The research interests in my laboratory focus on understanding the structure and biosynthesis of plant natural products. Currently, my lab is working on flavonoids, terpenes and alkaloids. We are using a combinatorial approach that includes phytochemistry, metabolomics, molecular biology and biochemistry to understand the structures and biogenesis of these compounds. Meanwhile, we are developing the three groups of metabolites as a platform to study the metabolic biology of plant natural products. We are applying our findings to establish metabolic engineering technology to produce novel natural products for pharmaceuticals or modify crop plants to synthesize natural products for biofuel. We are interested in establishing novel approaches to screen for anti-cancer, anti-malaria, anti-virus and anti-aging natural products.
Ph.D. Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences 1997
M.S. Cytogenetics Beijing Normal University 1993
B.S. Biology Hunan Normal University 1988
Area(s) of Expertise
Phytochemistry, Metabolomics and Metabolic Engineering
Flavonols and dihydroflavonols inhibit the main protease activity of SARS-CoV-2 and the replication of human coronavirus 229E, VIROLOGY (2022)
- Alternative splicing of CsJAZ1 negatively regulates flavan-3-ol biosynthesis in tea plants , PLANT JOURNAL (2022)
- Anthocyanins from muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) grape fruit , CURRENT PLANT BIOLOGY (2022)
- Insights into acylation mechanisms: co-expression of serine carboxypeptidase-like acyltransferases and their non-catalytic companion paralogs , PLANT JOURNAL (2022)
- Molecular and biochemical characterization of two 4-coumarate: CoA ligase genes in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) , PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (2022)
- A de novo regulation design shows an effectiveness in altering plant secondary metabolism , Journal of Advanced Research (2021)
- Flavonols and dihydroflavonols inhibit the main protease activity of SARS-CoV-2 and the replication of human coronavirus 229E ,  (2021)
- Molecular and Biochemical Characterization of Two 4-Coumarate: Coa Ligase Genes in Tea Plant (Camellia Sinensis) , (2021)
- Comparative transcriptomics of stem bark reveals genes associated with bast fiber development in Boehmeria nivea L. gaud (ramie) , BMC GENOMICS (2020)
- Discovery and characterization of tannase genes in plants: roles in hydrolysis of tannins , NEW PHYTOLOGIST (2020)
Using antibiotics in feed has become a global concern due to its contribution to the antibiotic resistance. Exploring the alternatives to antibiotics is necessary for human health and animal productive efficiency. Proanthocyanidins extracted from engineered novel plants and cells with biological and medicinal activities will be screened in this project.
Borlaug Fellowship Program for Sri Lanka fellow to spend 12 weeks at NC State conducting research to identify and characterize candidate resistance genes against blister blight disease in teac (Chinese sinensis).
Borlaug Fellowship Program for Turkey fellow to spend 12 weeks at NC State conducting research to weaken wheat phenylalanine ammonia-lyase gene promotor by homology directed repaid CRISPR-Cas9 technology to obtain more economical and effective biofuel production.
The fellow will work on a topic entitled ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œMetabolomics of cacaoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â under the mentoring of Dr. Deyu Xie. Through this project, the fellow will learn extraction approaches of metabolites from cacao nuts and chocolate, HPLC-qTOF-MS/MS based metabolomics, structural annotation of metabolites, principal component analysis, and heatmap and hierarchy clustering analysis. The fellow will be instructed to read important literatures to understand the principle of metabolomics. In addition, the fellow will attend XieÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s weekly lab meeting and departmental seminars to gain additional opportunities to learn research progresses in other topics. By the end of this program, the fellow will master main metabolomics-based technology for characterization of functional metabolites in cacao nuts and will be able to develop research projects at their home university.
1. Understanding downregulation mechanisms of tobacco alkaloid biosynthesis by PAP1 Specific goals include: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ 1-1: Transcriptional analysis of known genes involved in tobacco alkaloid biosynthesis ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ 1-2: PAP1 interaction with promoters of down-regulated pathway genes ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ 1-3: PAP1 interaction with NtMYC2a, b, c ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ 1-4: Transcriptomics of red versus vector control transgenic plants as well as wild-type plants ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ 1-5: PAP1 or PAP1 complex-based biotechnology for reduction of nicotine, nornicotine and TSNA 2. Screening of anthocyanin-pigmentation from fast neutron deletion mutagenesis of K326 and Dark tobacco for red tobacco varieties