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Dr. Karen-Beth G. Scholthof

Scholthof, Dr. Karen-Beth G.
Dr. Karen-Beth G. Scholthof
Professor, Plant Virology
Graduate Education
Ph.D., Plant Pathology (1989) University of Kentucky

Research Emphasis:


Molecular Plant Virology

My molecular plant virology research is on a virus complex of Panicum mosaic virus (PMV) and its satellite virus (SPMV). For molecular genetic studies on the PMV/SPMV virus:host interactions we are using the model grass, Brachypodium distachyon. Our current research focus includes investigations into the mechanism by which SPMV capsid protein (CP) localizes to the nucleolus, how host proteins facilitate this trafficking, and how SPMV and PMV induce host responses to infection. My second area of research is the historiography of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) in the early 20th century in the United States. My research and writing on the history of plant virology has been incorporated into graduate and undergraduate courses.


I teach writing- and communication-intensive classes in the Bioenvironmental Sciences (BESC) Program: Pathogens, the Environment, and Society (BESC 314), Field Experience  (BESC 484), and a Capstone Seminar (BESC 481). I am the Faculty Director of BESC Undergraduate Honors Program.

Recent Publications


Scholthof, K.-B. G. 2017. Spicing up the N gene: F. O. Holmes and Tobacco mosaic virus resistance in Capsicum and Nicotiana plants. Phytopathology 107: 148-157.


Lyons, C.W, and Scholthof, K-B. G. 2016. Brachypodium as an Arabidopsis for the grasses: are we there yet? In: Genetics and Genomics of Brachypodium (J. Vogel, ed.) Springer: New York, pp. 1-15.


Scholthof, K.-B. G. 2015. Finding our roots and celebrating our shoots: An examination of formative plant virus articles in Virology, 1955-1964. Special Issue: 60th Anniversary. Virology, 479-480: 345-355.


Stewart, C. L., Pyle, J. D., Jochum, C. C., Vogel, K. P., Yuen, G. Y., and Scholthof, K.-B. G. 2015. Multi-year pathogen survey of biofuel switchgrass breeding nurseries reveals high incidence of infections by Panicum mosaic virus and its satellite virus. Phytopathology 105: 1146-1154.


Scholthof, K.-B. G. 2014. Making a virus visible: Francis O. Holmes and a biological assay for Tobacco mosaic virusJournal of the History of Biology 47:107-145.


Mandadi, K. K. and Scholthof, K.-B. G. 2013. Plant immune responses against viruses: How does a virus cause disease? Plant Cell 25:1489-1505.