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2022 Fellow Dr. Satyanarayana Tatineni​

The society grants this honor to a current APS member in recognition of distinguished contributions to plant pathology or to The American Phytopathological Society. Fellow recognition is based on significant contributions in one or more of the following areas: original research, teaching, administration, professional and public service, and/or extension and outreach.

Satyanarayana Tatineni was born and raised in a rural agricultural family in the Southern Indian State of Andhra Pradesh. He received his B.S. degree in botany, zoology, and chemistry in 1983 and an M.S. degree in botany in 1985 from Sri Venkateswara University, India. He then obtained a Ph.D. degree from the same institute in plant virology in 1993. He accepted a postdoctoral position (1994-1995) at ICRISAT, India, a CGIAR institute, to work on molecular characterization of Peanut bud necrosis virus (PBNV). In 1996, he joined Bill Dawson’s group at the University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), Lake Alfred, FL, to work on an extremely challenging project of developing an infectious cDNA clone of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), with the largest known plus-strand RNA genome among plant RNA viruses. In 2006, he accepted an assistant research scientist position at CREC to work on CTV and exotic citrus pathogens. Then, in 2008, he joined USDA-ARS, Lincoln, NE, as a research plant pathologist to work on wheat viral diseases. He is currently the lead scientist for a three-scientist CRIS project on wheat.

Tatineni is an internationally recognized expert in the field of plant virology known for his seminal contributions to tospoviruses, closteroviruses, and potyvirusesthree major groups of viruses affecting key agronomically important crops around the world. He is one of the few universalists in the world able to integrate classical and molecular virology and successfully apply reverse genetics tools to characterize and understand how viruses elicit diseases on peanut, citrus, and wheat. PBNV is an economically important virus infecting peanut and vegetables in Southeast Asia. Tatineni determined the sequence of the tripartite genome of PBNV, and the genome sequence unequivocally classified PBNV, previously thought to be a strain of TSWV, as a distinct virus species in the genus Orthotospovirus.

Among citrus pathogens, CTV was responsible for destroying citrus industries in several countries during the last century. Tatineni’s development of an infectious cDNA clone for the 19.3-kb RNA genome of CTV was a major breakthrough in research on CTV biology. Tatineni fulfilled Koch’s postulates of CTV by infecting citrus trees with the cloned virus. He discovered a unique closterovirus virion assembly by defining the roles for HSP70h and ~60-kDa proteins in virion formation and found that the origin of assembly of a minor coat protein (CPm) is located at the 5’-end of genomic RNA. He showed that the HSP70h and ~60-kDa proteins determine the length of genomic RNA encapsidation by CPm. Tatineni examined virus-host interactions and movement and distribution of CTV in woody perennial hosts. His research demonstrated that CTV acquired multiple nonconserved genes and gained the ability to interact with a variety of host plants to extend its host range during the course of its evolution. This was done for the first time in any viral system. Currently, this CTV infectious clone is being used as a "disease control vector" for the expression of antimicrobial peptides and virus-induced gene silencing to control citrus greening, a devastating bacterial disease with the potential to destroy the $9 billion citrus industry in Florida.

In his current position, Tatineni’s research for the last 14 years is focused on understanding how viruses cause the disease and how they are transmitted, with the intent to use this information to develop novel disease management strategies by disrupting the virus infection cycle. Tatineni’s fundamental molecular work with practical applications has significantly contributed to new knowledge on a group of wheat viruses, Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV), Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV), and High Plains wheat mosaic virus (HPWMoV). All three viruses are transmitted by wheat curl mites and cause Wheat streak mosaic disease (WSMD) complex. WSMD complex causes an estimated $73-183 million annual revenue loss in the United States. In addition to molecular characterization of previously poorly studied TriMV and HPWMoV, Tatineni demonstrated that coinfection of wheat cultivars by WSMV and TriMV caused disease synergism and developed transgenic wheat expressing virus-specific RNAi with dual resistance against WSMV and TriMV. He used the gene pyramiding approach to stack the RNAi transgene and Wsm1 gene together in wheat lines to obtain durable dual resistance against WSMV and TriMV. His development of dual resistant wheat against WSMV and TriMV is a significant contribution to defining management strategies for the WSMD complex. His development of GFP- or RFP-tagged WSMV and TriMV infectious clones facilitated functional studies of virus-encoded proteins in host range, movement, virion assembly, superinfection exclusion, and disease development. Tatineni’s research made significant contributions to mechanistic studies on the suppression of host RNA silencing by WSMV, TriMV, and HPWMoV. His characterization of HPWMoV as an octapartite negative-sense RNA virus in the genus Emaravirus solved the mystery of the causal agent of High Plains disease since its first report in 1993.

Tatineni has authored or coauthored over 100 scientific publications, and many of his publications are in top-tier peer-reviewed journals and are highly cited. He has presented numerous invited talks at universities and national and international meetings. He mentored two Ph.D. students who successfully graduated and is currently mentoring three additional Ph.D. students. Tatineni obtained nearly $1 million in grant money to support his research during the last 14 years. Tatineni has been a member of The American Phytopathological Society (APS) since 1999. He is currently a member of four subject matter committees and served as vice-chair (2012-2013) and chair (2013-2014) of the APS Virology Committee. Tatineni is a two-term senior editor for Phytopathology (2018-2023), the lead senior editor for the Phytopathology Focus Issue (January 2020) on Fundamental Aspects of Plant Virology, an academic editor for PLoS ONE (since 2013), an associate editor for Plant Disease (2019-2021), and an ad hoc reviewer for numerous journals. Tatineni is a continuous supporter of the APS Annual Meeting by organizing and chairing special sessions. Tatineni’s seminal contributions to plant virology, specifically to PBNV, CTV, and wheat curl mite-transmitted wheat viruses, and his service to the APS community and plant pathology make him a strong candidate for the APS Fellow.