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Verchot, Jeanmarie Professor Plant Virology


Our long-term interest has been to understand the mechanisms of virus disease, specifically in potyviruses and potexviruses -- common families infecting a wide range of crops. We endeavor to use our understanding in engineering novel methods for crop disease control.

We have focused over the last decade on how virus proteins interact with cellular membranes in their host plants. We have uncovered genetic stress response machinery that appears to down-regulate virus infection, creating a tolerant state in the plant. When this stress response is compromised, the host plant becomes sick and necrotic. Our research aims to identify ways to increase plant vigor and yields in the face of virus infection, by empowering this cellular stress response machinery.

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  • Professor