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Washington State University Molecular Plant Sciences


Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology  Ph.D., University of California, Davis, USA


My research centers around plant parasitic nematodes and primarily focuses on root-knot nematodes and their interactions with host plants. These small roundworms are soil borne pathogens that can infect most vascular plants. The root infections cause damage that affects water and nutrient uptake, and this can lead to dramatically reduced crop yields. In order to develop new strategies to combat nematodes, my group studies root-knot nematode secretions that are released into the plant and manipulate host defenses and signaling pathways. One focus of study is on the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne chitwoodi, a serious pathogen of potatoes in the region. We are interested in identifying novel M. chitwoodi pathogenicity genes required for successful potato infection. We are also working to dissect the defense responses triggered during infection of nematode-resistant potatoes. My lab uses a variety of experimental approaches, such as gene expression analyses, generation and characterization of transgenic plants, and heterologous expression of nematode genes in bacteria, to increase our knowledge of the plant/nematode interaction at the molecular level.

Selected Publications

  • Gleason, C., Leelarasamee, N., Meldau. D., and I. Feussner (2016). “OPDA has key role in regulating plant susceptibility to the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne hapla in Arabidopsis”. Front  Plant Sci,
  • Foley, C. A. Gleason, J.P. Anderson, T. Hamann, and K. B. Singh (2013)Genetic and Genomic analysis of Rhizoctonia solani Interactions with Arabidopsis; Evidence of Resistance mediated through NADPH Oxidases.“ PLOS ONE, 8(2):e56814.
  • Gleason, C., Huang, S., Thatcher, L.F., Foley, R.C., Anderson, C.R., Caroll, A.J., Millar, A.H., and K. B. Singh (2011) “Complex II has a key role in production of mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species influencing plant stress gene regulation and defence.” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 108(26):10768-73.
  • Anderson, J. P., Lichtenzveig, J., Gleason, C., Oliver, R. P., and K. B. Singh (2010) “The B-3 ethylene response factor MtERF1-1 mediates resistance to a subset of root pathogens in Medicago truncatula without adversely affecting symbiosis with rhizobia.” Plant Physiol154(2):861-873.
  • C.A. Gleason, Q. L. Liu, and V. M. Williamson (2008) „Silencing a Candidate Nematode Effector Gene Corresponding to the Tomato Resistance Gene Mi-1Leads to Acquisition of Virulence.“ Mol Plant Microbe Interact.21(5):576-85.
  • Gleason C, Chaudhuri S, Yang T, Munoz-Gutierrez A, Poovaiah BW, and GED Oldroyd (2006) “Nodulation independent of rhizobia induced by a calcium-activated kinase lacking autoinhibition.“ Nature. 441(7097):1149-52.
  • Kalo P, Gleason C, Edwards A, Marsh , Mitra RM, Hirsch S, Jakab J, Sims S, Long SR, Rogers J, Kiss GB, Dowine JA, and GED Oldroyd (2005) “Nodulaton signaling in legumes requires NSP2, a member of the GRAS family of transcriptional regulators.“ Science308(5729):1786-9.
  • Mitra M, Gleason CA, Edwards A, Hadfield J, Downie JA, Oldroyd GE, and SR Long(2005) ”A Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase required for symbiotic nodule development: Gene identification by transcript-based cloning.“ Proc Natl Acad Sci USA101(13):4701-5.
  • Williamson, V. M. and  C.A. Gleason(2003). “Plant-nematode interactions.” Curr Opin Plant Biol 6(4): 327-333.