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Yuan Zeng

Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D. Auburn University, 2017, Entomology/Microbiology
  • M.S. Auburn University, 2017, Probability and Statistics
  • M.S. Auburn University, 2012, Forest Health
  • B.S. Beijing Forestry University, 2008, Forest Resources Conservation
  • B.S. minor Beijing Forestry University, 2007, Computer Science


  • Professional Development and Travel Award, Colorado State University, 2021
  • International Graduate Student Showcase for International Congress of Entomology, Entomological Society of America (ESA), 2016
  • Outstanding Ph.D. student, Auburn University, 2015
  • Graduate Student Dissertation Fellowship, Auburn University, 2015
  • The Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ALEPSCoR) Graduate Research Scholars Program (GRSP) Round-9 Fellowship, Alabama EPSCoR. 2014
  • Second place, President’s Prize, Graduate Student Poster Competition, ESA Annual Meeting, 2014
  • James Floyd Googan’s Endowed Fellowship in Forest Biology, Auburn University, 2014
  • Outstanding M.S. Student, Auburn University, 2012
  • The Drummond Fellowship, Auburn University, 2012
  • National Scholarship, Ministry of Education, China, 2007
  • Developing field-crop disease forecasting models by integrating multi-comics and environmental sensing technologies
  • Harnessing plant-pathogen-microbiome interactions to promote crop health


Zeng Lab at Virginia Tech - Southern Piedmont AREC

  • Conducting disease and yield evaluation of corn, soybean, and tobacco varieties
  • Testing fungicide efficacy in corn, soybean, and strawberry diseases in Virginia’s Piedmont region
  • Offering plant disease diagnostic services to field-crop growers in Virginia’s Piedmont region

Refereed/Adjudicated Publications:

  • Yuan, J., Zhao, K., Tan, X., Xue, R., Zeng, Y., Ratti, C., and Trivedi, P. 2023. Prospective on the development of synthetic microbial community (SynCom) biosensors. Trends in Biotechnology doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2023.04.007.
  • Alaryan, M.M.^, Zeng, Y., Fulladolsa, A.C., and Charkowski, A.O. 2023. Brassica cover crops and natural Spongospora subterranea infestation of peat-based potting mix may increase powdery scab risk on potato. Plant Disease doi: 10.1094/PDIS-04-22-0863-RE.
  • Zeng, Y. and Wilkinson, C.A. 2023. Evaluation of frogeye leaf spot and Cercospora leaf blight severities and yield performance of maturity group IV soybean cultivars in Nottoway County, Virginia. Plant Disease Management Reports 17, CF059. 
  • Zeng, Y. and Wilkinson, C.A. 2023. Evaluation of frogeye leaf spot and Cercospora leaf blight severities and yield performance of maturity group V soybean cultivars in Nottoway County, Virginia. Plant Disease Management Reports 17, CF058. 
  • Zeng, Y. and Wilkinson, C.A. 2023. Evaluation of frogeye leaf spot and Cercospora leaf blight severities and yield performance of LibertyLink soybean cultivars in Nottoway County, Virginia. Plant Disease Management Reports17, CF057. 
  • Zhang, W., Zeng, Y., Jiao, M., and Li, Y. 2023. Integration of high-throughput omics technologies in medicinal plant research: the new era of natural drug discovery. Frontiers in Plant Science doi: 10.3389/fpls.2023.1073848. 
  • Taylor, D, Charkowski, A.O., and Zeng, Y. 2021. Laboratory assays used to rank potato cultivar tolerance to blackleg showed that tuber vacuum infiltration results correlate with field observations. Plant Disease 105(3):585-591.
  • Zeng, Y., and Charkowski, A.O. 2021. The role of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in bacterial phytopathogenesis. Phytopathology 111(4):600-610. (Selected as the Editor’s pick for April 2021)
  • Zeng, Y., Fulladolsa, A.C., Cordova, A.M.^, O’Neill, P., Gray, S.M., and Charkowski, A.O. 2020. Evaluation of effects of chemical soil treatments and potato cultivars on Spongospora subterranea soil inoculum and the incidence of powdery scab and potato mop-top virus in potato. Plant Disease 104(11):2807-2816.
  • Zeng, Y., Abdo, Z., Charkowski, A.O., Stewart, J.E., and Frost, K. 2019. Responses of bacterial and fungal community structure to different rates of 1,3-dichloropropene fumigation. Phytobiomes Journal 3(3):212-223. (Selected as the Editor’s pick for October 2019)
  • Zeng, Y., Fulladolsa, A.C., Houser, A., and Charkowski, A.O. 2019. Colorado seed potato certification data analysis shows mosaic and blackleg are major diseases of seed potato and identifies tolerant potato varieties. Plant Disease 103(2):192-199.
  • Zeng, Y., Hu, X.P., Cao, G.Q., and Suh, S. 2018. Hemolymph protein profiles of subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes challenged with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Scientific Reports 8(1):13251.
  • Zeng, Y., Hu, X.P., and Suh, S. 2016. Characterization of antibacterial activities of eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, against human pathogens. PLOS One 11(9):e0162249.
  • Zeng, Y., Hu, X.P., Yu, X.Q., and Suh, S. 2014. Multiple antibacterial activities of various proteins in crude extracts from the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar (Blattodea:Isoptera:Rhinotermitidae). Advances in Research 2(8):455-461.
  • Zeng, Y., Kidd, K.R., and Eckhardt, L.G. 2013. The effect of thinning and harvesting on root-feeding bark beetle population dynamics in loblolly pine plantations in central Alabama and Georgia. Pest Management Sciences 70(6):915-921.
  • Matusick, G., Menard, R.D. Zeng, Y., and Eckhardt, L.G. 2012. Root-inhabiting bark beetles (Coleoptera:Curculionidae) and their fungal associates breeding in dying loblolly pine in Alabama. Florida Entomologist 96(1): 238-241.
  • Li, J., Luo, Y.Q., Zeng, Y., Shi, J., Ma, L.Y., Yang, X.H., Wang, Z.J., and Heliövaara, K. 2009. Plant diversity patterns in different forests in Aershan, Inner Mongolia. Forestry Studies in China 11(1):55-60.
  • (Google scholar profile: