Plant Pathology Graduate Program

Caroline Roper

Caroline Roper
Office: 951-827-3510
3489 Boyce Hall, University of California 92521
Office Hours: , not specified - not specified
Email: caroline.roper@ucr.edu

Caroline Roper

Associate Professor and Associate Plant Pathologist
Bacteriologist, Plant Pathologist

Ph.D. 2006, University of California, Davis, Department of Plant Pathology
B.S. in Biology 1997, University of South Carolina

Biography & Research Interests

My research program focuses on the molecular basis of the host/pathogen interactions of plant pathogenic bacteria that live in the specialized niche of the plant xylem tissue. We are focusing our efforts on understanding the strategies this group of plant pathogens employs during the initial stages of infection. In particular, I am working on Xylella fastidiosa, a serious bacterial pathogen of grapevine and citrus among other economically important hosts as well as Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii, an important pathogen of sweet corn and maize.


  • Hellman Fellow 2012-2103
  • Regent's Faculty fellowship 2009
  • Soroptomist International of the Americas: Outstanding Woman Pursuing a Doctoral Degree Fellowship, 2005 


Clifford, J.C, Rapicavoli, J.N. and Roper, M.C. 2013. A rhamnose-rich O-antigen mediates adhesion, virulence and host colonization for the xylem-limited phytopathogen, Xylella fastidiosa.  Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, In press.

Voegel T.M., Doddapaneni H., Cheng D.W., Lin H., Stenger D.C., Kirkpatrick BC, Roper, M.C. 2012.  Identification of a response regulator involved in surface attachment, cell-cell aggregation, exopolysaccharide production and virulence in the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa. Molecular Plant Pathology, doi: 10.1111/mpp.12004. [Epub ahead of print].

Mohammadi, M., Burbank, L., and Roper, M.C. 2012. Biological role of pigment production for the bacterial phytopathogen, Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 78: 6859-6865

Mohammadi, Mojtaba, Burbank, L. and Roper, M. C. 2012. Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii produces an endoglucanase that is required for full virulence in sweet corn. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, 25: 463-470.

Roper, M.C. 2011. Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii: Lessons learned from a xylem-dwelling pathogen of sweet corn. Molecular Plant Pathology, 12: 628-637.

Perez-Donoso, A.G., Sun, Q., Roper, C., Greve, L.C. and Labavitch, J.M. 2009. Cell wall degrading enzymes enlarge the pore size of intervessel pit membranes in healthy and Xylella fastidiosa infected grapevines. Plant Physiology, 152(3): 1748-59.

Roper, M.C. Greve, L.C., Labavitch, J.M. and Kirkpatrick, B. 2007. Detection and visualization of an exopolysaccharide produced by Xylella fastidiosa in vitro and in planta. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 73: 7252-7258.

Roper, M.C., Greve, L.C., Warren, J.G.,  Labavitch, J.M., and Kirkpatrick, B. 2007. Xylella fastidiosa requires polygalacturonase for colonization and pathogenicity in grapevines. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, 20: 411-419.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Contact Information

Graduate Program in Plant Pathology
1140 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (800) 735-0717 or (951) 827-5688
Fax: (951) 827-5517
E-mail: laura.mcgeehan@ucr.edu

Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Boyce Hall 1463

Tel: (951) 827-3598
Fax: (951) 827-4294
E-mail: margarita.flores@ucr.edu