Professor Jayaraj Jayaraman (Jaya)

Professor (Biotechnology & Plant Microbiology)

staff listing

Contact Information

Department of Life Sciences
The University of The West Indies
St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago


Natural Sciences Building,

Office: New Wing, Room 221

Plant-Microbe Laboratory, Room 120

Tel: 1 (868) 662 2002

ext. 83092 (Office) ext. 82238 (Plant-Microbe Lab)

Fax: 1(868) 663-5241

Send an e-mail

  • B.Sc. Agriculture, Annamalai University, India, 1987.
  • M.Sc. Agriculture, Annamalai University, India, 1989.
  • Ph.D. Plant Pathology, Annamalai University, India, 1996.
Work Experience
  • Lecturer, Faculty of Agriculture, Annamalai University, India (1990-1996).
  • Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Agriculture, Annamalai University, India (1996-2000).
  • DST-BOYSCAST-Visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dept. of Biochemistry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS,   USA (1999-2000).
  • Associate Scientist, Dept. of Biochemistry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA (2000-2003)
  • Sr. Scientist, Dept. of Biosciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada (2003-2009).
  • Lecturer, Dept. of Life Sciences, FST, UWI-St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago (2009-2011).
  • Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Life Sciences, FST, UWI-St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago (2011-2014).
Research Interests
  • Plant-Microbe interactions, Induced resistance, elicitor-biomolecules, bioremediation, biological control, molecular based disease diagnostics.
  • Genetic engineering of plants for disease resistance and stress tolerance.
  • Metabolic engineering, biopharming of therapeutic proteins and industrially valuable compounds.
  • Phyto-nutraceuticals.
  • Marine Seaweed products for agriculture and human health.
  • Antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens
Funded Research Projects at UWI
  • Efficacy of seaweed products for the management of diseases in field tomatoes (Acadian SeaPlants, Dartmouth, NS, Canada)
  • Genetic enhancement of disease resistance in Anthuriums using defense genes (UWI-Campus research and publication fund)
  • Identification of elicitor compounds from seaweeds of Trinidad and their evaluation for disease control in tropical vegetable crops (Conservation, Food and Health Foundation, Boston, MA, USA)
  • Use of seaweed products for environmental friendly crop protection (United Nations Development Programme).
  • Developing sustainable disease management strategies to improve vegetable production towards self sufficiency and food security in the Caribbean region (ACP Caribbean & Pacific Research Program for Sustainable Development)
  • Etiology of sudden decline and dieback of Columbian Red Cedar trees in Trinidad (Ministry of Environment and Forestry & FAO)
  • Surveillance and characterization of antibiotic resistance in common bacterial pathogens in Trinidad and Tobago (RDI Fund)
Current Graduate Research Students and Research Associates
  • Mrs. Nerissa Ali, M.Phil. Candidate, (Research Associate, Acadian Project).Use of seaweed of extracts for disease control in field tomatoes.
  • Ms. Sophia De Aspa, M.Phil. Candidate, UWI-Sta. (Research Associate, ACP Project). Study of rhizosphere and plant interaction and their potential implication for growth and disease control of cow pea crop.
  • Mrs. Mala Bhagwandass, M.Phil. Candidate, Influence of microbial population dynamics on the production of greenhouse gases in the Nariva swamp, Trinidad
  • Mr. Antonio Ramkissoon, M.Phil.  Candidate, (registering by January 2014), (Research Associate, ACP Project). Identification of antibacterial compounds from marine bacterial and algae.
  • Mr. Shiva Maharaj, M.Phil. Candidate, UWI-Sta (registering by January 2014) (Research Associate, ACP Project).Characterization of fungal diseases affecting field tomatoes in Trinidad and their management.
  • Mr. Marcus Richards, M.Phil. Candidate (Research Associate, ACP Project). Study of the major diseases of tomatoes and pumpkins in S. Vincent and Granadines and their field management.
  • Ms. Farah Selina Mohammed, M.Phil. Candidate (Research Associate, RDI Project). Study of genetic basis of antibiotic resistance among two human bacterial pathogens of Trinidad (registering by January 2014).
  • Mr. Christopher Koo, M.Phil. Candidate (registering by January 2014) (Research Associate, CFH & UNDP Project). Characterization of novel bioelicitor compounds from Trnidadian seaweeds and seagrasses.
  • Dr. Ramjegathesh Rajendran, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, ACP Project.

Graduate Research students - completed: 4 PhD’s, 19 MS/MSc’s

Journal Reviewer
  • Acta Physiologia Plantarum (Springer)
  • African Journal of Microbiology Research (Academic Journals)
  • Annamalai University Agricultural Research Annual (Annamalai University Publications)
  • Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Springer)
  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology (American Society for Microbiology)
  • Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection (Taylor & Francis)
  • BioControl (Springer)
  • Biological Control (Elsevier)
  • Botanica Marina (De Gruytor)
  • Canadian Journal of Microbiology (NRC Press)
  • Canadian Journal of Botany (NRC Press)
  • Crop Protection (Elsevier)
  • Functional Plant Biology (CSIRO)
  • Indian Phytopathology (Indian Phytopathological Society)
  • International Journal of Pest Management (Taylor & Francis)
  • Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology (CAB)
  • Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology (Tarbiat Modares University, Iran)
  • Journal of Zhejiang University (Zhejiang University, China)
  • Journal of Plant Biotechnology (Springer)
  • Journal of Plant Interactions (Taylor & Francis)
  • Journal of Potassium Research (Indian Potash Research Institute)
  • Journal of Biological Control (Society for Biocontrol Advancement)
  • Plant Cell Reports (Springer)
  • Plant, Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (Springer)
  • Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (Elsevier)
  • Plant Biotechnology Reports (Springer)
  • Scientia Agricola (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
  • Transgenic Research (Springer)
  • Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World (Springer)

Reviewed more than 200 articles in the past 13 years.




Selected Bibliography
  • Punja, Z.K., Wally, O., Jayaraj, J. 2013. Transgenic approaches to enhance disease resistance in carrot plants to fungal pathogens. Proceedings of the International Congress for Hortic. Sci., Antalya, Turkey, pp. 45-52.
  • Wally, O., Jayaraj. J. Punja, Z.K., 2011. Transgenic vegetable crops, In: Transgenic Horticultural Crops: Challenges, and Opportunities, Ed. B. Mou, CRC Press, USA, pp. 31-54.
  • Punja, Z.K., Wan, A., Goswani, R.S., Rahman, M., Jayaraj, J. 2010. Rusty root of ginseng in   Canada – biochemical changes and the role of microbes in symptom development. Proceedings of the International Ginseng Conference, Seoul, Korea, pp. 25-33.
  • Jayaraj, J., Norrie, J., Punja, Z.K. 2011. Commercial extract from the brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum reduces fungal diseases in greenhouse cucumber. Journal of Applied Phycology, 23, 353-361.
  • Jayaraj, J., Bhuvaneswari, R., Rabindran, R., Muthukrishnan, S., Velazhahan, R. 2010. Oxalic acid induced resistance to Rhizoctonia solani in rice is associated with induction of phenolics, peroxidase and pathogenesis-related proteins. Journal of Plant Interactions, 5: 147-157.
  • Wally, O., Jayaraj, J., Punja, Z.K. 2010. Broad-spectrum disease resistance to necrotrophic and biotrophic pathogens in transgenic carrots (Daucus carota L.) expressing an Arabidopsis NPR1 gene. Planta  231: 131-141.


Revised:16 December 2014