Dharma Deo Shukla

By Colin WardSeptember 19th, 2014


Dharma Deo Shukla was born in Narainpur, India on 7 February 1942. He obtained a BSc (Ag) from the University of Gorakhpur, India in 1962; an MSc (Ag) from Banaras Hindu University, India in 1964; a Dr Agr from the German Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Berlin, GDR in 1972 for his Thesis titled: ‘Studies on viruses and virus diseases of cruciferous plants’; and a DSC from the University of Queensland, Australia in 1991 for his thesis tilted: ‘Studies on the structure, immunochemistry and taxonomy of plant viruses’.

He was a Lecturer in plant pathology at the BRD Degree College, Deoria, India (1964-65); an Assistant Professor of plant pathology at the University of Udaipur, India (1965-69); a Research Fellow in plant virology at the Institute of Phytopathology, Aschersleben, German Democratic Republic (1969-72) and an assistant professor of plant pathology, University of Uaipur (1972-76).

He migrated to Australia to the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 1976 to work with DS Teakle and joined CSIRO, Division of Protein Chemistry as a Senior Research Scientist in 1977. Over the next 13 years he along with Colin Ward, Neil McKern, Keith Gough, Morry Frenkel and others, resolved the long-standing problem of potyvirus taxonomy.

In recognition of his standing in the field he was elected Chairman of the International Working Group on Tropical Virology and served as a member of the International Working Group on Potyviruses, the International Working Group on Legume Viruses and the Working Group on Asia-Pacific Groundnut Viruses. He was Associate Editor, Phytopathology, USA from 1993 to 1996 and Associate Editor, International Journal of Plant Biotechnology from 1994to 1997.

In 1990, he was seconded to the newly formed Biomolecular Research Institute (BRI), a joint venture between CSIRO and the Victorian Government’s Strategic Research Foundation. Here he initiated a research program on structural studies into hepatitis C. With the closing of the BRI, he resigned from CSIRO in 2000.

Honours and awards

He received several honours and awards for his contributions to plant pathology including:


1995 Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science
1993 Fellow of the Indian Institute of Virology

Medals and awards

1999 Australian Medal of Agricultural Science (with Colin Ward) ‘ for their work on the structure, variation and classification (taxonomy) of potyviruses
1994 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal (with Colin Ward) ‘ for their work on the structure, variation and classification (taxonomy) of potyviruses
1990 Australia-USA Co-operative Research Support Award
1987 Senior Fulbright Fellowship, USA


  • Ward CW, 2008, Personal communication.