Ching-Hong Yang

 (414) 229-4214
 Lapham Hall S181


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Riverside and University of California, Davis
  • PhD, University of California, Riverside

Research Interests

Genomics, Functional Genomics and Host-Microbe Interactions

Application of functional genomic tools to investigate microbial gene expression in different environments. With the availability of complete genome sequences of different microorganisms, functional genomic tools provide a powerful approach for identifying microbial genes that are expressed during association of bacteria with their hosts in response to various environmental factors. Dickeya dadantii is a common colonist of aerial plant surfaces and causes soft-rot, wilt, and blight diseases on a wide range of plant species. Techniques we are using include a custom designed microarray, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and bioinformatic tools to explore genes of D. dadantii that are involved in type III secretion regulon and pathogenesis.

Development of novel antimicrobials. The type III secretion system (T3SS) is a highly specialized protein secretion system that is essential to the virulence of many plant, animal, and human pathogens. The T3SS is an attractive target for development of antimicrobial compounds, since it is present mainly in pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria and is often required for virulence by these species. The aim of this study is to develop novel, potent, selective inhibitors of the T3SS and study the regulatory effect of these inhibitors on key T3SS targets.

Novel approaches to study microbial ecology using microbial diversity profiling. The quantitative description of microbial communities is one of the most promising areas of research in microbial ecology. New techniques in molecular ecology have now opened the door for revolutionary advances in our understanding of microbial communities in nature, and identification of new microorganisms and microbial products that can be harnessed for biotechnology. We have been especially interested in developing novel approaches to analyze microbial diversity that are associated with plants. Our most recent work focuses on interactions between plants and microorganisms using 16S and 18S rDNA profiling.

Selected Publications

Zou, L., Zeng, Q., Lin, H., Prasad, G., Chen, G., and Yang, Ching-Hong. “SlyA regulates T3SS genes in parallel with the T3SS master regulator HrpL in Dickeya dadantii 3937.” Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78. (2012): 2888-2895.
Zeng, Q., Laiosa, Michael, Steeber, Douglas A., Biddle, E. M., Peng, Q., and Yang, Ching-Hong. “Cell individuality: the bistable gene expression of T3SS in Dickeya dadantii 3937.” Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 25.1 (2012): 37-47.
Yamazaki, A., lI, J., Zeng, Q., Khokhani, D., Hutchins, W. C., Yost, A. C., Biddle, E., Toone, E. J., Chen, X., and Yang, Ching-Hong. “Derivatives of plant phenolic compound affect the type III secretion system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa via a GacS/GacA two component signal transduction system.” Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 56.1 (2012): 36-43.
Yamazaki, A., Li, J., Hutchins, W. C., Wang, L., Ma, J., Ibekwe, A. M., and Yang, Ching-Hong. “Commensal effect of pectate lyases secreted from Dickeya dadantii on the proliferation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 EDL933 on lettuce leaves.” Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77.1 (2011): 156-162.
Zeng, Q., Ibekwe, A. M., Biddle, E., and Yang, Ching-Hong. “Regulatory mechanisms of exoribonuclease PNPase and regulatory small RNA on T3SS of Dickeya dadantii.” Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 23.10 (2010): 1345-1355.
Yi, X., Yamazaki, A., Biddle, E., Zeng, Q., and Yang, Ching-Hong. “Genetic analysis of two phosphodiesterases reveals cyclic diguanylate regulation of virulence factors in Dickeya dadantii.” Mol. Microbiol. 77.3 (2010): 787-800.
Ibekwe, A. M., Papiernik, S., Grieve, C., and Yang, Ching-Hong. “Persistence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on the rhizosphere and phyllosphere of lettuce.” Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 49. (2009): 784-790.