Seminarios IHSM La Mayora - Hanu R. Pappu (Washington State University, USA)

A combination of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomic approaches are being used to gain insights into three very diverse groups of plant viruses: a single-stranded, positive sense RNA virus, Potato virus Y; Tomato spotted wilt virus, a virus whose single stranded, segmented RNA genome with an ambisense genome organization; and single-stranded, circular DNA viruses (begomoviruses). Recently, we have shown that a multiplexed approach using a combination of several gRNAs in CRISPR-based genome editing provided effective resistance against a begomovirus, while at the same time minimizing the reversal of the mutants to wild type. The relevance of these studies for developing novel disease management strategies will be discussed. Bio: Dr. Hanu R. Pappu is a professor and the Chuey Endowed Chair of plant pathology, and holds the President Sam Smith Distinguished Professorship at Washington State University (WSU). He is a graduate faculty member of the university’s interdisciplinary PhD program in Molecular Plant Sciences. Dr. Pappu’s research interests and expertise include characterization and control of viral diseases of crop plants; development of environmentally friendly and sustainable IPM strategies for reducing the impact of destructive viral diseases of crops, and technology transfer. Crops of interests and expertise include legumes, vegetables and ornamentals. Specific areas of interest are genomics, proteomics, epidemiology, breeding for virus resistance, virus diagnostics, and host-virus interactions. Professor Pappu published more than 200 refereed journal articles, several invited, review articles/book chapters, and gave numerous invited presentations at national and international conferences. Prof. Pappu received several national and international awards including the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize from the Humboldt Foundation of Germany, Dr. BP Pal Distinguished Chair Award, Fulbright Distinguished Chair, Fulbright Scholar awards from the US Fulbright Commission, and three OECD Fellowships from the European Union. Dr. Pappu was elected Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society in 2015. Dr. Pappu teaches a graduate course in plant virology, and co-teaches an undergraduate course, General Plant Pathology, and is actively involved in graduate student training. 12 graduate students (11 PhD and 1 MS) graduated in last 15 years under Dr. Pappu’s supervision. He is currently supervising two PhD students, and four post-doctoral fellows.