat. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0191035.

ParimalVikhe , RavindraPatil,  AjitChavan, Manoj Oak, ShubhadaTamhankar (2017) Mapping gibberellin-sensitive dwarfing locus Rht18 in durum wheat and development of SSR and SNP markers for selection in breeding. Molecular Breeding DOI 10.1007/s11032-017-0641-9.

Deshpande, A. Dapkekar, M. D. Oak, K. M. Paknikar, J. M. Rajwade (2017) Zinc complexed chitosan/TPP nanoparticles: A promisingmicronutrientnanocarrier suited for foliar application. Carbohydrate Polymers 165 (2017) 394–401. (IF:4.3).

 Manoj D. OakShubhada A. Tamhankar (2016) 1BL/1RS translocation in durum wheat and its effect on end use quality traits. J. Plant Biochem and Biotech. doi:10.1007/s13562-016-0366-6 (Impact factor 1.352).

 Book chapters

AshwinDapkekar, PareshDeshpande, Manoj Dinesh Oak, Kishore Paknikar, JyutikaMilindRajwade, Chapter 3. “Getting more micronutrients from wheat and barley through agronomic biofortification.” In “Wheat and barley grain biofortification”, Edited by: Om Prakash Gupta, VanitaPandey, SnehNarwal, Sewa Ram, Pradeep Sharma, GayanendraPratap Singh. Elsevier, Europe (2020).

RamyaPrashantElangovan Mani , RichaRai, R.K. Gupta, RatanTiwari, Manoj Oak, NarendraKadoo and Vidya Gupta (2015) Complex G x E interactions and QTL clusters govern end-use quality traits in hexaploid wheat. In “Advances in Wheat Genetics: From Genome to Field”, YasunariOgihara, Shigeo Takumi, HirokazuHanda Eds. Springer, Tokyo, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London. chapter 33: pages 293-299; 09/2015.

D. Oak and J. E. Dexter (2006) Chemistry, genetics and prediction of dough strength and end-use quality in durum wheat. In “Gliadin and glutenin – the unique balance of wheat quality”. Wrigley C, Bekes F and Bushuk W. Eds. American Association of Cereal Chemists, St Paul, Minnesota, USA, p. 281-305.