Wolf Prize Laureate in Agriculture 1980
Affiliation at the time of the award:
Rutgers University, USA
“for his pioneering and wide-ranging studies on interactions between insects and disease agents in plants”.
Dr. Karl Maramorosh has made outstanding contributions to an understanding of the interrelationships of plant diseases, their insect vectors and the pathogens that cause them, notably to the long contested problem of whether or not plant viruses can replicate within their insect vectors. He then turned his attention to viruses, which infect insects and can thus be utilized for the microbiological control of insect pests.
His pioneering studies with the novel ultramicroscopical agents, the mycoplasmas and spiroplasmas, once· thought erroneously to be viruses, have demonstrated unequivocally their importance as disease-producing agents in citrus and other crops.
This research has led to the study of these new pathogens far beyond agriculture, namely in human disease. In addition to these interdisciplinary contributions embracing three major areas of disease and its control, Dr. Maramorosch has found time to publish, or edit, some 25 major works on comparative virology methods in virology, diseases of tropical legumes and the roles of insects, viruses and other ultramicroscopical disease agents in agriculture, ecology and medicine. His world-wide influence on concepts in crop protection through his original papers and his books has been further enhanced by his notable leadership at numerous major scientific meetings devoted to viruses, mycoplasmas, the role of insects as vectors, and diseases of insects.