Jonathan D. Eisenback

Professor

Program Focus

Taxonomy of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.): My research focuses on the practical identification of the economically most important group of plant-parasitic nematodes. I am interested in light and scanning electron microscopy and molecular techniques for distinguishing the known species of root-knot nematode.

Mechanisms of resistance to the root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne species: Currently my lab is investigating the ability of each individual second-stage juvenile to parasitize the host.   

Survival mechanisms of nematodes:  Nematodes that utilize anhydrobiosis as a survival strategy are currently being characterized including the foliar, bark, and the pinewood nematodes.

My lab contains a scanning electron microscope to examine the morphological details of nematodes and their interactions with plants.  

One large national grant has been submitted to look at the effects of the involvement of cyclin-dependent kinase specific inhibitors on plant-parasitic nematode feeding site development for controlling cyst nematodes.

Current Projects

  • “Comparisons of Nematode Assay Efficiencies and Recommendations from Twelve Nematode Labs Utilizing Samples from Turfgrass Used for Golf” funded by the U.S. Golfcourse Association.  1) To determine the efficiency of twelve nematode assay labs in the Eastern Part U.S. for quantifying nematode populations.  2) To compare and contrast the recommendations for plant-parasitic nematodes on turfgrass used for golf made by twelve nematode assay labs in the Eastern Part U.S.

Education

Ph.D., Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, 1979

B.A., Biology, Bryan College, 1974

Experience

  • July 1994 – present: Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
  • Sept 1998 – present: Director, Virginia Tech Nematode Diagnostic and Assay Lab, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
  • July. 1990 – June 1994: Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
  • Sept. 1985 – June 1990: Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
  • Sept. 1979 – Aug.1985: Research Associate, International Meloidogyne Project, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
  • Sept. 1975 – Aug.1979: Research Associate, Department of Plant Pathlogy , North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
  • Sept. 1974 – Aug.1975: Ninth grade science teacher, Rhea County Consolidated High School, Evansville, TN

Selected Major Awards

  • Certificate of Excellence, Extension Education Materials Award, Publications over 16 pages, Soybean Nematode Management Guide, The American Society of Agronomy, 2012
  • EUMANE Scholar, European Masters in Nematology program, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium 2011
  • Certificate of Recognition, The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, 2011
  • Image of Distinction, Nikon’s Small World International Photo Contest, 2010
  • Image of Distinction, Nikon’s Small World International Photo Contest, 2010
  • Third Prize, (Portuguese Competition for Scientific Photography) "Concurso de Fotografia Cientifica Laboratório de Imagens/ Associação Viver a Ciência, CCB, Lisboa, Fevereiro 2006," http://www.viveraciencia.org/
  • First Prize, Biocontrol Photo Contest, Society of Nematologists, 2005
  • Outstanding Supporter, Minority Academic Opportunities Program, 1999-2000
  • Recognition of Outstanding Service, Society of Nematologists, Secretary, 1995-97
  • Ciba-Geigy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Agriculture, 1996
  • Henderson Award, Outstanding Faculty, Dept. PPWS, Virginia Tech, 1991
  • Honorable Mention, Nikon’s Small World International Photo Contest, 1985
  • First Prize, Nikon’s Small World International Photo Contest, 1985
  • Finalist, AAAS Living World, 1986
  • Fifth Prize, Nikon’s Small World International Photo Contest, 1984
  • Research Fellowship, South Africa Dept. of Agriculture, 1984
  • First Prize, Nikon’s Small World International Photo Contest, 1982
  • Best Student Paper, Society of Nematologists, 1979
  • Best Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina Agricultural Commission, 1979
  • Biology Departmental Award, Bryan College, 1974

Courses Taught

  • PPWS 5004 – Seminar
  • PPWS 5054 – Plant Disease Agents
  • AT 0184 – Plant Biology and Agricultural Chemistry

Other Teaching and Advising

  • Plant Disease Agents: This course serves as an introduction to plant-parasitic nematodes for graduate students. It is a brief overview of the entire phylum of Nematoda.

  • Seminar: In this course I work one-on-one with each of up to 18 students to help them make an oral presentation to the faculty, staff, and students within the department.
  • Resource development: Resources for teaching nematology are extremely scarce. I have created several items for my own classes and have made them available to others. These resources include posters, photo collections, videos, 3D models, and lab manuals.

Program Focus

Director of the Nematode Diagnostic and Assay Lab: The lab processes more than 1,000 nematode assay and diagnostic samples each year in order to provide timely management advice to growers and other agricultural scientists at Virginia Tech.  I collaborate with several extension plant pathologists to evaluate the effectiveness of nematicides and other management practices.

Current Projects

“Alternatives to Temik 15G for nematode control in cotton.” Funded by Cotton Inc. 1) To evaluate the efficacy and profitability of nematicide chemistries and biologicals for replacement of Temik 15G 5 lb/A in cotton.  2)To determine the effect of nematicide treatments on crop emergence, nematode damage to roots, vegetative growth, flowering, earliness, and yield of cotton.  3) To evaluate cotton varieties with desirable agronomic traits in Virginia for resistance and susceptibility to nematodes.

Reprints are available online at www.researchgate.com

  • Mallez, Sophie, Chantal Castagnone, Margarida Espada, Paulo Vieira, Jonathan Eisenback, Manuel Mota, Thomas Guillemaud, Philippe Castagnone-Sereno. 2013. First insights into the genetic diversity of the pinewood nematode in its native area using new polymorphic microsatellite loci. PLOS ONE (in press)
  • Eisenback, J. D., Wei, Ma*, and C. W. Roane. 2013. Heat tolerance and aging of the anhydrobiotic seed gall nematode, Anguina agrostis with SEM observations. Journal of Nematology 45:xxx-xxx (in press)
  • Griffin, G. J., J. D. Eisenback, and K. Oldham*. 2012. Widespread distribution of fungivorous Aphelenchoides spp. in blight cankers on American chestnut trees. Journal of Nematology 44:316-321.
  • Eisenback, J. D. 2012. A technique for making high-resolution megapixel mosaic photomicrographs of nematodes. Journal of Nematology 44:260-263.
  • Eisenback, J. D., and D. J. Dodge*. 2012. Description of a unique, complex feeding socket caused by the putative primitive root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne kikuyensis. Journal of Nematology 44:148-152.
  • Parkunan*, V., C. S. Johnson and J. D. Eisenback. 2011. Influence of acibenzolar-S-methyl and mixture of Bacillus spp., on growth and vigor of cultivated tobacco. Tobacco Science: 48:7-14.
  • Eisenback, J. D. 2010. A new technique for photographing perineal patterns of root-knot nematodes. Journal of Nematology 42:33-34.
  • Charchar, J. M., M. E. N. Fonseca, J. B. Pinheiro L. S. Boiteux, and J. D. Eisenback. 2010. Epidemics of Meloidogyne brasilensis in Central Brazil on processing tomato hybrids that have the root-knot nematode Mi resistance gene. Plant Disease 94:781.
  • Venkatesan Parkunan, Charles S. Johnson, and Jon D. Eisenback. 2010. Effects of Php Gene-Associated versus Induced Resistance to Tobacco Cyst Nematode in Flue-Cured Tobacco. Journal of Nematology 42:261-266
  • Griffin, G. J., J. D. Eisenback, M. M. Yancey, and J. Templeton. 2009. Aphelenchoides hylurgi as a Carrier of White, Hypovirulent Cryphonectria parasitica and its Possible Role in Hypovirulence Spread on Blight-Controlled American Chestnut Trees. Journal of Nematology 41:267-273.
  • Venkatesan Parkunan, Charles S. Johnson, and Jon D. Eisenback. 2009. Biological and Chemical Induction of Resistance to the Tobacco Cyst Nematode in Oriental and Flue-Cured Tobacco. Journal of Nematology 41:203-210.
  • João M. Charchar, Jonathan D. Eisenback, Jairo V. Vieira, Maria Esther de N. Foncesca-Boiteux, and Leonardo S. Boiteux. 2009. Meloidogyne polycephannulata n. sp. (Nematoda: Meloidogynidae), a root-knot nematode parasitizing carrot in Brazil. Journal of Nematology 41:174-186.
  • Tiwari, S., R. R. Youngman, E. E. Lewis, J. D. Eisenback. 2009. European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), stalk tunneling on root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita (Tylenchida: Heteroderidae), fitness on corn. Journal of Economic Entomology, Ecology and Behavior 102:602-609.
  • Charchar, J. M., Eisenback, J. D., Charchar, M. J., and Boiteux, M. E. 2008. Meloidogyne pisi n. sp. (Nematoda: Meloidogynidae), a root-knot nematode parasitizing pea in Brazil. Nematology 10:479–493.
  • Charchar, J. M., Eisenback, J. D., Charchar, M. J., and Boiteux, M. E. 2008. Meloidogyne phaseoli n. sp. (Nematoda: Meloidogynidae), a root-knot nematode parasitizing bean in Brazil. Nematology 10:525-538.
Jonathan Eisenback
  • (540) 231-4650
  • jon@vt.edu
  • 103 Price Hall
    Mail code: 0331
    170 Drillfield Drive
    Blacksburg, VA 24061