Tzung Fu Hsieh
Associate Professor, Systems Biologist, Epigenetics
Plants for Human Health Institute
Area(s) of Expertise
Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh joined the institute in August 2012 and coordinates a research program centered on the biological systems of flowering plants, including fruits and vegetables. Hsieh specializes in systems biology, a relatively new field of research that studies the interactions between the components of biological systems, and how those relationships impact the functions and behaviors of the systems. His area of focus is epigenetics, which aims to understand changes in gene behaviors that are caused by factors other than mutations in DNA.
Hsieh studies the development of endosperms, which play a critical role in human nutrition and health, accounting for more than 75 percent of the world’s food supply, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Cereal crops like corn, rice and wheat – some of the most widely produced crops in the world – are harvested for their grains, which are mostly endosperm. Hsieh is working to better understand endosperm development, including the role imprinted genes play.
Using systems biology approaches, Hsieh and colleagues have already identified certain epigenetics processes as critical regulators for plant reproduction and endosperm development. His studies will provide new opportunities for investigating how the environment can exert influences on plants through epigenetic changes. Ultimately, Hsieh would like to collaborate with N.C. Research Campus partners using the techniques he and colleagues have developed to decipher how plant epigenetics may impact human health. He also researches how epigenetics regulates the production of plant secondary metabolites.
Watch a video introduction of Dr. Hsieh and his research.
Changqing Zhang, Senior Researcher
Mingzhuo Li, Postdoctoral Associate
Qirui (Cary) Cui, Graduate Student
- Identification of mixed linkage beta-glucan quantitative trait loci and evaluation of AsCslF6 homoeologs in hexaploid oat, CROP SCIENCE (2020)
- Epigenetic modification of ESP, encoding a putative long noncoding RNA, affects panicle architecture in rice, Rice (2019)
- Epigenetics Regulates Reproductive Development in Plants, Plants (2019)
- Mutation in a putative glycosyltransferase-like gene causes programmed cell death and early leaf senescence in rice, Rice (2019)
- Rice OsPEX1, an extensin-like protein, affects lignin biosynthesis and plant growth, Plant Molecular Biology (2019)
- The catalytic core of DEMETER guides active DNA demethylation in Arabidopsis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019)
- Dynamic DNA Methylation in Plant Growth and Development, International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2018)
- Robust Transcriptional Activation in Plants Using Multiplexed CRISPR-Act2.0 and mTALE-Act Systems, Molecular Plant (2018)
- Sexual and Non-sexual Reproduction, Advances in Botanical Research (2018)
- A naturally occurring conditional albino mutant in rice caused by defects in the plastid-localized OsABCI8 transporter, Plant Molecular Biology (2017)
Ph.D., Texas A&M University
B.S., National Tsing-Hua University, Taiwan