Jonathan Jacobs

Dr. Jonathan Jacobs, Plant Pathology Professor

Jonathan Jacobs

Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology

201 Kottman Hall
2021 Coffey Rd
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Plant-bacterial interactions
  • Bacterial virulence mechanisms
  • Plant and microbial microscopy


  • B.S. in Bacteriology, Genetics and Spanish, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Ph.D. (Major: Plant Pathology, Minor: Microbiology), University of Wisconsin - Madison


Dr. Jacobs graduated with a B.S. (triple major in Bacteriology, Genetics and Spanish) and Ph.D. (Major: Plant Pathology, Minor: Microbiology) from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. For his postdoctoral research, he was a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement in Montpellier, France and a USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow at Colorado State University. He received a Fulbright Scholar Award to perform research at the Université Catholique de Louvain Belgium. He recently joined Ohio State as an Assistant Professor of Emerging Infectious Disease Ecology in the Department of Plant Pathology.

Dr. Jacobs is a plant pathologist focused on understanding how pathogenic bacteria evolve and adapt to colonize the plant environment. His research uses novel, high-throughput technologies to determine the basis of tissue-specific behaviors in plant pathogenic bacteria.  For additional information, please visit:

Current Grant Support

2018-2021 NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions ($700K): Jacobs, Lead PI (The Ohio State University); Leach, Lang, co-PIs (Colorado State University)

Recent Publications

Schandry N, Jacobs JM, Szurek B and Perez-Quintero AL. A cautionary TALE: how plant breeding may have favored expanded TALE repertoires in Xanthomonas. Molecular Plant Pathology. 2018 Jun;19(6):1297-1301.

Pesce C, Jacobs JM, Berthelot E, Perret M, Vancheva T, Bragard C, Koebnik R.“Comparative Genomics Identifies a Novel Conserved Protein, HpaT, in Proteobacterial Type III Secretion Systems that Do Not Possess the Putative Translocon Protein HrpF. Front Microbiol. 2017 Jun 26;8:1177.

Tollenaere C, Lacombe S, Wonni I, Barro M, Ndougonna C, Gnacko F, Sérémé D, Jacobs JM, Hebrard E, Cunnac S, Brugidou C. Virus-Bacteria Rice Co-Infection in Africa: Field Estimation, Reciprocal Effects, Molecular Mechanisms, and Evolutionary Implications. Front Plant Sci. 2017 May 1;8:645.

Jacobs JM, Pesce C, Lefeuvre P and Koebnik R. “Comparative genomics of a cannabis pathogen reveals insight into the evolution of pathogenicity in Xanthomonas.” 2015. Frontiers in Plant Science 6:431. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00431

Jacobs JM, Milling A, Mitra RM, Hogan CS, Ailloud F, Prior P, Allen C. “Ralstonia solanacearum requires PopS, an Ancient AvrE-family effector, for virulence and to overcome salicylic acid-mediated defenses during tomato pathogenesis.” 2013. mBio. 2013 4. pii: e00875-13. doi: 10.1128/mBio. 00875-13.

Jacobs JM, Meng F, Babujee L, Milling A, Allen C. “The in planta transcriptome of Ralstonia solanacearum –new insights into physiology and virulence gene regulation during tomato pathogenesis.” 2012. mBio. 2012 3. pii: e00114-12. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00114-12.

                Commented in: Vinatzer B. 2012. mBio. doi: 10.1128/​mBio.00269-12

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