Dr. M.Arumugam Pillai is a rice breeder having more than 25 years of research experience. During his post-doctoral exposure at Japan International Research Centre for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan, he has identified and cloned several salt responsive genes in rice. During this tenure he published some of the well quoted research papers in the field of salt tolerance in rice. He also worked on differential expression of polyamine responsive genes in rice involved in abiotic stress tolerance, especially tolerance to low temperature. He garnered significant experience in analyses, design, development and implementation of latest biomolecular technologies relevant to crop improvement programs.
He successfully handled six externally funded projects from various national and international agencies with a cumulative funding of more than 2,50,000 USD. His major funders included Indo-Swiss Collaboration in Biotechnology (ISCB), Japan society for promotion of Science (DST-JSPS), Department of science and technology (DST-India) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India. So far he has released 3 rice varieties for Tamil Nadu, ASD20, TPS5, ADT 51 and one rice fallow black gram variety KKM1. As an active researcher, he also involved in editorial services and peer review process of various international and national science journals. He got best researcher award for outstanding contribution in the field of plant breeding and genetics (V.N.Veeraraagavalu Naidu Shield and medal for Agricultural Botany) during 2011 and 2019. He guided several students for their Masters’ and Doctoral in Plant Breeding and Genetics in TNAU and also served as resource person for various national and international seminars, training programs and have experience in conducting various national level winter/summer schools. At present he is working on Identification of genes responsible for semi-dwarf and early mutant by MUT MAP approach in rice and Genome engineering for developing super hybrid in rice through TGMS approach