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Plant Pathology: Personnel

John Sherwood John Sherwood

Retired: Professor & Department Head 1997-2016 &
CAES Assistant Dean for Diversity & Multicultural Affairs 2013-2016


Ph.D. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1981
M.S. The University of Maryland-College Park, 1977
B.S. The College of William and Mary, 1974


As Department Head my primary responsibilities are to facilitate coordination and direction for the research, extension and instruction programs of the Department. However, I continue to have research activities on the acquisition of the tomato spotted wilt tospovirus (TSWV) by its thrips vector. TSWV is only transmitted by thrips when it is acquired during the larval stage. The virus replicates in thrips so the vector may transmit the virus for its entire life. We have documented that the membrane glycoproteins (GPs) of TSWV bind a 50 kDa protein present in larvae of the western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande)]. Furthermore, anti-idiotypic antibodies that mimic the TSWV GPs were found to specifically label midgut membranes of larval WFT. We hypothesize that one or both of the TSWV GPs serve as viral attachment proteins (VAP) that interact with one or more cellular receptors (CRS) in the WFT midgut to mediate virus acquisition. This hypothesis is consistent with mechanisms of virus acquisition described for mosquito transmitted membrane-bound viruses of vertebrates in which the fidelity of virus acquisition relies on the interaction between a VAP(s) and a corresponding CRS(s) in the vector. The specific mechanisms underlying virus acquisition for circulatively transmitted plant viruses are not well understood. Thus, the TSWV-WFT system provides a model for molecular characterization of acquisition of a membrane-bound plant-infecting virus by its insect vector which should provide information to develop controls for diseases caused by TSWV. My current teaching activities are devoted to a course related to career development of students. In this course, team taught with another member of the faculty, issues related to finding a position after graduation, interviewing and developing a program are explored.


Fletcher, J., Bender, C., Budowle, B, Cobb, W.T., Gold, S.E., Ishimaru, C.A., Luster, D., Melcher, U., Murch, R., Scherm, H., Seem, R.C. Sherwood, J.L. Sobral, B.W. and Tolin, S.A. 2006. Plant Pathogen Forensics: Capabilities, Needs and Recommendations. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. 70:450-471.

do Nascimento, L.C., Pensuk, V., da Costa, N.P., de Assis Filho, F.M., Pio-Ribeiro, G, Deom, C.M., and Sherwood, J. 2006. Evaluation of peanut genotypes for resistance to Tomato spotted wilt virus by mechanical and thrips inoculation. Brazilian Journal of Agricultural Research 41:937-942.

de Assis Filho F.M., Stavisky, J., Reitz, S.R., Deom, C.M., Sherwood, J.L. 2005. Midgut infection by tomato spotted wilt virus and vector incompetence of Frankliniella tritici. Journal of Applied Entomology 129:548-550.

Naidu, R.A., Deom, C.M.and Sherwood, J.L. 2005. Expansion of the Host Range of Impatiens necrotic spot virus to Peppers. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2005-0727-01-HN.

de Assis F.M., Deom C.M., Sherwood J.L. 2004. Acquisition of Tomato spotted wilt virus by adults of two thrips species. Phytopathology 94:333-336.

Naidu, R.A., Ingle, C.J., Deom, C.M. Sherwood, J.L. 2004. The two envelope membrane glycoproteins of Tomato spotted wilt virus show differences in lectin-binding properties and sensitivities to glycosidases. Virology 319:107-117.

University of Georgia (UGA) College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)