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Tim Sit

Principal Research Scholar – Plant Virology

Varsity Research Building 1106

919.515.6991

Area(s) of Expertise

Plant Virology

Research

My lab works on several different projects involving viruses that infect the following hosts:

  1. plants – Red clover necrotic mosaic virus (RCNMV) and Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)
  2. both plants and their insect vector – Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV)
  3. plant parasitic nematodes (Soybean cyst nematode; SCN)

We use RCNMV as a plant viral nanoparticle (PVN) to deliver compounds into the soil that are not normally mobile. The PVN research involves a local collaboration with Charles Opperman (Entomology and Plant Pathology) and Saad Khan (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering). Research on TMV focuses on the seed-borne transmission of the virus in flue-cured tobacco and is a collaborative project with Carol Wilkinson (Virginia Tech). Our research on TSWV focuses on transmission of the virus by Thrips tabaci and involves a collaboration with George Kennedy (Entomology and Plant Pathology) and Alana Jacobson (Auburn). The research on viruses infecting SCN involves surveying field and greenhouse maintained populations for the occurrence of viruses and is a collaboration with Rick Davis (Entomology and Plant Pathology) and Melissa Mitchum (Missouri).

We are also involved in a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation project looking at combating nematode infestations of yam and potato crops in Africa by employing a fiber based wrap impregnated with nematicide at planting.