Alexandria Kieffaber

Background/Research Interests

  • Kieffaber started working with plant viruses and their insect vectors as an undergraduate in Anna Whitfield and Dorith Rotenberg's Plant Virus-Vector Interactions Lab at Kansas State University. Her original focus was on Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and Frankiliniella occidentalis (Western flower thrips) and her main project being the assistance in the identification of TSWV resistant transgenic tomato plants that expressed the TSWV viral glycoprotein, GN. Later she switched to Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) and Rhopalosiphum padi (Bird cherry oat aphid) and was involved in several related projects. After earning her bachelor's degree in 2015, Kieffaber continued working in the PVVI Lab on BYDV and aphids. She joined the Poland lab in 2017 where her main focuses are screening wheat lines for BYDV resistance using viruliferous aphids in a greenhouse setting and monitoring BYD virus populations, disease incidence and vector species in the BYD field experiments to assist in the identification of BYD resistant wheat.

 Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Animal Science and Minor in Biology (2015) Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

 Publications

  • Montero-Astua, M., Rotenberg, D., Leach-Kieffaber, A., Schneweis, B.A., Park, S., Park, J.K., German, T.L., Whitfield, A.E. “Disruption of vector transmission by a plant-expressed viral glycoprotein.” Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions. 2014. Vol. 27, No. 3. pp. 296-304.

 Conference Posters

  • Montero-Astua, M., Rotenberg, D., Leach-Kieffaber, A., Schneweis, B.A., Park, S., Park, J.K., German, T.L., Whitfield, A.E. “Inhibition of vector transmission of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) by transgenic tomato plants that express the TSWV glycoprotein, GN.” North Central American Phytopathology Society (APS) Conference, Manhattan, KS, 2013.  

 Awards

    • Undergraduate research award, WGRC I/UCRC (Wheat Genetics Resource Center Industry/University Cooperative Research Center), Manhattan, KS, 2014-2015
    • 1st Place in poster contest, North Central APS Conference, Manhattan, KS, 2013
    • Travel scholarship, North Central APS Conference, Manhattan, KS 2013

Alex collage