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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.


Alabi OJ, McBride S, Appel DN, Al Rwahnih M, Pontasch FM 2020. Complete genome sequence analysis of a grapevine cv. Blanc du Bois genetic variant of grapevine virus L. Arch. Virol. (Accepted). Corresponding author.

Oke A, Oladigbolu A, Kunta M, Alabi OJ, Sétamou M 2020. First report of the occurrence of Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae), an invasive species in Nigeria, West Africa. Scientific Reports (Accepted).

Chaudhary S, Laughlin DL, Sétamou M, da Graça J, Kunta M, Alabi OJ, Crosby K, Ong K, Ancona V 2020. Incidence, severity and characterization of Phytophthora foot rot of citrus in Texas and implications for disease management. Plant Disease Published Online:16 March 2020; https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-07-19-1493-RE

Mulenga RM, Miano DW, Kaimoyo E, Akello J, Mbute F, Al Rwahnih M, Chikoti PC, Chiona M, Simulundu E, Alabi OJ 2020. First Report of Southern bean mosaic virus infecting common bean in Zambia. Plant Disease Published Online:7 April 2020; https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-11-19-2390-PDN.

Alabi OJ, Isakeit T, Vaughn R, Stelly D, Conner KN, Gaytán BC, Villegas C, Hitzelberger C, De Santiago L, Monclova-Santana C, Brown JK 2020. First report of Cotton leafroll dwarf virus infecting upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) in Texas. Plant Disease 104(3):998. Corresponding author.

Sétamou M., Alabi OJ, Kunta M, Dale J, da Graça JV 2020. Distribution of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus in citrus and the Asian citrus psyllid in Texas over a decade. Plant Disease 104(4):1118-1126. Corresponding author.

Alabi OJ, Gaytán B, Al Rwahnih M, Villegas C 2020. A description of the possible etiology of the cilantro yellow blotch disease. Plant Disease 104(3):630-633. Corresponding author.

Alabi OJ, Diaz-Lara A, Al Rwahnih M 2020. Satellite nucleic acids and viruses, In: Encyclopedia of Virology, 4th edition, D. Bamford, M. Zuckerman (eds.), 3500p. Academic Press – Elsevier, Cambridge, MA, United States.

Yahaya A, Dangora DB, Alabi OJ, Zongoma A, Kumar PL 2019. Detection and diversity of Maize yellow mosaic virus infecting maize in Nigeria. VirusDis. 30:538-544.

Villegas C, Ramos-Sobrinho R, Jifon JL, Keith C, Al Rwahnih M, Sétamou S, Brown JK, Alabi OJ 2019. First report of Cotton leaf curl Gezira virus and its associated alphasatellite and betasatellite from disease affected okra plants in the United States. Plant Disease 103(12):3291. Corresponding author.

Al Rwahnih M, Alabi OJ, Hwang MS, Stevens K, Golino D 2019. Identification and genomic characterization of grapevine Kizil Sapak virus, a novel grapevine-infecting member of the family Betaflexiviridae. Arch. Virol. 164:3145-3149.

Alabi OJ, McBride S, Appel DN, Al Rwahnih M, Pontasch FM 2019. Grapevine virus M, a novel Vitivirus discovered in an American hybrid bunch grape cultivar Blanc du Bois in Texas. Arch. Virol. 164:1739-1741. Corresponding author.

Yahaya A, Dangora DB, Kumar PL, Alegbejo MD, Gregg L, Alabi OJ 2019. Prevalence and genome characterization of field isolates of sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) in Nigeria. Plant Disease 103:818-824. Corresponding author.

Brannen PM, Deom CM, Alabi OJ, Naidu RA 2018. Prevalence of viruses in commercial wine grape vineyards in Georgia. Plant Health Progress 19:342-346.

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. Appl. Entomol. 00:1-8. https://doi.org/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 Dis. 102:1410-1418. Corresponding author.

Al Rwahnih M, Alabi OJ, Westrick N, Golino D 2018. Prunus geminivirus A: a novel Grablovirus infecting Prunus spp. Plant Dis. 102:1246-1253.

Zongoma AM, Dangora DB, Al Rwahnih M, Bako SP, Alegbejo MD, Alabi OJ 2018. First report of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 1 infecting grapevines (Vitis spp.) in Nigeria. Plant Dis. 102:258. Corresponding author.

Zongoma AM, Dangora DB, Al Rwahnih M, Bako SP, Alegbejo MD, Alabi OJ 2018. First report of Grapevine yellow speckle viroid 1, Grapevine yellow speckle viroid 2, and Hop stunt viroid infecting grapevines (Vitis spp.) in Nigeria. Plant Dis. 102:259. Corresponding author.

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.

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. Corresponding author.

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. Corresponding author.

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. Corresponding author.

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. Corresponding author.

Sétamou M, Alabi OJ, Kunta M, Jifon JL, da Graća 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. Journal of Economic Entomology 2016:1-6.

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.

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 Sugarcane streak mosaic virus among Asian isolates. Archives of Virology 161(6):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. Journal of Phytopathology 164(9):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.

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(9):1959. Corresponding author.

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. Corresponding author.

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 (L.) Moench x Sorghum bicolor var. sudanense) in North America. Plant Disease 100(6):1255. Corresponding author.

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 virus infecting sugarcane in China. European Journal of Plant Pathology 145:375-384.

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 Disease 100:1379-1387.

Alabi OJ, Mulenga RM, Legg JP 2015. Cassava mosaic disease, In: Virus diseases of tropical and subtropical crops, P. Tennant, G. Fermin (eds.), pp. 56-72, CAB International, Wallingford, United Kingdom.

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 Disease 99(11):1656. Corresponding author.

Mulenga RM, Miano DW, Chikoti PC, Ndunguru J, Legg JP, Alabi OJ 2015. First report of East African cassava mosaic Malawi virus in plants affected by cassava mosaic disease in Zambia. Plant Disease 99(9):1290. Corresponding author.

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. Corresponding author.

Kayode AB, Odu BO, Ako-Nai KA, Alabi OJ 2014. Occurrence of Cucumber mosaic virus Subgroups IA and IB Isolates in Tomatoes in Nigeria. Plant Disease 98(12):1750. Corresponding author.

Alabi OJ, Al Rwahnih M, Mekuria TA, Naidu RA 2014. Genetic diversity of Grapevine virus A in Washington and California vineyards. Phytopathology 104:548-560.

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.

Bahder BW, Poojari S, Alabi OJ, Naidu RA, Walsh DB 2013. Pseudococcus maritimus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) and Parthenolecanium corni (Hemiptera: Coccidae) are capable of transmitting Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 between Vitis x labruscana and Vitis vinifera. Environmental Entomology 42(6):1292-1298.

Bahder BW, Alabi O, Poojari S, Walsh DB, Naidu RA 2013. A survey for grapevine viruses in Washington State ‘Concord’ (Vitis × labruscana L.) vineyards. Online. Plant Health Progress DOI:10.1094/PHP-2013-0805-01-RS.

Damayanti TA, Alabi OJ, Hidayat SH, Crosslin J, Naidu RA 2013. First report of Potato virus Y in Potato in West Java, Indonesia. Plant Disease 98(2):287.

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 46:563-566.

Alabi OJ, Saidov N, Muniappan R, Naidu RA 2012. First report of Iris yellow spot virus in onion in Tajikistan. New Disease Reports 26:28.

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(9):1060-1076.

Alabi OJ, Crosslin JM, Saidov N, Naidu RA 2012. First report of Potato virus Y in potato in Tajikistan. Plant Disease 96(7):1074.

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(12):1446-1456.

Alabi OJ, Kumar PL, Naidu RA 2011. Cassava mosaic disease: a curse to food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Online. APSnet Features. DOI:10.1094/APSnetFeature-2011-0701.

Kumar PL, Hanna R, Alabi OJ, Soko MM, Oben TT, Vangu GHP, Naidu RA 2011. Banana bunchy top virus in sub-Saharan Africa: investigations on virus distribution and diversity. Virus Research 159(2):171-182.

Karthikeyan G, Alabi OJ, Naidu RA 2011. Occurrence of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 1 in two ornamental grapevine cultivars. Plant Disease 95(5):613.

Jarugula S, Alabi OJ, Martin RR, Naidu RA 2010. Genetic variability of natural populations of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 2 in Pacific Northwest vineyards. Phytopathology 100(7):698-707.

Alabi OJ, Kumar PL, Mgbechi-Ezeri JU, Naidu RA 2010. Two new ‘legumoviruses’ (genus Begomovirus) naturally infecting soybean in Nigeria. Archives of Virology 155(5):643-656.

Alabi OJ, Martin RR, Naidu RA 2010. Sequence diversity, population genetics and potential recombination events in Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus in Pacific North-West vineyards. Journal of General Virology 91:265-276.

Damayanti TA, Alabi OJ, Rauf A, Naidu RA 2010. The occurrence of Bean common mosaic virus and Cucumber mosaic virus in Yardlong Beans in Indonesia. Plant Disease 94(4):478.

Damayanti TA, Alabi OJ, Naidu RA, Rauf A 2009. Severe outbreak of a yellow mosaic disease on the yardlong bean in Bogor, West Java. HAYATI Journal of Biosciences 16(2):78-82.

Oben TT, Hanna R, Ngeve J, Alabi OJ, Naidu RA, Kumar PL 2009. Occurrence of Banana bunchy top disease caused by the Banana bunchy top virus on banana and plantain (Musa sp.) in Cameroon. Plant Disease 93(10):1076.

Alabi OJ, Ogbe FO, Bandyopadhyay R, Kumar PL, Dixon AGO, Hughes Jd’A, Naidu RA 2008. Alternate hosts of African cassava mosaic virus and East African cassava mosaic Cameroon virus in Nigeria. Archives of Virology 153(9):1743-1747.

Alabi OJ, Kumar PL, Naidu RA 2008. Multiplex PCR method for the detection of African cassava mosaic virus and East African cassava mosaic Cameroon virus in cassava.  Journal of Virological Methods 154:111-120.

Eni AO, Kumar PL, Asiedu R, Alabi OJ, Naidu RA, Hughes J, Rey MEC 2008.  First report of Cucumber mosaic virus in yams (Dioscorea spp.) in Ghana, Togo and Republic of Benin in West Africa.  Plant Disease 92(5):833.

Mgbechi-Ezeri J, Alabi OJ, Naidu RA, Kumar PL 2008. First report of the Occurrence of African cassava mosaic virus in a mosaic disease of soybean in Nigeria. Plant Disease 92(12):1709.

Naidu RA., Alabi OJ, Karthikeyan G, Nelson M 2007.  First report of Monardia didyma infection with Impatiens necrotic spot virus in Washington State.  Online. Plant Health Progress DOI:10.1094/PHP-2007-1119-02-BR.

Ogbe FO, Dixon AGO, Hughes Jd’A, Alabi OJ, Okechukwu R 2006. Status of cassava begomoviruses and their new natural hosts in Nigeria. Plant Disease 90(5):548-553.

Atiri GI, Winter S, Alabi OJ 2003.  Yam, In: Virus and virus-like diseases of major crops in developing countries, G. Loebenstein, G. Thottappilly (eds.), pp. 249-268, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.