College of Agriculture and Bioresources

Research Area(s)

  • Disease resistance in pulse crops and their wild relatives
  • Root rots in pea and lentil
  • Fungal pathogens on faba bean
  • Colletotrichum lentis on lentil


Plant Sciences, Crop Development Centre

Research Interests

As a member of the Crop Development Centre (CDC) at the University of Saskatchewan, my research program is focused on pulse crop pathology with particular emphasis on problems in Saskatchewan. The overarching theme of my research program is to study the biology of fungal and bacterial pathogens and their interaction with host plants. The ultimate goal of my research is to gain a better understanding of strategies employed by these pathogens to successfully invade and colonize pulse crops, and to exploit this knowledge for the purpose of developing successful breeding and disease management strategies. In order to achieve this goal, my research program follows a hierarchical approach, covering aspects from the field level down to the microscopic and molecular level.


  • Ph.D., University of Reading, UK
  • M.Sc., University of London, UK
  • Dipl. Ing. (hort), Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Recent Publications

Awodele S, Gali K, Sivachandra Kumar N, De Silva D, Chatterton S, Banniza S, Warkentin T. 2024. Evaluation of Pea Accessions Differing in Flower and Seed Coat Pigmentation for Resistance to Fusarium avenaceum Root Rot. Legume Science, 6: e230.

Pilet-Nayel ML, Coyne CJ, Le May C, Banniza S. 2024. Legume root diseases. Frontiers in Plant Science, 20;15:1393326.

Armstrong-Cho C, Sivachandra Kumar NT, Kaur R, Banniza S. 2023.The chickpea root rot complex in Saskatchewan, Canada-detection of emerging pathogens and their relative pathogenicity. Frontiers in Plant Science 6;14:1117788.

Chatterton S, Pagé A, Schwinghamer T, Bowness Davidson R, Harding MW, Banniza S. 2023. Inoculum dose-disease response relationships for the pea root rot pathogen, Aphanomyces euteiches, are dependent on soil type and other pathogens. Frontiers in Plant Science 14, p.1115420

Adobor SK, Banniza S, Vandenberg A, Purves RW 2023. Untargeted profiling of secondary metabolites and phytotoxins associated with stemphylium blight of lentil. Planta 257:73, DOI: 10.1007/s00425-023-04105-3

Armstrong-Cho C, Sivachandra Kumar NT, Kaur R, Banniza S 2023. The chickpea root rot complex in Saskatchewan, Canada- detection of emerging pathogens and their relative pathogenicity. Frontiers in Plant Science 14,1117788. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2023.1117788

Adobor SK, Gela TS, Banniza S, Vandenberg AK 2023. Mapping of genomic regions linked to stemphylium blight (Stemphylium botryosum Wallr.) resistance in lentil using linkage mapping and marker-trait association analysis. Euphytica 219, 86. DOI: 10.1007/s10681-023-03215-z.

Bawa PK, Halliday J, Kapoor K, Banniza S 2022. Identification of candidate genes associated with resistance against race 0 of Colletotrichum lentis in Lens ervoides. Scientific Reports. Nov 2;12(1):18447.

Cao Z, Banniza S. 2021. Cross-kingdom gene coexpression analysis using a Stemphylium botryosumLens ervoides system revealed plasticity of intercommunication between the pathogen secretome and the host immune systems. MPMI 34, No. 12, 2021, pp. 1365–1377,

Ramsay L, Koh CS, Kagale S, Gao D, Kaur S, Haile T, Gela TS, Chen L-A, Cao Z, Konkin DJ, Toegelová H, Doležel J, Rosen BD, Stonehouse R, Humann JL, Main D, Coyne CJ, McGee RJ, Cook DR, Penmetsa RV, Vandenberg A, Chan C, Banniza S, Edwards D, Bayer PE, Batley J, Udupa SM, Bett KE. 2021. Genomic rearrangements have consequences for introgression breeding as revealed by genome assemblies of wild and cultivated lentil species. bioRxiv,

Sivachandra Kumar NT, Caudillo-Ruiz K, Chatterton S, Banniza S 2021. Characterization of Aphanomyces euteiches pathotypes infecting peas in Western Canada. Plant Disease, 105:4025-403. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-04-21-0874-RE

Kuchuran ME, Armstrong-Cho C, Banniza S 2021. Management of Botrytis grey mould caused by Botrytis cinerea in lentil using boscalid fungicide, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2021.1873865

Adobor S, Podder R, Banniza S, Vandenberg A 2020. Evaluation of resistance to stemphylium blight in interspecific recombinant inbred lines derived from Lens culinaris × Lens ervoides. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization, 18(4), 251-258. DOI:10.1017/S1479262120000295

Armstrong-Cho C, Banniza S 2020. Pathogens of caraway and coriander blossoms in western Canada, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, 42:3, 367-376, DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2019.1681515

Gela TS, Banniza S, Vandenberg A 2020. Lack of effective resistance to the virulent race of Colletotrichum lentis in Lens culinaris Medikus subsp. culinaris. Plant Genetic Resources 18, 81-87.

Cao Z, Kapoor K, Li L, Banniza S 2020. Interactive gene expression patterns of susceptible and resistant Lens ervoidesrecombinant inbred lines and the necrotroph Ascochyta lentis. Front. Microbiol., 24 June 2020 |

Cao Z, Li L, Kapoor K, Banniza S 2019. Using a transcriptome sequencing approach to explore candidate resistance genes against stemphylium blight in the wild lentil species Lens ervoides. BMC Plant Biology 19, 399.

Sivachandra Kumar NT, Cox L, Armstrong-Cho C, Banniza S 2019. Optimization of zoospore production and inoculum concentration of Aphanomyces euteiches for resistance screening of pea and lentil, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 42:419-428, DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2019.1679888.

Armstrong-Cho C, Banniza S 2019. Pathogens of caraway and coriander blossoms in western Canada, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 42:367-376, DOI:10.1080/07060661.2019.1681515.

Jha AB, Gali KK, Banniza S, Warkentin TD 2019. Validation of SNP markers associated with ascochyta blight resistance in pea. Can J Plant Sci 99, 243-249, DOI:10.1139/cjps-2018-0211.

Chatterton S, Harding MW, Bowness R, McLaren DL, Banniza S, Gossen BD 2019. Importance and causal agents of root rot on field pea and lentil on the Canadian Prairies, 2013 2017. Can J Plant Path 41, 98-114

Bhadauria V, MacLachlan R, Pozniak C, Cohen‐Skali A, Li L, Halliday J, Banniza S 2019. Genetic map‐guided genome assembly reveals a virulence‐governing minichromosome in the lentil anthracnose pathogen Colletotrichum lentis. New Phytologist 221, 431-445.


Undergraduate thesis course:

  • PLSC 492: Literature / small research thesis in Plant Sciences

Graduate courses:

  • PLSC 880 Introduction to plant disease epidemiology
  • PLSC 881 Host-pathogen interaction and breeding for disease resistance in plants