Nian Wang

Dr. Nian Wang

Program Emphasis

Molecular genetics and functional genomics of plant-bacteria interactions and methods to control citrus diseases caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Citrus Greening) and Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri (Citrus Canker).


8/2001-8/2005: Ph.D. in Plant Pathology, Texas A&M University

9/1998-7/2001: M.S. in Plant Pathology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

9/1991-7/1995: B.S. in Plant Protection, Shandong Agricultural University, Shandong, China

Academic and Professional Experience

7/2013-present: Associate Professor, Citrus Research and Education Center/Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, USA

1/2007-6/2013:  Assistant Professor, Citrus Research and Education Center/Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, USA

9/2005-12/2006:  Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, USA

7/1995-8/1998:  Research Assistant, Department of Plant Protection, Tobacco Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shandong, China

Areas of Research and/or Interest

Molecular genetics and functional genomics of plant pathogenic bacteria, molecular plant-microbe interactions, and management of citrus bacterial diseases.

Opportunities in the Wang Lab

Post-doctoral associate and Ph.D. student positions are available in the Wang lab to work on the interactions between Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, citrus and psyllid.


Microbial Defense/Host-Microbe Interactions.  This is a course for graduate students.  Principles of bacterial virulence, host defense to microbial invasion and host-microbe interactions will be examined in a context of molecular and cellular biology involving both plants and animals.  Current scientific research that incorporates these principles will also be discussed. 

Service to Scientific Society

Senior Editor Phytopathology 2018-present
Senior Editor Plant Disease 2014-2016
Associate Editor Plant Disease 2013 to 2014
Editor in Chief Virulence Mechanisms of Plant-Pathogenic Bacteria Publisher: APS PRESS


University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship Award, May 2016
William Boright Hewitt and Maybelle Ellen Ball Hewitt Award, August 2010, American Phytopathological Society.
FAES Award, IFAS, University of Florida May 2010.

Refereed Publications


Hu, J., Jiang, J., and Wang, N. 2018. Control of Citrus Huanglongbing via Trunk Injection of Plant Defense Activators and Antibiotics. Phytopathology 108:186-195.

Zhou, X., Teper, D., Andrade, M.O., Zhang, T., Chen, S., Song, W.Y., and Wang, N. 2018. A Phosphorylation Switch on Lon Protease Regulates Bacterial Type III Secretion System in Host. MBio 9.

Sundin, G.W., and Wang, N. 2018. Antibiotic Resistance in Plant-Pathogenic Bacteria. Annu Rev Phytopathol. doi: 10.1146/annurev-phyto-080417-045946. [Epub ahead of print].

Clark, K., Franco, J.Y., Schwizer, S., Pang, Z., Hawara, E., Liebrand, T.W.H., Pagliaccia, D., Zeng, L., Gurung, F.B., Wang, P., Shi, J., Wang, Y., Ancona, V., van der Hoorn, R.A.L., Wang, N., Coaker, G., and Ma, W. 2018. An effector from the Huanglongbing-associated pathogen targets citrus proteases. Nat Commun 9:1718.

Duan, S., Jia, H., Pang, Z., Teper, D., White, F., Jones, J., Zhou, C., and Wang, N. 2018. Functional characterization of the citrus canker susceptibility gene CsLOB1. Mol Plant Pathol. doi: 10.1111/mpp.12667. [Epub ahead of print]

Ference, C.M., Gochez, A.M., Behlau, F., Wang, N., Graham, J.H., and Jones, J.B. 2018. Recent advances in the understanding of Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri pathogenesis and citrus canker disease management. Mol Plant Pathol 19:1302-1318.

Gochez, A.M., Huguet-Tapia, J.C., Minsavage, G.V., Shantaraj, D., Jalan, N., Strauß, A., Lahaye, T., Wang, N., Canteros, B.I., Jones, J.B., and Potnis, N. 2018. Pacbio sequencing of copper-tolerant Xanthomonas citri reveals presence of a chimeric plasmid structure and provides insights into reassortment and shuffling of transcription activator-like effectors among X. citri strains. BMC Genomics 19:16.

Riera, N., Wang, H., Li, Y., Li, J., Pelz-Stelinski, K., and Wang, N. 2018. Induced systemic resistance against citrus canker disease by rhizospheric bacteria. Phytopathology.

Xu, J., and Wang, N. 2018. Where are we going with genomics in plant pathogenic bacteria? Genomics.


Jia, H., Xu, J., Orbović, V., Zhang, Y., and Wang, N. 2017. Editing Citrus Genome via SaCas9/sgRNA System. Front Plant Sci 8:2135.

Jin, T., Wang, Y., Huang, Y., Xu, J., Zhang, P., Wang, N., Liu, X., Chu, H., Liu, G., Jiang, H., Li, Y., Kristiansen, K., Xiao, L., Zhang, Y., Zhang, G., Du, G., Zhang, H., Zou, H., Jie, Z., Liang, S., Jia, H., Wan, J., Lin, D., Li, J., Fan, G., Yang, H., Wang, J., Bai, Y., and Xu, X. 2017. Taxonomic structure and functional association of foxtail millet root microbiome. Gigascience 6:1-12.

Pagliaccia, D., Shi, J., Pang, Z., Hawara, E., Clark, K., Thapa, S.P., De Francesco, A.D., Liu, J., Tran, T.T., Bodaghi, S., Folimonova, S.Y., Ancona, V., Mulchandani, A., Coaker, G., Wang, N., Vidalakis, G., and Ma, W. 2017. A Pathogen Secreted Protein as a Detection Marker for Citrus Huanglongbing. Front Microbiol 8:2041.

Riera, N., Handique, U., Zhang, Y., Dewdney, M.M., and Wang, N. 2017. Characterization of Antimicrobial-Producing Beneficial Bacteria Isolated from Huanglongbing Escape Citrus Trees. Front Microbiol 8:2415.

Wang, N., Stelinski, L.L., Pelz-Stelinski, K.S., Graham, J.H., and Zhang, Y. 2017. Tale of the Huanglongbing Disease Pyramid in the Context of the Citrus Microbiome. Phytopathology 107:380-387.

Wang N, Pierson EA, Setubal JC, Xu J, Levy J G., Zhang Y, Li J, Rangel LT, and J., M. 2017. The Candidatus Liberibacter–Host Interface: Insights into Pathogenesis Mechanisms and Disease Control. Annual Review of Phytopathology. 55: 451-482.

Zhang, J., Huguet-Tapia, J.C., Hu, Y., Jones, J., Wang, N., Liu, S., and White, F.F. 2017a. Homologues of CsLOB1 in citrus function as disease susceptibility genes in citrus canker. Mol Plant Pathol 18:798-810.

Zhang, Y., Xu, J., Riera, N., Jin, T., Li, J., and Wang, N. 2017b. Huanglongbing impairs the rhizosphere-to-rhizoplane enrichment process of the citrus root-associated microbiome. Microbiome 5:97.

Li J., Pang, Z.p, Trivedi Pp, Zhou Xg, Ying Xp, Jia Hp, and Wang N. 2017 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' Encodes a Functional Salicylic Acid (SA) Hydroxylase that Degrades SA to Suppress Plant Defenses. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 30:620-630.

Zhou X, Yan Qp, Wang N. 2017 Deciphering the regulon of a GntR family regulator via transcriptome and ChIP-exo analyses and its contribution to virulence in Xanthomonas citri. Mol Plant Pathol. 18: 249-262.

Gochez AM, Shantharaj D, Potnis N, Zhou X, Minsavage GV, White FF, Wang N, Hurlbert JC, Jones JB 2017 Molecular characterization of XopAG Effector-AvrGf2 from Xanthomonas fuscans subsp. aurantifolii in grapefruit. Molecular Plant Pathology. 18: 405-419.

Jia H, Zhang Y, Orbovic V, Xu J, White F, Jones J, Wang N. (2017) Genome editing of the disease susceptibility gene CsLOB1 in citrus confers resistance to citrus canker. Plant Biotechnol J. 15 (7), 817-823.


Samiksha Prasad, Jin Xu, Yunzeng Zhang, and Nian Wang (2016) SEC-Translocon Dependent Extracytoplasmic Proteins of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. Frontiers in Microbiology. 7:1989. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01989

Zhang Y, Barthe G, Grosser JW, Wang N. (2016) Transcriptome analysis of root response to citrus blight based on the newly assembled Swingle citrumelo draft genome. BMC Genomics. 17:485. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2779-y.

Zhang J, Huguet-Tapia JC, Hu Y, Jones J, Wang N, Liu S, White FF. (2016) Homologues of CsLOB1 in citrus function as disease susceptibility genes in citrus canker. Mol Plant Pathol. 2016 Jun 8. doi: 10.1111/mpp.12441.

Sundin GW, Wang N, Charkowski AO, Castiblanco LF, Jia H, Zhao Y. (2016) Perspectives on the Transition From Bacterial Phytopathogen Genomics Studies to Applications Enhancing Disease Management: From Promise to Practice. Phytopathology.106:1071-1082.

Hu J, Wang N. (2016) Evaluation of the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Oxytetracycline and Its Control Effect Against Citrus Huanglongbing via Trunk Injection. Phytopathology. 106:1495-1503.

Hu J, Akula N, Wang N (2016) Development of a Microemulsion Formulation for Antimicrobial SecA Inhibitors. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0150433. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150433.

Jia, H., Orbovic, V., Jones, J.B. and Wang, N. 2016 Modification of the PthA4 effector binding elements in Type I CsLOB1 promoter using Cas9/sgRNA to produce transgenic Duncan grapefruit alleviating XccΔpthA4:dCsLOB1.3 infection. Plant Biotechnol. J., 14: 1291–1301. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12495.

Laís Moreira Granato; Simone Cristina Picchi; Maxuel de Oliveira Andrade; Marco Aurélio Takita; Alessandra Alves de Souza; Nian Wang; Marcos Antonio Machado ATP-dependent RNA helicase HrpB plays an important role in motility and biofilm formation in Xanthomonas citri subsp citri. BMC Microbiology. 16:55. DOI 10.1186/s12866-016-0655-1

Zhou X, Yan Q, Wang N. 2016 Deciphering the regulon of a GntR family regulator via transcriptome and ChIP-exo analyses and its contribution to virulence in Xanthomonas citri. Mol Plant Pathol. doi: 10.1111/mpp.12397.

Alberto M. Gochez, Deepak Shantharaj, Neha Potnis, Xiaofeng Zhou, Gerald V. Minsavage, Frank F. White, Nian Wang, Jason C. Hurlbert, Jeffrey B. Jones  2016 Molecular characterization of XopAG Effector-AvrGf2 from Xanthomonas  fuscans subsp.  aurantifolii in grapefruit. Molecular Plant Pathology.  doi: 10.1111/mpp.12408.

Yang Hu, Shuo Duan, Yunzeng Zhang, Deepak Shantharaj, Jeffrey B. Jones, and Nian Wang 2016 Temporal transcription profiling of sweet orange in response to PthA4-mediated Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri infection Phytopathology 106:442-51.

Li, J., Trivedi, P., and Wang, N. 2016. Field Evaluation of Plant Defense Inducers for the Control of Citrus Huanglongbing. Phytopathology: 106:37-46



Ravindran, A., Jalan, N., Yuan, J.S., Wang, N., and Gross, D.C. 2015. Comparative genomics of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae strains B301D and HS191 and insights into intrapathovar traits associated with plant pathogenesis. Microbiologyopen 4:553-573.

Zhang, Y., Jalan, N., Zhou, X., Goss, E., Jones, J.B., Setubal, J.C., Deng, X., and Wang, N. 2015. Positive selection is the main driving force for evolution of citrus canker-causing Xanthomonas. ISME J. 9: 2128–2138.

Zhou, X., Hu, X., Li, J., and Wang, N. 2015. A Novel Periplasmic Protein, VrpA, Contributes to Efficient Protein Secretion by the Type III Secretion System in Xanthomonas spp. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 28:143-153.

Wang N, Jin T, Trivedi P, Setubal JC, Tang J, Machado MA, Triplett E, Coletta-Filho HD, Cubero J, Deng X, et al. 2015. Announcement of the International Citrus Microbiome (Phytobiome) Consortium. J Cit Pathol. iocv_journalcitruspathology_27940.


Maxuel O. Andrade, Chuck S. Farah, Nian Wang. 2014 The post-transcriptional regulator rsmA/csrA activates T3SS by stabilizing the 5' UTR of hrpG, the master regulator of hrp/hrc genes, in Xanthomonas. PLoS Pathog 10(2): e1003945. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003945.

Trivedi P., Wang N. 2014 Host immune responses accelerate pathogen evolution ISME J. 8, 727–731; doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.215.

Yang Hu, Junli Zhang, Hongge Jia, Davide Sosso, Ting Li, Wolf B. Frommer, Bing Yang, Frank F. White, Nian Wang, and Jeffrey B. Jones 2014 Lateral organ boundaries 1 is a disease susceptibility gene for citrus bacterial canker disease Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111(4):E521-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1313271111.

Jia H., Wang N. 2014 Targeted genome editing of sweet orange using Cas9/sgRNA. PLoS One. 9(4):e93806. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093806.

Jia, H., and Wang, N. 2014b. Xcc-facilitated agroinfiltration of citrus leaves: a tool for rapid functional analysis of transgenes in citrus leaves. Plant Cell Rep 33:1993-2001.

Li J, Wang N. 2014 Foliar application of biofilm formation inhibiting compounds enhances control of citrus canker caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri. Phytopathology 104: 134-142.

Sunitha Kogenaru, Qing Yan, Nadia Riera, M Caroline Roper, Xiaoling Deng, Timothy A Ebert, Michael Rogers, Michael E Irey, Gerhard Pietersen, Charles M Rush and Nian Wang. 2014 Repertoire of novel sequence signatures for the detection of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus by quantitative real-time PCR. BMC Microbiology 2014 14:39.


Wang, N.; Trivedi, P. 2013 Citrus Huanglongbing - an old problem with an unprecedented challenge. Phytopathology. 103: 652-665 (Invited review).

Aritua V, Achor D, Gmitter FG, Albrigo G, Wang N. 2013 Transcriptional and Microscopic Analyses of Citrus Stem and Root Responses to Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus Infection. PLoS One. 8(9):e73742. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073742.

Jalan N, Kumar D, Andrade MO, Yu F, Jones JB, Graham JH, White FF, Setubal JC, Wang N. 2013 Comparative genomic and transcriptome analyses of pathotypes of Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri provide insights into mechanisms of bacterial virulence and host range. BMC Genomics. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-14-551.

Qing Yan, Aswathy Sreedharan, Shiping Wei, Jihua Wang, Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski, Svetlana Folimonova,  Nian Wang. 2013 Global gene expression changes in Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus during the transmission in distinct hosts between plant and insect. Molecular Plant Pathology. 14:391-404.

Jalan N, Kumar D, Yu F, Jones JB, Graham JH, Wang N. Complete Genome Sequence of Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri Strain Aw12879, a Restricted-Host-Range Citrus Canker-Causing Bacterium. Genome Announc. 1(3). doi:pii: e00235-13.

Xiuhua Chen, Jinyoung Y. Barnaby, Aswathy Sreedharan, Xiaoen Huang, Vladimir Orbović, Jude W. Grosser, Nian Wang, Xinnian Dong, Wen-Yuan Song 2013 Over-expression of the citrus gene CtNH1 confers resistance to bacterial canker disease. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 84: 115–122.


Trivedi, P., He, Z., Van Nostrand, J. D., Zhou J., Albrigo, L. G., and Wang, N. 2012 Huanglongbing alters the structure and functional diversity of microbial communities associated with citrus rhizosphere. ISME J. 6, 363-383.

Kogenaru, S.,Yan, Q., Guo, Y., and Wang, N. 2012 RNA-seq and microarray complement each other in transcriptome profiling. BMC Genomics 13:629 (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-629).

Wang, N, Li JL, Lindow SE. 2012 RpfF-dependent regulon of Xylella fastidiosa. Phytopathology. 102:1045-53.

Guo, Y., Zhang, Y., Li, J.L., Wang, N. 2012 DSF-mediated quorum sensing plays a central role in coordinating gene expression of Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 25: 165-179.

Yan, Q., and Wang, N. 2012 High-throughput screening and analysis of genes of Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri involved in citrus canker symptom development Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 25:69-84.

Qing Yan, Xiufang Hu, Nian Wang 2012 The novel virulence related gene nlxA is involved in the production of lipopolysaccharide and extracellular polysaccharide, motility, biofilm formation and stress resistance of Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri. Molecular Plant Pathology 13:923-34.

Li J., and Wang, N. 2012 The gpsX gene encoding glycosyltransferase is important for polysaccharide production and required for full virulence in Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri BMC Microbiology 12: 31.

Akula, N., Trivedi, P., Han, F.Q., Wang, N. 2012 Identification of small molecule inhibitors against SecA of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus by structure based design. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 54:919-24.


Neha Jalan, Valente Aritua, Dibyendu Kumar, Fahong Yu, Jeffrey B. Jones, James H. Graham, João C. Setubal, and Nian Wang. 2011 Comparative genomic analysis of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citrumelo F1 causing citrus bacterial spot and related strains provides insights into virulence and host-specificity. Journal of Bacteriology 193:6342-57.

Li, J. and Wang, N. 2011b Genome-wide mutagenesis of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri reveals novel genetic determinants and regulation mechanisms of biofilm formation. PLoS ONE 6(7): e21804.

Guo, Y., Figueiredo, F., Jones, J., and Wang, N. 2011 HrpG, together with HrpX, play global roles in coordinating different virulence traits of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 12:381-96.

Trivedi, P. Spann, T. and Wang, N. 2011 Isolation and Characterization of Beneficial Bacterial Community Associated with Citrus Roots in Florida. Microbial Ecology 62: 324-36.

Akula N, Zheng H, Han FQ, Wang, N. 2011 Discovery of novel SecA inhibitors of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus by structure based design. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 21:4183-8.

Yan Q., and Wang, N. 2011a The ColR/ColS two-component system plays multiple roles in the pathogenicity of the citrus canker pathogen Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri Journal of Bacteriology 193:1590-1599.

Li, J. and Wang, N. 2011 The wxacO gene of Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri encodes a protein with a role in lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis, biofilm formation, stress tolerance and virulence  Molecular Plant Pathology 12:381-396.


Guo, Y., Sagaram, U.S., Kim, J.S. and Wang, N. 2010. Requirement of the galU gene for polysaccharide production by and pathogenicity and growth in planta of Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76:2234‑2242.

Trivedi, P., Duan, Y., and Wang, N. 2010. Huanglongbing, a systemic disease, restructures the bacterial community associated with citrus roots. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76: 3427–3436.


Sagaram, U.S., DeAngelis, K.M., Trivedi, P., Andersen, G.L., Lu, S., and Wang, N. 2009. Bacterial diversity analysis of Huanglongbing pathogen-infected citrus using PhyloChips and 16S rDNA clone library sequencing. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75:1566-1574.

Kim, J., Sagaram, U.S., Burns, J.K., and Wang, N. 2009. Response of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) to Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus infection: microscopy and microarray analyses. Phytopathology 99:50-57. PDF

Trivedi, P., Sagaram, U.S., Kim, J.S., Brlansky, R.H., Rogers, M., Stelinski, L.L., Oswalt, C., Kim, J.S., and Wang, N. 2009. Quantification of viable Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus in hosts using quantitative PCR with the aid of ethidium monoazide (EMA). European Journal of Plant Pathology 124:553-563.

Gu, G., Smith, L., Wang, N., Wang, H., and Lu, S. 2009a. Biosynthesis of an antifungal oligopeptide in Burkholderia contaminans strain MS14. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 380:328-332.

Gu, G., Wang, N., Chaney, N., Smith, L., and Lu, S. 2009b. AmbR1 is a key transcriptional regulator for production of antifungal activity of Burkholderia contaminans strain MS14. FEMS Microbiological Letters 297:54-60.

Boina, D., Rogers, M.E., Wang, N., and Stelinski, L.L. 2009. Effect of pyriproxyfen, a juvenile hormone mimic, on egg hatch, nymph development, adult emergence and reproduction of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama. Pest Management Science 66: 349-357.


Tatineni, S., Sagaram, U.S., Gowda, S., Robertson, C.J., Dawson, W.O., Iwanami, T., and Wang, N. 2008. In planta distribution of 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' as revealed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR. Phytopathology 98(5):592‑599.. PDF


Wang, N., Lu, S.E., Records, A.R., and Gross, D.C. 2006. Characterization of the regulatory roles of syrF and salA in syringomycin and syringopeptin production by P. syringae pv. syringae. Journal of Bacteriology 188:3290-3298. PDF

Wang, N., Lu, S.-E., Wang, J.L., Chen, J.Z., and Gross, D.C. 2006. The expression of genes encoding lipodepsipeptide phytotoxins by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae is coordinated in response to plant signal molecules. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 19:257‑269 PDF

Wang, N., Lu, S.-E., Yang, Q., Sze, S.-H., and Gross, D.C. 2006. Identification of the syr-syp box in the promoter regions of genes dedicated to syringomycin and syringopeptin production by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae B301D. Journal of Bacteriology 188:160-168. PDF


Lu, S.E., Wang, N., Wang, J.L., Chen, J.Z., and Gross, D.C. 2005. Oligonucleotide microarray analysis of the SalA regulon controlling phytotoxin production by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 15:43-53.