Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Beachy also is Chief Science Officer, Kultevat Inc., St. Louis, MO.; Member, National Science Board (2014 ? present); Council of Science Advisors, ICGEB, Trieste, Italy. Beachy was Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2009-2011. He was President of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri, 1999-2009; previous appointments included Prof. of Cell Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA; Prof. of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis; Exec. Director World Food Center. Beachy is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Fellow of the AAAS and the American Academy of Microbiology; Foreign Associate/Fellow of Korea Academy of Sciences, India National Academy of Sciences, The World Academy of Sciences, and others. He is a Wolf Prize Laureate in Agriculture (2001), awarded the Bank of Delaware’s Commonwealth Award for Science and Industry (1991), the Ruth Allen award from the American Phytopathological Society (1990), among other awards. Current focus includes increasing collaborations and innovations in science, and in science policy to promote support for research, technology development, and innovation.

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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Primary Section

Section 62: Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 25: Plant Biology