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Auburn University
Joe Kloepper

Joseph W. Kloepper

303 Life Sciences Building
Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849
Phone: 334 844-1950
Fax: 334 844-5067

Research Areas:

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

Professional Experience:

  • 1992-Present Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University
  • 1993-1998 Head, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University
  • 1998-Present Director, Biological Control Institute, Auburn University
  • 1992 Acting Department Head, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University
  • 1992-1993 Director, Biological Control Institute, 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


Student Degree Year Graduated
Burkett-Cadena, Marleny Ph.D. 2011
Ramirez, Camilo Ph.D. 2010
Adesemoye, Tony Ph.D. 2009
Cadena, Marleny M.S. 2006
Subbarayan, Praseetha M.Ag. 2006
Hu, Chia-Hui Ph.D. 2005
Gutiérrez, Arcenio  Ph.D. 2005
da Paz, Cris Ph.D. 2005
Rivas, Maria Ph.D. 2004
Ryu, Choong-min Ph.D. 2002
Liu, Qingchun M.S. 2002
Yan, Zhinong Ph.D. 2001
Zhang, Shouan  Ph.D. 2001

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

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.

Kloepper, J.W., Hu, C.-H., Burkett-Cadena, M., Liu, K., Xu, J., and McInroy, J. 2011. 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. Online publication complete: 19-OCT-2011. DOI information: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2011.09.009

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. 53:159-167. (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