Whitfield Presents Arthropod Vector Virus Transmission Seminar

Posted: April 11, 2016

Dr. Anna Whitfield, Kansas State University, presented a seminar titled, "Interactions Mediating Transmission of Viruses by Arthropod Vectors" on April 11.
Drs. Anna Whitfield and María del Mar Jiménez Gasco

Drs. Anna Whitfield and María del Mar Jiménez Gasco

Kansas State University Plant Pathology Professor Dr. Anna Whitfield visited Penn State's Dept. of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology (PPEM) on April 11-12, 2016, and presented a seminar titled “Interactions Mediating Transmission of Viruses by Arthropod Vectors."

Dr. Whitfield gave an overview of one of the systems for which her research group is known and esteemed: Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and its vector, the Western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis. Additionally, Dr. Whitfield presented her latest discoveries regarding the identification of thrips proteins that interact with the viral glycoproteins and regarding the use of ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) technologies to generate plants that are resistant to multiple tospoviruses.

The purpose of Dr. Whitfield’s research is to control TSWV by disrupting transmission by its vector using innovative and cutting-edge strategies. One of these strategies utilizes in planta expression of TSWV glycoproteins to compete with TSWV virions for attachment to the vector receptors.

TSWV is one of the most economically important viruses worldwide, with a host range of more than 1,200 species of plants and a ubiquitous geographic distribution. In the United States TSWV is a major pest, especially in tomato and pepper production areas such as California and Florida. TSWV has the ability to reproduce in its plant as well as insect host.

Contact Information

Cristina Rosa, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor, Plant Virology
Phone: 814-867-5372