Thomas Mitchell
Thomas K. Mitchell
Associate Professor. Fungal Biology, Molecular Genetics. Undergraduate Advisor
(614) 292-1728
481B Kottman Hall, Columbus


> Powerful DNA Applications for Fungal Pathogens
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Selected presenter in a special session, "Faces of the Future in Mycology - A Look to the Future," at the 2008 American Phytopathological Society Centennial Meeting,  Minneapolis Minn.

Research Area

Fungal biology and parasitism with an emphasis on using modern tools and techniques in molecular biology, genomics, and proteomics to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of virulence.

Teaching and Outreach

  • PLNTPTH 2000: Molds, Mushrooms, and Mankind
  • PLNTPTH 5040 and 5041: Science of Fungi: Mycology
  • Dr. Mitchell is the Undergraduate Coordinating Advisor for Plant Health Management and Plant Pathology undergraduate majors.


  • PhD  Plant Pathology - North Carolina State University (2000)
  • MS Plant Pathology  -  Clemson University (1995)
  • BS Plant Science  -  Pennsylvania State University (1992)

Selected Publications

  • Flores, F., Marek, S., Anderson, J., Mitchell, T., and N. Walker. 2015. Infection and colonization of several bermudagrasses by Ophiosphaerella korrae. Phytopathology
  • Chen, C., Chen, M., Hu, J., Zhang, W., Zhong, Z., Jia, Y., Wang, G.L., Wang, Z., Shen, W.C., Lu, G., Wang, B., and T. Mitchell. 2014. Sequence variation and recognition specificity of the avirulence gene AvrPiz-t in Magnaporthe oryzae field populations. Fungal Genomics and Biology 4: 1-8
  • Chung, D., Barker, B., Carey, C., Chung, D., Cheng, C., Xu, W., Merriman, B., Blosser, S., Morohashi, K., Mazurie, A., Mitchell, T., Mitchell, A., R. Cramer. 2014. ChIP-seq and in vivo gene expression analyses of the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus SREBP SrbA reveals new insights into hypoxia adaptation and fungal virulence. PLoS Pathogens 6: 1-14
  • Book chapter. Singh, J, Zhang, X, Stewart, L, Mitchell, T, and Qu, F. "Role of double-stranded RNA-binding proteins in RNA silencing and antiviral defense." In PLANT VIRUS-HOST INTERACTION: MOLECULAR APPROACHES AND VIRAL EVOLUTION. Edited by Gaur, RK, Hohn, T, and Sharma, P.. 1-16. AMSTERDAM, BOSTON, HEIDELBERG, LONDON, NEW YORK et al, NL|NLD: Elsevier, January 2014
  • Chen, SB; Songkumarn, P; Venu, RC; Gowda, M; Bellizzi, M; Hu, JN; Liu, WD; Ebbole, D; Meyers, B; Mitchell, T; Wang, GL. 2013. Identification and Characterization of In planta-Expressed Secreted Effector Proteins from Magnaporthe oryzae That Induce Cell Death in Rice. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 26: 191-202
  • Hu, J., Chen, C., Peever, T., Dang, H., Lawrence, C., and T. Mitchell. 2012. Genomic characterization of the conditionally dispensable chromosome in Alternaria arborescens provides evidence for horizontal gene transfer.  BMC Genomics  13:171
  • Orshinsky, A. M., Hu, J., Opiyo, S. O., Reddyvari-Channarayappa, V., Mitchell, T. M., and Boehm, M.J. 2012.  RNA-Seq analysis of the Sclerotinia homoeocarpa creeping bentgrass pathosystem. Plos ONE 7(8): e41150.
  • Li, G., Zhou, X., Zhang, H., Wang, Y., Zhu, H., Mitchell, T., Dean, R., and J. R. Xu. 2011. MoSfl1 Is Important for Virulence and Heat Tolerance in Magnaporthe oryzae.  PLoS ONE 6(5): e19951. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019951.
  • Nunes, C., Sailsbery, J., Gowda, M., Xue, M., Chen, F., Brown, D., Oh, Y., Mitchell, T., and R. Dean. 2011. Diverse and Tissue-enriched small RNAs in the plant pathogenic fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.  Nucleic Acids Research. (IF: 7.5) (Unspecified)
  • Liu J, Wang X, Mitchell T, Hu Y, Liu X, Dai L, Wang GL. 2010.  Recent progress and understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the rice-Magnaporthe oryzae interaction. Mol Plant Pathology 11: 419-427.
  • Kim, S., Hu, J., Oh, Y., Park, J., Choi, J., Lee, Y-H., Dean, R., and T. Mitchell. 2010. Combining ChIP-chip and expression profiling to model the MoCRZ1 mediated circuit for Ca2+/calcineurin signaling in the rice blast fungus.  PLoS Pathogens. Vol. 6, no. 5 (May): 1-15. (IF: 9.2)
  • Caasi, Oliver C.; Nathan R. Walker; Stephen M. Marek; James N. Enis; and Thomas K. Mitchell.  2010.  Infection and colonization of turf-type bermudagrass by Ophiosphaerella herpotricha expressing green (GFP) or red (tdTomato) fluorescent proteins.  Phytopathology 100(5):415-423
  • Kim, Soonok; Jongsun Park; Sook-Young Park; Thomas K. Mitchell; and Yong-Hwan Lee.  2010. Identification and analysis of in planta expressed genes of Magnaporthe oryzae.  BMC Genomics.  Vol. 11:104.
  • Anco, D.J., Kim, S., Mitchell, T.K., Madden, L.V., and Ellis, M.A. 2009. Transformation of Phomopsis viticola with the green fluorescent protein.  Mycologia. Vol. 101, no. 6: 853-858. DOI: 10.3852/09-007.
  • Cho, Y., Kwang-Hyung, K., Mauricio, L.R., Scott, D., Santopietro, G., Callihan, M., Mitchell, T.K., and C. Lawrence. 2009.  Identification of novel virulence factors associated with signal transduction pathways in Alternaria brassicicola.  Molecular Microbiology. Vol. 72, no. 6: 1316-1333.
  • Meng, S., Brown, D.E., Ebbole, D., Torto-Alalibo, T., Oh, Y.Y., Deng, J., Mitchell, T.K., and R. A. Dean. (2009) Gene ontology annotation of the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae.  BMC Microbiology. Vol. S8, no. 9: 1-6.
  • Mitchell, T.K., R. A. Dean, J-R. Xu, H. Zhu, Y. Oh, and H-S. Rho (2009). Protein Chips and Chromatin Immunoprecipitation - Emerging Technologies to Study Macromolecule Interactions in M. grisea. In Advances in Genetics, Genomics and Control of Rice Blast Disease. Part I, 73-82.
  • Craven, K.D., Valez, E., Hicks, R., Cho, Y., Lawrence C.B., and T. K. Mitchell (2008). The role of anastomosis in pathogenicity of the fungal pathogen Alternaria brassicicola. Eukaryotic Cell 7:675-683.
  • Ellis, S.D., Boehm, M.J., and T.K. Mitchell (2008).  Fungal and Fungal-Like Diseases of Plants > OSU Extension Fact Sheet PP 401.07
  • Lawrence, C.B., T.K. Mitchell, K.D. Craven, Y. Cho, R.A. Cramer, and K.H. Kim (2008).  Knocking on Death's Door: Alternaria Pathogenicity Mechanisms.  Plant Pathology Journal 24, 101-111.
  • Oh, Y. Y., Donofrio, N., Pan, H., Coughlan, S., Brown, D., Meng, S., Mitchell, T., and R. Dean (2008). Transcriptome analysis reveals new insight into appressorium formation and function in the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. Genome Biology 9:R85.

Professional Experience

  • 2012 - present  Associate Professor, The Ohio State University, Department of Plant Pathology
  • 2007-2012  Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University, Department of Plant Pathology
  • 2001-2007  Research Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University, Center for Integrated Fungal Research, Department of Plant Pathology
  • 2005-present   Adjunct Faculty, Oklahoma State University Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • 2005-2007   Adjunct Faculty, Fayetteville State University Department of Biology 
  • 1999-2001   Senior Research Scientist. North Carolina State University, Fungal Genomics Laboratory, Department of Plant Pathology