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Dr. Amy Charkowski

Our goal is to provide growers with better management tools for important potato diseases. We mainly work with bacterial and viral potato pathogens. We study how the bacterial blackleg and soft rot pathogens Pectobacterium and Dickeya infect potato and how to best detect these pathogens in potato and in the environment. We are also interested in viruses that cause necrotic symptoms in potato tubers, such Potato virus Y (PVY) and Potato mop-top virus (PMTV) and are currently working on projects related to virus resistance, management, and detection in potato.


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    Ana Cristina Fulladolsa Palma

    Research Focus = Necrotic potato virus management

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    Yuan Zeng

    Research Focus = Management of potato blackleg pathogens and Spongospora subterrranea


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    Shaista Karim

    Research focus = Development of potato pathogen detection assays and development of quantitative virulence assays

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    Afnan Nasaruddin

    Research focus = identification of novel virulence genes in potato blackleg pathogens

  1. Sundin, G. W., N. Wang, A. O. Charkowski, L. F. Castiblanco, H. Jia, and Y. Zhao. 2016. Perspectives on the transition from bacterial phytopathogen genomics studies to applications enhancing disease management: from promise to practice. Phytopathology 106:1071-1082. PMID: 27183301
  2. Jansky, S. H., A. O. Charkowski, D. S. Douches, G. Gusmini, C. Richel, P. C. Bethke, D. M. Spooner, R. G. Novy, H. De Jong, W. S. De Jong, J. B. Bamberg, D. G. Holm, C. R. Brown, K. G. Haynes, V. R. Sathuvalli, R. E. Veilleux, J. C. Miller, J. M. Bradeen, J. M. Jiang. 2016. Revinventing potato as a diploid inbred line-based crop. Crop Sci 56:1412-1422.
  3. Wang, Y., A. O. Charkowski, Zeng, C. Y., Zhu, T. T., Wang, H. Z., Chen, H. G. 2016. Phylogenetic and morphological identification of the novel pathogen of Rheum palmatum leaf spot in Gansu, China. Mycobiology 44:93-98. PMID: 27433119
  4. Weber, B. N., R. A. Witherell, and A. O. Charkowski. 2015. Low-cost potato tissue culture with microwave and bleach media preparation and sterilization. Amer. Potato J. 92:128-137.
  5. Fulladolsa, A. C., F. M. Navarro, R. Kota, K. Severson, J. P. Palta, and A. O. Charkowski. 2015. Application of marker assisted selection for Potato virus Y resistance in the University of Wisconsin Potato Breeding Program. Amer. J. Potato Res. In press.
  6. Sharma-Thomas, S., A. Abdurahman, S. Ali, J. Andrade-Piedra, A. O. Charkowski, D. Crook, M. Kadian, P. Kromann, Sarina, P. C. Struik, L. Torrance, K. A. Garret, and G. A. Forbes. 2015. Seed tuber degeneration in potato: need for a new research and development paradigm to mitigate the problem in developing countries. Plant Pathology 65:3-16.
  7. Charkowski, A. O. 2015. Biology and Control of Pectobacterium in Potato. Amer. J. Potato Res. 92:128-137.
  8. Mattupalli, C., J. E. Spraker, E. Berthier, A. O. Charkowski, N. P. Keller, and R. W. Shepherd. 2014. A microfluidic assay for identifying differential responses of plant and human fungal pathogens to tobacco phylloplanin. Plant Health Progress. doi:10.1094/PHP-RS-14-0009.
  9. Guenthner, J. F., A. Charkowski, R. Genger, and G. Greenway. 2014. Varietal differences in minituber production costs. Amer. J. Potato Res. 91:376-379.
  10. Mattupalli, C., J. D. Glasner, and A. O. Charkowski. 2014. A draft genome sequence reveals the Helminthosporium solani arsenal for cell wall degradation. Amer. J. Potato Res. 91:517-524.
  11. Ma, B., A. O. Charkowski, J. D. Glasner, and N. T. Perna. 2014. Identification of host-microbe interaction factors in the genomes of soft rot-associated pathogens Dickeya dadantii 3937 and Pectobacterium carotovorum WPP14 with supervised machine learning. BMC Genomics 15:Article 508 PMID: 24952641
  12. Kwan, G., A. O. Charkowski and J. D. Barak. 2013. Salmonella enterica suppresses Pectobacterium carotovorum carotovorum population and soft rot progression by attenuating environmental alkalinization. MBio Feb 12;4(1):e00557-12. PMID: 23404399
  13. Fulladolsa, A. C., R. Kota, and A. O. Charkowski. 2013. Optimization of a chemiluminescent dot-blot immunoassay for detection of potato viruses. Amer. J. Potato Res. 90:306-312.
  14. Mattupalli, C., R. K. Genger, A. O. Charkowski. 2013. Detection of Helminthosporium solani and Colletotrichum coccodes in organically grown asymptomatic and symptomatic potatoes. Amer. J. Potato Res. 90:369-377.
  15. Hogan, C. B. M. Mole, S. R. Grant, D. K. Willis, and A. O. Charkowski. 2013. The type III secreted effector DspE is required early in Solanum tuberosum leaf infection by Pectobacterium carotovorum to elicit cell death, and requires Wx(3-6)D/E motifs. PLoS ONE 8: e65534. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065534. PMID: 23755246
  16. Frost, K. E., R. L. Groves, and A. O. Charkowski. 2013. Integrated control of potato pathogens through seed potato certification and provision of clean seed potatoes. Plant Disease. 97:1268-1280 (invited feature article).
  17. Verchot-Lubicz, J., D. H. Halterman, and A. O. Charkowski. 2012. Potato, Viruses, and Seed Certification in the USA to Provide Healthy Propagated Tubers. Pest Technology. 6:1-14.
  18. Charkowski et al. 2012. The role of secretion systems and small molecules in soft rot Enterobacteriaceae pathogenicity. Ann. Rev. Phytopathol. 50:425-449. PMID: 22702350
  19. Babujee, L., Apodaca, J. Balakrishnan, P. Liss, P. J. Kiley, A. O. Charkowski., J. D. Glasner, N. T. Perna. 2012. Evolution of the metabolic and regulatory networks associated with oxygen availability in two phytopathogenic enterobacteria. BMC Genomics. 13:110. PMID: 22439737

The related bacterial pathogens Pectobacterium and Dickeya cause blackleg, soft rot, and aerial stem rot in potato. These damaging diseases cause losses in potato and many other vegetable and ornamental crops worldwide and growers currently have few options for disease management.

Potato viruses are the main cause of seed potato losses worldwide. Our goal is to improve management of major potato viruses that affect seed potato quality and health through testing and developing field management methods and developing markers for potato virus resistance genes.

Visit the National Necrotic Potato Virus Project website at to learn more about our collaborative project.

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