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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

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. My primary 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 undergraduate courses.


I teach the following courses 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.


Fellow, American Phytopathological Society

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology

Select Publications

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

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.

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.

Pyle, J. D., and Scholthof, K.-B. G. 2018. De novo generation of helper virus-satellite chimera RNAs results in disease attenuation and satellite sequence acquisition. Virology 514:182-191.

Scholthof, K.-B. G., Irigoyen, S. C., Catalan, P., and Mandadi, K. K. 2018. Brachypodium: A monocot grass model system for plant biology. Plant Cell 30:1673-1694.

Pyle, J. D., Mandadi, K. K., and Scholthof, K.-B. G. 2019. Panicum mosaic virus and its satellite acquire RNA modifications associated with host-mediated viral degradation. mBio10:e01900-19.

Scholthof, K.-B. G. 2020.  Tansley Insight: Brachypodium and plant viruses: Entwined tools for discovery. New Phytologist 227:1676-1680.

Pant, S. R., Irigoyen, S., Liu, J., Bedre, R., Christensen, S. A., Schmelz, E. A., Sedbrook, J. C., Scholthof, K.-B. G., and Mandadi, K. K. 2021. Brachypodium PHENYLALANINE AMMONIA LYASE (PAL) promotes antiviral defenses against Panicum mosaic virus and its satellites. mBio 12:e03518-20.

Scholthof, K.-B. G. 2021. Engulfing the Globe: The impact of pathogens, plagues, and pandemics on society. Agricultural History: 95:530-535

Scholthof, K.-B. G., Washington, L.D, DeMell, A., Mendoza, M. R. and Cody, W. B. 2022. Practicing virology: Making and knowing a mid-20th century experiment with tobacco mosaic virus. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 44:3.