Malinda Thilakarathna, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Ag, Food & Nutri Sci Dept


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Ag, Food & Nutri Sci Dept
(780) 492-9966
4-10F Agriculture/Forestry Centre
9011 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2P5



PhD (Biology), Dalhousie University

PDF (Plant Microbial Interactions, Agronomy), University of Guelph


Plant-Microbial Interactions and Agronomy

A wide range microorganism colonizes the plant and plant-root interface, and these microorganisms can establish beneficial, neutral, or detrimental with their host plant. My current research program is focused on technologies that reduce the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilizers to grow crops by replacing them with more natural, biological resources. I employ both basic and applied research in my research program. Currently, I have three major focus areas: 1) assessment of beneficial microbes (probiotics) for improving nitrogen fixation in legumes and non-legumes; 2) evaluating beneficial microbes that can alleviate abiotic stress in plants; 3) discovering the physiological mechanisms and factors that influence nitrogen fixation and belowground nitrogen transfer from legumes to non-legumes. 


PL SC 499 - Cropping Systems

The cropping systems of Alberta are unique and specific to the diverse climatic regions of the province. This course will discuss crop and variety choices, crop rotations, nutrient requirements, agronomic management, soil health and pest management options within the context of environmental and economic sustainability. The course depends on interaction with agronomists, other professionals and researchers from across Alberta. Completion of a group project is a major component of the laboratory. Prerequisites: PL SC 355, REN R 210, and *6 from PL SC 324, PL SC 352, PL SC 380. PL SC 495 and REN R 445 recommended.

Fall Term 2020

Browse more courses taught by Malinda Thilakarathna


Defoliation causes rapid release of glutamine from nodules and young roots of forage legumes.
Author(s): Thilakarathna MS, Raizada MN.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Phytobiomes Journal
Volume: 3
Page Numbers: 85-91

Evaluating the effectiveness of rhizobia inoculants and micronutrients as technologies for Nepalese common bean smallholder farmers in the real world context of highly variable terrace environments and indigenous farming practices.
Author(s): Thilakarathna MS, Chapagain T, Ghimire B, Pudasaini R, Tamang B, Gurung K, Choi K, Rai L, Magar S, BK B, Gaire S, Raizada MN.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Agriculture
Volume: 9
Page Numbers: 20

Challenges in using precision agriculture to optimize symbiotic nitrogen fixation in legumes: progress, limitations, and future improvements needed in diagnostic testing.
Author(s): Thilakarathna MS and Raizada MN.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Agronomy
Volume: 8
Page Numbers: 78

Red clover cultivars show nitrogen fixing advantage during the early stages of seedling development.
Author(s): Thilakarathna MS, Papadopoulos YA, Grimmett M, Fillmore SA, Crouse M, Prithiviraj B.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Canadian Journal of Plant Science
Volume: 98
Page Numbers: 517-526

Visualizing glutamine accumulation in root systems involved in the legume-rhizobia symbiosis by placement on agar embedded with companion biosensor cells.
Author(s): Thilakarathna MS and Raizada MN.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Phytobiomes Journal
Volume: 2
Page Numbers: 117-128

A biosensor-based leaf punch assay for glutamine correlates to symbiotic nitrogen fixation measurements in legumes to permit rapid screening of rhizobia inoculants under controlled conditions.
Author(s): Thilakarathna MS, Moroz N, Raizada MN.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Frontiers in Plant Science
Volume: 8
Page Numbers: 1714