Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology Faculty . Dr. Baozhong Meng

Dr. Baozhong Meng


Office: SSC 4255
Ext: 53876
Lab: SSC 4206
Ext: 53264

Graduate Student Position Available


Dr. Baozhong Meng is Associate Professor of Virology in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Science and a member of the graduate fields of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Microbiology and Plant Biology. He received his Ph.D. degree in Plant Virology in 1999 from Cornell University under the supervision of Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor, Dr. Dennis Gonsalves. He continued on as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Cornell's Plant Pathology Department at Geneva, New York. In 2002, he joined the faculty of the University of Guelph. Dr. Meng is an adjunct scientist of the ShangDong Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He has served on the Virology Committee and the Biotechnology Impact Assessment Committee of the American Phytopathological Society. Dr. Meng serves as editor (virology) for Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. He has served as a reviewer for a number of national and international grant programs including the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food New Directions Program, and State of Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture Fund program. He has also served as a reviewer for a wide range of journals, including Journal of Experimental Botany, PLoS One, Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Virology, Phytopathology, Journal of Virological Methods, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, Canadian Journal of Microbiology, Annals of Applied Biology, among others.


B.Sc. Hebei Agricultural University
Ph.D. Cornell University
Postdoctoral Associate: Cornell University


Viruses are simple but fascinating microbes. Because of the lack of cellular structures, viruses depend entirely on cellular organisms for their perpetuation. Viruses are important in a number of ways. First, they are major pathogens of humans, animals, and plants. Second, reliance of viruses on cellular structures and functions has made viruses ideal tools to study and advance several biological disciplines such as molecular biology, cell biology and immunology.

Research in my laboratory encompasses both basic and applied aspects, with the ultimate goal of understanding viruses and viral diseases for the betterment of agriculture. This goal is being achieved through investigations using multi-disciplinary approaches including those used in virology, molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry and through national and international collaborations. Our research involves a number of important viruses that infect plants, which include Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus (GRSPaV), a ubiquitous and important pathogen of grapes worldwide.

We were the first to unravel the genome sequence and structure of GRSPaV. We have discovered that GRSPaV is composed of a wide range of sequence variants. We have demonstrated that most commercial grape varieties are infected with multiple sequence variants and proposed that the existence of multiple viral variants in a single grapevine likely resulted from grafting between scions and rootstocks. Furthermore, we have developed serological and nucleic acid-based methods for the rapid detection of GRSPaV. Recently, we have developed infectious cDNA clones for GRSPaV. We are exploring the possibility of developing GRSPaV into a virus-induced gene silencing vector for the elucidation of grapevine genes and genetic sequences.

Current research directions:

  • Processing and subcellular localization of the replicase polyprotein of GRSPaV.
  • Elucidation of function of the novel Alkylation B (AlkB) domain within the replicase polyprotein of GRSPaV.
  • Enhancement of the systemic movement function of GRSPaV through swapping of movement protein genes between GRSPaV and other plant viruses.
  • Development of GRSPaV into a virus-induced gene-silencing vector for the elucidation of gene functions.
  • Development of highly efficient and economical technologies for the diagnosis of multiple viruses in grapevines and other fruit crops.

Patent and Publications (1998-present)

Gonsalves D. and Meng, B. United States Patent No. 6093544, "Rupestris stem pitting associated virus nucleic acids, proteins, and their uses. Issued on July 25, 2000.

Meng, B., Venkataraman, S., Li, C., Wang, W., Dayan-Glick, C. & Mawassi, M. (2013). Construction and biological activities of the first infectious cDNA clones of the genus Foveavirus. Virology 435, 453-462.

Mann, K. & Meng, B. (2013). Partial complementation of cell-to-cell movement of Potato virus X by the movement proteins of a distantly related virus. Virus Genes, 47, 93-104.

Tian, X., Zheng, Y., Chintaluri, K. & Meng, B. (2013). First report of Impatiens necrotic spot virus on Hiemalis Begonia (Benonia x hiemalis) in Canada. Plant Disease 97, 291 (Disease notes).

Terlizzi, F., Li, C., Ratti, C., Qu, W., Credi, R. and Meng, B. 2011. Detection of multiple sequence variants of Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus using primers targeting the polymerase domain and partial genome sequencing of a novel variant. Annals of Applied Biology 159, 478-490.

Meng, B. and Li, C. 2010. The capsid protein of Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus contains a typical nuclear localization signal and targets to the nucleus. Virus Research 153, 212-217

Lunden, S., Meng, B., Avery, J. Jr. and Qiu, W. 2010. Association of Grapevine fanleaf virus, Tomato ringspot virus and Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus with a grapevine vein-clearing complex on Chardonnay. European Journal of Plant Pathology 126,135-144.

Rebelo, A. R., Niewiadomski, S., Krell, P. and Meng, B. 2008. Exploring the subcellular localization of proteins encoded by a foveavirus infecting grapevines. Virus Research 138, 57-69.

Meng, B. and Gonsalves, D. 2008. Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus. Chapter 12 (Pages 201-222) In: Characterization, Diagnosis & Management of Plant Viruses. Edited by G. Rao et al. Studium Press, LLC, Houston, Texas.

Prosser, S., Goszczynski, D. E. and Meng, B. 2007. Molecular analysis of viral double-stranded RNAs reveals complex infection of grapevines with multiple viruses. Virus Research 124, 151-159.

Meng, B. and Gonsalves, D. 2007. Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus: A decade of research and future perspectives. Plant Viruses 1, 52-62 (Review).

Meng, B., Rebelo, A. R. and Fisher, H. 2006. Genetic diversity analyses of grapevine Rupestris stem pitting-associated virus reveal distinct population structures in scion versus rootstock varieties. Journal of General Virology 87, 1725-1733.

Meng, B., Li, C., Wang, W., Goszczynski, D. and Gonsalves, D. 2005. The complete genome sequences of two new variants of Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus and comparative analyses. Journal of General Virology 86, 1555-1560

Meng, B., Li, C., Goszczynski, D. and Gonsalves, D. 2005. Genome sequence and structure of two biologically distinct strains of GLRaV-2 and sequence analysis. Virus Genes 31, 31-41.

Meng, B., Credi, R., Petrovic, N., Tomazic, I. and Gonsalves, D. 2003. Antiserum to recombinant virus coat protein detects Rupestris stem pitting-associated virus in grapevines. Plant Disease 87, 515-522.

Meng, B. and Gonsalves, D. 2003. Rupestris stem pitting associated virus of grapevines: genome structure, genetic diversity, detection, and phylogenetic relationship to other plant viruses. Book Chapter in: Research Trends, “Current Topics in Virology”, Vol. 3, 125-135. 

Petrovic, N., Meng, B., Ravnikar, M., Mavric, I. and Gonsalves, D. 2003. First detection of Rupestris stem pitting-associated virus particles by antibody to a recombinant coat protein. Plant Disease 87, 510-514.

Fermin-Munoz, G. A., Meng, B., Ko, K., Mazumdar, S., Gubba, A. and Carroll, J. E. 2000. Biotechnology: A new era for plant pathology and plant protection. American Phytopathological Society Net Feature Article. May, 2000.

Meng, B., Zhu, H. Y. and Gonsalves, D. 1999. Rupestris stem pitting-associated virus-1 consists of a family of sequence variants. Archives of Virology 144, 2071-2085.

Meng, B., Johnson, R., Peressini, S., Forsline, P. L., and Gonsalves, D. 1999. RSPaV-1 is consistently detected in rupestris stem pitting-infected grapevines. European Journal of Plant Pathology 105, 191-199.

Meng, B., Pang, S.-Z., Forsline, P. L., McFerson, J. R. and Gonsalves, D. 1998. Nucleotide sequence and genome structure of grapevine Rupestris stem pitting-associated virus-1 reveal similarities to apple stem pitting virus. Journal of General Virology 79, 2059-2069.


Laboratory Methods in Molecular Biology I (MBG*3350)
The World of Viruses (MICR*3330)
Molecular Virology (MICR*4330)
Molecular Biology of Viruses (MICR*6130)
Research Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB*6100)

Current and Past Lab Members

Graduate students:
Molly Udaskin (M.Sc.)
Julia Hooker (M.Sc.)

Research Fellows:
Dr. Huogen Xiao (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Caihong (Sunny) Li (Research Associate)

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