Plant Pathology Graduate Program

James Ng

James Ng
Office: (951) 827-4239
Fax: (951) 827-4294
Plant Pathology 3233 Webber Hall
Office Hours: , not specified - not specified
Email: jamesng@ucr.edu

James Ng

Associate Professor and Associate Plant Pathologist
Plant Virology; virus-insect vector interactions

Ph. D. 2001. Purdue University
B.Sc. 1994. National University of Singapore

Biography & Research Interests

Plant viruses are obligate parasites whose survival is contingent upon their ability to move from one plant to another. For a majority of the plant viruses, movement from plant-to-plant is accomplished by means of insect vectors. With the exception of a few well studied model systems, mechanisms underlying the insect transmission of many economically important plant viruses are not well understood. By integrating basic and applied studies, our research seeks to address questions concerning the complex interactions among insect, virus and plant, and how these interactions result in virus transmission and diseases. Insights into these interactions can be a key to the development of strategies for effective virus disease management. We are interested in recalcitrant and emerging insect-transmitted viruses that are important to subtropical agriculture. Currently, one area of focus is emerging viruses from the genus Crinivirus that are vectored by different but specific whitefly species. The interaction of a virus with its specific vector, which results in the transmission of the virus, is influenced by properties of the virus capsid protein and intrinsic features of the insect vector. Therefore, we are exploring the function of capsid proteins encoded by these viruses and are interested in studying interactions between viruses and insects using a combination of biological, molecular, cell biology, biochemical, and proteomics approaches.


2018 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) International Fellowship for Research in Japan


  • Zhou, J.S., Drucker, M., and Ng, J.C.K. Direct and indirect influences of virus-insect vector-plant interactions on non-circulative, semi-persistent virus transmission. Current Opinion in Virology. In press.
  • Chen, A.Y.S., Watanabe, S., Yokomi, R., and Ng, J.C.K. Nucleotide heterogeneity at the terminal ends of the genomes of two California Citrus tristeza virus strains and their complete genome sequence analysis. Virology Journal. In press.
  • Zhou, J.S., Chen, A.Y.S., Drucker, M., Lopez, N.H., Carpenter, A., and Ng, J.C.K. 2017. Whitefly feeding behavior and retention of a foregut-borne crinivirus exposed to artificial diets with different pH values. Insect Science 24: 1079-1092.
  • Dáder, B., Then, C., Berthelot, E., Ducousso, M., Ng, J.C.K., and Drucker, M. 2017. Insect transmission of plant viruses: multilayered interactions optimized viral propagation. Insect Science 24: 929-946.
  • Mongkolsiriwattana, C., Zhou, J.S., and Ng, J.C.K. 2016. A 3'-end structure in RNA2 of a crinivirus is essential for viral RNA synthesis and contributes to replication-associated translation activity. Scientific Reports 6 (article number 34482).
  • Kubota, K., and Ng, J.C.K. 2016. Lettuce chlorosis virus P23 suppresses RNA silencing and induces local necrosis with increased severity at raised temperatures. Phytopathology 106 (6): 653-662. (Selected for cover image).
  • Teixeira, M., Sela, N., Ng, J., Casteel, C.L., Peng, H.C., Bekal, S., Girke, T., Ghanim, M., and Kaloshian, I. 2016. A novel virus from Macrosiphum euphorbiae with similarities to members of the family Flaviviridae. Journal of General Virology 97: 1261-1271. 
  • Ng, J.C.K., and Zhou, J.S. 2015. Insect vector-plant virus interactions associated with non-circulative, semi-persistent transmission: current perspectives and future challenges. Current Opinion in Virology 15: 48-55.
  • Chartuprayoon, N., Rheem, Y., Ng, J.C.K., Nam, J., Chen, W., Myung, N.V.  2013. Polypyrrole based chemiresistive immunosensor for viral plant pathogen detection. Analytical Methods 5: 3497-3502.
  • Ng, J.C.K.  2013. A quantum dot-immunofluorescent labeling method to investigate the interactions between a crinivirus and its whitefly vector. Frontiers in Microbiology 4(77):1-10.
  • Chen, A.Y.S., Pavitrin, A., and Ng, J.C.K. 2012. Agroinoculation of the cloned infectious cDNAs of Lettuce chlorosis virus (LCV) to plants results in systemic plant infection and the production of biologically active LCV virions. Virus Research 169 (1): 310-315.
  • Chen, A.Y.S., Walker, G.P., Carter, D., and Ng, J.C.K. 2011. A virus capsid component mediates virion retention and transmission by its insect vector. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108 (40): 16777-16782.
  • Ng, J.C.K., and Walker, G. P. 2016. Whitefly feeding behavior and its relationship with non-circulatively transmitted viruses. In: Brown J. K. (Ed), Vector-Mediated Transmission of Plant Pathogens. APS Press, St. Paul, MN (accepted since Sep 26, 2011).
  • Mongkolsiriwattana, C., Chen, A.Y.S., and Ng, J.C.K. 2011. Replication of Lettuce chlorosis virus (LCV), a member of the genus Crinivirus (family Closteroviridae), is accompanied by the production of LCV RNA 1-derived novel RNAs. Virology 420 (210): 89-97.
  • Hajeri, S., Ramadugu, C., Manjunath, K., Ng, J.C.K., Lee, R., Vidalakis, G. 2011. In vivo generated Citrus exocortis viroid progeny variants display a range of phenotypes with altered levels of replication, systemic accumulation and pathogenicity. Virology 317 (1): 400-409.
  • Ng, J.C.K., and Chen, A.Y.S. 2011. Acquisition of Lettuce infectious yellows virus by Bemisia tabaci perturbs the transmission of Lettuce chlorosis virus. Virus Research 156, 64-71.
  • Stewart, L. R., Medina, V., Tian, T., Turina, M., Falk, B.W., Ng, J.C.K. 2010. A mutation in the Lettuce infectious yellows virus minor coat protein disrupts whitefly transmission but not in planta systemic movement. Journal of Virology 84, 12165-12173.
  • Salem, N.M., Ehlers, J.D., Roberts, P.A., and Ng, J.C.K. 2010. Biological and molecular diagnosis of seed-borne viruses in cowpea germplasm of geographically diverse sub-Saharan origins. Plant Pathology 59, 773-784.
  • Salem, N.M., Chen, A.Y.S., Tzanetakis, I.E., Mongkolsiriwattana, C., and Ng, J.C.K. 2009. Further complexity of the genus Crinivirus revealed by the complete genome sequence of Lettuce chlorosis virus (LCV) and the similar temporal accumulation of LCV genomic RNAs 1 and 2. Virology 390, 45-55.
  • Ng, J.C.K., and Falk, B.W. 2006. Bemisia tabaci transmission of specific Lettuce infectious yellows virusgenotypes derived from in vitro synthesized transcript-inoculated protoplasts. Virology 352, 209-215.
  • Ng, J.C.K., and Falk, B.W. 2006. Virus-vector interactions mediating nonpersistent and semipersistent plant virus transmission. Annual Review of Phytopathology 44: 183-212.
  • Ng, J.C.K., Josefsson, C., Clark, A., Franz, A., and Perry, K.L. 2005. Virion stability and aphid vector transmissibility of Cucumber mosaic virus mutants. Virology 332, 397-405.
  • Ng, J.C.K., Tian, T., Falk, B.W. 2004. Quantitative parameters determining whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) transmission of Lettuce infectious yellows virusand an engineered defective RNA. Journal of General Virology 85, 2697-2707.
  • Ng, J.C.K., and Perry, K.L. 2004. Transmission of Plant viruses by aphid vectors. Molecular Plant Pathology 5(5), 505-511.
  • Baumann, L., Thao, M.L., Funk, C.J., Falk, B.W., Ng, J.C.K., and Baumann, P. 2004. Sequence analysis of DNA fragments from the genome of the primary endosymbiont of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Current Microbiology 48, 77-81.
  • Thao, M.L., Baumann, L., Hess, J.M., Falk, B.W., Ng, J.C.K., Gullan, P.J., and Baumann, P. 2003. Phylogenetic evidence for two new insect-associated chlamydia of the family Simkaniaceae. Current Microbiology 47, 46-50.
  • Ng, J.C.K., Liu, S., and Perry, K.L. 2000. Cucumber mosaic virus mutants with altered physical properties and defective in aphid vector transmission. Virology. 276, 395-403.
  • Ng, J.,and Perry, K.L. 1999. Stability of the aphid transmission phenotype in Cucumber mosaic virus. Plant Pathology 48, 388-394.

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Tel: (951) 827-3598
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