WSU CAHNRS

College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

Weidong Chen

Research Plant Pathologist,
USDA ARS/ Adjunct Professor

Research Specialty and Interests

Dr. Weidong Chen’s research focuses on diseases of grain legumes (peas, chickpeas and lentils).

His research interests encompass applied research such as epidemiology and management of grain legume diseases using host resistance, cultural practices and chemical control, and basic research on mechanisms of pathogenicity using insertional mutagenesis and fuctional genomics. Collaborating with plant geneticists, Dr. Weidong Chen is also involved in development of molecular markers for host resistance using comparative genetics and genomics. His current research projects are on Ascochyta blight (Ascochyta rabiei) of chickpea, white mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) of peas and lentils, and powdery mildew (Erysiphe pisi) of peas.

Awards/Honors/Memberships

  • Recipient of Hubei Province Scholarship for Studying Abroad (studying at The Ohio State University), 1982-1984.
  • Recipient of the C. C. Allison Scholarship Award for Excellence in Graduate Research, Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University. 1987.
  • Recipient of the W. E. Krauss Director’s Award for Excellence in Research, an award for the best dissertation, College of Agriculture, The Ohio State University. 1987.
  • USDA-ARS Pacific West Area Certificate of Merit for “Development of an outstanding and focused research program that addresses critical disease problems with the grain legumes”, 2003.
  • USDA-ARS Pacific West Area Certificate of Merit for “Development of an outstanding research program on the pathology of the cool season food legumes”, 2004.
  • USDA-ARS Pacific West Area Certificate of Merit for “Development of an outstanding research program on the pathology of the cool season food legumes”, 2005.

Selected Publications

  • Xu, L., Xiang, M., White, D. and Chen, W. 2015. pH Dependency of sclerotial development and pathogenicity revealed by using genetically defined oxalate-minus mutants of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Environmental Microbiology 17: in press.
  • Fan, X., Zhang, J., Yang, L, Wu, M., Chen, W., Li., G. 2015. Development of  PCR-based assays for detecting and differentiating three species of Botrytis infection broad bean. Plant Disease: In press.
  • Kim, W., ParkC.-M., Park, J.-J. Akamatsu, H. O., Peever, T.L.,XianM, GangD.R., Vandemark, G. and Chen,W. 2015. Functional Analyses of the Diels-Alderase Gene sol5 of Ascochyta rabiei and Alternaria solani Indicate that the Solanapyrone Phytotoxins Are Not Required for Pathogenicity. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions: In press.
  • Rubiales, D., Fondevilla, S., Chen, W., Gentzbittel, L., Higgins, T. J. V., Castillejo, M. A., Singh, K. B. and Rispail, N. 2015. Achievements and challenges in legume breeding for pest and disease resistance. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 34: 195-236. DOI: 10.1080/07352689.2014.898445.
  • Zeng, L-M., Zhang, J., Han,Y-C., Yang, L., Wu, M.-d., Jiang, D.-H., Chen, W. and Li, G-Q. 2014. Degradation of oxalic acid by the mycopsrasite Coniothyrium minitans plays an important role in interacting with Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Environmental Microbiology 16: 2591-2610. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12409.
  • Zhang, Q., Zhang, J., Yang, L., Zhang, L., Jiang, D.-H. Chen, W., and Li, G-Q. 2014. Diversity and biocontrol potential of endophytic fungi in Brassica napus. Biological Control 72: 98-108.
  • Attanayake, R. N., Tennekoon, V., Johnson, D. A., Porter, L.D., del Rı´o-Mendoza, L. D Jiang, and Chen, W. 2014. Inferring outcrossing in the homothallic fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum using linkage disequilibrium decay. Heredity 113: 353-363. doi:10.1038/hdy.2014.37.
  • Njambere, E. N., Peever, T., Vandemark, G. and Chen, W. 2014. Genotypical variation and population structure of Sclerotinia trifoliorum infecting chickpea in California. Plant Pathology 63: 994-1004.  DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12176
  • Chen,W., Dugan, F.M. and McGee,R. 2014. First report of dodder (Cuscuta pentagona) on chickpea (Cicer arietinum) in the United States. Plant Disease 98: 165.
  • Saha, G. C., Sarker, A, Chen, W., Vandemark, G. J. and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2013. Inheritance and linkage map positions of genes conferring agromorphological traits in lens culinaris Medik.  International Journal of Agronomy 2013:618926.
  • Attanayake, R. N., Carter, P. A. Jiang, D., Río-Mendoza, L. and Chen, W. 2013. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum populations infecting canola from China and the United States are genetically and phenotypically distinct. Phytopathology 103: 750-761. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-07-12-0159-R.
  • Xu, L. and Chen, W. 2013. Random T-DNA mutagenesis identifies a Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene as a virulence factor of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 26: 431-441. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-07-12-0177-R.
  • Madrid, E., Chen, W., Rajesh, P. N., Castro, P, Millan, T. and Gil, J. 2012. Allele-specific amplification for the detection of ascochyta blight resistance in chickpea. Euphytica 189:183-190. DOI 10.1007/s10681-012-0753-6.
  • Attanayake, R.N., Porter, L., Johnson, D.A., and Chen, W. 2012. Genetic and phenotypic diversity and random association of DNA markers of isolates of the fungal plant pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum from soil on a fine geographic scale. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 55:28-36.
  • Dugan, F.M., S.L. Lupien, and W. Chen. 2012. Clonostachys rhizophaga and other fungi from chickpea debris in the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest, USA. North American Fungi 7(6): 1-11. http://dx.doi:10.2509/naf2012.007.006
  • Peever, T.L., Chen, W., Abdo, Z. and Kaiser, W.J. 2012. Genetics of virulence in Ascochyta rabiei. Plant Pathology 61: 754-760. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2011.02566.x
  • Ali, H., Alam S.S, Attanayake R. N, Rahman M and Chen W. 2012. Population structure and mating type distribution of the chickpea blight pathogen Ascochyta rabiei from Pakistan and United States through molecular marker analyses. Journal of Plant Pathology 94: 99-108.
  • Madrid, E., Rajesh, P. N., Rubio, J.,  Gil, J., Millan, T. and Chen, W.  2012. Characterization and genetic analysis of an EIN4-like sequence (CaETR-1) located in QTLAR1 implicated in ascochyta blight resistance in chickpea.  Plant Cell Reports 31:1033-1042. DOI 10.1007/s00299-011-1221-9
  • Chen, W. 2011. Lentil diseases: A threat to lentil production worldwide. Grain Legumes 57: 35-36.
  • Yang, L., Guoqing Li, G-Q., Zhang, J., Jiang, D-H., Chen, W. 2011. Compatibility of Coniothyrium minitans with compound fertilizer in suppression of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.  Biological Control 59:221-227.
  • Ali, H., ul Haq, M. A., Shah, T. M., ur Rahman, M., and Chen, W. 2011. Validation of molecular markers for resistance among Pakistani chickpea germplasm to races of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris. European Journal of Plant Pathology 132:237-244. DOI 10.1007/s10658-011-9868-1.
  • Njambere, E. N.,  Chen, W., Frate, C. and Temple, S. R. 2011. Ascospore dimorphism-associated mating types of Sclerotinia trifoliorum equally capable of inducing mycelial infection on chickpea plants. Australasian Plant Pathology 40:648-655. DOI 10.1007/s13313-011-0069-3.
  • Skoglund, L. G., Harveson, R. M., Chen, W., Dugan, F., Schwartz, H. F., Markell, S. G., Porter, L., Burrows, M. L., and Goswami, R. 2011. Ascochyta blight of pea. Online. Plant Health Progress. doi:10.1094/PHP-2011-0330-01-RS.
  • Harveson, R. M., Markell, S. G., Goswami, R., Urrea, C. A., Burrows, M. E., Dugan, F., Chen, W., and Skoglund, L. G. 2011. Ascochyta blight of chickpeas. Online. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2011-0103-01-DG.
  • Attanayake, K. P. R. N., Dugan, F. M., Chen, W., Glawe, D. A. and McPhee, K. E. 2010. Potential alternative hosts for the pea powdery mildew pathogen Erysiphe trifolii. Pisum Genetics 42:18-20.
  • Saha, G. C., Sarker, A, Chen, W., Vandemark, G. J. and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2010. Identification of markers associated with genes for rust resistance in Lens culinaris Medik. Euphytica 175: 261-265. DOI: 10.1007/s10681-010-0187-y.
  • Saha, G. C., Sarker, A, Chen, W., Vandemark, G. J. and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2010. Inheritance and linkage map positions of genes conferring resistance to Stemphylium blight in lentil. Crop Science 50: 1831-1839.
  • Zhang, X., Scheuring, C. F., Zhang, M., Dong, J. J., Zhang, Y., Huang, J.J., Lee, M.K., Abbo, S., Sherman, A., Shtienberg, D., Chen, W., Muehlbauer, F., and Zhang, H. B. 2010. A BAC/BIBAC-based physical map of chickpea, Cicer arietinum L. BMC Genomics 11:501. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-501.
  • Njambere, E. N., Vandemark, G., and Chen, W. 2010. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers of the fungal plant pathogen Sclerotinia trifoliorum. Genome 53: 494-500. doi:10.1139/G10-019.
  • Attanayake, K. P. R. N., Glawe, D. A., McPhee, K. E., Dugan, F. M., and Chen, W. 2010. Erysiphe trifolii – A newly recognized powdery mildew pathogen of pea.  Plant Pathology 59: 712-720. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2010.02306.x
  • Dugan, F.M., Akamatsu, H., Lupien, S.L., Chen, W., Chilvers, M.L. and Peever, T.L. 2009. Ascochyta blight of chickpea reduced 38% by application of Aureobasidium pullulans (anamorphic Dothioraceae, Dothideales) to post-harvest debris. Biocontrol Science & Technology 19: 537-545.
  • Attanayake, R. N., Glawe, D. A., Dugan, F. M., and Chen, W. 2009. Erysiphe trifolii causing powdery mildew of lentil (Lens culinaris). Plant Disease 93: 797-803.
  • Dugan, F. M., Glawe, D. A., Attanayake, R. N., and Chen, W. 2009. The importance of reporting new host-fungus records for ornamental and regional crops. Online. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2009-0512-01-RV.
  • Chivers, M. I., Rogers, J. D., Dugan, F. M., Stewart, J. E., Chen, W., and Peever, T.L. 2009 Didymella pisi sp. nov., the teleomorph of Ascochyta pisi. Mycological Research 113: 391-400.
  • Attanayake, K. P. R. N., Glawe, D. A., McPhee, K. E., Dugan, F. M., and Chen, W. 2008. First report of powdery mildew of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) caused byLeveillula taurica in Washington State. Online. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2008-0702-01-BR.
  • Njambere, E. N., Chen, W., Frate, C., Wu, B.-M., Temple, S. R., and Muehlbauer, F.J. 2008. Stem and crown rot of chickpea in California caused by Sterotinia trifoliorum. Plant Disease 92:917-922.
  • Chilvers, M., Peever, T.L., Akamatsu, H., Chen, W., and Muehlbauer, F.J. 2008.Didymella rabiei primary inoculum release from chickpea debris in relation to weather variables in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.  Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 29:365-371.
  • Wise, K.A., Bradley, C.A., Pasche, J.S., Gudmestad, N.C., Dugan, F.M., and Chen, W. 2008. Baseline sensitivity of Ascochyta rabiei to Azoxystrobin, Pyraclostrobin, and Boscalid. Plant Disease 92:295-300.
  • Muehlbauer, F.J., and Chen, W. 2007. Resistance to ascochyta blights of cool season food legumes. European Journal of Plant Pathology 119:135-141.
  • White, D., and Chen, W. 2007. Towards identifying pathogenic determinants of the chickpea pathogen Ascochyta rabiei.  European Journal of Plant Pathology 119:3-12.
  • White, D., and Chen, W. 2006. Construction of a lambda phage library of the chickpea blight pathogen Ascochyta rabiei genome.  International Chickpea and Pigeon pea Newsletter 13: 1-2.
  • Tivoli, B., Baranger, A., Avila, C. M., Banniza, S., Bartetti, M., Chen, W., Davidson, J., Lindeck, K., Kharrat, M., Rubiales, D.,  Sadiki, M., Sillero, J. C., Sweetinghamn M., and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2006. Screening techniques and sources of resistance to foliar diseases caused by major necrotrophic fungi in grain legumes.  Euphytica 147:223-253.
  • Muehlbauer, F.J., Temple, S. R., and Chen, W. 2006.  Registration of ‘Dylan’ chickpea cultivar. Crop Sciences 46:2705.
  • White, D., and Chen, W. 2006.  Genetic transformation of Ascochyta rabiei using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation.  Current Genetics 49:272-280.
  • Chen, W., Schatz, B, Henson, B., McPhee, K. E., and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2006. First report of Sclerotinia stem rot of chickpea caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in North Dakota and Washington. Plant Disease 90: 114.
  • Cho, S., Chen, W., and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2005. Constitutive expression of the Flavanone 3-hydroxylase gene related to pathotype-specific ascochyta blight resistance in Cicer arietinum L. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 67:100-107.
  • Coyne, C. J., Sharp-Vincent, T., Cashman, M. J., Watt, C. A., Chen, W., Muehlbauer, F. J., and Mallikarjuna, N.  2005. A method for germinating perennial Cicer species. International Chickpea and Pigeonpea Newletter 12: 28-29.
  • Chen, W., McPhee, K. E., and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2005. Use of a mini-dome bioassay and grafting to study chickpea resistance to Ascochyta blight. Journal of Phytopathology 153: 579-587.
  • Dugan,  F. M., Lupien, S. L., Hernandez-Bello, M., Peever, T. L., and Chen, W. 2005. Fungi resident in chickpea debris and the suppression of growth and reproduction ofDidymella rabiei under laboratory conditions. Journal of Phytopathology 153: 431-439.
  • Meng, X., Grau, C. R., and Chen, W. 2005.  Cultivar preference exhibited by two sympatric and genetically distinct populations of the soybean fungal pathogenPhialophora gregata f. sp. sojae. Plant Pathology 54: 180-188.
  • Sharma, K. D., Chen, W., and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2005. Genetics of chickpea resistance to five races of Fusarium wilt and a concise set of race differentials forFusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris. Plant Disease 89: 385-390.
  • Chen, W., Coyne,  C., Peever,  T., and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2004. Characterization of chickpea differentials for Ascochyta blight and identification of resistance sources forDidymella rabiei. Plant Pathology 53:759-769.
  • Babadoost, M., Chen, W., Bratsch, A. D. and Eastman, C. E. 2004. Verticillium longisporum and Fusarium solani: two new species in the complex of internal discoloration of horseradish root. Plant Disease 53:669-676.
  • Muehlbauer, F.J., Temple, S. R., and Chen, W. 2004.  Registration of ‘Sierra’ Chickpea. Crop Sciences 44:1964.
  • Cho, S., Chen, W., and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2004. Pathotype-specific genetic factors in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) for quantitative resistance to Ascochyta blight.  Theoretic and Applied Genetics 109: 733-739.
  • Chen, W., McPhee, K. and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2004. Use of Grafting to study chickpea resistance to Ascochyta blight.  International Chickpea and Pigeonpea Newsletter 11:39-41.
  • Sharma, K. D., Chen, W., and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2004. A consensus set of differential lines for identifying races of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris. International Chickpea and Pigeonpea Newsletter 11: 34-36.
  • Paulitz, T. C., Dugan, F., Chen, W., and Grünwald, N. J. 2004. First Report of Pythium irregulare on Lentils in the United States. Plant Disease 88:310.
  • Chen, W., and Muehlbauer, F. J. 2003. An Improved Technique for Virulence Assay ofAscochyta rabiei on Chickpea.  International Chickpea and Pigeonpea Newsletter 10:31-33.
  • Malvick D. K., Chen W, Kurle J. E., Grau C. R. 2003. Cultivar preference and genotype distribution of brown stem rot pathogen Phialophora gregata in the Midwestern United States. Plant Disease 87: 1250-1255.
  • Patzoldt, M. E., Chen, W., and Diers, B. W. 2003. Evaluation of soybean plant introductions from China for resistance to brown stem rot. Online. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2003-0702-01-RS.
  • Hughes, T. J., W. Chen and C. R. Grau. 2002. Pathogenic characterization of genotypes A and B of Phialophora gregata f. sp. sojae. Plant Disease 86:729-735.
  • Chen, W., X. Shi, and Y-C. Chen. 2002. Microsatellite markers and clonal genetic structure of the fungal pathogen Phialophora gregata. Mycological Research 106:194-202
  • Grunden, E., W. Chen, and J. L. Crane. 2001. Fungi colonizing microsclerotia ofVerticillium dahliae. Fungal Diversity 8:129-141.
  • Anderson, J. L., W. Chen, and C. A. Shearer, 2001. Phylogeny of Halosarpheia based on 18S rDNA.  Mycologia 93:897-906.
  • Meng, X.Q. and W. Chen. 2001. Applications of AFLP and ISSR techniques in detecting genetic diversity in the soybean brown stem rot pathogen Phialophora gregata.  Mycological Research 105: 936-940.
  • Chen, W., C. R. Grau, E. A. Adee, and X.-Q. Meng. 2000. A molecular marker identifying subspecific populations of the soybean brown stem rot pathogen,Phialophora gregata.  Phytopathology 90:875-883.
  • Chen, W., L. E. Gray, J. E. Kurle, and C. R. Grau. 1999. Specific detection ofPhialophora gregata and Plectosporium tabacinum in infected soybean plants.  Molecular Ecology 8:871-877.
  • Book Chapters
  • Chen, W. and Grau, C. R. 2005. Use of molecular markers to study host-pathogen co-evolution: A case study of the fungal pathogen Phialophora gregata. Pages 365-383 in: Plant Genome, Biodiversity and Evolution Vol. 2B Cryptogams, Arun Kumar Sharma and Archana Sharma (eds.), Science Publishers, Inc, Enfield, New Hampshire 03748, USA.
  • Coyne, C.J., Baum, M., Gaur, P. M., Timmerman-Vaughan, G. M., Sharma, P. C., Muehlbauer, F. J., McPhee, K. E., Chen, W., Pilet-Nayel, M-L., Brown, A, F. and McGee, R. J. 2005. Application of molecular markers in cool season food legume breeding.  Proceedings of the 4th International Food Legume Research Conference, New Delhi, India, October 18 -22, 2005.
  • White, D. and Chen, W. 2005. Using insertional mutagenesis to study pathogenicity factors of the chickpea pathogen Ascochyta rabiei. Proceedings of the 4th International Food Legume Research Conference, New Delhi, India, October 18 -22, 2005.
  • Yadav, S.S., Longnecker, N., Dusunceli, F., Bejiga, G., Yadav, M., Rizvi, A.H., Manohar, M., Reddy, A.A., Xaxiao, Z., and Chen, W. 2007. Uses, Consumption and Utilization. Pages 72-100 in: Chickpea Breeding and Management. S.S. Yadav, B. Redden, W. Chen and B. Sharma (eds). CAB International, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8DE, UK.
  • Singh, G., Chen, W., Rubiales, D., Moore, K.  and Sharma, Y.R.  2007. Diseases and Their Management (Chapter 24), pages 497-519  in:
  • Kumar, J., Dusunceli, F., Knights, T., Materne, M., Warkentin, T., Chen, W., Gaur, P. M., Bejiga, G., Yadav, S.S., Satyanarayana, A., Rahman, M.M. and Yadav, M. 2007. Chickpea Farmers (Chapter 29), pages 602-616 in:
  • Yadav, S.S., McNeil, D. and Stevenson, P. C. (Eds.).  Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Yadav, S.S., Rizvi, A.H., Manohar, M., Verma, A.K., Shrestha, R., Chen, C., Bejiga, G., Chen W., Yadav, M., and Bahl, P. N. 2007. Lentil growers and production systems around the world (Chapter 23). Pages 415-442 in Yadav, S.S., McNeil, D. and Stevenson, P. C. (Eds.).  Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Chen, W., and White, D. 2008. Exploring Ascochyta rabiei on chickpea as a model of studying cool season grain legume diseases. In: Current Advances in Molecular Mycology, Y. Gherbawy, R. Ludwig, and M. Rai (Eds.), Nova Science Publishers, Inc.,Hauppauge, NY In press.
  • Chen, W. 2008. Chickpea Diseases: Ecology and Control. In Encyclopedia of Pest Management.  Taylor and Francis  Group, New York, New York. In press.

Johnson Hall 301A (office) & Vogel Plant BioScience 227(lab)

Tel.: (509)335-9178
Fax: (509)335-7692

E-mail: w-chen@wsu.edu


Professional Activities:

  • American Phytopathological Society
  • Mycological Society of America
  • Mycological Society of Japan
  • Pisum Crop Germplasm Committee
  • North America Pulse Improvement Association
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