Shumaila Rasool

Dr. Shumaila Rasool

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Visiting Address

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands



An early career researcher” with a main focus on Plant-Microbe-Insect Interactions, from ecological to mechanistic levels. Currently working on Horizon 2020 EU project “EXCALIBUR” to investigate the mechanisms involved in plant-microbe interactions (mainly fungus) against arthropod pests. Extremely intrigued to know more about these biological interactions, interested (open) to discuss and collaborate to extend my experience and share my expertise


Research groups



  • 2021–Present
    Postdoctoral Researcher
  • 2020–2021
    Research Scientist


  • 2017–2020
  • 2014–2016
    MSC (Hons.) Entomology
  • 2020–2014
    BSC (Hons.) Agricultural Sciences


Budget: €10,000
University of Liege, ARD

Invited talks and keynote addresses on symposia and conferences

  • 2019
    International Congress on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control, SIP, IOBC-WPRS
  • 2019
    Plant Biologicals Network Symposium
  • 2020
    Plant Biology Conference by American Society of Plant Biologists, ASPB


Key publications

  • New Phytologist

    Seed inoculations with entomopathogenic fungi affect aphid

    Shumaila Rasoo , Nanna H. Vidkjær , Kourosh Hooshmand , Birgit Jensen , Inge S. Fomsgaard
    Entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) can display a plant-associated lifestyle as endophytes. Seed application of EPF can affect insect herbivory above ground, but the mechanisms behind this are not documented.  Here we applied three EPF isolates, Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium brunneum and M. robertsii, as seed inoculation of wheat and bean, and evaluated the effects on population growth of aphids, Rhopalosiphum padi and Aphis fabae, respectively. In wheat and bean leaves, we quantified benzoxazinoids and flavonoids, respectively, in response to EPF inoculation and aphid infestation to elucidate the role of specific plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) in plant–fungus–herbivore interactions.  Inoculations of wheat and bean with M. robertsii and B. bassiana reduced aphid populations compared with control treatments, whereas M. brunneum unexpectedly increased the populations of both aphids. Concentrations of the majority of PSMs were differentially altered in EPF-treated plants infested with aphids. Changes in aphid numbers were associated with PSMs regulation rather than EPF endophytic colonisation capacity.  This study links the effects of EPF seed inoculations against aphids with unique PSM accumulation patterns in planta. The understanding of PSM regulation in tri-trophic interactions is important for the future development of EPF for pest management.
  • Journal of Chemical Ecology

    Isolate-Specific Effect of Entomopathogenic Endophytic Fungi on Population Growth of Two-Spotted Spider Mite (Tetranychus urtica

    Shumaila Rasool, Pablo D. Cárdenas, David I. Pattison, Birgit Jensen & Nicolai V. Meyling
    Entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) can be experimentally established in several plant species as endophytes. Ecological effects of EPF inoculations on plant growth and plant-herbivore interactions have been demonstrated, potentially by altering plant physiological responses. However, the role of these responses in plant-fungus-herbivore tripartite interactions has not been well elucidated. Steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGAs) are plant specialized metabolites with bioactive properties against arthropod herbivores. Here, the effects of seed treatments by three EPF isolates, representing Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium brunneum, and M. robertsii, on population growth of two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae Koch) were evaluated on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The levels of two SGAs, α-tomatine and dehydrotomatine, were determined in tomato leaves by LC-MS with and without T. urticae infestations after EPF inoculations. Interestingly, the population growth of T. urticae was significantly highest with M. brunneum and lowest with M. robertsii and B. bassiana at 15 days after infestation. Overall there was a significant negative correlation between SGAs content and the number of T. urticae. The levels of SGAs were significantly induced by T. urticae presence in all treatments, while only M. robertsii showed significantly higher levels of SGAs than M. brunneum and control in one of two experiments. Contrastingly, the effects on SGAs accumulation and population growth of T. urticae did not directly correlate with EPF endophytic colonization patterns of the inoculated plants. This study suggests a link between ecological effects and physiological responses mediated by EPF inoculations and T. urticae infestation with potential implications for plant protection.
  • Academic Journal of Entomology

    Tritrophic response of Coccinella septempunctata toward Aphis gossypii in cotton

    Rasool S., Gulzar S., Javed S. and Shahid, M. R.
    Cotton and wheat are the major cash crops of Pakistan and mainly cotton-wheat crop rotation is followed in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Aphid attacks on both of these crops including wheat and cotton. Coccinella septempunctata is the local key predator of aphid. Food preference of predator C. septempunctata toward different kinds of aphid and semio-chemical effect of different crops including cotton, wheat, brassica (Brassica oleraceae), dumbi siti (Phalaris minor) and oat (Avena sativa) were studied by using olfactometer. Predator showed maximum preference toward mustard and cotton aphid as compared with aphids fed on other crops. C. septempunctata also showed preference toward honey dew coated foliage as compared with honey dew free leaves. There is further need to explore the role of semio-chemicals that may affect the food preference of predator.

Projects & collaborations


Additional Projects