Wenping Qiu



Adjunct Professor

Division of Plant Science and Technology

Research at a glance

Area(s) of Expertise

Research Summary

Genetic and molecular mechanism of grapevine’s defense against pathogens

Molecular interactions between grapevine and obligate biotrophic Uncinula necator

Powdery mildew caused by the fungus Uncinula necator is the most destructive fungal disease in grapevines worldwide. U. necator thrives only on living grapevine tissues by getting nutrients through an elaborate feeding structure haustoria formed between fungus and epidermal cell. Research in the Qiu laboratory focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms underlying this intimate relationship between grapevine and U. necator. The lab conducts high throughput discovery and hypothesis-based research projects hopefully, to reveal key steps in the complex interactions that happen after fungal conidiospores start to germinate on the surfaces of leaf, stem and berry in a grapevine.

Characterization of graft-transmissible diseases in grapevine

A severe disease infecting Chardonnay vines has emerged in a commercial vineyard. The Qui lab is investigating the possible causal pathogens through bio-indexing, ELISA and RT-PCR. The results suggest that the agents causing the disease are graft-transmissible and appear to be virus or virus-like pathogens based on the induced symptoms on original vines and three grapevine indicator plants. They are applying dsRNA procedures, PCR, and other molecular tools to unveil the identity of graft-transmissible causal pathogens.

Grapevine Importation and Certification Program

A USDA permit allows the lab to introduce grape cultivars from other countries. The team provides quarantine services for testing grapevines viruses in the introduced grape cultivars, investigates emerging grapevine viruses, and produces clean grapevine stocks. The Program is funded jointly by the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, and the Viticulture Consortium-East Section.

Educational background

  • Ph.D., Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University
  • M.S., Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • B.S., Biology, Henan Teacher’s University, P. R. China