photo: valverde

Rodrigo A. Valverde


A416 Life Sciences Annex
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone: 225-578-1384
Fax: 225-578-1415

Curriculum Vitae 


University of Arkansas, Ph.D., 1984
University of Arkansas, M.S., 1981
University of Costa Rica, B.S. (Ing. Agr.), 1978

Areas of Specialization/Research

The identification and characterization of acute plant viruses is an essential step for developing control strategies.  My laboratory focuses on plant virus identification, characterization, and the development of detection tools. Graduate students in my laboratory and collaborators have identified, characterized, and developed detection tools for several newly recognized virus species causing diseases on sweet potato, pepper, tomatoes, citrus, common bean, and ornamental crops.

Endornaviruses encompass a group of persistent viruses that do not cause visible symptoms. They are found in many economically important crop cultivars such as avocado, barley, common bean, cucurbits, peppers and rice.  I hypothesize that the interaction between endornaviruses and the plant host consists of a mutualistic symbiosis. Nevertheless, the focus of my current research is to elucidate the nature of the symbiotic interaction between endornaviruses and the plant host. My research approach combines biological and molecular tools to attempt to address the question. This is being accomplished by conducting comparative biological and molecular studies, including RNA sequencing to quantify and identify unique transcripts. The long term goal of this project is to increase our knowledge of this unique symbiotic relationship, identify agriculturally important traits associated with these viruses, and determine practical applications to agriculture.

Publications (Selected)

Articles in refereed journals

Hershlag, R., Okada, R.  Alcala-Briseño, R., Rodrigues de Souto, E., & Valverde, R. A. 2020. Identification of a novel endornavirus in Geranium carolinianum and occurrence in plants within three agroecosystems. Virus Research 288.

McCanless, A., Hultgren, A., Escalante, C., Ardt, A., & Valverde, R. A. 2019. In-vitro effect of two digestive enzymes and pH on the dsRNA of endornaviruses of bell pepper and melon. Annals of Microbiology 69:1583-1587.

Alcala-Briseño, R.I., Lotrakul, P., & Valverde, R. A. 2019. Genome sequence and phylogenetic analysis of a novel comovirus from tabasco pepper (Capsicum frutescens). Virus Genes 55:854-858. doi: 10.1007/s11262-019-01707-6

Valverde, Khalifa, M. A., Okada, R., Fukuhara, T., Sabanadzovic, S., & ICTV Report Consortium. 2019. ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profile: Endornaviridae. Journal of General Virology 100:1204-1205. doi 10.1099/jgv.0.001277

Hershlag, R., Escalante, C., Rodrigues de Souto, E., Kankhum, S., Okada, R., & Valverde, R. A. 2019. Occurrence of putative endornaviruses in non-cultivated plant species in South Louisiana. Archives of Virology 164:1863-1868.

Escalante, C. & Valverde, R. A., 2019. Morphological and physiological characteristics of endornavirus-infected and endornavirus-free near-isogenic lines of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum). Scientia Horticulturae 250:104-112.

Okada, R., Alcala-Briseño, R. I., Escalante, C., Sabanadzovic S., & Valverde, R. A. 2018. Genomic sequence of a novel endornavirus from Phaseolus vulgaris and occurrence in mixed infections with two other endornaviruses. Virus Research 257:63-67.

Khankhum, S. & Valverde, R. A. 2018. Physiological traits of endornavirus-infected and endornavirus-free common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) cv Black Turtle Soup. Archives of Virology 163:1051-1056.

Khankhum, S., Escalante, C., Rodrigues de Souto, E., & Valverde R. A. 2017. Extraction and electrophoretic analysis of large dsRNAs from desiccated plant tissues infected with plant viruses and biotrophic fungi. European Journal of Plant Pathology 147:431-441.

Khankhum, S., Sela, N., Osorno, J. M., & Valverde, R. A. 2016. RNAseq Analysis of endornavirus-infected vs. endornavirus-free common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) cultivar Black Turtle Soup. Frontiers in Microbiology 7:1905.

Khankhum, S., Valverde, R. A., Pastor-Corrales, M., Osorno, J. M., & Sabanadzovic, S. 2015. Two endornaviruses show differential infection patterns between gene pools of Phaseolus vulgaris. Archives of Virology 160: 1131-1137.

Okada, R., Young, C. K., Valverde, R. A., Sabanadzovic, S., Aoki, N., Hotate, S., Kiyota, E., Moriyama,H., & Fukuhara, T. 2013. Molecular characterization of two evolutionally distinct endornaviruses co-infecting common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Journal of General Virology 93:220-229.

Valverde, R. A. and Sabanadzovic, S., & Hammond, J. 2012. Viruses that enhance the aesthetics of some ornamental Plants: beauty or beast? Plant Disease 96:600-611.

Roossinck, M. J., Sabanadzovic, S., Okada, R., & Valverde, R. A. 2011. The remarkable evolutionary history of endornaviruses. Journal of General Virology 92:2674-2678.

Okada, R., Kiyota, E., Sabanadzovic, S., Moriyama,H., Fukuhara, T., Saha, P., Roossinck. M. J., Severin, A., & Valverde, R. A. 2011. Bell pepper endornavirus: molecular and biological properties and occurrence in the genus Capsicum. Journal of General Virology 92:2664-2673.

Lotrakul, P. & Valverde, R. A. 1999. Cloning of a DNA-A-like genomic component of sweetpotato leaf curl virus: nucleotide sequence and phylogenetic relationships. Molecular Plant Pathology On-Line. Mppol/1999/0206LOTRAKUL.

Valverde, R. A., Nameth, S. T., Abdallha, A. O., Desjardins, P. R., & Dodds, J. A. 1990. Indigenous double-stranded RNA from pepper (Capsicum annuum). Plant Science 67:195-201.

Valverde, R. A., Nameth, S. T., & Jordan, R. L. 1990. Analysis of double-stranded RNA for plant virus diagnosis. Plant Disease 74:255-258.

Valverde, R. A., & Dodds, J. A. 1987.  Some properties of isometric virus particles which encapsidate the satellite RNA of tobacco mosaic virus.  Journal of General Virology 68:965-972.

Valverde, R. A., Dodds, J. A., & Heick, J. A. 1986.  Double stranded RNAs from plants infected with viruses having elongated particles and undivided genomes.  Phytopathology 76:459-465.