Maeli Melotto

image of Maeli Melotto

Assistant Professor of Agricultural Plant Biology


Plant Sciences

Offices and Labs

104 Mann Lab
150 Mann Lan

Profile Introduction

We study infection and contamination of plants (model and crop) with plant and human pathogens.


Research Interests

Plant-Microbe Interactions

Our current work integrates molecular genetics and pathology, genomics and bioinformatics to address two guiding questions:

1) What are the molecular mechanisms underlying stomatal and apoplastic immunity?

2) What are the virulence stratagies employed by bacterial pathogens to overcome/avoid plant defense at the early stages of infection?


Phi Kappa Phi Recognized Professor - 2013

Department and Center Affiliations

Department of Plant Sciences

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Plant Biology

Specialties / Focus

Plant Biology
  • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Plant Pathology
Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group



    For an updated list see:

    Melotto M, Panchal S, Roy D. 2014. Plant innate immunity against human pathogenic bacteria. Front. Microbiol. 5:411.

    Obulareddy N, Panchal S, Melotto M. 2013. Guard cell purification and RNA isolation suitable for high throughput transcriptional analysis of cell-type responses to biotic stresses. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 26:844-849.

    Melotto M, Kunkel BN. 2013. Virulence strategies of plant pathogenic bacteria. In: Rosenberg E, Stackebrand E, DeLong EF, Thompson F, Lory S (eds). 4th Edition of The Prokaryotes – Prokaryotic Physiology and Biochemistry, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg: pp. 61-82. (Invited).

    Roy D, Panchal S, Rosa BA, Melotto M. 2013. Escherichia coli O157:H7 induces stronger plant immunity than Salmonella enterica Typhimurium SL1344. Phytopathology 103:326-332. Focus Issue on Food Safety: Human Pathogens on Plants. (Editor’s Pick).

    Shahid A, Ilyas A, Obulareddy N*, Melotto M, Jin M H-C, Iqbal SM. 2013. Power scavenging and optical absorbance analysis of photosynthetically active protoplasts. J. Energy Resources Tech. 135:012001.1-012001.5. *Melotto Lab PhD student.

    Withers J, Yao J, Mecey C, Howe GA, Melotto M, He SY. 2012. Transcription factor-dependent nuclear import of transcriptional repressors in jasmonate hormone signaling. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109:20148-20153.

    Borges A, Melotto M, Tsai SM, Caldas, DGG. 2012. Changes in spatial and temporal gene expression during incompatible interaction between common bean and anthracnose pathogen. J. Plant Physiol. 15:1216-1220.

    Oblessuc PR, Borges, A, Chowdhury B, Caldas DGG, Tsai SM, Camargo LEA, Melotto M. 2012. Dissecting Phaseolus vulgaris innate immune system against Colletotrichum lindemuthianum infection. PLoS One 7:e43161.

    Baker CM, Chitrakar R, Obulareddy N, Panchal S, Williams P, Melotto M. 2010. Molecular battles between plant and pathogenic bacteria in the phyllosphere. Brazilian J. Med. Biol. Res. 43:698-704. (Invited).

    Chitrakar R, Melotto M. 2010. Assessing stomatal response to live bacterial cells using whole leaf imaging. J. Vis. Exp. 44., doi: 10.3791/2185. (Invited).

    Zeng W, Melotto M, He SY. 2010. Plant stomata: a checkpoint of host immunity and pathogen virulence. Curr. Op. Biotech. 21:599-603. (Invited).

    Triplett L, Melotto M, Sundin GW. 2009. Functional analysis of the N-terminus of the Erwinia amylovora secreted effector DspA/E reveals features required for secretion, translocation, and binding to the chaperone DspB/F. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 22:1282-1292.

    Bray-Speth E, Melotto M, Zhang W, Assmann SM, He SY. 2009. Crosstalk in pathogen and hormonal regulation of guard cell signaling. In: Yoshioka K, Shinozaki K. (eds) Signal Crosstalk in Plant Stress Response, Wiley-Blackwell, John Wiley and Sons, Ltd: pp. 96-112. (Invited).

    Melotto M, Mecey C, Niu Y, Cheng HS, Katsir L, Yao J, Zeng W, Thines B, Staswick P, Browse J, Howe GA, He SY. 2008. A critical role of two positively charged amino acids in the Jas motif of Arabidopsis JAZ proteins in mediating coronatine- and jasmonoyl isoleucine-dependent interactions with the COI1 F-box protein. Plant J. 55:979-988.

    Melotto M, Underwood W, He SY. 2008. Role of stomata in plant innate immunity and foliar bacterial diseases. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 46: 101-122. Top 10 most read article of the month (Invited).

    Gepts P, Aragão F, Barros E de, Blair MW, Brondani R, Broughton W, Galasso I, Hernández G, Kami J, Lariguet P, McClean P, Melotto M, Miklas P, Pauls P, Pedrosa-Harand A, Porch T, Sánchez F, Sparvoli F, Yu K. 2008. Genomics of Phaseolus beans, a major source of dietary protein and micronutrient in the Tropics. In: Moore PH, Ming R (eds) Genomics of Tropical Crop Plants, Springer, Berlin: pp. 113-143. (Invited).

    Thines B, Katsir L, Melotto M, Niu Y, Mandaokar A, Liu G, Nomura K, He SY, Howe GA, Browse J. 2007. JAZ repressor proteins are targets of the SCFCOI1 complex during jasmonate signaling. Nature 448:661-665. This article has been highlighted in News and Views in the same Nature issue and rated as the top ten articles of the month. Faculty of 1000 exceptional.

    Hanai LR, Campos T de, Camargo LEA, Benchimol LL, Souza AP de, Melotto M, Carbonell SAM, Chioratto AF, Consoli L, Formighieri EF, Siqueira MVBM, Tsai SM, Vieira MLC. 2007. Development, characterization, and comparative analysis of polymorphism at common bean SSR loci isolated from genic and genomic sources. Genome 50:266-277.

    Underwood W, Melotto M, He SY. 2007. Role of plant stomata in bacterial invasion. Cellular Microbiology 9:1621-1629. (Invited).

    Melotto M, Underwood W, Koczan J, Nomura K, He SY. 2006. Plant stomata function in innate immunity against bacterial invasion. Cell 126:969-980. This article has been highlighted by the editors of Science and Nature among others and rated as the most influential publication in the nitric oxide field for 2006. Faculty of 1000 must read.

    Melotto M*, Monteiro-Vitorello CB, Bruschi AG, Camargo LEA. 2005. Comparative bioinformatic analysis of genes expressed in common bean seedlings. Genome 48:562-570. * Corresponding author.

    Nomura K, Melotto M, He SY. 2005. Suppression of host defense in compatible plant-Pseudomonas syringae interactions. Curr. Op. Plant Biol. 8:361-368. (Invited).

    Chen H, McCaig BC, Melotto M, He SY, Howe GA. 2004. Regulation of plant arginase by wounding, jasmonate, and the phytotoxin coronatine. J. Biol. Chem. 279:45998-46007.

    Melotto M*, Coelho MF, Pedrosa-Harand A, Kelly JD, Camargo LEA. 2004. The anthracnose resistance locus Co-4 of common bean is located on chromosome 3 and contains putative disease resistance-related genes. Theor. Appl. Genet. 109:690-699. * Corresponding author.

    Malvas CC, Melotto M, Truffi D, Camargo LEA. 2003. A homolog of the RPS2 disease resistance gene is constitutively expressed in Brassica oleracea. Genet. Mol. Biology 26:511-516.

    Broughton WJ, Hernandez G, Blair M, Beebe S, Gepts P, Vanderleyden J. 2003. Beans (Phaseolus spp.) – Model Food Legumes. Plant and Soil 252:55-128. Member of the International Consortium for Phaseolus Genomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics: Phaseomics.

    Melotto M, Kelly JD. 2001. Fine mapping of the Co-4 locus of common bean reveals a resistance gene candidate, COK-4, that encodes for a protein kinase. Theor. Appl. Genet. 103:508-517.

    Melotto M, Kelly JD. 2000. An allelic series at the Co-1 locus conditioning resistance to anthracnose in common bean of Andean origin. Euphytica 116:143-149.

    Melotto M, Balardin RS, Kelly JD. 2000. Host-pathogen interaction and variability of Colletotrichum lindemuthianum. In: “Colletotrichum host specificity, pathology, and host-pathogen interaction”. D. Prusky, S. Freeman, and M.B. Dickman (eds.), pp 346-361. APS Press, St Paul, MN, USA. (Invited).

    Souza AA, Burity HA, Figueiredo MVB, Silva MLRB, Melotto M, Tsai SM. 1999. Symbiotic efficiency of HUP+, HUPHR, HUP- Bradyrhizobium japonicum e Bradyrhizobium elkanii strains in cowpea cultivars. Pesq. Agropec. Brasileira. 34:1925-1031.

    Rodrigues JLM, Melotto M, da Silveira JAG. 1998. Nodulin activies, hydrogenase expression and nitrogen fixation in cowpea inoculated with Hup+ and Hup- symbionts. Brazilian J. Plant Physiol. 10:85-90.

    Rodrigues JLM, Melotto M, Oliveira JTA, da Silveira JAG. 1998. Efficiency of soybean nodules in relation to nodulin activities and hydrogenase expression. Brazilian J. Plant Physiol. 10:173-178.

    Young RA, Melotto M, Nodari RO, Kelly JD. 1998. Marker-assisted dissection of the oligogenic anthracnose resistance in the common bean cultivar, G2333. Theor. Appl. Genet. 96:87-94.

    Melotto M, Afanador L, and Kelly JD. 1996. Development of a SCAR marker linked to the I gene in common bean. Genome 39: 1216-1219.