Research Interest

My research focuses on the biology and impact of plant-parasitic nematodes, with projects that range in scale from tissue culture to the field. My interest is with all aspects of plant-parasitic nematode biology and the diseases they cause of agricultural crops. This includes basic and applied research, education, and outreach via extension programs for growers. I have a keen interest of plant disease risk from nematodes and thier impact on crop yields with emphasis on yield loss analyses.


  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison - Fall, 2014 to Fall, 2019 (Wisconsin, USA): Plant Pathology PhD
  • The Univestiy of Florida - Fall, 2012 to Spring, 2014 (Florida, USA): Nematology MS

Professional Experience

  • International Institute of Tropical Agriculture - Sept. 2020~ (Nairobi, Kenya)
    • position: Guest/Visiting scholar (JSPS overseas research fellow)
    • research title: Management strategies against root-knot nematodes for coffee smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • host researcher: Dr. Danny Coyne


  • Saikai, K. and A. E. MacGuidwin. 2021. Impact of Pratylenchus penetrans for soybean grown in Wisconsin, USA. Plant Disease (Accepted with revisions).
  • Powers, T., Todd, T., Harris, T., Higgins, R., MacGuidwin, A., Mullin, P., Ozbayrak, M., Powers, K., and Saikai, K. 2021. Pratylenchus smoliki, a new Nematode Species (Pratylenchidae: Tylenchomorpha) from the Great Plains Region of North America. Journal of Nematology (In Press).
  • Saikai, K., Wanjala, S., Oduori, C., and Coyne, D. 2021. Revisiting the modified Baermann extraction method: extraction efficiency of Radopholus similis using different extraction material. Nematology 23:1215-1218.
  • Saikai, K., and A. E. MacGuidwin. 2020. Intraspecific variation in phenological and phylogenetic features among Pratylenchus penetrans isolates from Wisconsin, USA. Journal of Nematology
  • Saikai, K., and A. E. MacGuidwin. 2020. Difference in lesion formation by male and female Pratylenchus penetrans. Journal of Nematology
  • Vieira, P., Peetz, A., Mimee, B., Saikai, K., Mollov, D., MacGuidwin, A., Zasada, I., and Nemchinov, L. G. 2020. Prevalence of the root lesion nematode virus (RLNV1) in populations of Pratylenchus penetrans from North America. Journal of Nematology DOI:10.21307/jofnem-2020-045.
  • Saikai, K., Z. A. Handoo, and A. E. MacGuidwin. 2019. First report of the root-lesion nematode, Pratylenchus fallax, on soybean in Wisconsin. Plant Disease
  • Saikai, K., and A. E. MacGuidwin. 2019. First report of the root-lesion nematode, Pratylenchus alleni, on soybean in Wisconsin. Plant Disease
  • Kutsuwa, K., D. W. Dickson, J. A. Brito., A. Jeyaprakash, and A. Drew. 2014. Belonolaimus longicaudatus, an emerging pathogen of peanut in Florida. Journal of Nematology 47:87-96.
  • Takeuchi, J., T. Ono., K. Kutsuwa., K. Morita., M. Sano., S. Kagiwada., K. Yazawa., K. Nishio., and H. Horie. 2012. First report of anthracnose of arthraxon hipidus by Collototichum destructivum and lychee by C. gloeosporioides found in Japan. Annual report of the kanto-tosan plant protection society 59:59-62.

(Some of the publications are under my maiden name, Kutsuwa.)


  • Trained for nematode disease diagnostics
  • Trained for fungal disease diagnostics
  • Experience in SAS and R programming languages
  • Trained for Scanning Electron Microscopes


  • JSPS oversea research fellow - 2020-2022
  • Schroth Faces of the Future Award: The American Phytopathological Society - 2021
  • Rod Rodríguez-Kábana student poster competition 1st place: Organization of Nematologists of Tropical America annual meeting - 2019.
  • Student paper competition 2nd place: Society of Nematologists annual meeting - 2019.
  • Scholarship award from Japan Student Services Organization 2015-2018
  • Scholarship award from Japan Student Services Organization 2012-2014


  • T.A. for PL Path/ Botany 123 Plants, Parasites, and People - Fall 2016 (TA evaluation)