Melanie Kalischuk

Melanie Kalischuk
Assistant Professor



519-824-4120 x52645


B.Sc., Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge;
M.Sc., Forest Biology, University of Alberta;
Ph.D., Biomolecular Science, University of Lethbridge


Edmund C. Bovey Building
Simcoe Station


1237 ECB

Research Interests:

My interests include biotic, abiotic, and environmental interactions that are conducive to improving germplasm performance in specialty crops that can be grown in Ontario including wine grapes, berries, hazelnuts, ginseng, hops, and high value vegetables.  Innovative methods for early detection of biotic and abiotic interactions help identify and develop strategies that improve plant performance even in challenging environments, thereby increasing yield and quality.  Our work is designed to address research needs and provide knowledge, innovative solutions, and new technologies to the specialty crop industry through multidisciplinary collaborative research.


AGR*4450 Research Project I
AGR*4460 Research Project II
HORT*1130 Science of Gardening
PLNT*6800 Special Topics in Plant Science

Relevant Links:

Selected Publications:

Koeppe, S., Kawchuk, L., Kalischuk, M. (2023). RNA Interference past and future applications in plants. International Journal of Molecular Science. 24 (11), 9755.

Kalischuk, M., Mueller, B., Fusaro, A.F., Wijekoon, C.P., Waterhouse, P.M., Pruefer, D., Kawchuk, L. (2022). Amplification of cell signaling and disease resistance by an immunity receptor Ve1Ve2 heterocomplex in plants. Communications Biology. 5 (497).

Wijekoon, C.P., Kalischuk, M.L., Brunelle, P., Howard, R.J., Kawchuk, L.M. (2021). Characterization of bronze leaf disease in western Canada aspen and poplar trees. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 102 (1).

Kalischuk, M.L., P.D. Roberts, and M. Paret. (2020). A rapid fluorescence-based real-time isothermal assay for the detection of Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus in squash and watermelon plants. Molecular and Cellular Probes. 53: Article 101613. DOI: 10.1016/j.mcp.2020.101613.

Kalischuk, M., J. Hachey, D. Thomas, D. Johnson, and L. Kawchuk. (2019). Complete genomic sequence of phytopathogenic Pectobacterium atrocepticum lytic bacteriophage Peat2. American Journal of Potato Research. 96: 614-616.

Kalischuk, M.L., M. Paret, J.H. Freeman, D. Raj, S. Da Silva, S. Eubanks, D.J. Wiggins, M. Lollar, J.J. Marois, H.C. Mellinger, and J. Das.  (2019). An improved crop scouting technique incorporating UAV-assisted multispectral crop imaging into conventional scouting for gummy stem blight in watermelon. Plant Disease. 103: 1642-1650. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-08-18-1373-RE.
Henrickson A., M. Kalischuk, J. Lynn, S. Meers, D. Johnson, and L. Kawchuk. (2018). First report of Zebra Chip on potato in Canada. Plant Disease. 103: 1016. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-09-18-1576-PDN.

Fusaro A.F., D.A. Barton, K. Nakasugi, C. Jackson, M.L. Kalischuk, L. Kawchuk , M.F.S. Vaslin, R.L. Correa, and P.M. Waterhouse. (2017). The luteovirus P4 movement protein is a suppressor of systemic RNA silencing. Viruses. 9 (10): 297. DOI: 10.3390/v9100294

Wijekoon C.P., B.B. Pageni, M.L. Kalischuk, N.Z. Lupwayi, and L.M. Kawchuk. (2017). Amplification of the RG57 loci facilitates in planta T-RFLP identification of late blight genotypes. American Journal of Potato Research. 94: 251-257. DOI:10.1007/s12230-016-9560-2.

Kalischuk M., J. Lynn, and L. Kawchuk. (2016). First report of Potato mop-top virus on potato in Alberta. Plant Disease. 100 (12): 2544. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-06-16-0902-PDN.

Kalischuk M., J. Hachey, and L. Kawchuk. (2015). Complete genome sequence of phytopathogenic Pectobacterium atrosepticum bacteriophage Peat1. Genome Announcements. 3 (4): e00760-15. DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.00760-15.

Alkher H., M.R. Islam, C. Wijekoon, M. Kalischuk, L.M. Kawchuk, R.D. Peters, K.I. Al-Mughrabi, K.I. Conn, K.F. Dobinson, D. Waterer, and F. Daayf. (2015). Characterization of Phytophthora infestans populations in Canada during 2012. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. 37 (3): 305-314. DOI:10.1080/07060661.2015.1053987.

Kalischuk M.L., D. Johnson, and L.M. Kawchuk. (2015). Priming with a double-stranded DNA virus alters Brassica rapa seed architecture and facilitates a defense response. Gene. 557 (2): 130-137.

Hwang Y.T., C. Wijekoon, M. Kalischuk, D. Johnson, R. Howard, D. Prüfer, and L. Kawchuk. (2014). Invited Review:  Evolution and management of the Irish Potato Famine Pathogen Phytophthora infestans in Canada and the United States. American Journal of Potato Research. 9 (6): 579-593.

Peters R.D., K.I. Al-Maghrabi, M.L. Kalischuk, K.F. Dobinson, K.L. Conn, H. Alkher, M.R. Islam, F. Daayf, J. Lynn, B. Bizimungu, D. De Koeyer, C.A. Lésvesque, and L.M. Kawchuk. (2014). Characterization of Phytophthora infestans population diversity in Canada reveals increased migration and genotype recombination. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. 36 (1): 73-82.

Kalischuk M.L., A.F. Fusaro, P.M. Waterhouse, H.R. Pappu, and L.M. Kawchuk. (2013). Complete genomic sequence of Rubus yellow net virus and detection of genome-wide pararetrovirus-derived small RNAs. Virus Research. 178 (2): 306-313.

Hwang Y.T., M. Kalischuk, A. Fusaro, P.M. Waterhouse, and L. Kawchuk. (2013). Small RNA sequencing of Potato leafroll virus infected plants reveals an additional subgenomic RNA encoding a sequence-specific RNA binding protein. Virology. 438: 61-69.

Groscurth S., B. Muller, S. Schwan, M. Menzel, F. Diekstall, M. Senft, A. Kendall, B.A. Kommor, U. Neumann, M. Kalischuk, L.M. Kawchuk, V. Krzyzanek, A. Heilmann, G. Stubbs, R.M. Twyman, D. Prüfer, and G.A. Noll. (2012). Artificial forisomes are ideal models of forisome assembly and activity that allow the development of technical devices. Biomacromolecules. 13 (10): 3076-3086. DOI: 10.1021/bm3008499.

Kalischuk M., K.I. Al-Mughrabi, R.D. Peters, R.J. Howard, H.W. Platt, and L.M. Kawchuk. (2012). Genetic composition of Phytophthora infestans in Canada reveals migration and increased diversity. Plant Disease. 96 (12): 1729-1735.

Hill B.D., M. Kalischuk, D.R. Waterer, B. Bizimungu, R. Howard, and L.M. Kawchuk. (2011). An environmental model predicting bacterial ring rot symptom expression. American Journal of Potato Research. 88: 294-301.

Kathiria P., C. Sidler, A. Golubov, M. Kalischuk, L.M. Kawchuk, and I. Kovalchuk. (2010). Tobacco mosaic virus infection results in an increase in recombination frequency and resistance to viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens in the progeny of infected tobacco plants. Plant Physiology. 153: 1859-1870.

Kawchuk L.M., R.J. Howard, M.L. Kalischuk, P.R. Northover, M. Dejardins, and R. Spencer. (2009). First report of Apioplagiostoma populi causing bronze leaf disease on poplar in Alberta, Canada. Plant Disease. 94 (3): 377.

Kalischuk M.L., L.M. Kawchuk, and F. Leggett. (2008). First report of Rubus yellow net virus in Alberta, Canada. Plant Disease. 92 (6):974.

Kalischuk M., P.V. Blenis, and L.M. Kawchuk. (2006). A light-adjusted growth intercept model for predicting white spruce site index. Western Journal of Applied Forestry. 21 (2): 68-71.