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Dr. Olufemi Alabi

Alabi, Dr. Olufemi
Dr. Olufemi Alabi
Associate Professor & Extension Specialist
Weslaco Center
Undergraduate Education
B.Agric. Plant Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, 1997
Graduate Education
M.Sc. Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan, 2003
Ph.D. Plant Pathology, Washington State University, 2009
Early Career Education Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society, 2009
Schroth's Faces of the future in Plant Virology awardee of the American Phytopathological Society, 2010

Extension & Outreach Focus

The key goals of my extension program include the (i) timely and accurate diagnosis of viruses and other infectious agents of fruit and vegetable crops, (ii) development and evaluation of disease management tactics, and (iii) active engagement and communication of outcomes of these efforts to growers and industry stakeholders.

Research Focus

I conduct translational studies that address immediate and long-term needs of growers and other stakeholders involved in the production of fruit and vegetable crops. My research program emphasizes virus discovery and characterization, genetic diversity and population genetics studies, and understanding of disease epidemiology. The overarching goal is to utilize the results of these studies to develop science-based disease management strategies.

Teaching Focus

I am actively engaged in mentoring local and international students/scholars; I serve on graduate committees of M.S. and Ph.D. students. I also guest-lecture in classes taught by colleagues.


Yahaya A, Dangora DB, Kumar PL, Alegbejo MD, Gregg L, Alabi OJ 2018. Prevalence and genome characterization of field isolates of sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) in Nigeria. Plant Disease “First Look” paper • http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-08-18-1445-RE • posted 09/26/2018

Sétamou M, Alabi OJ, Grafton-Cardwell E, Tofangsazi N 2018. COPF: citrus orchard perimeter fencing as a strategy for reducing Asian citrus psyllid (Hemiptera:Liviidae) infestation. J. Applied Entomol. 2018:1-8; DOI: 10.1111/jen.12535.

Mulenga RM, Boykin LM, Chikoti PC, Sichilima S, Nguni D, Alabi OJ, 2018. Cassava brown streak disease and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus reported for the first time in Zambia. Plant Disease 102:1410-1418; https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-11-17-1707-RE.

Al Rwahnih M, Alabi OJ, Westrick N, Golino D 2018. Prunus geminivirus A: a novel Grablovirus infecting Prunus spp. Plant Disease 102:1246-1253; https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-09-17-1486-RE.

Sétamou M, Alabi OJ 2018. SMART HLBTM – An ecological approach to improve HLB management. Citrograph 9(1):24-27; http://ncpncitrus.org/files/279173.pdf.

Sétamou M, Alabi OJ, Simpson CR, Jifon JL, 2017. Contrasting amino acid profiles among permissive and non-permissive hosts of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, putative causal agent of Huanglongbing. PLoS ONE 12(12):e0187921. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187921.

Zongoma A, Dangora DB, Al Rwahnih M, Bako SP, Alegbejo MD, Alabi OJ, 2017. First report of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 1 infecting grapevines (Vitis spp.) in Nigeria. Plant Disease https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-07-17-1120-PDN.

Zongoma A, Dangora DB, Al Rwahnih M, Bako SP, Alegbejo MD, Alabi OJ, 2017. First report of Grapevine yellow speckle viroid 1, Grapevine yellow speckle viroid 2, and Hop stunt viroid infecting grapevines (Vitis spp.) in Nigeria. Plant Disease https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-07-17-1133-PDN.

Alabi OJ, Al Rwahnih M, Jifon JL, Sétamou M, Brown J, Gregg L, Park J-W 2017. A mixed infection of Lettuce chlorosis virus, Papaya ringspot virus, and Tomato yellow leaf curl virus-IL detected in a Texas papaya orchard affected by a virus-like disease outbreak. Plant Disease 101:1094-1102.

Yahaya A, Al Rwahnih M, Dangora DB, Gregg L, Alegbejo MD, Kumar PL, Alabi OJ 2017. First Report of Maize yellow mosaic virus infecting sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) and itch grass (Rottboellia cochinchinensis) in Nigeria. Plant Disease 101:1335.

McBride S, Appel DN, Pontasch FM, Gregg L, Alabi OJ, 2017. First report of Tobacco ringspot virus associated with decline symptoms of an American hybrid grape cultivar in Texas. Plant Disease 101:1062.

Al Rwahnih M, Alabi OJ, Westrick N, Golino D, Rowhani A 2016. Description of a novel monopartite geminivirus and its defective subviral genome in grapevine. Phytopathology 107:240-251.

Sétamou M, Simpson CR, Alabi OJ, Nelson SD, Telagamsetty S, Jifon JL, 2016. Quality matters: Influences of citrus flush physicochemical characteristics on population dynamics of the Asian citrus psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae). PLoS ONE 11(12):e0168997.

Yahaya A, Dangora DB, Alegbejo MD, Kumar PL, Alabi OJ, 2016. Identification and molecular characterization of a novel sugarcane streak mastrevirus and an isolate of the A-strain of Maize streak virus from sugarcane in Nigeria. Arch. Virol. 162:597-602.

Sétamou M, Alabi OJ, Kunta M, Jifon JL, da Graça JV 2016. Enhanced acquisition rates of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ by the Asian citrus psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae) in the presence of vegetative flush growth in citrus. J. Econ. Entomol. 109:1973-1978.

Poojari S, Alabi OJ, Okubara PA, Naidu RA 2016. SYBR green I-based real-time quantitative reverse-transcription PCR for detection and discrimination of grapevine viruses. J. Virol. Methods 235:112-118.

Alabi OJ, Al Rwahnih M, Brown J, Idris A, Gregg L, Kmieciak E, Sétamou M, Jifon JL 2016. First Report of Papaya (Carica papaya) naturally infected with the introduced Tomato yellow leaf curl virus-Israel. Plant Dis. 100:1959.

Al Rwahnih M, Alabi OJ, Westrick N, Golino D, Rowhani A 2016. Near-complete genome sequence of grapevine fabavirus, a novel putative member of the genus Fabavirus. Genome Announc 4(4):e00703-16.

Alabi OJ, Villegas C, Gregg L, Murray KD, 2016. Complete nucleotide sequences of a new bipartite begomovirus from Malvastrum sp. plants with bright yellow mosaic symptoms in South Texas. Arch. Virol. 161:1729-1733.

Liang SS, Alabi OJ, Damaj MB, Fu WL, Sun SR, Fu HY, Chen RK, Mirkov TE, Gao SJ, 2016. Genomic variability and molecular evolution of Asian isolates of Sugarcane streak mosaic virus. Arch. Virol. 161:1493-1503.

Wu XB, Alabi OJ, Damaj MB, Sun SR, Mirkov TE, Fu HY, Chen RK, Gao SJ, 2016. Prevalence and RT/RNAse H genealogy of Sugarcane bacilliform virus isolates from China. J. Phytopathol164:595-607.

Alabi OJ, Casassa LF, Gutha LR, Larsen RC, Henick-Kling T, Harbertson JF, Naidu RA, 2016. Impacts of grapevine leafroll disease on fruit yield and grape and wine chemistry in a wine grape (Vitis vinifera L.) cultivar. PLoS ONE 11(2):e0149666.

Sun SR, Damaj MB, Alabi OJ, Wu XB, Mirkov TE, Fu HY, Chen RK, Gao SJ, 2016. Molecular characterization of two divergent variants of sugarcane bacilliform viruses infecting sugarcane in China. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 145:375-384.

Alabi OJ, Al Rwahnih M, Isakeit T, Gregg L, Jifon JL 2016. First report of Rottboellia yellow mottle virus infecting sorghum sudangrass hybrid (Sorghum bicolor × Sorghum bicolor var. sudanense) in North America. Plant Dis. 100:1255.

Mulenga RM, Legg JP, Ndunguru J, Miano DW, Mutitu WE, Chikoti PC, Alabi OJ, 2016. Survey, molecular detection and characterization of geminiviruses associated with cassava mosaic disease in Zambia. Plant Dis. 100:1379-1387.

Alabi OJ, Al Rwahnih M, Jifon JL, Gregg L, Crosby KM, Mirkov TE 2015. First report of Pepper vein yellows virus infecting pepper (Capsicum spp.) in the United States. Plant Dis. 99:1656.

Alabi OJ, Kunta M, Dale J, Sétamou M 2014. Survey and detection of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ in a citrus nursery facility in South Texas. Online. Plant Health Progress DOI:10.1094/PHP-RS-14-0028.

Poojari S, Alabi OJ, Naidu RA 2013. Molecular characterization and impacts of a Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 2 isolate causing asymptomatic infection in a wine grape cultivar. Virology Journal 10, 324.

Alabi OJ, Al Rwahnih M, Mekuria TA, Naidu RA 2013. Genetic diversity of Grapevine virus A in Washington and California vineyards. Phytopathology 104:548-560.

Poojari S, Alabi OJ, Fofanov VY, Naidu RA 2013. A Leafhopper-transmissible DNA virus with novel evolutionary lineage in the family Geminiviridae implicated in grapevine redleaf disease by next-generation sequencing. PLoS ONE 8(6):e64194.

Alabi OJ, Poojari S, Sarver K, Martin RR, Naidu RA 2013. Complete genome sequence analysis of an American isolate of Grapevine virus E. Virus Genes 45:563-566.

Alabi OJ, Zheng Y, Jagadeeswaran G, Sunkar R, Naidu RA 2012. High-throughput sequence analysis of small RNAs in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) affected by grapevine leafroll disease. Molecular Plant Pathology 13:1060-1076.

Alabi OJ, Al Rwahnih M, Karthikeyan G, Poojari S, Fuchs M, Rowhani A, Naidu RA 2011. Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 1 occurs as genetically diverse populations. Phytopathology 101:1446-1456.