Molecular Genetics of Plant Reproductive Development; Molecular Mechanisms of Germline Specification; Male Sterility and Hybrid Breeding; Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of Heat Stress
Germ cells are special cells that undergo meiosis to form male and female gametes in both plants and animals. A fundamental question in developmental biology is how germ cells are specified during sexual reproduction. Using molecular genetic, cell biological, biochemical, biophysical, genomic, and proteomic approaches, research in our lab aims at elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying germ cell fate determination using the plant model organism Arabidopsis. Our current projects include:
Huang, J., Zhao, L., Malik, S., Gentile, B.R., Xiong, V., Arazi, T., Owen, H.A., Friml, J. and Zhao, D. (2022) Specification of female germline by microRNA orchestrated auxin signaling in Arabidopsis. Nature Communications 13 (1): 6960. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-34723-6.
Malik, S. and Zhao, D. (2022) Epigenetic regulation of heat stress in plant male reproduction. Frontiers in Plant Science13: 826473. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.826473.
Huang, J., Li, Z., Biener, G., Xiong, E., Malik, S., Eaton, N., Zhao, C.Z., Raicu, V., Kong, H. and Zhao, D. (2017) Carbonic anhydrases function in anther cell differentiation downstream of the receptor-like kinase EMS1. Plant Cell 29 (6): 1335-1356. doi: 10.1105/tpc.16.00484.
Li, Z., Wang, Y., Huang, J., Ahsan, N., Biener, G., Paprocki, J., Thelen, J., Raicu, V. and Zhao, D. (2017). Two SERK receptor-like kinases interact with the receptor-like kinase EMS1 in anther cell fate determination. Plant Physiology 173 (1): 326-337.
Xin, Z., Huang, J., Smith, A.R., Chen, J., Burke, J., Sattler, S. and Zhao, D. (2017). Characterization of a new and easilyrecognizable nuclear male sterile mutant of sorghum. PLoS ONE 12(1): e0165195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165195.
Smith, A.R. and Zhao, D. (2016). Sterility caused by floral organ degeneration and abiotic stresses in Arabidopsis and cereal grains. Frontiers in Plant Science 7: 1503. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.01503.
Huang, J., Zhang, T., Linstroth, L., Tillman, Z., Otegui, M., Owen, H.A. and Zhao, D. (2016). Control of anther cell differentiation by the TPD1 small protein ligand and its receptor EMS1 in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genetics 12(8): e1006147. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006147.
Liu, X*., Huang, J*., Wang, Y., Owen, H.A. and Zhao, D. (2010). The role of floral organs in carpels, an Arabidopsisloss-of-function mutation in MicroRNA160a, in organogenesis and the mechanism regulating its expression. Plant Journal 62: 416-428 (*equal contribution).
Liu, X., Huang, J., Parameswaran, S., Ito, T., Seubert, B., Auer, M., Rymaszewski, A., Jia, G., Owen, H.A. and Zhao, D. (2009). The SPOROCYTELESS/NOZZLE gene is involved in controlling stamen identity in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology151: 1401-1411.
Zhao, D. (2009). Control of anther cell differentiation: a teamwork of receptor-like kinases. Plant Reproduction 22: 221-228.
Jia, G., Liu, X., Owen, H. A. and Zhao, D. (2008). Signaling of cell fate determination by the TPD1 small protein and EMS1 receptor kinase. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105:2220-2225.