Department of Ecology & Evolution

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Sumitha Nallu
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Sumitha Nallu  

Sumitha Nallu, Ph.D.

Department of Ecology and Evolution
1101 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637



Ph.D., Plant Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, May 2011.

M.Sc., Biotechnology, University of Pune, India, July 2002.

B.Sc., Genetics, Zoology and Chemistry, Osmania University College for Women, India, June 2000.

  • Research Associate, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, August 2013 – Current.
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, August 2011 – July 2013.

Projects: a) Natural variation in HR response among Arabidopsis accessions and detection of underlying R gene loci. b) Genome wide scans and comparative study of Defensin-like genes among plant species.

  • Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, September 2005 - May 2011.

Ph.D. Thesis: “Role of Defensin-like (DEFL) genes in mutualism and defense mechanisms in Medicago truncatula.


Nallu, S., J. Hill, K. Don, C. Sahagun, W. Zhang, C. Meslin, E. Snell-Rood, N. Clark, N. Morehouse, J. Bergelson, C. Wheat and M. R. Kronforst. The molecular genetic basis of herbivory between butterflies and their host-plants. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2018.

Sumitha Nallu, Jason Hill, Kristine Don, Carlos Sahagun, Wei Zhang, Camille Meslin, Emilie Snell-Rood, Nathan L. Clark, Nathan I. Morehouse, Joy Bergelson, Christopher W. Wheat, Marcus R. Kronforst. The Molecular Genetic Basis of Herbivory between Butterflies and their Host-Plants (in revision) bioRxiv 154799; doi:

Karasov T.L., Kniskern J.M, Gao L., DeYoung B.J, Ding J., Dubiella U., Lastra R.O., Nallu S., Innes R.W., Barrett L.G., Hudson R.R., Bergelson J. The long-term maintenance of a resistance polymorphism through diffuse interactionsNature 2014, doi:10.1038/nature13439

Nallu S., Zhou P., Silverstein K.A.T., Young N.D., VandenBosch, K.A. Patterns of divergence of a large family of nodule cysteine-rich peptides in accessions of Medicago truncatula. The Plant Journal 201478: 697–705. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12506

Nallu S., Silverstein K.A.T., Samac D.A., Bucciarelli B., Vance C.P., VandenBosch K.A. Regulatory patterns of a large family of defensin-like genes expressed in nodules of Medicago TruncatulaPloS ONE 2013, 8(4):e60355.

Tesfaye M., Silverstein K.A.T., Nallu S., Wang L., Botanga C.J., Gomez S.K., Costa L.M., Harrison M.J., Samac D.A., Glazebrook J., Katagiri F., Gutierrez-Marcos J.F., Vandenbosch K.A. Spatio-temporal expression patterns of Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula defensin-like genes. PloS ONE 2013, 8(3):e58992.

Zhou P., Silverstein K.A.T., Gao L., Nallu S., Walton J.D., Guhlin J., Young N.D. Detecting small plant peptides using SPADA (Small Peptide Alignment Discovery Application) BMC Bioinformatics 2013, 14:335, doi:10.1186/1471-2105-14-335.

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