Aiming Wang, Ph.D

Image Aiming Wang
Research Scientist

My research program is directed to study the viral pathogens that threaten crop production in Canada. Extensive research has been done to identify the viral pathogens that cause devastating diseases on soybean, cereals, field horticultural crops, and greenhouse vegetables, and to better understand the infection process of the identified major viruses. Much of the research has also been concentrated on the development of genetic resistance, vaccines, and other novel technologies to control them.

Current research and/or projects

  • Development of Peach Germplasms Resistant to Plum Pox Virus (PPV) 
  • Characterization of Emerging Apple and Cherry Tree Decline Diseases in Canada
  • Sustainable CEA production systems
  • Development of Genetic Resistance to Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus
  • Development of Novel Strategies against Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (APMS)
  • Molecular Plant-Virus Interactions: Defense and Counter-Defense (NSERC, via Western University)

Research and/or project statements

Most Recent Publications :

Journal papers 

  1. Zhang S, Griffiths G, Marchand G, Bernards M, Wang A* (2022) Tomato brown rugose fruit virus: an emerging and rapidly spreading plant RNA virus that threatens tomato production worldwide. Molecular Plant Pathology published online
  2. Xiong R, Wang A, Marsolais F, Todd C* (2022). A fast and efficient method to introduce Apple Latent Spherical Virus to legume plants via Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation of hairy roots. Legume Science  published online
  3. Wu G, Jia Z, Rui P, Zheng H, Lu Y, Lin L, Peng J, Rao S, Wang A, Chen J*, Yan F* (2022) Acidic dileucine motifs in the cylindrical inclusion protein of turnip mosaic virus are crucial for endosomal targeting and viral replication. Molecular Plant Pathology published online
  4. Usovsky M, Chen P*, Li D, Wang A, Shi A, Zheng C, Shakiba E, Lee D, Canella Vieira C, Lee YC, Wu C, Cervantez I, Dong D (2022) Decades of genetic research on Soybean mosaic virus resistance in soybean. Viruses 14(6): 1122.
  5. Jia D, Liang Q, Liu H, Li G, Zhang X, Chen Q, Wang A, Wei T* (2022) A nonstructural protein encoded by a rice reovirus induces an incomplete autophagy to promote viral spread in insect vectors. PLoS Pathogens 18: e1010506.
  6. Wu G, Jia Z, Ding K, Zheng H, Lu Y, Lin L, Peng J, Rao S, Wang A, Chen J*, Yan F* (2022) Turnip mosaic virus co-opts the vacuolar sorting receptor VSR4 to promote viral genome replication in plants by targeting viral replication vesicles to the endosome. PLoS Pathogens 18(1): e1010257.
  7. Zhang M, Gong P, Ge L, Li Y, Chang Z, Qiao R, Zhou X, Wang A*, Li F* (2022) Nuclear Exportin 1 (XPO1) binds to the nuclear localization/export signal of the turnip mosaic virus NIb to promote viral infection. Frontiers in Microbiology 12: 780724.
  8. Simkovich A, Li Y, Kohalmi S, Griffiths G, Wang A* (2021) Molecular identification of prune dwarf virus (PDV) infecting sweet cherry in Canada and development of a PDV full-length infectious cDNA clone. Viruses 13 (10): 2025.
  9. Wang A* (2021) Cell-to-cell movement of plant viruses via plasmodesmata: A current perspective on potyviruses. Current Opinion in Virology 48: 10–16.
  10. Yang X, Li Y, Wang A* (2021) Research advances in potyviruses: from the laboratory bench to the field. Annual Review of Phytopathology 59: 1–29.
  11. Simkovich A, Kohalmi S, Wang A* (2021) First report of little cherry virus 1 infecting sweet cherry in Ontario, Canada. Plant Disease
  12. Simkovich A, Kohalmi S, Wang A* (2021) First report of cherry virus A infecting sweet cherry in Ontario, Canada. New Disease Reports 44: e12022.
  13. Zhang M, Gong P, Ge L, Chang Z, Cheng X, Zhou X, Wang A, Li F* (2021) Nuclear exportin 1 facilitates turnip mosaic virus infection by exporting the sumoylated viral replicase and by repressing plant immunity. New Phytologist (2021) 232: 1382–1398.
  14. Qin L, Shen W, Tang Z, Hu W, Shangguan L, Wang Y, Tuo D, Li Z, Miao W, Valli AA, Wang A, Cui H* (2021) A newly identified virus in the family Potyviridae encodes two leader cysteine proteases in tandem that evolve contrasting RNA silencing suppression functions. Journal of Virology 95: e01414-20

Books and Book chapters

  1. Wang A*, Li Y (2022) Methods in Molecular Biology: Plant Virology Methods and Protocols (320 pages). Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2400).
  2. Chen X*, Luan Y, Wang A (2022) In Vivo Detection of Double-Stranded RNA by dRBFC Assay. In Wang A, Li Y (eds) Plant Virology: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 2400: 1-9.
  3. Li F*, Wang A (2022) Transient Expression–Mediated Gene Silencing in Plants and Suppression of Gene Silencing with Viral Suppressors. In Wang A, Li Y (eds) Plant Virology: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 2400: 33-41.
  4. Dai Z, Wang A* (2022) Isolation and Transfection of Plant Mesophyll Protoplasts for Virology Research. In Wang A, Li Y (eds) Plant Virology: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 2400: 43-53.
  5. Dai Z, Wang A* (2022) Monitoring Virus Intercellular Movement from Primary Infected Cells to Neighboring Cells in Plants. In Wang A, Li Y (eds) Plant Virology: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 2400: 63-73.
  6. Tang Z, Bernards M, Wang A* (2022) Simultaneous Determination and Subcellular Localization of Protein–Protein Interactions in Plant Cells Using Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation Assay. In Wang A, Li Y (eds) Plant Virology: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 2400: 75-85.
  7. Lyu S, Zhang C, Hou X, Wang A* (2022) Tag-Based Pull-Down Assay.  In Wang A, Li Y (eds) Plant Virology: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 2400: 105-114.
  8. He R, Bernards M, Wang A* (2022)  Purification of Plasmodesmata-Enriched Fraction for Proteomic Analyses. In Wang A, Li Y (eds) Plant Virology: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 2400: 115-123.
  9. Simkovich A, Kohalmi SE, Wang A* (2022). Purification and Proteomics Analysis of Phloem Tissues from Virus-Infected Plants. In Wang A, Li Y (eds) Plant Virology: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 2400: 125-137.
  10. Li Y, Wang A* (2022) Biolistic Inoculation of Fruit Trees with Full-Length Infectious cDNA Clones of RNA Viruses. In Wang A, Li Y (eds) Plant Virology: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 2400: 207-216.


Professional activities / interests

  • Understanding of molecular virus-plant interactions and virus genome expression and replication mechanism
  • Molecular isolation of host factors and natural resistance genes
  • Development of novel antiviral strategies through biotechnology and beneficial uses of plant viruses
  • Training PhD students and postdoctoral scientists

Education and awards

PhD, the University of British Columbia in 1999

Gold Harvest (Innovation and Excellence), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2010

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Government of Canada in 2013

Outstanding Research Award, the Canadian Phytopathological Society in 2019

Ruth Allen Award, the American Phytopathological Society in 2019

International experience and/or work

Collaborative research being carried out with colleagues in China, the United States, Spain and France

Key publications

  1. Patel V, Fall ML, Wang A, Ellouze W (2021) RNAi triggered systemic acquired resistance to combat emerging plant pathogens. The Joint Canadian Fungal Research Network (CanFunNet) and Great Lakes Mycology Conference 2021/05/26 - 2021/05/28, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada, p 90

    2021 - View publication details

  2. Qin, L., Shen, W., Tang, Z., Hu, W., Shangguan, L., Wang, Y., Tuo, D., Li, Z., Miao, W., Valli, A.A., Wang, A., Cui, H. (2021). A newly identified virus in the family potyviridae encodes two leader cysteine proteases in tandem that evolved contrasting RNA silencing suppression functions. Journal of Virology, [online] 95(1),

    2021 - View publication details

  3. Harris, J.M., Balint-Kurti, P., Bede, J.C., Day, B., Gold, S., Goss, E.M., Grenville-Briggs, L.J., Jones, K.M., Wang, A., Wang, Y., Mitra, R.M., Sohn, K.H., Alvarez, M.E. (2020). What are the Top 10 Unanswered Questions in Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions?, 33(12), 1354-1365.

    2020 - View publication details

  4. Pollari, M., De, S., Wang, A., Mäkinen, K. (2020). The potyviral silencing suppressor HCPro recruits and employs host ARGONAUTE1 in pro-viral functions. PLoS Pathogens, [online] 16(10),

    2020 - View publication details

  5. Li, F., Zhang, C., Tang, Z., Zhang, L., Dai, Z., Lyu, S., Li, Y., Hou, X., Bernards, M., Wang, A. (2020). A plant RNA virus activates selective autophagy in a UPR-dependent manner to promote virus infection. New Phytologist, [online] 228(2), 622-639.

    2020 - View publication details

  6. Dai, Z., He, R., Bernards, M.A., Wang, A. (2020). The cis-expression of the coat protein of turnip mosaic virus is essential for viral intercellular movement in plants. Molecular Plant Pathology, [online] 21(9), 1194-1211.

    2020 - View publication details

  7. Chai, M., Wu, X., Liu, J., Fang, Y., Luan, Y., Cui, X., Zhou, X., Wang, A., Cheng, X. (2020). P3N-PIPO interacts with P3 via the shared N-Terminal domain to recruit viral replication vesicles for cell-to-cell movement. Journal of Virology, [online] 94(8),

    2020 - View publication details

  8. Cui, H., Li, Y., Wang, A. 2172 155-163.

    2020 - View publication details

  9. Wu, G., Cui, X., Dai, Z., He, R., Li, Y., Yu, K., Bernards, M., Chen, X., Wang, A. (2020). A plant RNA virus hijacks endocytic proteins to establish its infection in plants. Plant Journal, [online] 101(2), 384-400.

    2020 - View publication details

  10. Cui, H., Wang, A. (2019). The Biological Impact of the Hypervariable N-Terminal Region of Potyviral Genomes. Annual Review of Virology, [online] 6 255-274.

    2019 - View publication details

  11. Griffiths, J., Lofano, A., Ellouze, W., Wang, A. (2019) Apple and apricot decline in Ontario. Plant Canada 2019, July 7-10. University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

    2019 - View publication details

  12. Tran, H.H., Chen, B., Chen, H., Menassa, R., Hao, X., Bernards, M., Hüner, N.P.A., Wang, A. (2019). Development of a cucumber green mottle mosaic virus-based expression vector for the production in cucumber of neutralizing epitopes against a devastating animal virus. Journal of Virological Methods, [online] 269 18-25.

    2019 - View publication details

  13. Hu, W., Luo, H., Yang, Y., Wang, Q., Hong, N., Wang, G., Wang, A., Wang, L. (2019). Comprehensive analysis of full genome sequence and Bd-milRNA/target mRNAs to discover the mechanism of hypovirulence in Botryosphaeria dothidea strains on pear infection with BdCV1 and BdPV1. IMA Fungus, [online] 10(1),

    2019 - View publication details

  14. Yang, K., Shen, W., Li, Y., Li, Z., Miao, W., Wang, A., Cui, H. (2019). Areca palm necrotic ringspot virus, classified within a recently proposed genus arepavirus of the family Potyviridae, is associated with necrotic ringspot disease in areca palm. Phytopathology, [online] 109(5), 887–894.

    2019 - View publication details

  15. Zhang, F., Yang, Z., Hong, N., Wang, G., Wang, A., Wang, L. (2019). Identification and characterization of water chestnut Soymovirus-1 (WCSV-1), a novel Soymovirus in water chestnuts (Eleocharis dulcis). BMC Plant Biology, [online] 19(1),

    2019 - View publication details

  16. Wu, X., Liu, J., Chai, M., Wang, J., Li, D., Wang, A., Cheng, X. (2019). The potato virus X TGBP2 protein plays dual functional roles in viral replication and movement. Journal of Virology, [online] 93(5),

    2019 - View publication details

  17. Bujarski, J., Gallitelli, D., García-Arenal, F., Pallás, V., Palukaitis, P., Krishna Reddy, M., Wang, A. (2019). ICTV virus taxonomy profile: Bromoviridae. Journal of General Virology, [online] 100(8), 1206-1207.

    2019 - View publication details

  18. Li, F., Zhang, C., Li, Y., Wu, G., Hou, X., Zhou, X., Wang, A. (2018). Beclin1 restricts RNA virus infection in plants through suppression and degradation of the viral polymerase. Nature Communications, [online] 9(1),

    2018 - View publication details

  19. Li, F., Wang, A. (2018). RNA decay is an antiviral defense in plants that is counteracted by viral RNA silencing suppressors. PLoS Pathogens, [online] 14(8),

    2018 - View publication details

  20. Towards Development of Next Generation Resistance to Soybean Mosaic Virus. Kangfu Yu and Aiming Wang. Plant Biology Europe 2018, Copenhagen, Denmark. On June 17-21, 2018.

    2018 - View publication details

Research facility

1391 Sandford Street
London, ON N5V 4T3


  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario
  • Editor of the Journals "Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (MPMI)" and "PLoS Pathogenes"
  • Associated Editor of the Journals "Journal of Virology", "Scientific Reports", "Virology", and Virology Journal.
  • Lifetime Member, American Society for Virology
  • Full Member, International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Member of International Plum Pox Virus Scientific Committee
  • Member of Bromoviridae Study Group, International Committee on Taxonomy on Viruses