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.


  • Amira Mourad, Ahmed Sallam, Vikas Belamkar, Ezzat Mahdy, Bahy Raghib, Atif Abo El-Wafaa, and Peter Stephen Baenziger. Genetic architecture of common bunt resistance in winter wheat using genome-wide association study. Manuscript submitted to BMC Plant Biology on June 16, 2018.
  • Amanda Easterly, Nicholas Garst, Vikas Belamkar, Jean-Benoit Sarazin, Thierry Moittié, Amir M.H. Ibrahim, Jackie C Rudd, Kent Eskridge, Walter Stroup, Edward Souza, and P. Stephen Baenziger. Determining the Efficacy of a Hybridizing Agent in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Manuscript submitted to Euphytica on June 11, 2018.
  • Madhav Bhatta, Alexey Morgounov, Vikas Belamkar, Jesse Poland, and Peter Stephen Baenziger. Unlocking the novel genetic diversity and population structure of synthetic hexaploid wheat. Manuscript submitted to BMC Genomics on May 14, 2018.
  • Vikas Belamkar, Mary J. Guttieri, Ibrahim El-basyoni, Waseem Hussain, Jesse Poland, Diego Jarquín, Aaron J. Lorenz, and P. Stephen Baenziger. Genomic selection increases accuracy of selection and potentially reduce phenotyping. Manuscript pending revisions in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. Early Online June 26, 2018; [].
  • Waseem Hussain, Mary J. Guttieri, Vikas Belamkar, Jesse Poland, and P. Stephen Baenziger. Registration of bread wheat recombinant inbred line mapping population (RIL) derived from the cross between Harry and Wesley. Manuscript pending with minor revisions in Journal of Plant Registrations. Manuscript accepted on February 23, 2018.
  • Amira Mourad, Ahmed Sallam, Vikas Belamkar, Stephen Wegulo, Robert Bowden, Yue Jin, Ezzat Mahdy, Bahy Raghib, Atif Abo El-Wafaa, Jesse Poland, P. Stephen Baenziger. Identification and validation of novel SNP markers for Sr6 stem rust resistance gene in bread wheat. Frontiers in Plant Science 2018, 9:380. []
  • Shamseldeen Eltaher, Ahmed Sallam, Vikas Belamkar, Hamdy A. Emara, Ahmed A. Nower, Khaled F. M. Salem, Jesse Poland, P. Stephen Baenziger. Genetic diversity and population structure of F3:6 Nebraska winter wheat genotypes using genotyping-by-sequencing. Frontiers in Genetics 2018, 9:76. []
  • Waseem Hussain, P. Stephen. Baenziger, Vikas Belamkar, Mary J. Guttieri, Jorge P. Venegas, Amanda Easterly, Ahmed Sallam, Jesse Poland. Genotyping-by-sequencing derived high-density linkage map and its application to QTL mapping of flag leaf traits in bread wheat. Nature Scientific Reports 2017, 7: 16394. []
  • Jugpreet Singh, Scott R. Kalberer, Vikas Belamkar, Teshale Mamo, Matthew N. Nelson, Andrew D. Farmer, William J. Blackmon, Steven B. Cannon. A transcriptome-SNP-derived linkage map of Apios americana (potato bean) provides insights about genome re-organization and synteny conservation in the phaseolid legumes. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 2017. Published online: 25 October 2017. []
  • Liuling Yan, Genqiao Li, Rungravee Boontung, Carol Powers, Vikas Belamkar, Tianrong Huang, Fang Miao, P. Stephen Baenziger. Genetic basis of the shortest life cycle of 'Apogee' wheat. BMC Genomics 2017, 18: 838. []
  • N Sathyanarayana, Ranjith Kumar Pitttala, Pankaj Kumar Tripathi, Ratan Chopra, Heikham Russiachand Singh, Vikas Belamkar, Pardeep Kumar Bhardwaj, Jeff J Doyle, Ashley N Egan. Transcriptomic resources for the medicinal legume Mucuna pruriens: de novo transcriptome assembly, annotation, identification and validation of EST-SSR markers. BMC Genomics 2017, 18:409. []
  • Vikas Belamkar, Andrew Farmer, Nathan Weeks, Scott Kalberer, William Blackmon and Steven Cannon. Genomics-assisted characterization of a breeding collection of Apios americana, an edible tuberous legume. Nature Scientific Reports 2016, 6: 34908. []
  • Hanyu Yangcheng, Vikas Belamkar, Steven Cannon and Jay-lin Jane. Characterization and development mechanism of Apios americana tuber starch. Carbohydrate Polymers 2016, 151: 198-205. []
  • Vikas Belamkar, Alex Wenger, Scott Kalberer, Gautam Bhattacharya, William Blackmon and Steven Cannon. Evaluation of phenotypic variation in a collection of Apios americana: An edible tuberous legume. Crop Science 2015, 55:712-726 (Cover article). []
  • Vikas Belamkar, Nathan Weeks, Arvind Bharti, Andrew Farmer, Michelle Graham and Steven Cannon. Comprehensive characterization and RNA-Seq profiling of the HD-Zip transcription factor family in soybean (Glycine max) during dehydration and salt stress. BMC Genomics 2014, 15:950. []
  • Vikas Belamkar, Michael Gomez Selvaraj, Jamie L. Ayers, Paxton R. Payton, Naveen Puppala and Mark D. Burow. A first insight into population structure and linkage disequilibrium in the US peanut minicore collection. Genetica 2011, 139: 411-429. []
  • Michael Gomez Selvaraj, Gloria Burow, John J. Burke, Vikas Belamkar, Naveen Puppala and Mark D. Burow. Heat Stress screening of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) seedlings for acquired thermotolerance. Plant Growth Regulation 2011, 65: 83-91. []
  • N Sathyanarayana, P B Vikas, Bharath Kumar T N and R Rajesha. RAPD markers for genetic characterization in Mucuna species. Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding 2010, 70(3): 296-298.
  • N Sathyanarayana, P B Vikas, R Rajesha and Bharath Kumar T N. In vitro mass multiplication of Abrus precatorius (Linn.) through axillary bud culture. Journal of Cytology and Genetics 2008, 9: 57-63.
  • N Sathyanarayana, Rajesha R, P B Vikas and T N Bharath Kumar. Somatic embryogenesis & plant regeneration from stem explants of Leptadenia reticulata Wight. & Arn. Indian Journal of Biotechnology 2008, 7: 250-254.
  • Sathyanarayana, T N Bharath Kumar, P B Vikas and Rajesha R. In vitro clonal propagation of Mucuna pruriens var. utilis and its evaluation of genetic stability through RAPD markers. African Journal of Biotechnology 2008, 7 (8): 973-980.