Pierluigi (Enrico) Bonello
Professor, Molecular and Chemical Ecology of Trees. Plant Pathology Grad Studies Chair
(614) 688-5401
483C Kottman Hall, Columbus

> Bonello Lab Website

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Research Area

My primary research interest is in the ecological role of tree pathogens.  A specific aspect being investigated is the chemical ecology of tree/fungal pathogen/insect interactions, with particular attention to effects of fungal pathogens on systemic induced resistance (SIR) against pathogens and insects, and cross-induction effects between fungal pathogens and insects mediated by the host tree.

A second focus of my research is on the relationships between soil fertility, carbon allocation, resource partitioning, and mycorrhizal community structure, and between growth and defense against both pathogens and insects.

A third area of interest is the ecological role and intimate relationships with the host of invasive organisms, particularly Phytophthora ramorum (causal agent of sudden oak death) and the emerald ash borer (a destructive wood boring insect pest).

Besides my role as a faculty in Plant Pathology, I am a member of the interdisciplinary graduate program in Environmental Science (


PLNTPTH 5110  Ecology and Management of Pathogens and Insects Affecting Tress in Forest and Urban Environments (3 cr)

Selected Publications

View > Longer list of publications

  • Chakraborty S, Whitehill JG, Hill AL, Opiyo SO, Cipollini D, Herms DA, Bonello P.  2014. Effects of Water Availability on Emerald Ash Borer Larval Performance and Phloem Phenolics of Manchurian and Black. Plant, Cell and Environment 37:1009–1021
  • Conrad AO, Rodriguez-Saona LE, McPherson BA, Wood DL, Bonello P. 2014. Identification of Quercus agrifolia (coast live oak) resistant to the invasive pathogen Phytophthora ramorum in native stands using Fourier-Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Frontiers in Plant Science – Technical Advances in Plant Science 5: doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00521-
  • McPherson, B. A., Mori, S. R., Opiyo, S. O., Conrad, A. O., Wood, D. L., Bonello, P. 2014. Association between resistance to an introduced invasive pathogen and phenolic compounds that may serve as biomarkers in native oaks. Forest Ecology and Management 312:154-160
  • McPherson BA, Mori SR, Opiyo SO, Conrad AO, Wood DL, Bonello P. Native oaks exhibit biomarker-associated resistance to an introduced invasive pathogen. 2014.  Forest Ecology and Management 312: 154-160
  • Najar A, Landhäusser SM, Whitehill JGA, Bonello P, Erbilgin N.  2014. Reserves accumulated in non-photosynthetic organs during the previous growing season drive plant defenses and growth in aspen in the subsequent growing season. Journal of Chemical Ecology 40: 21-30
  • Soltis NE, Gomez S, Leisk GG, Sherwood P, Preisser EL, Bonello P, Orians CM. 2014. Failure under stress: the effect of the exotic herbivore Adelges tsugae on biomechanics of Tsuga canadensis. Annals of Botany 113: 721-730
  • Villari C, Faccoli M, Battisti A, Bonello P, Marini L. 2014. Testing trade-offs in the chemical defence strategy of Scots pine under field conditions. Tree Physiology 34: 919-930
  • Whitehill JGA, Rigsby C, Cipollini D, Herms DA, Bonello P. Decreased emergence of emerald ash borer from ash (Fraxinus spp.) treated with methyl jasmonate is associated with induction of general defense traits and the toxic phenolic compound verbascoside. 2014. Oecologia 176: 1047-1059
  • Sherwood P. and Bonello P.  2013. Austrian pine phenolics are likely contributors to systemic induced resistance by Diplodia pinea. Tree Physiology 33: 845-854
  • McPherson, Brice A.; Erbilgin, Nadir; Bonello, Pierluigi; Wood, David L. 2013. Fungal species assemblages associated with Phytophthora ramorum-infected coast live oaks following bark and ambrosia beetle colonization in northern California. Forest Ecology and Management 291: 30-42
  • Hill, A.L, Whitehill, JGA, Opiyo, SO, Phelan, PL, and Bonello, P.  2012. Nutritional attributes of Ash (Fraxinus Spp.) outer bark and phloem and their relationships to resistance against the Emarald Ash borer. Tree Physiology 32 (12): 1522-1532
  • Kleczewski Nathan M.; Herms Daniel A.; Bonello Pierluigi. 2012. Nutrient and water availability alter belowground patterns of biomass allocation, carbon partitioning, and ectomycorrhizal abundance in Betula nigra.  TREES-STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION  26(2): 525-533.
  • Rivera-Vega L., Mamidala P., Bonello P., Herms D.A., Mittapalli O. 2012. Evaluation of reference genes for gene expression studies in ash (Fraxinus spp.).  Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 30: 242-245.
  • Villari,Caterina; Battisti,Andrea; Chakraborty,Sourav; Michelozzi,Marco; Bonello,Pierluigi; Faccoli,Massimo. 2012 Nutritional and pathogenic fungi associated with the pine engraver beetle trigger comparable defenses in Scots pine. Tree Physiology 32: 867-879.
  • Whitehill JG, Opiyo SO, Koch JL, Herms DA, Cipollini DF, Bonello P. 2012. Interspecific Comparison of Constitutive Ash Phloem Phenolic Chemistry Reveals Compounds Unique to Manchurian Ash, a Species Resistant to Emerald Ash Borer JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY 38(5):499-511.
  • Bai, X., Rivera-Vega, L., Mamidala, P., Bonello, P., Herms, D.A., Mittapalli, O. 2011. Transcriptomic signatures of ash (Fraxinus spp.) phloem.  PLOS One. Vol. 6, no. 1. (January): e16368-e16368.
  • Chen Y., Whitehill J.G.A., Bonello P. and Poland T.M. 2011. Differential response in foliar chemistry of three ash species to emerald ash borer adult feeding.  Journal of Chemical Ecology. Vol. 37, no. 1. (January): 29-39.
  • Chen Y., Whitehill J.G.A., Bonello P. and Poland T.M. 2011. Feeding by emerald ash borer larvae induces systemic changes in black ash foliar chemistry.  Phytochemistry 72:1990-1998.
  • Chorbadjian R.A., Bonello P., Herms D.A. 2011. Effect of the growth regulator paclobutrazol and fertilization on Austrian pine and paper birch defensive chemistry and herbivore resistance.  Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. (Accepted)
  • Cipollini D., Wang Q., Whitehill J.G.A., Powell J.R., Bonello P. and Herms D.A. 2011. Distinguishing defensive characteristics in the phloem of ash species resistant and susceptible to emerald ash borer.  Journal of Chemical Ecology 37: 450-459.
  • Kleczewski N.M., Herms D.A. and Bonello P. 2011. Soil resource availability, carbon allocation and partitioning among root phytochemicals and ectomycorrhizae: Relationships to tree seedling predisposition to drought.  Trees - Structure and Function. (Accepted)
  • Muilenburg V.L., Phelan P.L., Bonello P. and Herms D.A. 2011. Inter- and intra-specific variation in stem phloem phenolics of paper birch(Betula papyrifera) and European white birch (Betula pendula).  Journal of Chemical Ecology. (Accepted)
  • Nagle A.M., McPherson B.A., Garbelotto M., Wood D.L. and Bonello P. 2011. Relationship between resistance to Phytophthora ramorum and constitutive phenolic chemistry in coast live oak.  Forest Pathology.  DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0329.2010.00703.x
  • Rajarapu S.P., Mamidala P., Herms D.A., Bonello P. and Mittapalli O. 2011. Antioxidant genes of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis): Gene characterization and expression profiles.  Journal of Insect Physiology 57(6):819-24.
  • Rivera-Vega L., Mamidala P., Bonello P., Herms D.A., Mittapalli O. 2011. Evaluation of reference genes for gene expression studies in ash (Fraxinus spp.).  Plant Molecular Biology Reporter. (Accepted)
  • Wallis C., Eyles A., Chorbadjian R.A., Riedl K., Schwartz S., Hansen R., Cipollini D., Herms D.A., Bonello P. 2011. Differential effects of nutrient availability on the secondary metabolism of Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) phloem and resistance to Diplodia pinea.  Forest Pathology. (IF: 1.225)
  • Whitehill J.G.A., Popova-Butler A., Green-Church K.B., Koch J.L., Herms D.A. and Bonello P. 2011. Interspecific proteomic comparisons reveal ash phloem genes potentially involved in constitutive resistance to the emerald ash borer.  PLoS One. Vol. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024863.
  • Kleczewski, Nathan M., Daniel A. Herms and Pierluigi Bonello.  2010.  Effects of soil type, fertilization and drought on carbon allocation to root growth and partitioning between secondary metabolism and ectomycorrhizae of Betula papyriferaTree Physiology 30:807-817.
  • Bonello, P. 2010. Potential of induced resistance as a tool for the management of pathogens and insects in trees.  New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 40:S15-S24.
  • Eyles A, Bonello P, Ganley R, Mohammed C. 2010. Induced resistance to pests and pathogens in trees.  New Phytologist 185:893-908. (IF: 5.178)
  • Wallis C, Eyles A, Chorbadjian RA, Riedl K, Schwartz S, Hansen R, Cipollini D, Herms DA, Bonello P. 2010. Differential effects of nutrient availability on the secondary metabolism of Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) phloem and resistance to Diplodia pineaForest Pathology. (IF: 1.225)
  • Cipollini, D.F., E.K. Barto, P. Bonello, and D.A. Herms. Comparative defense protein activities in the phloem of Manchurian ash (Fraxinus mandshurica) and two North American ash species (F. americana and F. pennsylvanica).  Journal of Chemical Ecology 33:1430-1448. 

Plant Disease Factsheets

Diplodia Tip Blight of Two-Needled Pines (pdf)
Mycorrhizae in Urban Landscapes (pdf)
Oak Wilt (pdf)
Dutch Elm Disease (pdf)
Sudden Oak Death (pdf)

Professional Experience

  • 2010-present Ohio State University, Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology
  • 2005-2010 Ohio State University, Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology
  • 2000-2005 Ohio State University, Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology
  • 1997-2000  University of California, Davis, Post-doc, Host/Pathogen/Insect Interactions
  • 1994-1996  University of California, Berkeley, Post-doc, Host/Pathogen/Insect Interactions; Mycorrhizal Ecology
  • 1991-1992  GSF - Forschungszentrum fr Umwelt und Gesundheit, Munich, Germany, Post-doc, Air Pollution and Disease Resistance in Scots pine
  • 1991  University of Oxford, U.K., D.Phil., Resistance Mechanisms in Primary Roots of Scots Pine
  • 1987  University of Padova, Italy, M.Sc., Forestry/Forest Pathology