Unnati Sonawala

Unnati Sonawala

Postdoctoral research associate

Research group: Crop pathogen immunity

Unnati Sonawala


I am broadly interested in plant-microbe interactions, genetics, and evolution. After completing my MSc in Food Security from the University of Warwick, I worked on my PhD at Virginia Tech (USA) wherein I studied how oomycete plant pathogens acquire nitrogen from their host using the model pathosystem of Arabidopsis and its downy mildew pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis. I am now using genomics to study a hyper-variable effector family in the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida to further understand their function and how they contribute to nematode parasitism.



A low-cost and open-source solution to automate imaging and analysis of cyst nematode infection assays for Arabidopsis thaliana

Date: 12 December 2022

Contributors: Olaf Prosper Kranse, Itsuhiro Ko, Roberta Healey, Unnati Sonawala, Siyuan Wei, Beatrice Senatori, Francesco De Batté, Ji Zhou & Sebastian Eves-van den Akker

Journal: Plant methods


The genome and lifestage-specific transcriptomes of a plant-parasitic nematode and its host reveal susceptibility genes involved in trans-kingdom synthesis of vitamin B5

Date: 19 October 2022

Contributors: Shahid Siddique, Zoran S. Radakovic, Clarissa Hiltl, Clement Pellegrin, Thomas J. Baum, Helen Beasley, Andrew F. Bent, Oliver Chitambo, Divykriti Chopra, Etienne G. J. Danchin, Eric Grenier, Samer S. Habash, M. Shamim Hasan, Johannes Helder, Tarek Hewezi, Julia Holbein, Martijn Holterman, Sławomir Janakowski, Georgios D. Koutsovoulos, Olaf P. Kranse, Jose L. Lozano-Torres, Tom R. Maier, Rick E. Masonbrink, Badou Mendy, Esther Riemer, Mirosław Sobczak, Unnati Sonawala, Mark G. Sterken, Peter Thorpe, Joris J. M. van Steenbrugge, Nageena Zahid, Florian Grundler & Sebastian Eves-van den Akker

Journal: Nature Communications


Increased expression of UMAMIT amino acid transporters results in activation of salicylic acid dependent stress response

Date: 26 January 2021

Contributors: Besnard, J., Sonawala, U., Maharjan, B., Collakova, E., Finlayson, S. A., Pilot, G., Okumoto, S.

Journal: Frontiers in Plant Science


Functional linkages between amino acid transporters and plant responses to pathogens

Date: 29 September 2019

Contributors: Sonawala, U., Dinkeloo, K., Danna, C. H., McDowell, J. M., Pilot, G

Journal: Plant Science


UMAMIT14 is an amino acid exporter involved in phloem unloading in Arabidopsis roots

Date: 17 November 2016

Contributors: Besnard, J., Pratelli, R., Zhao, C., Sonawala, U., Collakova, E., Pilot, G., Okumoto, S

Journal: Journal of Experimental Botany

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