Ananda Y. Bandara, PhD

Ananda Y. Bandara, PhD

  • Postdoctoral Scholar
  • Kang Lab
211 Buckhout Lab
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Phytobiomes
  • Molecular plant microbe interactions
  • Plant disease epidemiology
  • Applied statistics

Education

  • Ph.D. Plant Pathology, Kansas State University (KSU), USA, 2017.
  • M.Sc. Molecular and Applied Microbiology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 2010.
  • B.Sc. Agriculture (Biology major), University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 2008.
  • Graduate Certificate in Genetics, Genomics, and Biotechnology, KSU, USA, 2015.
  • Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics, KSU, USA, 2014.

Research experience    

  • Postdoctoral Scholar: Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University, Since January 2018.
  • Postdoctoral fellow: Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, September - December 2017.
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, USA; May 2012 - August 2017.
  • In-plant training at the Plant Genetics Resource Center (PGRC), Gannoruwa, Sri Lanka, 2007.

Teaching experience and qualifications

  • Lecturer: Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (May 2008 to December 2017). Courses taught - Diseases of Crops, Principles of Plant Pathology, Practicum in Molecular Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, General Microbiology, and Microbial Biotechnology.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant: Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, USA (fall 2016). Course taught - Crop Diseases.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant Recognition of Achievement in Professional Development. Certificate conferred by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, Kansas State University, USA, August 2012 to May 2013.
  • Graduate Student Council Professional Development Certi­ficate. Kansas State University, USA, 2017.
  • Completion of the mandatory Induction training program for new academic staff on teaching methodologies. The Staff Development Center, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, October to December, 2010.

Awards and Honors

Internationally competitive

  • Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America (SICNA)-2016 “Outstanding Graduate Student Award" sponsored by Center for Sorghum Improvement in recognition of outstanding student contributions to sorghum research.
  • Storkan-Hanes-McCaslin Foundation research grant and Travel Award to attend and present at the APS annual International meeting, 10-14 August 2013, Austin, Texas, USA.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Oral Presentation (second place), Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America (SICNA), 19-21 September 2016, Manhattan, Kansas, USA.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Oral Presentation (Third place), Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America (SICNA), 28-30 August 2013, Lubbock, Texas, USA.

Nationally competitive

  • Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Fellowship, 2017.
  • Raymond J. Tarleton Student Fellowship, American Phytopathological Society, 2017.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation (second place). ACS528, Diversity Student Poster Competition.  ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings, 15-18 November 2015, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USa.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation (First place - coauthor). ACS528, Diversity Student Poster Competition.  ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings, 15-18 November 2015, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation (Third place - coauthor). Div. C09 Biomedical, Health-Beneficial & Nutritionally Enhanced Plants Graduate Student Poster Competition. ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meeting, 15-18 November 2015, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation (First place). ACS528, Diversity Student Poster Competition.  ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meeting, 2-5 November 2014, Long Beach, California, USA.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation (Second place - coauthor). ACS528, Diversity Student Poster Competition.  ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meeting, 2-5 November 2014, Long Beach, California, USA.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation (Third place - coauthor). Div. C-2 – Crop Physiology & Metabolism Graduate Student Poster Competition.  ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meeting, 2-5 November 2014, Long Beach, California, USA.
  • Zahir Eyal Student Travel Award. APS Foundation Board to attend and present at the annual International meeting, 9-13 August 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
  • Travel award offered by the organizers to attend and present at the 59th conference on Soil-borne pathogens, 26-28 March 2013, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.

Regionally competitive

  •  APS North Central Division Student Travel Award to attend and present at the APS-NCD annual meeting, 12-14 June 2013, Manhattan, Kansas, USA.

Institutionally competitive

  •  Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek Predoctoral Honors Travel Awards in Molecular Biology 2017. Kansas State University, USA.
  • Gamma Sigma Delta Graduate Student PhD Teaching Award 2017. Kansas State University chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta honor society.
  • Don C. Warren Genetics scholarship, 2016. Kansas State University.
  • Tillman Family Agriculture Graduate Student Award, 2016. Kansas State University.
  • Kansas State University Graduate Student Council Travel Award to attend and present at the APS International Annual Meeting, 30 July - 3 August 2016, Tampa, Florida, USA .
  • Don C. Warren Genetics scholarship, 2015. Kansas State University.
  • Tillman Family Agriculture Graduate Student Award, 2015. Kansas State University.
  • Kansas State University Graduate Student Council Travel Award to attend and present at the APS International Annual Meeting, 1-5 August 2015, Pasadena, California, USA.
  • Kansas State University Graduate Student Council Travel Award to attend and present at the ASA, CSSA, & SSSA International Annual Meeting, 2-5 November 2014, Long Beach, California, USA.
  • Kansas State University Graduate Student Council Travel Award to attend and present at the APS International Annual Meeting, 10-14 August 2013, Austin, Texas, USA.
  • Scholarship for the highest GPA in the degree program of MSc. In Molecular and Applied Microbiology. 2010, Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
  • Dr. J. W. L. Peris Gold Medal in Agricultural Biology (for the greatest competency in the compulsory courses of the advanced program offered by the Department of Agricultural Biology), 2008, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
  • S. F. H. Perera Memorial Prize (for the greatest competence at the 4000 series examinations) 2008, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Noncompetitive

  • Department of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology (Penn State University) Postdoc travel grant to attend and present at the 2019 APS meeting.
  • Honorary certificate on multiple meritorious achievements during the PhD carrier 2017. Kansas State University College of Agriculture.
  • Outstanding safety performance in laboratories award 2014 (For members in the Plant Pathology Department safety committee), Kansas State University.
  • Special commendation certificate conferred by the Kansas State University President in 2014 for the outstanding contribution extended to the Department of Plant Pathology, KSU, in being ranked the No. 1 Plant Pathology Department in the nation by the United States National Research Council.
  • A nominated member (based on academic excellence) of the Gamma Sigma Delta, the International Honor Society of Agriculture (initiated in 2015).
  • A nominated member (based on academic excellence) in the Kansas State University chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (initiated in 2014).
  • Graduate Research Assistantship conferred by the Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, USA, during the period of 2012-2017 to pursue the doctoral degree. (Funded by Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission, Sorghum Checkoff, and Center for sorghum Improvement)

Research publications and presentations

Books/book chapters

 
  1. Little, C.R., Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., and Perumal, R. 2018. Diseases and their management in sorghum cultivation: Seedling, seed, Panicle, and foliar diseases. In: Achieving Sustainable Cultivation in Sorghum Volume 1 (Rooney, W.L., Ed.). Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK. ISBN-13: 9781786761200.
  2. Little, C.R., Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Perumal. R., and Todd, T.C. 2018. Diseases and their management in sorghum cultivation: Stalk, root, and other diseases. In: Achieving Sustainable Cultivation in Sorghum Volume 1 (Rooney, W.L., Ed.). Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK. ISBN-13: 9781786761200.  

Full length peer reviewed research papers - published

 
  1. Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Dereje D. Gobena, Daniel J. Hopper, Tesfaye T. Tesso, and Christopher R. Little (2019). Improving sweet sorghum for enhanced juice traits and biomass. Plant Breeding. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbr.12764
  2. Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Dereje Dugassa Gobena, Ananda Bandara, Floyd Dowell, Kamaranga Peiris, Scott Bean, Ramasamy Perumal, Eric Adee, and Tesfaye Tesso (2019). Performance of grain sorghum hybrids resistant to Acetolactate Synthase (ALS) and Acetyl Coenzyme-A carboxylase (ACCase) inhibitor herbicides. Accepted for publication Crop Science.
  3. Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Tesfaye T. Tesso, and Cristopher R. Little (2019). Stalk rot resistant sorghum genotypes are resilient to pathogen-mediated photosystem II quantum yield retardation. Crop Protection. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2019.104852
  4. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, D.K. Weerasooriya, S. Liu and C.R. Little (2018). The necrotrophic fungus Macrophomina phaseolina promotes charcoal rot susceptibility in grain sorghum through induced host cell wall degrading enzymes. Phytopathology. 108:948-956.
  5. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, T.T. Tesso, D. Wang, K. Zhang, C.R. Little (2018). Charcoal rot and Fusarium stalk rot diseases affect sweet sorghum sugar attributes. Industrial crops and products. 112: 188-195.
  6. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, T.T. Tesso, S.R. Bean, F. Dowell, C.R. Little (2017). Impacts of fungal stalk rot pathogens on physicochemical properties of sorghum grain. Plant Disease. 101: 2059-2065.
  7. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara., D.K. Weerasooriya., T.T. Tesso., P.V.V. Prasad., and C.R. Little (2017). Stalk rot fungi affect grain sorghum yield components in an inoculation stage-specific manner. Crop protection. 94: 97-105.
  8. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara., D. K. Weerasooriya., T.T. Tesso, and C.R. Little (2017). Impacts of stalk rot diseases on sweet sorghum biofuel traits. BioEnergy research. 10(1): 26-35.
  9. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara., D.K. Weerasooriya., T.T. Tesso., and C.R. Little (2016). Stalk rot fungi affect leaf greenness (SPAD) of grain sorghum in a genotype- and growth stage-specific manner. Plant Disease. 100: 2062-2068.
  10. Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya., Frank R. Maulana., Ananda Y. Bandara., Alemu Tirfessa., Amsalu Ayana., Girma Mengistu., Kindie Noah., and Tesfaye T. Tesso (2016). Genetic diversity and population structure among sorghum (Sorghum bicolor, L.) germplasm collections from Western Ethiopia. African Journal of Biotechnology. 15(23): 1147-1158.
  11. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara., R. Perumal., and C. R. Little (2015). Integrating resistance and tolerance for improved evaluation of sorghum lines against Fusarium stalk rot and charcoal rot. Phytoparasitica. 43: 485-499.
  12. Bandara, J.R.M.S., Wijewardena, H.V.P., Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Jayasooriya, R.G.P.T., and Rajapaksha, H. (2011). Pollution of River Mahaweli and farmlands under irrigation by cadmium from agricultural inputs leading to a chronic renal failure epidemic among farmers in NCP, Sri Lanka. Environmental Geochemistry and Health. 33: 439-453.
  13. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Weerasooriya, W.W.R.W.M.D.K., and Wickramasinghe, H.A.M. (2009). DNA fingerprinting and phylogenetic study of some indica rice varieties using SSR markers. International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences. 3 (1):1-6.

Full length peer reviewed research papers - in progress

 
  1. Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Carl A. Bradley, Tom W. Allen, and Paul D. Esker (2019). Dissecting the economic impact of soybean diseases in the United States over two decades. Under review PLOS One (Preprint:   https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/655837v1).
  2. Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Shawn P. Conley, Carl A. Bradley, Tom W. Allen, Paul D. Esker (2019). Modeling the relationship between foliar fungicide use and soybean yield losses due to foliar disease in the United States. Under review PLOS One (Preprint: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/744581v1).
  3. Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Sanzhen Liu and Christopher R. Little (2019). The necrotrophic fungus Macrophomina phaseolina induces oxidative stress-associated genes and related biochemical responses in charcoal rot susceptible sorghum genotypes. Under review The Plant Journal (a chapter of the PhD thesis).
  4. Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Ananda Bandara, Sanzhen Liu, and Tesfaye Tesso (2019). RNA-seq unveils cross-talk among stress response mechanisms during leaf color transformation in ALS resistant sorghums. Under review The Plant Genome.
  5. Ramasamy Perumal, Sandeep Singh Tomar, Ananda Bandara, Djanaguiraman Maduraimuthu, Tesfaye T. Tesso, Vara Prasad, Hari D. Upadhyaya, Christopher R. Little. Performance of sorghum genotypes tolerance to high temperature and resistance to stalk rots disease. Under review Journal of General Plant Pathology.
  6. Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Shawn P. Conley, Carl A. Bradley, Tom W. Allen, Paul D. Esker (2019). Modeling the relationship between seed-applied fungicide use and soybean yield losses due to seedling disease in the United States. Ready to submit to Field Crops Research.
  7. Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Adriana Murillo-Williams, Charles M. White, Alyssa Collins, Terrence H. Bell, Paul D. Esker (2019). Modeling the association between within-farm-spatial-variation of soybean yields and selected soil biological, chemical, and topographical properties in Pennsylvania. Ready to submit to Journal of Applied Soil Ecology.
  8. Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Adriana Murillo-Williams, Charles M. White, Alyssa Collins, Terrence H. Bell, Paul D. Esker (2019). Unraveling the key drivers of inter-location yield variation in soybean using advanced regression models. Ready to submit to Field Crops Research.
  9. T.H. Wilkerson, M. Tomaso-Peterson, B.R. Golden, S. Lu, A.B. Johnson, A.Y. Bandara, D.K. Weerasooriya, P.D. Esker, and T.W. Allen (2019). Determining the efficacy of secondary nutrients in the suppression of Macrophomina phaseolina in soybean. Ready to submit to PLOS Pathogens.
  10. Allen, T. W., Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D.K., Esker, P. D., Gonzalez, J. P., Sanchez, A. U., Arias, S., Henn, R. A., Ingram, D., Buehring, N. W., Shankle, M. W., and Larson, E. J. (2019). Biological implications of automatic fungicide applications to field corn in the absence of foliar diseases. Ready to submit to Phytopathology.
  11. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, D.K. Weerasooriya, S. Liu and C.R. Little (2019). Necrotrophic pathogen Macrophomina phaseolina induces charcoal rot susceptibility in grain sorghum: evidence from genome-wide transcriptome profiling. Ready to submit to The Plant Journal (a chapter of the PhD thesis).
  12. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, D.K. Weerasooriya, S. Liu and C.R. Little (2019). Sorghum stalk lipids during biotic stress: I. Macrophomina phaseolina infection results in sorghum genotype specific lipid alterations and conditioning increased charcoal rot susceptibility. Ready to submit to New Phytologist (a chapter of the PhD thesis).
  13. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, S. Liu and C.R. Little (2019). Dynamics of host glutathione and glutathione related enzymes in Macrophomina phaseolina-sorghum interaction. Ready to submit to Molecular Plant Pathology (a chapter of the PhD thesis).
  14. Ananda Y. Bandara, Ryan V. Trexler, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Terrence H. Bell, Paul D. Esker (2019). Association between soil and root microbiomes and within-farm-spatial-variation of soybean yields: I. The bacterial perspective. In preparation.
  15. Ananda Y. Bandara, Ryan V. Trexler, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Terrence H. Bell, Paul D. Esker (2019). Association between soil and root microbiomes and within-farm-spatial-variation of soybean yields: II. The fungal perspective. In preparation.
  16. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, D.K. Weerasooriya, S. Liu and C.R. Little. Susceptibility of sorghum to Fusarium thapsinum is characterized by genome wide host transcriptional reprograming. In preparation.
  17. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, D.K. Weerasooriya, S. Liu and C.R. Little. Rhamnose: a potential host derived virulence factor for Macrophomina phaseolina in sorghum-charcoal rot interaction. In preparation.
  18. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, D.K. Weerasooriya, S. Liu and C.R. Little. Transcriptional and functional data elucidate the relationship between charcoal rot disease reaction and stalk sugar content of grain sorghum. In preparation.
  19. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, R. Welti, and C.R. Little. Sorghum stalk lipids during biotic stress: II. Lipid co-occurrence analysis reveals the lipids, experiencing coordinated metabolism under Macrophomina phaseolina infection. In preparation.
  20. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, T.T. Tesso, and C.R. Little. Genotype specific synergistic and antagonistic effects of Fusarium thapsinum, F. andiyazi, and F. proliferatum co-infection on sorghum stalk rot symptom development. In preparation.
  21. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, T.T. Tesso, and C.R. Little. Implications of deploying Macrophomina phaseolina and Fusarium thapsinum isolate mixtures for screening sorghum germplasm for resistance against charcoal rot and Fusarium stalk rot diseases. In preparation.
  22. Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, D.K. Weerasooriya, S. Liu and C.R. Little. Macrophomina phaseolina promotes charcoal tot disease in susceptible sorghum genotypes through induced stalk senescence. In preparation.

Presentations (Oral with professional abstracts)

 
  1. Ananda Bandara, Ryan Trexler, Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Terrence Bell, Paul Esker. Association between soil and root microbiomes and within-farm-spatial-variation of soybean yields: II. The fungal perspective. American Phytopathological society meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; August 03-07, 2019.
  2. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Liu, S., and Little, C.R. Macrophomina phaseolina induces charcoal rot susceptibility in grain sorghum: evidence from transcriptional and functional data. Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America (SICNA), Manhattan, Kansas, USA; September 19-21, 2016.
  3. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Liu, S., and Little, C.R. Susceptibility to Fusarium thapsinum in grain sorghum involves host transcriptional reprogramming. American Phytopathological Society North Central Division meeting, East Lansing, Michigan, USA, 2015.
  4. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Perumal, R. and Little, C.R. Screening for stalk rot and drought tolerance: towards enhanced sorghum productivity. 19th annual K-State Research Forum (KRF), Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA; March 26, 2014.
  5. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Perumal, R., Kapanigowda, M.H., and Little, C.R. Evaluation of exotic sorghum germplasm for stalk rot and drought tolerance. Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America, Lubbock, Texas, USA; August 28-30, 2013.
  6. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Perumal, R., Kapanigowda, M. H. and Little, C.R. Screening sorghum germplasm for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and potential use of selected physiological traits as disease severity predictors. American Phytopathological society-Mycological Society of America joint meeting, Austin, Texas, USA; August 10-14, 2013.
  7. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Perumal, R. and Little, C.R. A tolerance-based index for effective screening of sorghum accessions against stalk rot diseases. American Phytopathological Society - North Central Division Meeting, Manhattan, Kansas, USA; June 12-14, 2013.
  8. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Perumal, R., and Little, C.R.  An effective approach to minimize the yield loss of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L) Moench] due to stalk rot fungi. 59th Conference on Soil borne Plant Pathogens, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA; March 26-28, 2013.
  9. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Halderson, M., Noll, L.W., Perumal, R., and Little, C.R. Screening of selected drought-tolerant sorghum B lines against the stalk rot pathogens, Macrophomina phaseolina and Fusarium thapsinum. Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America/Great Plains Sorghum Conference, Manhattan, Kansas, USA; August 28-30, 2012.
  10. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y. and Wickramasinghe, H.A.M. Use of microsatellite markers in identification of varietal admixtures of rice seeds. 13th Peradeniya University Research Sessions (PURSE), Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; 18th December, 2008.

Presentations (Posters with professional abstracts)

  1. Maíra R. Duffeck, Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Tyler S. McFeaters, Alyssa A. Collins, Emerson M. Del Ponte, Paul D. Esker. Comparative aggressiveness of Fusarium graminearum isolates causing Fusarium head blight in Pennsylvania. National Fusarium Head Blight Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 2019.
  2. Maíra R. Duffeck, Tyler S. McFeaters, Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, Emerson M. Del Ponte, Paul D. Esker. Sensitivity of Fusarium graminearum isolates causing wheat scab in Pennsylvania to triazole fungicides. National Fusarium Head Blight Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 2019.
  3. Ananda Bandara, Ryan Trexler, Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Terrence Bell, Paul Esker. Association between soil and root microbiomes and within-farm-spatial-variation of soybean yields: I. The bacterial perspective. American Phytopathological society meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; August 03-07, 2019.
  4. Ananda Bandara, Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Brandon Wilt, Alyssa Collins, Paul Esker. Relationship between soil fungal densities and soil chemical properties in Pennsylvania. American Phytopathological society meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; August 03-07, 2019.
  5. Ananda Bandara, Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Brandon Wilt, Alyssa Collins, Del Voight, Paul Esker. Effect of Apron Maxx seed treatment on soybean seedling diseases, seedling vigor, and yields in Pennsylvania. American Phytopathological society meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; August 03-07, 2019.
  6. Ananda Bandara, Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Adriana Murillo-Williams, Alyssa Collins, Paul Esker. Association of selected biological and chemical properties of soil with within-farm-spatial-variation of soybean yields in Pennsylvania. American Phytopathological society meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; August 03-07, 2019.
  7. Maíra R. Duffeck, Ananda Y. Bandara, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya, E. M. Del Ponte, and P. D. Esker. Impact of crop rotation and tillage on genetic diversity of Fusarium spp. populations causing Fusarium head blight in Pennsylvania. American Phytopathological society meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; August 03-07, 2019.
  8. Afsana Noor, Ananda Y. Bandara, and Christopher R. Little. Exogenously applied ROS/RNS scavengers quench Macrophomina phaseolina-induced senescence in soybean and sorghum. American Phytopathological society meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; August 03-07, 2019.
  9. Brandon Wilt, Ananda Bandara, Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Paul Esker. Impact of metalaxyl, ethaboxam, and mefenoxam on in-vitro growth rate of Pythium isolates from Pennsylvania. American Phytopathological society meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; August 03-07, 2019.
  10. Ananda Bandara, Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Brandon Wilt, Chris Miller, Elli Tatsumi, Leticia Rovelo, Mark Antle, Courtney Anchor, James Bollinger, Alyssa Collins, Greg Roth, Paul Esker. Effect of selected fungicides and their application timing on FHB disease incidence, severity, seed germinability, and DON levels of winter wheat in Pennsylvania. National Fusarium Head Blight Forum, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 2018.
  11. Ananda Bandara, Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Brandon Wilt, Chris Miller, Elli Tatsumi, Leticia Rovelo, Mark Antle, Courtney Anchor, James Bollinger, Alyssa Collins, Greg Roth, Paul Esker. Impact of selected FHB-targeted fungicides and their time of application on yield performances of winter wheat in Pennsylvania. National Fusarium Head Blight Forum, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 2018.
  12. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Weerasooriya, D.K., Bradley, C. A., T. Allen, P.D. Esker. Economic impact of soybean diseases in the United States from 1996 to 2016. ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 2018.
  13. Bandara, A., Weerasooriya, D., Liu, S., and Little, C. Macrophomina phaseolina promotes charcoal rot susceptibility in sorghum through induced host cell wall degrading enzymes (CWDEs). APS annual meeting, San Antonio, Texas, 2017.
  14. Bandara, A., Weerasooriya, D., Liu, S., and Little, C. Dynamics of host glutathione and glutathione-related enzymes in the Macrophomina phaseolina-sorghum bicolor interaction. APS annual meeting, San Antonio, Texas, 2017.
  15. Bandara, A., Weerasooriya, D., Liu, S., and Little, C. The necrotrophic fungus Macrophomina phaseolina induces strong oxidative stress in charcoal rot susceptible sorghum genotypes. APS annual meeting, San Antonio, Texas, 2017.
  16. Bandara, A., Liu, S., and Little, C. Impact of Macrophomina phaseolina infection on plastid- and cell- membrane integrity and lipid based signaling capacity of sorghum stalk tissues. APS annual meeting, San Antonio, Texas, 2017.
  17. Bandara, A., Liu, S., and Little, C. Macrophomina phaseolina infection down-regulates phytosterol biosynthesis in stalk tissues of a charcoal rot susceptible sorghum genotype. APS annual meeting, San Antonio, Texas, 2017.
  18. Bandara, A. Y., and Little, C.R. Differential effects of Fusarium thapsinum on host nitric oxide (NO) synthesis among stalk rot resistant and susceptible sorghum lines. APS annual meeting, Tampa, Florida, 2016.
  19. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Liu, S., and Little, C.R. Macrophomina phaseolina promotes charcoal rot susceptibility in sorghum through induced host nitric oxide (NO) production. APS annual meeting, Tampa, Florida, 2016.
  20. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Tesso, T, T., and Little, C.R. Differential effects of stalk rot diseases on photosystem II photochemical efficiency among resistant and susceptible sorghum lines. APS annual meeting, Tampa, Florida, 2016.
  21. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Liu, S., and Little, C.R. Induced rhamnose biosynthesis in sorghum by Macrophomina phaseolina contributes to charcoal rot susceptibility. APS annual meeting, Tampa, Florida, 2016.
  22. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Liu, S., and Little, C.R. Stalk sugar content and charcoal rot disease reaction in grain sorghum. APS annual meeting, Tampa, Florida, 2016.
  23. Bandara, A.Y., Tesso, T.T., Wang, D., Zhang, K., and Little, C.R. Impact of stalk rot diseases on sweet sorghum sugar concentration and content. APS annual meeting, Tampa, Florida, 2016.
  24. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Liu, S., and Little, C.R. Macrophomina phaseolina induces stalk senescence in charcoal rot susceptible sorghum genotypes through up-regulated host chlorophyllase-2 biosynthesis. APS annual meeting, Tampa, Florida, 2016.
  25. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Liu, S., Perumal, R., and Little, C.R. RNA-Seq elucidates the molecular basis of charcoal rot resistance in grain sorghum. Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America (SICNA), Manhattan, Kansas, USA; September 01 - 03, 2015.
  26. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Liu, S., and Little, C.R. Sorghum stalk rot pathogens affect transcription of key genes involved in chlorophyll metabolism of a non-staygreen, disease susceptible genotype. ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 2015.
  27. Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Ananda Bandara, Sanzhen Liu and Tesfaye Tesso. Transcriptional regulation in herbicide resistant sorghums with interveinal chlorosis. Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America (SICNA), Manhattan, Kansas, USA; September 01 - 03, 2015.
  28. Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Ananda Yapa Bandara, Scott Bean, Floyd Dowell, Kamaranga Peiris, and Tesfaye Tesso. Agronomic Potential and Grain and Nutritional Quality Attributes in Herbicide Resistant Sorghums. ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 2015.
  29. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Tesso, T. T., and Little, C.R. Biofuel traits of sweet sorghum are affected by Fusarium stalk rot and charcoal rot diseases.  American Phytopathological Society international meeting, Pasadena, California, USA, 2015.
  30. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K., Liu, S., and Little, C.R. RNA-Seq reveals sorghum candidate genes associated with charcoal rot resistance. American Phytopathological Society international meeting, Pasadena, California, USA, 2015.
  31. Bandara, A. Y., Tesso, T. T., and Little, C.R. Genotype specific effects of Fusarium co-infection on sorghum stalk rot symptom development. American Phytopathological Society international meeting, Pasadena, California, USA, 2015.
  32. Bandara, A. Y., Tesso, T. T., and Little, C.R. Use of isolate mixtures for screening sorghum germplasm against stalk rot diseases. American Phytopathological Society international meeting, Pasadena, California, USA, 2015.
  33. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Weerasooriya, D.K., Tesso, T.T., and Little, C.R. Staygreen alleviates the effects of stalk rot diseases in grain sorghum. 20th annual K-State Research Forum (KRF), Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA; March 31, 2015.
  34. Weerasooriya, D.K., Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Liu, S., and Tesso, T.T., Next generation sequencing unveils genes associated with abnormal phenotype in ALS herbicide resistant sorghums. 20th annual K-State Research Forum (KRF), Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA; March 31, 2015.
  35. Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Ananda Yapa Bandara and Tesfaye Tesso. Inter-venial chlorosis and reduced seedling vigor associated with ALS mutation in sorghum have no impact on adult plant performance. ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings, Long Beach, California, USA; November 2-5, 2014.
  36. Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Ananda Yapa Bandara, Sanzhen Liu and Tesfaye Tesso. RNAseq reveals genes underlying early season yellowing in ALS resistant sorghums. ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings, Long Beach, California, USA; November 2-5, 2014.
  37. Ananda Yapa Bandara and Christopher Little. Fusarium stalk rot and charcoal rot diseases affect nutritive qualities of grain sorghum. ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings, Long Beach, California, USA; November 2-5, 2014.
  38. Ananda Yapa Bandara, Dilooshi Weerasooriya, Tesfaye Tesso and Christopher Little. Staygreen trait aids mitigating the impacts of Fusarium stalk rot and Charcoal rot of grain sorghum. ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings, Long Beach, California, USA; November 2-5, 2014.
  39. Bandara, A. Y., Weerasooriya, D. K. and Little C.R. Impact of Fusarium stalk rot and charcoal rot on yield parameters of grain sorghum. American Phytopathological Society- Canadian Phytopathological Society joint meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; August 09-13, 2014.
  40.  Y.M.A.Y. Bandara, D.K. Weerasooriya, T.T. Tesso, P.V.V. Prasad and C.R. Little. Potential impacts of stalk rot diseases on the sorghum bioethanol industry. The 2014 Energy Symposium, Center for Sustainable Energy, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA; April 9-10, 2014.
  41. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Weerasooriya, D.K., Perumal, R., Tesso, T., and Little, C.R. Optimization of Macrophomina phaseolina inoculum for enhanced diseased reactions in sorghum. Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America, Lubbock, Texas, USA; August 28-30, 2013.
  42. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y., Perumal, R., Kapanigowda, M.H., and Little, C.R. Evaluation of exotic sorghum germplasm for stalk rot and drought tolerance. Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America, Lubbock, Texas, USA; August 28-30, 2013.
  43. Wickramasinghe, H.A.M., and Bandara, Y.M.A.Y. DNA fingerprinting: a promising tool for differentiation of rice varieties with similar seed morphology. Fifth Asian Biotechnology Conference, Kandy, Sri Lanka; September 15-17, 2010
  44. Wijewardena, H.V.P., Bandara, J.M.R.S., Silva, K.F.S.T., and Bandara, Y.M.A.Y. Combating energy poverty in Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference on Technologies for Development, Sweden; 10th February, 2010

Invited presentations

 
  1. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y. Necrotrophs possess more complex virulence strategies: evidence from the Macrophomina phaseolina-Sorghum bicolor pathosystem. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA. February 19th, 2018.
  2. Bandara, Y.M.A.Y. Filling the gaps in sorghum stalk rot pathology. Center for Sorghum Improvement monthly seminar and working group meeting. Kansas State University, Manhattan, USA. September 13th, 2013.

Memberships of professional societies/committees

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (a sponsored member based on research/academic excellence)
  • American Phytopathological Society (APS)
  • APS North Central Division
  • American Society of Agronomy (ASA)
  • Crop Science Society of America (CSSA)
  • Teaching Committee –APS, Term: 01/11/2013 - 08/05/2015
  • Biological Control Committee – APS, Term: 01/11/2013 - 08/05/2015
  • Molecular and Cellular Phytopathology Committee– APS, Term: 01/11/2013 - 08/05/2015

Voluntary services

  • Peer Reviewer - Plant Disease, PLOS One
  • Judge - 21st Annual Environmental Chemistry & Microbiology Student Symposium, Pennsylvania State University, April 2018; Pennsylvania State University Graduate School's Graduate Exhibition, March 2018.
  • Application reviewer - American Phytopathological Society Student Travel Award, August 2015.
  • Member - Department of Plant Pathology safety committee, Kansas State University (2013-2015).
  • Senior Academic Sub-warden - Marrs residential hall, University of Peradeniya, 2008-2012.