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Clemson University
college of agriculture, forestry and life sciences clemson university

Elizabeth Cieniewicz

Assistant Professor of Plant Virology
Plant and Environmental Sciences Department

Office: 216 Biosystems Research Complex
Phone: 864-656-6930

Personal Website:


Educational Background

Ph.D. Plant Pathology
Cornell University, Geneva NY 2019

B.S. Biology
Lebanon Valley College, Annville PA 2014

Courses Taught

Molecular Plant-Pathogen Interactions PLPA 4700/6700 (spring of odd years)
Plant Virology PLPA 4540/6540/4541/6541 (spring of even years)
Plant Disease Diagnosis PLPA 4110/4111/6110/6111 (summer of odd years)


Dr. Cieniewicz is a plant pathologist with a research focus on plant virus ecology and virus-vector interactions. At Clemson she directs the Clemson Clean Plant Center, associated with the Clemson Peach Team and the USDA National Clean Plant Network, to ensure the supply of virus-indexed peach budwood for the eastern U.S. In addition to the NCPN, she is an active member of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and the Entomological Society of America (ESA).

Research Interests

Dr. Cieniewicz is interested in virus ecology, epidemiology, and virus-vector interactions, in particular viruses of specialty crops. She is interested in using information gained from virus ecology research to form data-driven management strategies.


Selected Research Articles:

Tayal, M., Wilson, C., and Cieniewicz, E.J. (2023) Bees and thrips carry virus-infected pollen in peach orchards in South Carolina, United States. Journal of Economic Entomology (Accepted).

Rodriguez-Bonilla, F., Tayal, M., Melgar, J.C., and Cieniewicz, E.J. (2023) Insights on the directional movement of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus between peach and wild Prunus species. Journal of Plant Pathology (Accepted).

Flasco, M., Cieniewicz, E.J., Pethybridge, S.J., and Fuchs, M. (2023) Distinct Red Blotch Disease Epidemiological Dynamics in Two Nearby Vineyards. Viruses 15(5):1184. doi: 10.3390/v15051184.

Flasco, M., Hoyle, V., Cieniewicz, E.J., Loeb, G., McLane, H., Perry, K., and Fuchs, M. (2023) The three-cornered alfalfa hopper, Spissistilus festinus, is a vector of grapevine red blotch virus in the vineyard. Viruses 15(4). 927

Choi, J., Pakbaz, S., Yepes, L.M., Cieniewicz, E.J., Schmitt-Keichinger, C., Labarile, R., Minutillo, S.A., Heck, M., Hua, J., and Fuchs, M. Grapevine fanleaf virus RNA1-encoded proteins 1A and 1BHel individually or cooperatively suppress RNA silencing. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions In Press, ‘First Look’.

Spivey, W.W., Williamson, Z.L., Seiter, J.S., Abrahamian, P., Wang, H., Greene, J., and Cieniewicz, E.J. Analysis of cotton leafroll dwarf virus P0 gene sequences from South Carolina reveals low variability among isolates. Plant Disease In Press, ‘First Look’.

Hoyle, V., Flasco, M., Choi, J., Cieniewicz, E.J., McLane, H., Perry, K., Dangl, G., Al Rwahnih, M., Heck, M., Loeb, G., and Fuchs M. (2022) Transmission of grapevine red blotch virus by Spissistilus festinus [Say, 1830] (Hemiptera: Membracidae) between free-living vines and Vitis vinifera ‘Cabernet franc.’ Viruses 14(6), 1156. DOI: 10.3390/v14061156.

Rodriguez-Bonilla, F. and Cieniewicz, E.J. (2022) Distribution and diversity of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus, prune dwarf virus, and peach latent mosaic viroid in wild Prunus spp. in South Carolina and Georgia. Phytofrontiers 2:363-370. DOI: 10.1094/phytofr-02-22-0013-r.
*Editor’s Pick as Feature Article

Flasco, M., Hoyle, V., Cieniewicz, E., Roy, B., McLane, H., Perry, K. L., Loeb, G. M., Nault, B., Cilia, M., and Fuchs, M. (2021) Grapevine red blotch virus is transmitted by the three-cornered alfalfa hopper in a circulative, non-propagative mode with unique attributes. Phytopathology 111:1851-1861.

Cieniewicz E.J., Poplaski V., Brunelli M., Dombroskie J., and Fuchs M. (2020) Two Distinct genotypes of Spissistilus festinus (Say) (Hemiptera, Membracidae) in the United States revealed by phylogenetic and morphological analyses. Insects 11, 80; doi:10.3390/insects11020080

Cieniewicz E.J., Flasco M., Brunelli M., Wise A., and Fuchs M. (2019) Differential spread of grapevine red blotch virus in California and New York vineyards. Phytobiomes, 3:203-211.

Cieniewicz E.J., Thompson J., McLane H., Perry K.L., Dangl G.S., Corbett Q., Martinson T., Wise A., Wallis A., O’Connell J., Dunst R., Cox K., and Fuchs M. (2018) Prevalence and genetic diversity of grabloviruses in free-living Vitis spp. Plant Disease, 102: 2308-2316.

Cieniewicz E.J., Loeb G., Pethybridge S., Perry K.L. and Fuchs M. (2018) Insights into the ecology of grapevine red blotch virus in a diseased vineyard. Phytopathology, 108: 94-102.

Yepes, L.M. Cieniewicz, E.J, Krenz, B. McLane, H., Thompson, J.R., Perry, K.L. and Fuchs, M. (2018) Causative role of grapevine red blotch virus in red blotch disease. Phytopathology, 108: 902-909.

Cieniewicz E.J., Pethybridge S.J., Gorny A., Madden L.V., McLane H., Perry K.L. & Fuchs M. (2017) Spatiotemporal spread of grapevine red blotch-associated virus in a California vineyard. Virus Research, 241: 156-162.

Book Chapters and Review Articles:

Review Articles and Book Chapters

Flasco, M., Hoyle. V., Cieniewicz E.J., and Fuchs M. (2023) Transmission of grapevine red blotch virus: a virologist’s perspective of the literature and a few recommendations. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (Accepted).

Muñoz, M., Cieniewicz, E.J., and Faust, J.E. (2021) Diseases and Disease Management. Pages 258-315 in: “Cut Flowers and Foliages”, J.E. Faust and J.M. Dole (eds), CAB International DOI: 10.1079/9781789247602.0006.

Fuchs, M., Almeyda, C. V., Al Rwahnih, M., Atallah, S. S., Cieniewicz, E. J., Farrar, K., Foote, W. R., Golino, D. A., Gómez, M. I., Harper, S. J., Kelly, M. K., Martin, R. R., Martinson, T., Osman, F. M., Park, K., Scharlau, V., Smith, R., Tzanetakis, I. E., Vidalakis, G., and Welliver, R. (2021) Economic studies reinforce efforts to safeguard specialty crops in the United States. Plant Disease 105:14–26.

Cieniewicz E.J., Qiu W., Saldarelli P., & Fuchs M. (2020) Believing is seeing: Lessons from emerging viruses in grapevine. Journal of Plant Pathology 102: 619–632.

Cieniewicz E.J., Perry K.L. & Fuchs M. (2017) Grapevine red blotch: molecular biology of the virus and management of the disease. Pages 303-314 in: "Grapevine viruses: molecular biology, diagnostics and management", B. Meng, G.P. Martelli, D. Golino and M. Fuchs (eds), Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany.


Cieniewicz Lab Video
Cieniewicz Lab
Clemson Peach Team
Clemson Clean Plant Center
College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences
College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences |