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


Agronomy and Plant-Microbial Interactions

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. 


AFNS 601 - Seminar

Covers specialized topics of current interest to graduate students in AFNS. Presentations by students, faculty and invited speakers. Students register in one of four sections - Animal Science, Plant Science, Food Science or Human Nutrition. Attendance is required of all graduate students throughout their program. MSc students normally register for one term in year 2, and are required to present one seminar; PhD students normally register for one term in each of year 1 and 3, and are required to present one seminar per term.

PL SC 100 - Plants in our Lives

Issues related to the importance of plants in our lives, including global food security, interactions between agriculture and the environment, the role of crops in human and animal nutrition, and the potential development of biofuels, biofibers, biopharmaceutical, and bioindustrial crops. Not available to students with *60 in Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. This course does not substitute for PL SC 221 in the program core. Prerequisite: Biology 30 recommended.

PL SC 499 - Cropping Systems

This course is intended as the capstone course for crop science, and other majors, and provides an opportunity for students to integrate their knowledge about various aspects of crop management, and environmental and economic sustainability. The course centers on the completion of a group project. Lecture time will be divided between traditional lectures and guest lectures to facilitate interactions with agricultural professionals, and project management to engage students with real-world agricultural challenges. Prerequisites: PL SC 355, REN R 210, and *6 from: PL SC 310, PL SC 324, PL SC 352, PL SC 380.

Browse more courses taught by Malinda Thilakarathna


Testing whether pre-pod-fill symbiotic nitrogen fixation in soybean is subject to drift or selection over 100 years of soybean breeding

Author(s): Thilakarathna, M.S., Torkamaneh, D., Bruce, R.W., Rajcan, I., Chu, G., Grainger, C.M., Szczyglowski, K., Hill, B. and Raizada, M.N.
Publication Date: 9/1/2021
Publication: Frontiers in Agronomy
Volume: 3
Page Numbers: 725813.
External Link:

Reduction of T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxins by atmospheric cold plasma and its impact on quality changes and germination of wheat grains.

Author(s): Iqdiam BM, Feizollahi E, Arif MF, Jeganathan B, Vasanthan T, Thilakarathna MS, Roopesh MS.
Publication Date: 2021
Publication: Journal of Food Science

Split-root assays for studying legume-rhizobia symbioses, rhizodeposition, and belowground nitrogen transfer in legumes.

Author(s): Thilakarathna MS and Cope K.
Publication Date: 2021
Publication: Journal of Experimental Botany
Page Numbers: erab198

Effects of atmospheric-pressure cold plasma treatment on deoxynivalenol degradation, quality parameters, and germination of barley grains

Author(s): Feizollahi E, Iqdiam B, Vasanthan T, Thilakarathna MS, Roopesh MS.
Publication Date: 2020
Publication: applied sciences
Volume: 10
Page Numbers: 3530

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