Joseph W. Kloepper

Joseph W. Kloepper


303 Life Sciences Building
+1 334-844-1950 (Office)
+1 334-844-5067 (Fax)


Areas of Interest:

Research has been directed at basic and applied aspects of using beneficial bacteria as microbial inoculants to promote plant growth and provide biological disease control. This work has emphasized PGPR (plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria) and endophytic bacteria. Fields of investigation include microbial ecology, plant and microbial physiology, effects on several pathogens, delivery systems, and mechanisms of biological control. Greenhouse and field evaluations are conducted annually to provide biological support for more basic investigations. Crop systems used currently in this work include cotton, tomato, and cucumber. Pathogens used in these studies include Pythium ultimum, Rhizoctonia solani, Fusarium oxysporum, Pseudomonas syringae pv. lachrymans, Colletotrichum orbiculare, Erwinia tracheiphila, and cucumber mosaic virus. Mechanism of action work includes transcriptional and translational changes in plants.


1980 Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley. (Plant Pathology) Ph.D. Thesis: The Role of Rhizobacteria in Increasing Plant Growth and Yield. M.N. Schroth, Major Professor.
1977 M.S., Colorado State University (Plant Pathology)
1975 B.S., Colorado State University (Botany and Plant Pathology)

Professional Experience:

1992-Present Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University
1993-1998 Head, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University
1992-1993 Director, Biological Control Institute, Auburn University
1992 Acting Department Head, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University
1989-1992 Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University
1987-1989 Manager, Microbial Inoculants Allelix Agriculture, Mississauga, Ontario
1985-1987 Group Leader, Agricultural Microbiology, Allelix Agriculture
1983-1985 Senior Research Scientist, Allelix Inc., Mississauga, Ontario
1982-1983 Research Scientist, Advanced Genetic Sciences, Inc., Manhattan, Kansas
1979-1982 Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology, University of California, Berkeley

University Teaching:

  • Plant-Bacterial Interactions (Graduate Course)
  • Plant Disease Management
  • Research Proposal Writing (Graduate Course)
  • Field Survey in Plant Disease

Major Professor for:

  • 2013 - Calvo-Velez, Pamela, Ph.D.
  • 2012 - Jane Farr, M.Ag
  • 2011 - Burkett-Cadena, Marleny, Ph.D.
  • 2010 - Ramirez, Camilo, Ph.D.
  • 2009 - Adesemoye, Tony, Ph.D.
  • 2006 - Cadena, Marleny, M.S.
  • 2006 - Subbarayan, Praseetha, M.Ag.
  • 2005 - Hu, Chia-Hui, Ph.D.
  • 2005 - Gutiérrez, Arcenio, Ph.D.
  • 2005 - da Paz, Cris, Ph.D.
  • 2004 - Rivas, Maria, Ph.D.
  • 2002 - Ryu, Choong-min, Ph.D.
  • 2002 - Liu, Qingchun, M.S.
  • 2001 - Yan, Zhinong, Ph.D.
  • 2001 - Zhang, Shouan, Ph.D.

Refereed Research Papers, Book Chapters, and Reviews - 2003 to Present:

  • Calvo, P., Watts, D.B., Ames, R.N., Kloepper, J.W., and Torbert, A. 2013. Microbial-based inoculants impact nitrous oxide emissions from an incubated soil medium containing urea fertilizers. Journal of Environmental Quality, 42: 704-712.
  • Castillo, J.D., Lawrence K.K., and Kloepper J.W. 2013. Biocontrol of the reniform nematode by Bacillus firmus GB-126 and Paecilomyces lilacinus 251 on cotton. Plant Disease, 97: 967-976.
  • Kloepper J.W., McInroy, J.A., Liu, K., and Hu, C.-H.  2013. Symptoms of fern distortion syndrome resulting from inoculation with opportunistic endophytic fluorescent Pseudomonads. PLoS ONE, 8, no 3.
  • Kumar, V.K., Yellareddygari S.KR., Reddy, M.S., Kloepper J.W., Lawrence, K.K., Miller, M., Sudini, H., Surendranatha Reddy, E.C., Zhou X.G., and Groth, D.E. 2013. Ultrastructural studies on the interaction between Bacillus subtilis MBI 600 (Integral) and the rice sheath blight pathogen, Rhizoctonia solani. African Journal of Microbiology Research, 7: 2078-2086.
  • Nadolnyak, D., Chavez, H., and Kloepper, J.W. 2013. Impact of microbial inoculants as an integrated pest management tool in apple production. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 45: 655-667.
  • Rojas-Tapias, D., Ortiz-Vera, M., Rivera, D., Kloepper J., and Bonilla R. 2013. Evaluation of three methods for preservation of Azotobacter chroococcum and Azotobacter vinelandii. Universidad Javeriana Universitas Scientiarum, 18: 128-136.
  • Ryu, C.-M., Choi, H.K., Lee, C.-H., Murphy, J., Lee, J-K. and Kloepper, J. 2013. Modulation of quorum sensing in acyl-homoserine lactone-producing or –degrading tobacco plants leads to alteration of induced systemic resistance elicited by the rhizobacterium Serratia marcescens 90-166. The Plant Pathology Journal, 29: 182-192.
  • Kloepper, J.W., Hu, C.-H., Burkett-Cadena, M., Liu, K., Xu, J., and McInroy, J. 2012. Increased populations of deleterious fluorescent pseudomonads colonizing rhizomes of leatherleaf fern (Rumohra adiantiformis) and expression of symptoms of fern distortion syndrome after application of Benlate systemic fungicide. Applied Soil Ecology, 61: 236-246.
  • Kumar, V.K., Yellareddygari, S. KR., Reddy, M.S., Kloepper, J.W., Lawrence, K.S. Zhou, X.G., Sudini, H., Groth, D.E., Raju, S.K., and Miller, M. 2012.  Efficacy of Bacillus subtilis MBI 600 against sheath blight caused by Rhizoctonia solani and on growth and yield of rice. Rice Science, 19 (1) 56-63.
  • Lee, B., Farag, M.A., Park, H.B., Kloepper, J.W., Lee, S.H., and Ryu, C.M. 2012. Induced resistance by a long-chain bacterial volatile:  Elicitation of plant systemic defense by a C13 volatile produced by a root associated bacterium. PLoS ONE, 7 (11) e48744.
  • Ramirez, C.A., and Kloepper, J.W. 2012. Rizobacterias promotoras del crecimiento vegetal. In Hoyos-Carvajal, L.M. (Ed.), Enfermedades de plantas: control biologico pp. 97-126. Bogota:  Ecoe Ediciones: Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
  • Ran, C., Carrias, A., Williams, M., Capps, N., Dan, B.C.T., Newton, J.C., Kloepper, J.W., Ooi, E.L., Browdy, C.L., Terhune, J.S., and Liles, M.R. 2012. Identification of Bacillus strains for biological control of catfish pathogens. PLoS ONE, 7 (9) e45793.
  • Kloepper, J., Kumar, K.V.K., Reddy, M.S., Lawrence, K.S., Zhou, X.G., Groth, D.E., Zhang, S., Raju, M.R.B., Raju, S.K., Raju, M.R.B., Fernando, D., Sudini, H., Du, B., Miller, M.E. (2011). Commercial potential of microbial inoculants for sheath blight management and yield enhancement of rice. In Maheshwari, D.K. (Ed.), Bacteria in Agrobiology: Crop Ecosystems pp. 237-264. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
  • Kumar, K.V.K., Reddy, M.S., Kloepper, J.W., Lawrence, K.S., Yellareddygari, S.K.R., Zhou, X.G., Sudini, H., Surrendranatha Reddy, E.C., Groth, D.E., and Miller, M.E. 2011. Screening and selection of elite plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) for suppression of Rhizoctonia solani and enhancement of rice seedling vigor. J. Pure and Appl. Microbiol. 5(2):641-651.
  • Kumar, V. K., Reddy, M. S., Kloepper, J., Yellareddygari, S. KR., Lawrence, K. S., Zhou, X. G., Sudini, H., Miller, M. E. Appa, R.P., Surendranatha, R.E.C., Niranjana, S.R., and Chandra, N.S. 2011. Plant growth-promoting activities of Bacillus subtilis MBI 600 (INTEGRAL®) and its compatibility with commonly used fungicides in rice sheath blight management. International Journal of Microbiology Research, 3(3): 120-130.
  • Kumar, V. K., Reddy, M. S., Yellareddygari, K.R., Kloepper, J., Lawrence, K. S., Zhou, X.G., Sudini, H., and Miller, M.E. (2011). Evaluation and selection of elite plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria for suppression of sheath blight of rice caused by Rhizoctonia solani in a detached leaf bio-assay. International Journal of Applied Biology and Pharmaceutical Technology 2:488-495.
  • Adesemoye, A. O., Torbert, H.A., and Kloepper, J.W. 2010. Increased plant uptake of nitrogen from 15N-depleted fertilizer using plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. Applied Soil Ecology. 46:54-58.
  • Castillo, J.D., Lawrence, K.S., Kloepper, J.W., and van Santen, E. 2010.  Evaluation of Drechslerella dactylodides, Drechslerella brochopaga, and Paecilomyces lilacinus for biocontrol of Rotylenchulus reniformis. Nematropica. 40:71-85. (PDF)
  • Kloepper, J. W., Saborío, F., Bustamante, E., Polston, J. E., Sánchez, E., and Umaña, G. 2010. Fern distortion syndrome of leatherleaf fern in Costa Rica: Symptoms, incidence, and severity. Plant Dis. 94:940-951.
  • Ramírez, C. A. and Kloepper, J. W. 2010.  Plant growth promotion by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB45 depends on inoculum rate and P-related soil properties. Biol. Fertil. Soils. 46:835-844. (PDF)
  • Zhang, S., White, T.L. Martinez, M.C., McInroy, J.A., Kloepper, J.W. and Klassen, W.  2010.  Evaluation of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria for control of Phytophthora blight on squash under greenhouse conditions.  Biological Control.  53:129-135. (PDF)
  • Adesemoye, A.O. and Kloepper, J.W. 2009. Plant-microbes interactions in enhanced fertilizer-use efficiency. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 85:1-12. (PDF)
  • Adesemoye, A.O., Torbert, H.A., and Kloepper, J.W. 2009. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria allow reduced application rates of chemical fertilizers. Micro. Ecol. 58:921-929. (PDF)
  • Kumar, K.V.K., Raju, S.K., Reddy, M.S., Kloepper, J.W., Lawrence, K.S., Growth, D.E., Miller, M.E., Sudini, H., and Du, B. 2009. Evaluation of commercially available PGPR for control of rice sheath blight caused by Rhizoctonia solani. J. Pure and Appl. Microbiol. 3:485-488. (PDF)
  • Kumar, K.V.K., Raju, S.K., Reddy, M.S., Kloepper, J.W., Lawrence, K.S., Groth, D.E., and Miller, M.E., 2009. Sheath blight disease of rice (Oryza sativa L.) - an overview. Biosciences, Biotechnol. Res. Asia. 62:465-480 (PDF)
  • Yang, J., Kloepper, J.W., and Ryu, C.-M. 2009. Rhizosphere bacteria help plants tolerate abiotic stress. Trends in Plant Sci. 14:1-4. (PDF)
  • Adesemoye, A.O., Torbert, H.A., and Kloepper, J.W. 2008. Enhanced plant nutrient use efficiency with PGPR and AMF in an integrated nutrient management system. Can. J. Microbiol. 54:876-886. (PDF)
  • Burkett-Cadena, M., Kokalis-Burrelle, N., Lawrence, K.S., van Santen, E., and KLoepper, J.W. 2008. Suppressiveness of root-knot nematodes mediated by rhizobacteria. Biological Control. 47:55-59. (PDF)
  • Park, K., Paul, D., Elchae, K., and Kloepper, J.W. 2008. Hyaluronic acid of Streptococcus sp. as a potent elicitor for induction of systemic resistance against plant diseases. World J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 24:1153-1158. (PDF)
  • Ryu, C-M., Yi, H-S., Ahn, Y-R., Kim, W-i., Huimin, Z., Park, S-H., Park, C. S., Farag, M.A., Paré, P. W., and Kloepper, J.W. 2008. Dynamic communication between plants and rhizobacteria via volatile signals. Proc. Of the 13th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. Eds. M. Lorito, S.L. Woo, and F. Scala. Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions, Vol. 6. (PDF)
  • Kloepper, J.W., Gutiérrez-Estrada, A., and McInroy, J.A. 2007. Photoperiod regulates elicitation of growth promotion but not induced resistance by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 53:159-167 This reference is in 2007 and can be found as you scroll down the page. (PDF)
  • Liu, W. Sutton, J.C., Grodzinski, B., Kloepper, J.W., and Reddy, M.S. 2007. Biological control of Pythium root rot of chrysanthemum in small-scale hydroponic units. Phytoparasitica. 35:159-178. (PDF)
  • Ryu, C.-M., Murphy, J.F, Reddy, M.S., and Kloepper, J.W. 2007. A two-strain mixture of rhizobacteria elicits inducation of systemic resistance against Pseudomonas syringae and Cucumber mosaic virus coupled to promotion of plant growth on Arabidopsis thaliana. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 17:280-286. (PDF)
  • Domenech, J., Reddy, M.S., Kloepper, J.W., Ramos, B., and Gutierrez-Manero, J. 2006. Combined application of the biological product LS213 with Bacillus, Pseudomonas, or Chryseobacterium for growth promotion and biological control of soil-borne diseases in pepper and tomato. BioControl. 51:245-258. (PDF)
  • Ji, P., Campbell, H.L., Kloepper, J.W., Jones, J.B., Suslow, T.V., and Wilson, M. 2006. Integrated biological control of bacterial speck and spot of tomato under field conditions using foliar biological control agents and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. Biol. Control. 36:358-367. (PDF)
  • Kloepper, J.W., and Ryu, C.-M. 2006. Bacterial endophytes as elicitors of induced systemic resistance. In: Soil Biology, Volume 9; Microbial Root Endophytes. B; Schulz, C. Boyle, and T.N. Sieber (Eds.). Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (PDF)
  • Kokalis-Burelle, N., Kloepper, J.W., and Reddy, M.S. 2006. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria as transplant amendments and their effects on indigenous rhizosphere microorganisms. Appl. Soil Ecology 31:91-100. (PDF)
  • Paré, P.W., M.A. Farag, Krishnamachari, V., Zhang, H., Ryu, C.-M., and Kloepper, J.W. 2005. Elicitors and priming agents initiate plant defense responses. Photosynthesis Research 85:149-159. (PDF)
  • Ryu, C.-M., Hu, C.-H., Locy, R.D., and Kloepper, J.W. 2005. Study of mechanisms for plant growth promotion elicited by rhizobacteria in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Soil 268:285-292. (PDF)
  • Ryu, C.-M., Farag, M.A., Paré, P.W., and Kloepper, J.W. 2005. Invisible signals from the underground: Bacterial volatiles elicit plant growth promotion and induce systemic resistance. The Plant Pathology Journal 21: 7-12. (PDF)
  • Zhang, S., Reddy, M.S., and Kloepper, J.W. 2004. Tobacco growth enhancement and blue mold protection by rhizobacteria: Relationship between plant growth promotion and systemic disease protection by PGPR strain 90-166. Plant and Soil. 262: 277-288. (PDF)
  • Ryu, C.-M., Murphy, J.R., Mysore, K., and Kloepper, J.W. 2004. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria systemically protect Arabidopsis thaliana against cucumber mosaic virus by a salicylic acid and NPR-1 independent and jasmonic acid-dependent pathway. The Plant Journal. 39:381-392. (PDF)
  • Anith, K.N., Momol, M.T., Kloepper, J.W., Marois, J.J., Olson, S.M., and Jones, J.B. 2004. Efficacy of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, acibenzolar-S-methyl, and soil amendment for integrated management of bacterial wilt on tomato. Plant Dis. 88:669-673. (PDF)
  • Kloepper, J.W., Reddy, M.S., Kenney, D.S., Vavrina, C., Kokalis-Burelle, N., and Martinez-Ochoa, N. 2004. Application of rhizobacteria in transplant production and yield enhancement. Proc. XXVI IHC-Transplant Production and Stand Establishment. Eds. S. Nicola, J. Nowak, and C.S. Vavrina. Acta Hort. 631 HIS 2004. (PDF)
  • Ryu, C.-M., Farag, M.A., Hu, C.-H., Reddy, M.S., Paré, P.W., and Kloepper, J.W. 2004. Bacterial volatiles induce systemic resistance in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology. 134:1017-1026. (PDF)
  • Jeun, Y.C., Park, K.S., Kim, C.H., Fowler, W.D., and Kloepper, J.W. 2004. Cytological observations of cucumber plants during induced resistance elicited by rhizobacteria. Biological Control. 29:34-42. (PDF)
  • Kloepper, J.W., Ryu, C.-M., and Zhang, S. 2004. Induced systemic resistance and promotion of plant growth by Bacillus spp. Phytopathology. 94:1259-1266. (PDF)
  • Kokalis-Burelle, N., and Kloepper, J.W. 2004. Soil Ecosystem Health and its Role in Plant Disease Suppression, pp. 123-140. In: Emerging concepts in plant health management 2004. R.T. Lartey and A. Caesar (Eds.). Research Signpost, Trivandrum, India. (PDF)
  • Jetiyanon, K., Fowler, W.D., and Kloepper, J.W. 2003. Broad-spectrum protection against several pathogens by PGPR mixtures under field conditions. Plant Disease. 87: 1390-1394. (PDF)
  • Murphy, J.F., Reddy, M.S., Ryu, C.-M, Kloepper, J.W., and Li, R. 2003. Rhizobacteria-mediated growth promotion of tomato leads to protection against Cucumber mosaic virus. Phytopathology. 93:1301-1307. (PDF)
  • Beauchamp, C.J., Kloepper, J.W. 2003. Spatial and temporal distribution of a bioluminescent-marked Pseudomonas putida on soybean root. Luminescence. 18:346-351. (PDF)
  • Yan, Z., Reddy, M.S., and Kloepper, J.W. 2003. Survival and colonization of rhizobacteria in a tomato transplant system. Can. J. Microbiol. 49:383-389. (PDF)
  • Spencer, M., Ryu, C.-M., Yang, W.-Y., Kim Y.C., Kloepper, J.W., and Anderson, A.J. 2003. Induced defence in tobacco by Pseudomonas chlororaphis strain O6 involves at least the ethylene pathway. Physiol. Mol. Plant Pathol. 63:27-34. (PDF)
  • Ryu, C.-M., Hu, C.-H., Reddy, M.S., and Kloepper, J.W. 2003. Different signaling pathways of induced resistance by rhizobacteria in Arabidopsis thaliana against two pathovars of Pseudomonas syringae. New Phytologist. 160:413-420. (PDF)
  • Ryu, Choong-Min, Farag, M.A., Hu, C.-H., Reddy, M.S., Wei, H.-X., Paré, P.W., and Kloepper, J.W. 2003. Bacterial volatiles promote growth in Arabidopsis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). 100:4927-4932. (PDF)
  • Kokalis-Burelle, N., Vavrina, C.S., Reddy, M.S., and Kloepper, J.W. 2003. Amendment of muskmelon transplant media with plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria: effects on seedling quality, disease, and nematode resistance. Hortechnology 13:476-482. (PDF)
  • Additional Publications

Last Updated: April 21, 2014

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