Roger N. Beachy

Washington University


Election Year: 1997
Primary Section: 62, Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
Secondary Section: 25, Plant Biology
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

My research goals include determining how plant virus replication and gene expression impact virus pathogenicity, and developing strategies to interdict disease. Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is used as the model for most of our studies. The 30 kDa movement protein (MP) encoded by TMV is essential for local cell-cell spread of infection and is associated with elements of the cytoskeleton, the endoplasmic reticulum, and with plasmodesmata. Our current studies are directed to characterizing the nature of association of the MP and virus replication complexes with host components, and determining how cell-cell spread is accomplished. In studies of coat protein (CP) mediated resistance we are creating mutants of the CP based upon the known 3-D structure of the virus, to increase or decrease CP:CP interactions. Mutants with increased interactions, including those that did not produce viable virions, conferred increased resistance. We anticipate that certain mutants will extend the efficacy and breadth of CP-mediated resistance. In research on rice tungro bacilliform virus, a DNA virus, we characterized two host protein, each of which are b-ZIP proteins, that bind viral DNA and are apparently important in virus gene expression. The role of these transcriptional activators in viral pathogenesis is being investigated.

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