Dilu Nagahatenna

Dr Dilu Nagahatenna

Grant Funded Researcher (Level A)

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences

Dilrukshi is a plant molecular biologist with research expertise in abiotic and biotic stress signaling, genetic transformation and gene editing. She has worked on a broad range of economically important crop species such as barley, cowpea, grapevine and medicinal plants. Dilrukshi completed her PhD at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG), the University of Adelaide in 2015. Soon after completing her PhD, she joined CSIRO, Adelaide and worked on a Bill and Melinda Gates foundation-funded international collaborative project, which aimed at developing self-reproducible cowpea hybrids through reproductive cell-specific gene editing and silencing. Currently, her research is focused on discovering physiological and molecular mechanisms leading to improved water use efficiency and drought tolerance in grapevine. In addition, her other research interests focus on understanding the etiology of highly devastating Shiraz disease in Australian vineyards through next-generation sequencing.

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2021 Nagahatenna, D. S. K., Tiong, J., Edwards, E. J., Langridge, P., & Whitford, R. (2021). Altering tetrapyrrole biosynthesis by overexpressing ferrochelatases (Fc1 and Fc2) improves photosynthetic efficiency in transgenic barley. Agronomy, 10(9), 1-15.
    2020 Juranić, M., Nagahatenna, D. S. K., Salinas-Gamboa, R., Hand, M. L., Sánchez-León, N., Leong, W. H., . . . Koltunow, A. M. G. (2020). A detached leaf assay for testing transient gene expression and gene editing in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata [L.] Walp.). Plant Methods, 16(1), 17 pages.
    DOI Scopus1
    2020 Nagahatenna, D. S. K., Parent, B., Edwards, E. J., Langridge, P., & Whitford, R. (2020). Barley plants overexpressing ferrochelatases (HvFC1 and HvFC2) show improved photosynthetic rates and have reduced photo-oxidative damage under drought stress than non-transgenic controls. Agronomy, 10(9), 1-21.
    2015 Nagahatenna, D., Langridge, P., & Whitford, R. (2015). Tetrapyrrole-based drought stress signalling. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 13(4), 447-459.
    DOI Scopus41 WoS32 Europe PMC17
  • Patents

    Year Citation
    2014 Whitford, R., & Nagahatenna, D. (2014). US 62/059069, Ferrochelatase compositions and methods to increase agronomic performance of plants. United States of America.
Date Investigators Title Amount Role
2021-2022 Dilrukshi Nagahatenna, Vinay Pagay, Anthony Borneman Towards an understanding of the etiology of the Shiraz disease in Australian vineyards $50,000 Lead Investigator


  • Position: Grant Funded Researcher (Level A)
  • Phone: 83130773
  • Email: dilu.nagahatenna@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Plant Research Centre, floor 1
  • Org Unit: The University of Adelaide

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