Phillip Harries

Professor of Molecular Biology

Discipline/Specialization: Plant viruses, cellular and molecular biology of plants

About Dr. Phillip Harries

Dr. Harries was honored with the 2015 Robert K. Ratzlaff Outstanding Faculty Award by the Student Government Association from student nominees of faculty that demonstrate excellence in instruction and service to students on campus.


Ph.D., Washington University, Missouri, U.S.A.

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 211, Principles of Biology I and lab
  • BIOL 602, Biology of Cancer - Course developer
  • BIOL 311, Cell Biology
  • BIOL 111, 112, General Biology and lab - Taught ½ of this course
  • BIOL 550, Advanced Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 801, Introduction to Research


  • Pre-medical
  • Cell and Molecular Biology

Research Interests

Virus infections pose a serious health threat to both plants and animals. In order for such infections to exert their negative effects, however, viruses must be able to move from cell-to-cell and spread within their hosts. My research examines the methods by which viruses hijack plant cells to facilitate their movement. In particular, I am interested in the potential role of the host cell cytoskeleton in this process. The cytoskeleton can serve as tracks along which cellular cargo, including invading viruses, can travel. Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) has been shown to require the host cytoskeleton for its cell-to-cell spread but the mechanism underlying this requirement is unknown. I am currently studying the potential association of TBSV proteins with various components of the plant cell cytoskeleton using both microscopy and biochemical techniques. A greater understanding of the mechanisms of virus movement may lead to methods for slowing or stopping virus spread in important crop plants.


  • Schoelz, J.E., Harries, P.A., Nelson, R.S. (2011) Intracellular Transport of Plant Viruses: Finding the Door out of the Cell. Molecular Plant,4(5):813-31
  • Harries, P.A., Ding, B. (2011) Cellular factors in plant virus movement: At the leading edge of macromolecular trafficking in plants. Virology 411, 237-243 (Co-corresponding author on this paper)
  • Harries, P.A.,Schoelz, J.E., Nelson, R.S. (2010) Intracellular Transport of Viruses and Their Components: Utilizing the Cytoskeleton and Membrane Highways. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 23, 1381-1393 (one of most downloaded articles for this journal)
  • Harries, P.A.,Park, J.-W., Sasaki, N., Ballard, K.D., Maule, A.J., Nelson, R.S. (2009) Differing requirements for actin and myosin by plant viruses for intercellular movement. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 13;106:17594-9
  • Harries, P.A.,Schoelz, J.E., Nelson, R.S. (2009) Covering common ground: F-actin dependent transport of plant viral protein inclusions reveals a novel mechanism for movement utilized by unrelated viral proteins. Plant Signal Behav. 2009 May;4(5):454-6
  • Harries, P.A., Palanichelvam, K., Yu, W., Schoelz, J.E., Nelson, R.S. (2009) The Cauliflower mosaic virus protein P6 forms motile inclusions that traffic along actin microfilaments and stabilize microtubules. Plant Physiology 149, 1005-1016
  • Harries, P.A., Nelson, R.S. (2008) Movement of Viruses in Plants. Encyclopedia of Virology, 3rd Edition. pp. 348-355. Elsevier Press
  • Harries, P.A., Karuppaiah, P., Bhat, S., Nelson, R.S. (2008) Tobacco mosaic virus 126-kDa protein increases the susceptibility of Nicotiana tabacum to other viruses and its dosage affects virus-induced gene silencing. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 21, 1539-1548
  • Harries, P.A., Pan, A., Quatrano, R.S. (2005) Actin-related protein 2/3 complex component ARPC1 is required for proper cell morphogenesis and polarized cell growth in Physcomitrella patens. Plant Cell 17, 2327-2339
  • Cove, D.J., Bezanilla, M.B., Harries, P.A., Quatrano, R.S. (2005) Mosses as model systems for the study of metabolism and development. Annual Review of Plant Biology 57, 497-520
Phillip Harries
Dr. Phillip Harries

Phone: (620) 235-4864

Office: 222 Heckert-Wells Hall

E-mail Phillip Harries