Vikas Belamkar

Vikas Belamkar

Vikas Belamkar

Research Assistant Professor

B.E., Biotechnology, Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India, 2007

M.S., Biotechnology, Texas Tech University, 2010

PH.D., Genetics, Iowa State University, 2015

Areas of Focus

  • Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics

Research Interests

Explore innovative ways of connecting genotype to phenotype by utilizing a holistic approach of combining DNA, RNA and metabolites, and big-data analytics; understand genetic architecture of traits with emphasis on key traits for hybrid development; develop R-packages, R-scripts and Shinny apps for applied plant breeding data analysis; work on data sharing policies and integrate version control (Git/GitHub) to systematically store and share scripts and datasets of the UNL small grains breeding program; and communicate with public bioinformatics/breeding databases for timely deposition of experimental data from the UNL wheat breeding program.

Major Project Activities

  • Conduct research in the area of quantitative genetics, bioinformatics and plant breeding.
  • Lead the efforts on optimization and deployment of genomic prediction, marker-assisted selection, and other uses of molecular marker information for improving winter wheat.
  • Analyze field trials (single and multi-environment) using mixed linear models incorporating spatial adjustments to generate best estimates of the phenotypic data.
  • Coordinate genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) efforts, perform single-nucleotide-polymorphism (SNP) calls and work in collaboration with the small grains breeder, and national and international collaborators on genomic selection and predictions for the hybrid wheat.
  • Work closely with the small grains breeder to translate the information generated into timely decision making for advancements in the breeding program.
  • Assist with the small grains breeding program management and graduate student mentoring in the area of bioinformatics, statistics and quantitative genetics.