Mitch Roth

Lab: M. Chilvers
Genetics of Plant-Pathogen Interactions

Twitter: @mitchroth12

With the world population growing at a staggering rate, there is great demand for increased food production and food security worldwide.  There are two main genetic approaches for meeting these demands - select for genes that bolster yields, and improve crop genetics to prevent yield loss due to diseases and pests.  The Green Revolution was very successful at improving crop genetics associated with yield, but largely neglected genetics related to disease resistance.

My research interests are focused on understanding and implementing novel genetic mechanisms of disease resistance in economically important crops.  For my Ph.D. research, I have begun investigating the genetic relationship between soybeans and the fungal pathogen Fusarium virguliforme, which causes soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS). To date, there are no effective methods to prevent or treat SDS, and the disease causes billions of dollars worth of losses in the U.S. each year.  Using classical and molecular genetic techniques, I aim to understand the pathogen infection process and mechanism of symptom development in soybeans in order to improve resistance to this devastating disease.  



Roth, M.G., Noel, Z.A., Wang, J., Byrne, A.M., TerAvest, D., Kramer, D.M., Chilvers, M.I. Assessment and Utilization of Risk Factors in Predicting Soybean Yield and Sudden Death Syndrome Development. Phytopathology. In revision.


Wang, J., Jacobs, J.L., Roth, M.G., Chilvers, M.I. Temporal dynamics of Fusarium virguliforme colonization of soybean roots. Plant Disease. Accepted.


Chang, H.-X., Roth, M.G., Wang, D., Lightfoot, D.A., Hartman, G.L., Cianzio, S.R., Chilvers, M.I. Integration of Sudden Death Syndrome Resistance Loci in the Soybean Genome. Theor Appl Genet (2018).


Kuhlgert, S., Austic, G., Zegarac, R., Osei-Bonsu, I., Hoh, D., Chilvers, M.I., Roth, M.G., Bi, K., TerAvest, D., Weebadde, P., Kramer, D.M. MultispeQ Beta: a tool for large-scale plant phenotyping connected to the open PhotosynQ network. R Soc Open Sci. 2016. DOI 10.1098/rsos.160592.

A copy of Mitch's collaborative publication can be found here: