Melissa G Mitchum Professor, Plant Nematology Plant Pathology Center for Applied Genetic Technologies (CAGT) Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics (IPBGG)
Portrait of Melissa G Mitchum
Mailing Address Athens, CAES Campus 111 Riverbend Rd, Rm 211, Athens, GA 30602
Shipping Address Athens, CAES Campus 111 Riverbend Rd, Rm 211, Athens, GA 30602

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Portrait of Melissa G Mitchum

Academic Background

Postdoctoral Fellow, Developmental, Cell, and Molecular Biology Group, Duke University, 2003
Ph.D. Plant Pathology, minor Biotechnology, North Carolina State University, 2001
M.S. Plant Pathology, University of Nebraska, 1995
B.S. Biology, University of Puget Sound, 1993

Research Interests and Current Efforts

My research is focused on molecular plant-nematode interactions with an emphasis on the sedentary endoparasitic cyst and root-knot nematodes. Pathosystems include cyst (Heterodera glycines) nematode on soybean, cyst (Vittitadera zeaphila) nematode on corn, and root-knot (Meloidogyne spp.) nematodes on soybean, cotton, and peanut. We utilize the model plant Arabidopsis to accelerate our studies to dissect the molecular basis of parasitism by cyst (Heterodera schachtii) and root-knot nematodes. Our work addresses plant responses during compatible and incompatible plant-nematode interactions, the identification and functional analysis of nematode stylet-secreted effector proteins, and developmental reprogramming of host root cells via peptide mimicry and phytohormone manipulation. I work closely with plant breeders to develop high yielding, nematode resistant varieties. Current efforts are also focused on translating basic discoveries to develop novel approaches for nematode resistance in crop plants

Mitchum Lab

Google Scholar Profile


Recent Publications

Gheysen G and Mitchum MG. Phytoparasitic nematode control of plant hormone pathways. Plant Physiology 2019;179(4):1212-1226.

Masonbrink R, Maier TR, Muppirala U, Seetharam AS, Lord E, Juvale PS, Schmutz J, Johnson NT, Korkin D, Mitchum MG, Mimee B, Eves-vn den Akker S, Hudson M, Severin AJ, Baum TJ. The genome of the soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines) reveals complex patterns of duplications involved in the evolution of parasitism genes. BMC Genomics 2019;20:119.

Jones J, and Mitchum MG. Biology of effectors. Chapter 4 IN: R.N. Perry, M. Moens and J.T. Jones (Eds.) Cyst Nematodes CABI International; 2018, pp. 74-83.

Shannon G, Nguyen HT, Crisel M, Smothers S, Clubb M, Vieira CC, Ali ML, Selves S, Mitchum MG, Scaboo A, Li Z, Bond J, Meinhardt C, Robbins RT, Chen P. Registration of ‘S11-20124C’ soybean with high yield potential, multiple nematode resistance, and salt tolerance. Journal of Plant Registrations 2018; 13(2):154-160.  

Shannon G, Crisel M, Smothers S, Ali ML, Clubb M, Selves S, Mitchum MG, Scaboo A, Li Z, Bond J, Meinhardt C, and Chen P. Registration of ‘MO 5301D CONV’ Soybean. Journal of Plant Registrations 2018;13(2):148-153.

Howland A, Monnig N, Mathesius J, Nathan M, Mitchum MG. Survey of Heterodera glycines population levels and virulence phenotypes during 2015-2016 in Missouri. Plant Disease 2018; 102:2407-2410.

Barnes SN, Wram CL, Mitchum MG, Baum TJ. The plant-parasitic cyst nematode effector GLAND4 is a DNA-binding protein. Molecular Plant Pathology 2018; 19:2263-2276.

Verma A, Lee C, Morriss S, Odu F, Kenning C, Rizzo N, Spollen WG, Lin M, McRae A, Givan SA, Hewezi T, Hussey R, Davis EL, Baum TJ, Mitchum MG. The novel cyst nematode effector protein 30D08 targets host nuclear functions to alter gene expression in feeding sites. New Phytologist 2018; 219:697-713.

Ruark CL, Gardner M, Mitchum MG, Davis EL, Sit TL. Novel RNA viruses within plant parasitic nematodes. PLOS One 2018; 13:e0193881.

Gardner M, Dhroso A, Johnson N, Davis EL, Baum TJ, Korkin D, Mitchum, MG. Novel global effector mining from the transcriptome of early life stages of the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines. Scientific Reports 2018; 8:2505.

Kandoth PK, Liu S, Prenger E, Ludwig A, Lakhssassi N, Heinz R, Zhou Z, Howland A, Gunther J, Warren S, Dhroso A, LaFayette P, Tucker D, Johnson S, Anderson J, Alaswad A, Cianzio SR, Parrott WA, Korkin D, Meksem K, Mitchum MG. Systematic mutagenesis of serine hydroxymethyltransferase reveals an essential role in nematode resistance. Plant Physiology 2017; 175:1370-1380.

Dowd CD, Chronis D, Radakovic ZS, Siddique S, Schmulling T, Werner T, Kakimoto T, Grundler FMW, Mitchum MG. Divergent expression of cytokinin biosynthesis, signaling and catabolism genes underlying differences in feeding sites induced by cyst and root-knot nematodes. The Plant Journal 2017; 92:211-228.

Liu S, Kandoth P, Lakhssassi N, Kang J, Colantonio VN, Heinz R, Yeckel G, Zhou Z, Bekal S, Dapprich J, Rotter B, Cianzio S, Mitchum MG, Meksem K. The soybean GmSNAP18 underlies two types of resistance to soybean cyst nematode. Nature Communications 2017: 8:14822.

Ruark CL, Koenning SR, Davis EL, Opperman CH, Lommel SA, Mitchum MG, and Sit TL. Soybean cyst nematode culture collections and field populations from North Carolina and Missouri reveal high incidences of infection by viruses. PLOS One 2017: 12(1): e0171514.

Guo X, Wang J, Gardner M, Fukuda H, Kondo Y, Etchells P, Wang X, and Mitchum MG. Identification of cyst nematode B-type CLE peptides and modulation of the vascular stem cell pathway for feeding cell formation. PLOS Pathogens 2017: 13(2): e1006142.

Gardner MN, Heinz R, Wang J, and Mitchum MG. Genetics and adaptation of soybean cyst nematode to broad spectrum soybean resistance. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 2017; 7(3) 835-841;