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IMV Executive Assistant


tel. (612) 624-1926

fax. (612) 625-1108


18-242 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

General Questions:

Neil E. Olszewski,

Department of Plant Biology

Phone: 612-625-1738



Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1983

Research Interests

My research interests are directed toward understanding the signal transduction that occurs following the perception of plant hormones. Although gibberellins are known to play roles in virtually all aspects of plant growth and development, relatively little is known about gibberellin signal transduction. Current research efforts are using molecular genetic approaches to identify and characterize components of the gibberellin signal transduction pathway of Arabidopsis thaliana. This effort is focused primarily on the recently identified and cloned SPINDLY gene.

Another project is concerned with the molecular genetic characterization of the badnaviruses. These viruses infect a number of plant species and have recently been shown to possess genomes consisting of double-stranded DNA. Genetic and biochemical studies designed to elucidate the functions of the virus encoded proteins are the focus of current research. In addition, the role of badnavirus sequences that are integrated into the genome of banana in causing banana streak virus infections is being investigated.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Ndowora, T., Dahal, G., LaFleur, D., Harper, G., Hull, R., Olszewski, N. and Lockhart, B. (1999) Evidence that badnavirus infection in Musa can originate from integrated pararetroviral sequences. Virology 225:214-220.
  • Shi, L. and Olszewski, N.E. (1998) Gibberellin and Abscisic Acid Regulate GAST1 Expression at the Level of Transcription. Plant Mol. Biol. 38:1053-1060.
  • Tzafrir, I., Torbert, K.A., Lockhart, B.E.L., Somers, D.A. and Olszewski, N.E. (1998) The sugarcane bacilliform virus promoter is active in both monocots and dicots. Plant Molecular Biology 347-356.
  • Robertson, M., Swain, S.M., Chandler, P.M. and Olszewski, N.E. (1998) Identification of a negative regulator of gibberellin action, HvSPY, in barley. The Plant Cell 10: 995-1007.
  • Tzafrir, I., Ayala-Navarrete, L., Lockhart, B.E.L., and Olszewski, N.E. (1997) The N-terminal Portion of the 216 Kilodalton Polyprotein of Commelina yellow mottle badnavirus is Required for Virus Movement but not for Replication. Virology 232: 359-368.
  • Jacobsen, S.E. and Olszewski, N.E. (1996) SPINDLY, a tetratricopeptide repeat protein involved in gibberellin signal transduction in Arabidopsis. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 93:9292-9296.
  • Jacobsen, S.E. and Olszewski, N.E. (1993) Mutations at the spindly locus of Arabidopsis alter gibberellin signal transduction. The Plant cell 5:887-896.

Featured News & Events

'Wisc-e-sota', a Joint UMN-UW Virology Training Grant Symposium was first held on Friday, Sepbember 20th, 2013 at the Uniiversity of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Cartwright Center. This was the inaugural collaborative symposium of the NIH T32-supported virology training programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Talks and poster sessions were presented by students, postdocs and faculty. The second UMN-UW Virology Training Grant Symposium will be held in the Fall 2014. Details to follow.

The 2014 IMV Symposium will be held on May 12, 2014 and Mark Denison (Vanderbilt) and Bert Semler (UC-Irvine) will be the Keynote Speakers. Click on the link below to register and submit abstracts.

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Read about bacteriophage phi 29 and why it matters.

IMV Timeline

Explore nearly a century's worth of discovery in the field of virology at the University of Minnesota.


"This Week in Virology" from professor Vincent Racaniello.