Tzung Fu Hsieh
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.
Yu-Hung Hung, Graduate Student
Scott Smith, Graduate Student
Changqing Zhang, Senior Researcher
Xiangqian Zhang, Visiting Scholar
- Epigenetic modification of ESP, encoding a putative long noncoding RNA, affects panicle architecture in rice, RICE (2019)
- Mutation in a putative glycosyltransferase-like gene causes programmed cell death and early leaf senescence in rice, RICE (2019)
- Robust transcriptional activation in plants using multiplexed CRISPR-Act2.0 and mTALE-Act systems, Molecular Plant (2018)
- A naturally occurring conditional albino mutant in rice caused by defects in the plastid-localized OsABCI8 transporter, Plant Molecular Biology (2017)
- Epigenetic reprogramming during plant reproduction, Plant epigenetics (2017)
- Similarity between soybean and Arabidopsis seed methylomes and loss of non-CG methylation does not affect seed development, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2017)
- A consensus map in cultivated hexaploid oat reveals conserved grass synteny with substantial subgenome rearrangement, Plant Genome (2016)
- Comparative methylome analyses identify epigenetic regulatory loci of human brain evolution, Molecular Biology and Evolution (2016)
- FIE, a nuclear PRC2 protein, forms cytoplasmic complexes in Arabidopsis thaliana, Journal of Experimental Botany (2016)
- A Tug of war for DNA methylation, Nature Plants (2016)
Ph.D., Texas A&M University
B.S., National Tsing-Hua University, Taiwan