Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Donna Gibson
headline bar

Donna Gibson
Research Leader, USDA-ARS, 
Biological Integrated Pest Management Research Unit
Supervisory Plant Physiologist

Adjunct Associate Professor and Research Affiliate
Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University

(607) 255-2359, 255-0271 (Voice)
(607) 255-1132 (FAX)

Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1979
B.S. Longwood College, 1972

Research Interests

The major thrust of my research program is the discovery of new natural products that can provide safer means of pest control or have high intrinsic value for the public. We search for naturally occurring compounds produced in plants, fungi, or bacteria that are capable of protecting crops from pests, and possess high target selectivity, environmental compatibility, and novel modes of action. Our search strategies include traditional methods of solid and liquid culture manipulations, molecular screening of genomic DNA for presence of key biosynthetic enzymes for secondary metabolites of interest, and the use of knockout or expression strategies in order to link a specific metabolite to the biosynthetic gene cluster. The compounds we discover from microbes may play roles in growth and development, , or defense, communication, or pathogenicity and virulence in insect;  these potential roles are investigated as part of our basic research focus on pest/pathogen biology. This work complements research conducted within the research unit on development of fungi as biological controls. One of our principal sources of materials is from the ARS Collection of Entomopathogenic Fungi (ARSEF), curated by Rich Humber at the Ithaca location. It is expected that the at least some of the new natural products may have limited use in agriculture, but they could have broader utility and economic competitiveness in other arenas, such as for lead chemistries or as pharmaceuticals.

Publications (2005-2012)

Gibson, D. M., Castrillo, L. A., Donzelli, B. G. G., Milbrath, L. M. 2012. First report of Sclerotium rolfsii on the invasive exotic weed, Vincetoxicum rossicum (pale swallow-wort) in western New York. Plant Disease 96: 456.

Krasnoff, S. B., Englich, U., Miller, P. G., Shuler, M. L., Glahn, R. P., Donzelli, B. G. G.,andGibson, D. M. 2012. Metacridamides A and B, Macrocycles from conidia of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium acridum. Journal of Natural Products 75:175-180.

Donzelli, B. G. G., Krasnoff, S. B., Sun-Moon, Y., Churchill, A. C.L., Gibson, D. M. 2012. Genetic basis of destruxin production in the entomopathogen Metarhizium robertsii. Current Genetics 58: 105-116.

Sevim, A., Donzelli, B. G. G., Wu, D., Demirbag, Z., Gibson, D. M., and Turgeon, B. G. 2012. Hydrophobin genes of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium brunneum, are differentially expressed and corresponding mutants are decreased in virulence. Current Genetics 58: 79-92.

Donzelli, B.D.G., Krasnoff, S. B., Churchill, A. C.L., Vandenberg, J. D., Gibson, D.M. 2010. Identification of a hybrid PKS-NRPS required for the biosynthesis of NG-391 in Metarhizium robertsii.  Current Genetics 56: 151-162

Johnson, E.G., Krasnoff, S.B., Bignell, D.R.D., Chung, W-C.,Tao, T., Parry, R.J., Loria, R. and Gibson, D.M. 2009.  4-Nitrotryptophan is a substrate for the non-ribosomal peptide synthetase TxtB in the thaxtomin A biosynthetic pathway.  Molecular Microbiology 73: 409-418

King, B.C., Donnelly, M.K., Bergstrom, G.C., Walker, L.P., Gibson, D.M. 2009.  An optimized microplate assay system for quantitative evaluation of plant cell wall-degrading enzyme activity of fungal culture extracts.  Biotechnology and Bioengineering 102:1033-1044.

Moon, Y.-S., Donzelli, B.D., Krasnoff, S., McLane, H., Griggs, M.H., Cooke, P., Vandenberg, J.D., Gibson, D.M., and Churchill, A.C.L. 2008. Agrobacterium-mediated disruption of a nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene in the invertebrate pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae reveals a peptide spore factor. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74:4366-4380.

Loria, R., Bignell, D.R.D., Moll, S., Huguet-Tapia, J.C., Joshi, M.V., Johnson, E.G., Seipke, R.F., Gibson, D.M. 2008.  Thaxtomin biosynthesis: The path to plant pathogenicity in the genus Streptomyces. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology 94:3-10.

Johnson, E.G., Sparks, J.P., Dzikovski,B., Crane,B.R.,Gibson, D.M., Loria, R. 2008.  Plant-Pathogenic Streptomyces Species Produce Nitric Oxide Synthase-Derived Nitric Oxide in Response to Host Signals. Chemistry & Biology 15, 43-50.

Krasnoff, S.B., Keresztes, I., Gillilan, R.E., Szebenyi, D.M.E., Donzelli, B.G.G., Churchill, A.C.L., Gibson, D.M. 2007.  Serinocyclins A and B, Novel Heptapeptides from Metarhizium anisopliae.  Journal of Natural Products 70: 1919-1924.

Joshi, M.V., Bignell, D.R.D., Johnson, E.G., Sparks, J.P. Gibson, D.M., Loria, R. 2007. The AraC/XylS regulator TxtR modulates thaxtomin biosynthesis and virulence in Streptomyces scabies. Molecular Microbiology 66: 633-642.

Johnson, E.G., Joshi, M.V., Gibson, D.M., Loria, R. 2007. Cello-oligosaccharides released from host plants induce pathogenicity in scab-causing Streptomyces species.  Plant and Molecular Plant Pathology  71: 18-25.

Pryor, S.W., Siebert, K.J., Gibson, D.M., Gossett, J.M., Walker, L.P. 2007.  Modeling Production of Antifungal compounds and their role in Biocontrol product Inhibitory Activity.  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 55: 9530-9536.

Pryor, S.W., Gibson, D.M., Hay, A.G., Gossett, J.M., Walker, L.P. 2007.  Optimization of Spore and Lipopeptide Production during the Solid-state Fermentation of Bacillus subtilis.  Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 143: 63-79.

Oide, S., Krasnoff, S.,B., Gibson, D.M., and Turgeon, B.G. 2007. Intracellular Siderophores Are Essential for Ascomycete Sexual Development in Heterothallic Cochliobolus heterostrophus and Homothallic Gibberella zeae. Eukaryotic Cell 6: 1339-1353.

Wach, M.J., Krasnoff, S.B., Loria, R., Gibson, D.M. 2007. Effect of carbohydrates on the production of  thaxtomin A by Streptomyces acidiscabies.  Archives of Microbiology 188:81-88.

Schroeder, F.C., Gibson, D.M., Churchill, A.C.L.,Sojikul, P., Wursthorn, E.J., Krasnoff, S,B.,Clardy, J. 2007. Differential Analysis of 2D NMR Spectra: New Natural Products from a Pilot-Scale Fungal Extract Library. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 46: 901-904.

Kornfeld, A.,Kaufman, P.B.,C.R., Gibson, D.M., Bolling, S.F.,Warber, S.L. Chang, S.C., Kirakosyan, A. 2007.  The production of hypericins in two selected Hypericum perforatum shoot cultures is related to differences in black gland structure. 2007. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 45: 24-32.

Pryor, S.W., Gibson, D.M.,Bergstrom, G.C.,Walker, L.P. 2007. Minimization of Between-well Sample Variance of Antifungal Activity Measurements Using a High-Throughput Screening Microplate Bioassay. Biotechniques 42: 168-172.

Pryor, S.W., Gibson, D.M.,Krasnoff, S.B.,Walker, L.P. 2006.  Identification of Antifungal Compounds in a Biological Control Product Using a Microplate Inhibition Bioassay. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 49(5):1643-1649.

Gibson, D.M., Krasnoff, S.B., Churchill, A.C.L. 2006.  Searching for Polyketides in Insect Pathogenic Fungi. In: Polyketides: Biosynthesis, Genetics, and Biological Activity. ACS Book Series, Ed. A. Rimando and S. Bauer, pp. 48-67.

Oide, S., Moeder, W.,Krasnoff, S.,Gibson, D., Haas, H., Yoshioka, K., and Turgeon, B.G. 2006. NPS6, Encoding a Non-Ribosomal Peptide Synthetase Involved in Siderophore-Mediated Iron Metabolism, is a Conserved Virulence Determinant of Plant Pathogenic Ascomycetes. The Plant Cell. 18: 2836-2853.

Kim, B.J., Gibson, D.M., Shuler, M.L. 2006.  Effect of the plant peptide regulator phytosulfokine-a, on the growth and taxol production from Taxus sp. suspension cultures.  Biotechnology and Bioengineering 95: 8-14.

Krasnoff, S.B., Sommers, C.H., Moon, Y-S., Donzelli, B.G.G, Vandenberg, J.D., Churchill, A.C.L., Donna M. Gibson, D.M. 2006. Production of Mutagenic Metabolites by Metarhizium anisopliae. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 54: 7083-7088.

Krasnoff, S.B., Lobkovsky, E.B., Wach, M.J., Loria, R., Gibson, D.M. 2005.  Chemistry and Phytotoxicity of Thaxtomin A alkyl ethers.  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 53: 9446-9451.

Kim, B.J., Gibson, D.M., Shuler, M.L. 2005.  Relationship of viability and apoptosis to taxol production in Taxus sp. suspension cultures elicited with methyl jasmonate.  Biotechnology Progress 21: 700-707.

Krasnoff, S.B., Gibson, D.M., Reategui, R., Wagenaar, M.M., Gloer, J.B. 2005. Cicadapeptins I and II: New Aib-containing peptides from the entomopathogenic fungus Cordyceps heteropoda. Journal of Natural Products 68: 50-55.

Kers, J.A., Cameron, K.D., Joshi, M.V.,Bukhalid, R.A., Morello, J.E.,Wach, M.J., Gibson, D.M., Loria, R. 2005. A large, mobile pathogenicity island confers plant pathogenicity on Streptomyces species.  Molecular Microbiology 55: 1025-1033.

Wach, M.J., Kers, J.A., Krasnoff, S.B., Loria, R., Gibson, D.M. 2005.  Nitric oxide synthase inhibitors and nitric oxide donors modulate the biosynthesis of thaxtomin A, a nitrated phytotoxin produced by Streptomyces spp.  Nitric Oxide 12: 46-53.

Last Modified: 8/13/2016
Footer Content Back to Top of Page