Dr. Baozhong Meng

Dr. Baozhong Meng
Associate Professor
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Phone number: 
53876 / 53264
SSC 4255
SSC 4206


Dr. Baozhong Meng is an 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. 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 is currently a member of the review panel for the OMAFRA-UoG Strategic Partnerships (Emergency Management) program.  He also has served as a regular reviewer for numerous national and international funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs New Directions Program, and State of Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture Fund program.  In addition, he serves as a frequent reviewer for over twenty scientific journals, including Journal of Experimental Botany, Virology, Phytopathology, PLOS One, Journal of Virological Methods, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, and Canadian Journal of Microbiology.

Currently, Dr. Meng is leading an international collaboration effort for a comprehensive book entitled Grapevine viruses: molecular biology, diagnostics and management, which will be published by Springer.  


  • 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 in the replicase polyprotein of GRSPaV and closteroviruses.
  • Structure and cellular localization of viral replication complexes.
  • Evolution biology and bio-informatics of major grapevine viruses
  • Development of virus-induced gene-silencing vectors for beneficial applications. Development and application of highly efficient and economical technologies for the diagnosis of major grapevine viruses.

Patent and Publications (1998-present)

  • Xiao, H. & Meng, B. 2016. First report of Grapevine asteroid mosaic-associated virus and Grapevine rupestris vein feathering virus in grapevines in Canada. Plant Disease. Accepted.
  • Xiao, H., Shabanian, M., McFadden-Smith, W. & Meng, B. 2016. First report of Grapevine Pinot gris virus in commercial grapevines in Canada. Plant Disease 100, 1030.
  • Xiao, H., Kim, W.S. & Meng, B. 2015. Comparison and improvement of methodologies for isolation of quality RNA from diverse woody plant species and utilization in detection of viral pathogens. Virology Journal 12, 171.
  • Prosser, S., Xiao, H., Li, C., Nelson, R. S. & Meng, B. 2015. Subcellular localization and membrane association of the replicase protein of Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus, family Betaflexiviridae. Journal of General Virology 96, 921-932.
  • 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.


  • Foundations in Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG*2040)
  • Laboratory Methods in Molecular Biology I (MBG*3350)
  • The World of Viruses (MICR*3330)
  • Molecular Virology (MICR*4330)
  • Research Projects in Molecular & Cellular Biology (MCB*4500 and MCB*4510)
  • Molecular Biology of Viruses (MICR*6330)  

Current and Past Lab Members

Graduate Student Postings - click here

Graduate students - Current

  • Clayton Moore (M.Sc. BINF)
  • Mehdi Shabanian (M.Sc.)
  • Julia Hooker (M.Sc.)

Research Fellows and Associates - Current

  • Dr. Huogen Xiao (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
  • Caihong (Sunny) Li (Research Associate)
  • Tanvir Bashar (Laboratory Research Assistant)

Graduate students - Past

  • Molly Udaskin (M.Sc.)
  • Krin S. Mann (M.Sc.)
  • Ana Rita Rebelo (M.Sc.)
  • Sean W. Prosser (M.Sc.)
  • John Rak (M.Sc.)

Research Fellows and Associates - Past

  • Dr. Srividhya Venkataraman (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Dr. Weizhou Wang (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Dr. Andrew McCartney (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Youfen Shang (Visiting Scientist)
  • Dr. Xi-hong Yu (Visiting Scientist)