Xinru Wang


Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Research interests

Pathogens transmitted among humans, animals, or plants by arthropod vectors are responsible for substantial public health and economic burdens. Since these pathogen life cycles rely on vectors, overcoming the challenge of vector immune system is a crucial step for successful transmission. My previous studies (pre-doctoral and postdoctoral research at Zhejiang University) focused on insect vector-borne plant diseases. My current work (postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota) centers on tick vector-borne zoonotic diseases. The goal (2013-today) has been to investigate how vectors manipulate the immune response to fight pathogen, thereby revealing the mechanisms of pathogen transmission, aiming to incorporate multiple vector control approaches to control diseases spread based on a thorough knowledge of vector biology.

Contact Information

University of Minnesota, Entomology
516 Hodson Hall
1980 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul MN, 55108


Guest lecture
PUBH 6184 (Fall 2021) University of Minnesota Topic: Field and laboratory methods in public health entomology
BIOL 479 (Summer 2021) Metropolitan State University
Topic: Emerging Infectious Diseases

Certification: “Scientists Teaching Science” online course at University of Minnesota Medical School. (2019)

Teaching assistant
Toxicology of Pesticide, Huazhong Agriculture University, Spring 2010
Worked with Dr. Zhu Fuxing, prepared all lab experiments, responsible for laboratory safety procedures in order to maintain a safe working environment

Professional Information

Reviewer for Journals
Nature Reviews Microbiology, Journal of Innate Immunity, Bulletin of Entomological Research, PloS One, PloS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Archives of Insect Biochemistry & Physiology, Insects, Genes, Pathogens, Zoonoses and Public Health, Journal of Pure and Applied Microbiology, Advances in Zoology and Botany, International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Veterinary Medicine International

Review Editor for Journal
Archives of Insect Biochemistry & Physiology

Editorial Board Membership
Archives of Insect Biochemistry & Physiology (2021-2023)

Guest editor
Journal of Visualized Experiments, special issue for Current methods in ticks, mosquitoes, and their transmitted pathogens (2021.09-2022.12)
Archives of Insect Biochemistry & Physiology, special issue for Arthropod vectors and pathogens transmission (2021.11-2022.06)


1. Wang, L.L*., Wang, X.R*., Wei, X.M., Huang, H., Wu, J.X., Chen, X.X., Liu, S.S. and Wang, X.W., 2016. The autophagy pathway participates in resistance to tomato yellow leaf curl virus infection in whiteflies. Autophagy, 12(9), pp.1560-1574. (* equal contribution, Cover Paper)
2. Xia, W.Q., Wang, X.R., Liang, Y., Liu, S.S. and Wang, X.W., 2017. Transcriptome analyses suggest a novel hypothesis for whitefly adaptation to tobacco. Scientific reports, 7(1), pp.1-10.
3. Zhu, D.T., Wang, X.R., Ban, F.X., Zou, C., Liu, S.S. and Wang, X.W., 2017. Methods for the extraction of endosymbionts from the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), (124), p. e55809.
4. Wang, X.R., Wang, C., Wang, X.W., Qian, L.X., Chi, Y., Liu, S.S., Liu, Y.Q. and Wang, X.W., 2018. The functions of caspase in whitefly Bemisia tabaci apoptosis in response to ultraviolet irradiation. Insect molecular biology, 27(6), pp.739-751.
5. Pan, L.L., Chen, Q.F., Guo, T., Wang, X.R., Li, P., Wang, X.W. and Liu, S.S., 2018. Differential efficiency of a begomovirus to cross the midgut of different species of whiteflies results in variation of virus transmission by the vectors. Science China Life Sciences, 61(10), pp.1254-1265.

6. Wang, X.R., Wang, C., Ban, F.X., Zhu, D.T., Liu, S.S. and Wang, X.W., 2019. Genome-wide identification and characterization of HSP gene superfamily in whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) and expression profiling analysis under temperature stress. Insect Science, 26(1), pp.44-57. (Cover Paper)
7. Wang, X.R., Wang, C., Ban, F.X., Ghanim, M., Pan, L.L., Qian, L.X., Liu, Y.Q., Wang, X.W. and Liu, S.S., 2020. Apoptosis in a Whitefly Vector Activated by a Begomovirus Enhances Viral Transmission. Msystems, 5(5).
8. Nelson, C.M., Herron, M.J., Wang, X.R., Baldridge, G.D., Oliver, J.D. and Munderloh, U.G., 2020. Global transcription profiles of Anaplasma phagocytophilum at key stages of infection in tick and human cell lines and granulocytes. Frontiers in veterinary science, 7, p.111.
9. Wang, X.R*., Kurtti, T.J., Oliver, J.D. and Munderloh, U.G., 2020. The identification of tick autophagy-related genes in Ixodes scapularis responding to amino acid starvation. Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 11(3), p.101402. (*Correspondence)
10. Wang, X.R*., Burkhardt, N.Y., Kurtti, T.J., Oliver, J.D., Price, L.D., Cull, B., Thorpe, C.J., Thiel, M.S. and Munderloh, U.G., 2021. Mitochondrion-Dependent Apoptosis Is Essential for Rickettsia parkeri Infection and Replication in Vector Cells. Msystems, 6(2). (*Correspondence)
11. Han, W.H., Zou, C., Qian, L.X., Wang, C., Wang, X.W., Liu, Y.Q. and Wang, X.R*., 2021. Functional Analysis of Alkaline Phosphatase in Whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Middle East Asia Minor 1 and Mediterranean) on Different Host Plants. Genes, 12(4), p.497. (*Correspondence)
12. Thorpe, C.J., Wang, X.R., Munderloh, U.G and Kurtti, T.J. 2021. Tick Cell Culture Analysis of Growth Dynamics and Cellular Tropism of Rickettsia buchneri, an Endosymbiont of the Blacklegged Tick, Ixodes scapularis. Insects, 12 (11), 968.
13. Wang, X.R., Shao, Y., Wang, C., and Liu, Y.Q. 2021.Effects of heat stress on virus transmission and virus- mediated apoptosis in whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Achieve insect biochemistry and physiology, e21857.
14. Cull, B., Burkhardt, N.Y., Wang, X.R., Oliver, J.D., Kurtti, T.J. and Munderloh, U.G. 2021. Antibiotic gene clusters in the Ixodes scapularis symbiont Rickettsia buchneri and their potential role in exclusion of pathogenic bacteria from the tick. Frontiers in veterinary science, 8.
15. Wang, X.R*., and Cull, B. 2022. Apoptosis and autophagy: Current understanding in tick-pathogens interaction. Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 41. (*Correspondence)
16. Burkhardt, N.Y., Price, L.D., Wang, X.R., Heu, C.C., Baldridge G.D., Kurtti, T.J. and Munderloh, U.G. 2022. Examination of rickettsial host range for shuttle vectors based on dnaA and parA genes from the pRM plasmid of Rickettsia monacensis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, e00210-22.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Zhejiang University

Sep 2013Sep 2016

MS, Huazhong Agriculture University, Wuhan, China

Sep 2009Sep 2012

BS, Huanggang Normal University, Huanggang, China

Sep 2005Sep 2009

Research Interest Keywords

  • Microbiology
  • Rickettsia
  • vector-pathogens interactions


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