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Theodor O. Diener

Theodor Otto Diener is an American plant pathologist and was the first in the field to describe viroids.


In 1971 he showed that the causative agent of Potato spindle tuber disease was the potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTV). PSTV is a 130,000 dalton viroid. Viroids are very little single-stranded circular RNA that have no coat protein, and which do not code for any protein.

Diener received the prestigious National Medal of Science in 1987 and the Wolf Prize in Agriculture in 1987.




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