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Dr. M.Prabhakar

Principal Scientist (Enthomology) & Principal Investigator

Education : Ph.D. in Enthomology
Major research areas : Remote sensing & GIS for crop health management, Crop-pest-weather interactions, Seasonal dynamics & natural biological control of crop pests.
E-mail : m.prabhakar@icar.gov.in ; prabhakar_mathyam@yahoo.com

Experience profile
  • Scientist, National Research Centre for Grapes, Pune, 30 Dec 1996 to 29 Dec 2000
  • Scientist (Senior Scale), CRIDA, Hyderabad, 30 Dec 2000 to 29 Dec 2005
  • Senior Scientist, CRIDA, Hyderabad, 30 Dec 2005 to 29 Dec 2011
  • Principal Scientist, CRIDA, Hyderabad from 30 Dec 2011 onwards
  • Data analysis using SAS, NAARM, Hyderabad for 6 days ( 21-26 March, 2011)
  • GIS and Remote Sensing Applications at NRSA, Hyderabad for four weeks (9 April-4 May, 2007)
  • Remote sensing applications in agriculture with special emphasis on linkage of remote sensing with simulation models for agri-production estimates and land use planning, IARI, New Delhi for 21 days (22 March-15 April, 2006).
  • Integrated Pest management and Food safety, 28 days, International Agricultural Centre, Wageningen, the Netherlands (June 6- July 2, 2005)
  • Statistical Tools for Data Analysis, IASRI, New Delhi for 6 days (23 -28 August, 2004).
  • Introduction to Arc GIS, NIIT, ESRI, India, Hyderabad for five days (15-19 Sept 2003)
  • Techniques in Entomological Research, Center for Advanced Studies in Entomology, TNAU, Coimbatore for 21 days (18 Jan-7 Feb, 2001)
  • Biological Control of Crop Pests in Different Cropping Systems, Project Directorate on Biological Control, Bangalore for 2 months (5 Jan-4 Mar, 2000)
  • System Analysis and Application of Information Technologies, ICRISAT, Hyderabad for 11 days (16-27 June, 1997)
  • Life member - Entomological Society of India, New Delhi
  • Life member - Society for Bio Control Advancement, Bangalore
  • Life Member - Association of Agrometeorologists, Anand
  • Life member - Plant Protection Association of India, Hyderabad
  • Treasurer- Association of Agrometeorologists, AP Chapter, Hyderabad
Salient achievements
  • Remote sensing and geospatial techniques
  • Developed a technique for remotely assessing leafhopper severity in cotton using hyperspectral radiometry and evolved new spectral vegetation indices (Leaf Hopper Index-LHI) specific to hopper damage (Comp Elec Agril 79:189-198)
  • Developed multinomial logistic models for early detection of mealybug damage severity in cotton using symptom specific hyperspectral indices (Comp Elec Agril , under review)
  • Demonstrated the feasibility of using satellite data for assessing pest damage in rice and cotton. Overall accuracy of classification of mealybug damage to the extent of 67 per cent (Kappa Coefficient=0.59) (CRIDA Annual report, 2010-11)
  • Using multispectral radiometer characterized spectral signatures of plants under stress due to late leaf spot disease, thrips, termites in groundnut; semilooper in castor; brown plant hopper in rice and identified specific spectral indices characteristic to each pest and disease. (Proc. of Hyperspec-08 pp8-9)
  • Characterized reflectance spectra in the groundnut late leaf spot disease affected canopies. (Proc. Intern. Sym. SPIE Vol. 6411, 641101, 2006).
  • Developed a technique for early detection of root borer incidence in Jatropha curcas using remote sensing techniques (Proc. 2nd Insect Sci. congress, 21-22 Feb 2008, PAU, Ludhiana, pp133).
  • Developed a technique for retrieval of biophysical parameters and assessment of Alternaria disease severity in safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) using ground based hyperspectral radiometry (J Oilseed Res 29: 377-382)
  • Geo-spatial analysis of mealybug infestation in cotton (250 m grid) showed Moran’s Index values in the range of 0.15 to 0.23 for the grids implying that nearby areas tend to be similar in attributes. Buffer analysis with first 15 m from road showed the number of pixels with severe infestation is very high (825) indicating a strong relationship between mealybug severity and adjacency to roadsides that harbor many alternate weed hosts.
  • Pest Forewarning Models
  • Developed forewarning models for predicting egg and larval stages of castor semilooper, Achaea janata and its two natural enemies Trichogramma achaea (egg parasitoid) and Snellenius maculipennis (larval parasitoid) at 3 to 7 days in advance (J Agromet 10 :529-534)
  • Developed forewarning model for prevalence and spread of cotton bacterial leaf blight diseases in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Maharastra (Indian J Agril Sci 77: 752-754).
  • Developed forewarning models for sorghum shoot fly. Equations developed through stepwise regression for predicting shootfly eggs and deadhearts explained 58 and 91% of the variability, respectively (J Agromet 7: 51-58)
  • Developed forewarning models for rice leaf blast (J Agromet 8: 1-6)
  • Biological Control
  • Studied the biology and seasonal dynamics of castor semilooper larval parasitoid, Snellenius maculipennis and identified two new species of hyperparasitoids on them (J Biol Control 19: 29-34).
  • Studied the seasonal dynamics of castor semilooper and its natural enemies viz., Trichogramma chilonis, T. Achaea, Snellenius maculipennis and Euplectrus leucostomus (Indian J Entomol 66: 301-307).
  • Bio Intensive Integrated Pest Management
  • Participatory technology development of bio-intensive integrated pest management in castor through a three-year on-farm research in 125 ha covering 75 farmers in five villages Mahabubnagar District, Andhra Pradesh (Annual Report, CRIDA ,2004-05, pp 41-41).
  • Studied the effect of five commercially available botanical pesticides and chitin synthetic inhibitors on groundnut leaf miner, Aproaerema modecella Dev. and identified suitable bio-rational pest management strategies for their management. RD –9 Repellin, Neemguard and Alletin were superior to Navneem, Wellgro and Karrich (Indian J Entomol 56: 305-308).
  • Evaluated different botanical pesticides and studied their effect on growth and development of Spopdoptera litura, a polyphagous pest affecting many cultivated plants. LC 50 values were assessed for four botanical pesticides against second instar larvae of Spodopetra litura Fab and found that Allitin was 2.81 times toxic followed by neemguard and RD 9 Repelin, which were 2.47 and 1.51 times toxic compared with Annmet considering as base (J Appl Zool Res 4: 145-146).
  • Evaluated bio Intensive IPM modules for castor semilooper, Achaea janata (Indian J Plant Prot 31: 56-58).
  • New Species of Pests and Bio-agents Reported
  • Identified new species of pests damaging Jatropha curcas in Andhra Pradesh, viz., Thrips: Retithrips syriacus (Mayet); Two species of spotted plant bugs: Scutellera nobilis (Fabricius) & Chrysocoris purpureus (Westwood). The seasonal dynamics of different insect pests, their nature and extend of damage was recorded (Entomon 33: 86-89)
  • Recorded two new species of hyperparasitoids v.z., Mesochorus pilicornis (Cameron) and Brachymeria secundaria (Ruschka) on Snellenius maculipennis, the larval parasitoid of castor semilooper, Achaea janata Lin. (J Biol Control 19: 29-34).
  • Natural parasitism of the red hairy caterpillar, Amsacta albistriga by a mermithid nematode, Hexamermis dactylocercus was reported for the first time (J Biol Control 24: 285-287).
  • Longicorn beetle, Acanthophorus rugiceps Gahan (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is reported for the first time as a confirmed host on physic nut, Jatropha curcas L. from India causing extensive damage to roots. (J Insect Sci 12: 141).
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Designed a web page for the NAIP-C 2046 project through which a web enabled Decision Support System (v1.0) for major pests of rice and cotton based cropping systems was made available for use by the project partners through the following web site (http://www.crida.in/naip/comp4/dss_pest.html)
  • Process>
  • Developed a process for using space borne data for assessing cotton mealybug severity in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh with IRSP-6 LISS- IV & CARTOSAT satellite data (DARE/ICAR Annual Report 2009-10 & CRIDA Annual Report- 2009-10)
  • Data base and Software
  • Developed Crop-Pest-Weather data base software (PestWeatherDB 1.0) under NAIP-C 2046 which was released by Dr A.K. Singh, DDG (NRM), ICAR on 19 September 2011.
Projecets handled
  • Externally funded:
  • Detection of pests and diseases for precision crop management using remote sensing techniques (RESPOND, ISRO, 2005-2010) – PI
  • Threshold temperatures, thermal constants and developmental models for major pests of dryland crops (FASTRACK, DST, 2005-2008) – PI
  • Production and promotion of quality bio-agents for the eco-friendly management of insect pests in rainfed crops (NABARD, 2005- 2008) - PI
  • Development of decision support systems for insect pests of major rice cotton based cropping systems (NAIP, Componemnt-4, 2008-14) - Co PI
  • Sustainable rural livelihoods through enhanced farming systems productivity and efficient support systems in rainfed areas (2007-2011, NAIP- Component-2) - Co PI
  • Sustainable cotton initiative in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh (2008-2011, WWF) - Co PI
  • National net work project on integrated development of Jatropha and Pongamia (2004-11) - Co PI
  • Institute projects:
  • Characterization of biotic stress in rainfed crops using hyperspectral radiometry (2010-13) – PI
  • Productivity and spectral response of safflower genotypes in response to varied soil moisture gradients (2010-12) – Co PI
  • Utilization of candidate microbial isolates for management of Dryland insect pests (2007-10) - Co PI
  • A study on documentation of ITKs on pest forewarning in rainfed crops (2008-10)-Co PI
  • Bio diversity of insect microbial pathogens in dryland soils for potential use in pest management (2007-2010) - Co PI
  • Peer reviewed journals (International):
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Desai S, Thirupathi M, Gopika K, Ramachandra Rao G, Venkateswarlu B (2013). Hyperspectral remote sensing of yellow mosaic severity and associated pigment losses in Vigna mungo using multinomial logistic regression models. Crop Prot 45: 132-140.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Rao, GR, Venkateswarlu B (2012). A new record of longicorn beetle, Acanthophorus rugiceps as a root borer on physic nut, Jatropha curcas from India with a description of life stages, biology and seasonal dynamics. J Insect Sci 12: 141.
  • Prasad YG, Prabhakar M, Sreedevi G, Ramachandra Rao G, Venkateswarlu B (2012). Effect of temperature on development, survival and reproduction of the mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) on cotton. Crop Prot 39: 81-88.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Thirupathi M, Sreedevi G, Dharajothi, Venkateswarlu B (2011). Use of ground based hyperspectral remote sensing for detection of stress in cotton caused by leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Comp Electron Agric 79: 189-198.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Desai, S, Thirupathi M, Vennila, S, Ramachandra Rao G, Venkateswarlu B (2013). Hyperspectral indices for assessing damage by the solenopsis mealybug (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in cotton. Comp Electron Agric (Under review).
  • Peer reviewed journals (National):
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Desai S, Thirupathi M (2013). Spectral and spatial properties of rice brown plant hopper and groundnut late leaf spot disease infestation under field conditions. J Agromet 15 (In press).
  • Vennila S, Prasad YG, Prabhakar M, Agarwal M, Sreedevi G, Bombawale OM (2013). Weed hosts of cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Psedococcidae). J Env Biol 34: 153-158.
  • Prabhakar M, Padmavathy P, Prasad RD, Lakshmi Prayaga (2012). Retrieval of biophysical parameters and assessment of Alternaria disease severity in safflower using ground based hyper spectral radiometry. J Oilseed Res 29: 377-382.
  • Prasad YG, Prabhakar M, Sreedevi G, Thirupathi M (2011). Spatio-temporal dynamics of the parasitoid, Aenasius bambawalei Hayat (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) on mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley in cotton based cropping systems and associated weed flora. J Biol Control 25: 198-202.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Venkateswarlu B (2010). New record of Hexamermis dactylocercus Poiner Jr. and Linares (Nematoda: Mermithidae) parasitizing red hairy caterpillar, Amsacta albistriga (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Arctidae) from India. J Biol Control 24: 285-287.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG (2010). Characterizing biotic stress in castor and other oil seed crops using multispectral radiometry. J Oilseed Res 22: 351-352.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Rao GR (2009). Pests of economic importance on Jatropha curcas, a bio diesel plant in India. Entomon 33: 83-86.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Yella Reddy D (2008). Models for forewarning the incidence of castor semilooper Achaea janata Lin (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera) and its parasitoids. J Agromet 10: 529-534.
  • Prasad YG, Nagalakshmi T, Prabhakar M, Yella Reddy D, Rao NHP, Srnivasa Rao M, Desai S, Rao GGSN, Ramakrishna YS (2007). Development of prediction models for bacterial leaf blight Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. Malvacearum of cotton (Gossipium hirsutum) in Andhra Pradesh and Maharastra. Indian J Agric Sci 77: 752-756.
  • Yella Reddy D, Prabhakar M, Reddy CS, Ramakrisha YS, Prasad YG, Nagalakshmi T (2006). Dynamic cumulative weather based index for forewarning of rice blast. J Agromet 8: 1-6.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG (2005). Biology and dynamics of Snellenius maculipennis (Szepligeti) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a larval parasitoid of castor semilooper, Achaea janata (Linnaeuus) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). J Biol Control 19: 29-34.
  • Prabhakar M, Pasad YG (2005). Natural parasitisation of castor semilooper, Achaea janata Linn. Indian J Entomol 66: 301-307.
  • Padmaja P G, Ratnavathi C V and Prabhakar M (2005). Influence of corm plant hopper, Perigrinus maidis(Ashmead) infestation on chemical constituents in sweet sorghum. Indian J Plant Prot 33: 39-42
  • Padmaja P G and Prabhakar M (2004). Natural parasitisation of spotted stem borer, Chilo partellus on sweet sorghum in Andhra Pradesh. Indian J Entomol 66: 285-86.
  • Prabhakar M, Srinivasa Rao M and Prasad Y G (2003). Evaluation of bio-intensive integrated pest management modules for castor semilooper, Achaea janata Lin. Indian J Plant Prot 31: 56-58
  • Yadav S K, Prabhakar M and Raghuram Reddy P (2001). Castor with diversified uses: Leaves for silk industry, Intensive Agriculture 39 (7-8): 28-30
  • Prabhakar M, Sing Y and Padmaja P G (2001). Yield infestation studies on Helicoverpa armigera (Hub) in chickpea. Insect Environ 7: 65-67
  • Prabhakar M, Singh Y, Sing V S, and Singh S P (1998). Economic injury levels of Helicoverpa armigera in chickpea as influenced by irrigation. Indian J Entomol 60: 109-115
  • Prabhakar M and Singh Y (1998). Predicting Helicoverpa armigera in chickpea using pheromone traps. Indian J Entomol 60: 339-344
  • Prabhakar M and Kameswar Rao P (1994). Relative toxicity of botanical pesticides to Aproaerema modecella Dev. J Insect Sci 7: 117
  • Prabhakar M and Kameswara Rao P (1993). Relative toxicity of botanical pesticides to Spodoptera litura Fab. J Applied Zool Res 4: 145-14
  • Prabhakar M, and Kameswara Rao P, Subramanyam Reddy K and Sreemannarayana G (1994). Effect of botanical pesticides on groundnut leaf miner, Aproaerema modicella Dev. Indian J Entomol 56: 305-308.
  • Book chapters:
  • Prasad YG, Prabhakar M (2012). Pest monitoring and forecasting. In: Integrated Pest Management Principles and Practices (Eds. Abrol DP, Shankar U). CABI Publishing, UK. (H ISBN 9781845938086)
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Rao MN (2011). Remote Sensing of Biotic Stress in Crop Plants and its Applications for Pest Management- By Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Rao MN, In: Crop Stress and its Management: Perspectives and Strategies (Eds: B Venkateshwarulu et al.), Springer Science+Business Media, ISBN 978-94-007-2219-4.
  • Sujay, D., Indrani, C., Prasad, Y.G., Katti, G., Prabhakar, M. Vennila, S. (2011). Pest surveillance of rice crop using satellite data – A Case study for Brown Plant Hopper (N. lugens). In: Information and Communication Technology for Agriculture and Rural Development (Eds: R. Saravanan, C. Kathiresan and T. Indra Devi), New India Publishing Agency, New Delhi, p 368.
  • Prabhakar M., Prasad YG, Ramakrishna YS, (2009). Reflectance characteristics of crop canopies under stress due to pest and disease infestation. In: Hyperspectral Remote Sensing and Spectral Signature Applications (Eds: S. Rajendran, S. Aravindan, T. Jeyavel Rajakumar, K.R. Murali Mohan and R. Sivakumar), ISBN: 8189422340, New India Publishing Agency, New Delhi, pp 526
  • Technical bulletins/Brochures:
  • Vennila S, Prasad YG, Prabhakar M, Rishikumar, Nagrare V, Amutha M, Dharajyothi, Meenu Agarwal, Sreedevi G, Venkateswarlu B, Kranhi KR, Bombawale, OM (2011). Spatio-temporal distribution of host plants of cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley in India. Technical Bulletin No. 26, NCIPM, New Delhi, p 50.
  • Vennila S, Ramamurthy VV, Deshmukh A, Pinjarkar DB, Ararwal M, Pagar PC, Prasad YG, Prabhakar M, Kranthi KR, Bombawale OM (2010). A treatise on mealybugs of Central Indian cotton production system. Technical Bulletin No. 24, NCIPM, New Delhi, p 39.
  • Rao GR, Prasad YG Prabhakar M, Srinivas I, Rao KV, Korwar GR, Venkateswarlu B, Shankar AK, Ravindra Chary G, Reddy NN (2010). Bio-fuel crops for drylands: Cultivation and processing Issues. Technical Bulletin 1/2010. CRIDA, Hyderabad, 32p.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Reddy RDR, Venkateswrlu B, Ramakrishna YS (2007). Neem in Integrated Pest Management, Technical Brochure No.1, Hyderabad.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Prasad MS, Reddy RDR Ramakrishna YS (2007). Integrated Pest Management in Rainfed crops. KVK Technical Bulletin 13/, CRIDA, Hyderabad, 56p.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG, Reddy RDR, Venkateswarlu B, Ramakrishna YS (2007). Production and Use of Baculovirus. Technical Brochures No.2, CRIDA, Hyderabad
  • Rao GR, Prasad YG, Prabhakar M, Rao JV, Korwar GR, Ramakrishna YS (2006). Agro-techniques for Biodiesel Plantations in rainfed crops. Technical Bulletin, CRIDA, Hyderabad.
  • Prasad YG, Prabhakar M (2005). Viral Bio-pesticides for Eco-friendly Pest Management. Technical Brochure No. 1/05, CRIDA, Hyderabad.
  • Prabhakar M, Prasad YG (2005). Trichogramma egg parasitoid for Biological Control of Insect Pests. Technical Brochure No. 2/05, CRIDA, Hyderabad.
Course/Symposia organised
  • Course convener, ICAR short training on Modern Monitoring Tools for Enhanced Resource Use Efficiency in Rainfed Agriculture, 4-13 Oct, 2012, CRIDA, Hyderabad.
  • Course coordinator training program on Integrated Nutrient, Pest and Disease Management in Dryland Crops, Oct 26- Nov 2, 2010, CRIDA, Hyderabad.
  • Organizing secretary, National workshop on Innovations in Better Management Practices in Climate Resilient and Sustainable Cotton Production, 15-16 Dec, 2010, CRIDA, Hyderabad.
  • Insect Parasitoid and Predator Collection Device (Patent Appl. No: 3515 /CHE/2011)
Awards / Recognitions
  • DST-SERC -Fast Track Young Scientists, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, 2005-2008.
  • NUFFIC Fellow, Government of Netherlands, May 2005
  • Fellow, Entomological Society of India, 2008
  • Fellow, Plant Protection Association of India, 2012
  • Visiting Scholar, Department of Geography, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA, 14 February- 15 May 2009
  • Best Research Paper award, National Seminar- Agrometeorological Research and Services to Combat Climate Change Challenges, BCKV, Kalyani, 9-10 Dec, 2011
  • Best Research Paper award, National Symposium- Climate Change and Indian Agriculture: Slicing Down the Uncertainties, CRIDA, Hyderabad, 22-23 Jan 2013
  • Topped the all India merit list of candidates selected for Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Agricultural Entomology for the year 1994 by Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board, New Delhi.