Dr. Weidong Chen

Weidong Chen



Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-ARS
Adjunct Faculty in Molecular Plant Sciences, Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences, and Plant Pathology
Ph.D. 1987. The Ohio State University

Weidong Chen.


My laboratory works on biology and management of diseases of cool season legumes.  Research in my lab focuses on pathogen population biology and pathogenic mechanisms. My currently research projects involve phytotoxin production by the Ascochyta pathogens of cool season legumes and the potential roles of the phytotoxins in fungal biology and disease development, pH modulation and pathogenic effectors of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in development of white mold disease, frequency of genetic recombination in the homothallic fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, and mechanism and management of resistance to the fungicide metalaxyl in Oomycetous plant pathogens.  Other research interests include host genetics and mechanisms of disease resistance including resistance to cell wall-degrading enzymes.

Selected Publications

Lyu, A., Liu, H., Che, H., Yang, L., Zhang, J., Wu, M., Chen, W. and Li, G. 2017. Purification and identification of antifungal metabolites reveromycins from Streptomyces yanglinensis 3-10. Frontiers in Microbiology, submitted.

Kim, W., Park, J.-J., Dugan, F. M., Peever, T. L., Gang, D. R., Vandemark, G. V. Chen, W. 2017. Production of the antibiotic secondary metabolite solanapyrone A by the fungal plant pathogen Ascochyta rabiei during fruiting body formation in saprobic growth. Environmental Microbiology: in press.  DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13673.

Xu, L., Jardini, T., and Chen, W. 2016. Direct repeat-mediated DNA deletion of the mating type MAT1-2 genes results in unidirectional mating type switching in Sclerotinia trifoliorum. Scientific Reports 6:27083. DOI:10.1038/srep27083.

Wu, M., Deng, Y., Zhou, Z., He, G., Chen, W., and Li, G. 2016. Characterization of three mycoviruses co-infecting the plant pathogenic fungus Sclerotinia nivalis. Virus Research 223:28-38. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2016.06.009.

You, J., Zhang, J., Wu, M., Yang, L., Chen, W., and Li, G. 2016. Multiple criteria-based screening of Trichoderma isolates for biological control of Botrytis cinerea on tomato. Biological Control 101:31-38. doi:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2016.06.006.

Wei, W., Zhu, W., Cheng, J., Xie, J., Jiang, D. Li, G., Chen, W., and Fu, Y. 2016. Nox Complex signal and MAPK cascade pathway are cross-linked and essential for pathogenicity and conidiation of mycoparasite Coniothyrium minitans. Scientific Reports 6, 24325; doi: 10.1038/srep24325.

Chen, W. 2016. Pulse crop diseases in the Pacific Northwest. Crop and Soil Magazine March-April issue: 20-26.

Kim, W., Peever, T. L., Park, J.-J., Park, C.-M., Gang, D. R., Xian, M., Davidson, J. A., Infantino, A., Kaiser, W. J., Chen, W.  2016. Use of metabolomics for the chemotaxonomy of legume-associated Ascochyta and allied genera. Scientific Reports 6, 20192; doi: 10.1038/srep20192.

Qiu, D., Xu, Liangsheng, Vandemark, G. and Chen, W. 2015. Comparative transcriptome analyses of plant pathogenic Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and S. trifoliorum. Journal of Heredity 107:163-172. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esv092.

Kim, W., Park, J.-J., Gang, D. R., Peever, T. L., Chen, W. 2015. A novel type pathoway-specific regulator and dynamic genome environments of a solanapyrone biosynthesis gene cluster in the fungus Ascochyta rabiei. Eukaryotic Cell 14: 1102-1113. doi:10.1128/EC.00084-15.

Li, M., Zhang, Y. Y., Wang, K., Hou, Y. G., Jin, L., Chen, W., and Zhou, J. 2016. First report of sunflower white mold caused by Sclerotinia minor Jagger in Inner Mongolia region, China. Plant Disease 100: 211. Doi:10.1094/PDIS-01-15-0027-PDN.

Lou, Y., Han, Y.C., Yang, L., Wu, M.D., Zhang, J., Cheng, J.S., Wang, M.Y., Jiang, D.H., Chen, W., and Li, G.Q. 2015. CmpacC regulates mycoparacitism, oxalate degradation and antifungal activity in the mycoparasitic fungus Coniothyrium minitans. Environmental Microbiology 17:4711-4729.

Habibi, A., Peever, T.L., Kim, W., Chilvers, M.I., Chen, W., Kaiser, W.J.,  and Muehlbauer, F.J. 2015.  First report of Ascochyta blight of spotted locoweed (Astragalus  lentiginosus) caused by Ascochyta sp. in Idaho. Plant Disease 99: 1446. Doi 10.1094/PDIS-02-15-0174-PDN.

Porter, L. D., Pasche, J. S., Chen, W., and Harveson, R. M. 2015. Isolation, identification, storage, pathogenicity tests, hosts, and geographic range of Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi causing Fusarium root rot of pea. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-DG-15-0013.

Xu, L., Xiang, M., White, D. and Chen, W. 2015. pH dependency of sclerotial development and pathogenicity revealed by using genetically defined oxalate-minus mutants of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Environmental Microbiology 17: 2896-2909. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12818.

Vandemark, G., Guy, S. O., Chen, W., McPhee, K., Pfaff, J., Lauver, M. and Muehlbauer, F.J. 2015. Registration of ‘Nash’ Chickpea. Journal of Plant Registrations 9:275-278.

Ali, L., Azam, S., Rubio, J., Kudapa, H., Madrid, E., Varshney, R. K., Castro, P., Chen, W., Gil, J., and Millan, T. 2015. Detection of a new QTL/gene for growth habit in chickpea CaLG1 using wide and narrow crosses. Euphytica 204:473-485. doi 10.1007/s10681-015-1369-4

Yu, L., Sang, W., Wu, M-D., Zhang, J., Yang, L., Zhou, Y-J., Chen, W. and Li, G-Q. 2015. Molecular and biological characterization of a novel hypovirulence-associated RNA mycovirus in the plant pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 81: 2299-2310.  doi:10.1128/AEM.03992-14

Zhang, Q., Yang, L., Zhang, J.,  Wu, M., Chen, W., Jiang, D., and Li, G. 2015. Production of anti-fungal volatiles by non-pathogenic Fusarium oxysporum and its efficacy in suppression of Verticillium wilt of cotton. Plant and Soil 392:101-114. DOI 10.1007/s11104-015-2448-y

Fan, X., Zhang, J., Yang, L, Wu, M., Chen, W., Li., G. 2015. Development of  PCR-based assays for detecting and differentiating three species of Botrytis infection broad bean. Plant Disease 99:691-698. doi:10.1094/PDIS-07-14-0701-RE

Kim, W., Park, C.-M., Park, J.-J. Akamatsu, H. O., Peever, T.L., Xian, M, Gang, D.R., Vandemark, G. and Chen, W. 2015. Functional analyses of the diels-alderase gene sol5 of Ascochyta rabiei and Alternaria solani indicate that the solanapyrone phytotoxins are not required for pathogenicity. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 28: 482-496.

Rubiales, D., Fondevilla, S., Chen, W., Gentzbittel, L., Higgins, T. J. V., Castillejo, M. A., Singh, K. B. and Rispail, N. 2015. Achievements and challenges in legume breeding for pest and disease resistance. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 34: 195-236. DOI: 10.1080/07352689.2014.898445.

Zeng, L-M., Zhang, J., Han,Y-C., Yang, L., Wu, M.-d., Jiang, D.-H., Chen, W. and Li, G-Q. 2014. Degradation of oxalic acid by the mycopsrasite Coniothyrium minitans plays an important role in interacting with Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Environmental Microbiology 16: 2591-2610. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12409.

Zhang, Q., Zhang, J., Yang, L., Zhang, L., Jiang, D.-H. Chen, W., and Li, G-Q. 2014. Diversity and biocontrol potential of endophytic fungi in Brassica napus. Biological Control 72: 98-108.

Attanayake, R. N., Tennekoon, V., Johnson, D. A., Porter, L.D., del Rı´o-Mendoza, L. D Jiang, and Chen, W. 2014. Inferring outcrossing in the homothallic fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum using linkage disequilibrium decay. Heredity 113: 353-363. doi:10.1038/hdy.2014.37.

Njambere, E. N., Peever, T., Vandemark, G. and Chen, W. 2014. Genotypical variation and population structure of Sclerotinia trifoliorum infecting chickpea in California. Plant Pathology 63: 994-1004.  DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12176

Chen, W., Dugan, F.M. and McGee,R. 2014. First report of dodder (Cuscuta pentagona) on chickpea (Cicer arietinum) in the United States. Plant Disease 98: 165.

Saha, G. C., Sarker, A, Chen, W., Vandemark, G. J. and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2013. Inheritance and linkage map positions of genes conferring agromorphological traits in lens culinaris Medik.  International Journal of Agronomy 2013:618926.

Attanayake, R. N., Carter, P. A. Jiang, D., Río-Mendoza, L. and Chen, W. 2013. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum populations infecting canola from China and the United States are genetically and phenotypically distinct. Phytopathology 103: 750-761. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-07-12-0159-R.

Xu, L. and Chen, W. 2013. Random T-DNA mutagenesis identifies a Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene as a virulence factor of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 26: 431-441. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-07-12-0177-R.

Madrid, E., Chen, W., Rajesh, P. N., Castro, P, Millan, T. and Gil, J. 2012. Allele-specific amplification for the detection of ascochyta blight resistance in chickpea. Euphytica 189:183-190. DOI 10.1007/s10681-012-0753-6.

Attanayake, R.N., Porter, L., Johnson, D.A., and Chen, W. 2012. Genetic and phenotypic diversity and random association of DNA markers of isolates of the fungal plant pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum from soil on a fine geographic scale. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 55:28-36.

Peever, T.L., Chen, W., Abdo, Z. and Kaiser, W.J. 2012. Genetics of virulence in Ascochyta rabiei. Plant Pathology 61: 754-760. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2011.02566.x

Ali, H., Alam S.S, Attanayake R. N, Rahman M and Chen W. 2012. Population structure and mating type distribution of the chickpea blight pathogen Ascochyta rabiei from Pakistan and United States through molecular marker analyses. Journal of Plant Pathology 94: 99-108.

Madrid, E., Rajesh, P. N., Rubio, J.,  Gil, J., Millan, T. and Chen, W.  2012. Characterization and genetic analysis of an EIN4-like sequence (CaETR-1) located in QTLAR1 implicated in ascochyta blight resistance in chickpea.  Plant Cell Reports 31:1033-1042. DOI 10.1007/s00299-011-1221-9

Chen, W. 2011. Lentil diseases: A threat to lentil production worldwide. Grain Legumes 57: 35-36.

Yang, L., Guoqing Li, G-Q., Zhang, J., Jiang, D-H., Chen, W. 2011. Compatibility of Coniothyrium minitans with compound fertilizer in suppression of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.  Biological Control 59:221-227.

Ali, H., ul Haq, M. A., Shah, T. M., ur Rahman, M., and Chen, W. 2011. Validation of molecular markers for resistance among Pakistani chickpea germplasm to races of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris. European Journal of Plant Pathology 132:237-244. DOI 10.1007/s10658-011-9868-1.

Njambere, E. N., Chen, W., Frate, C. and Temple, S. R. 2011. Ascospore dimorphism-associated mating types of Sclerotinia trifoliorum equally capable of inducing mycelial infection on chickpea plants. Australasian Plant Pathology 40:648-655. DOI 10.1007/s13313-011-0069-3.