Jian-Kang Zhu

Jian-Kang Zhu Profile Picture

Distinguished Professor

Contact Info:


Training Group(s):
Plant Biology

PULSe Contributor - not currently hosting students for laboratory rotations or recruiting students in the laboratory

Current Research Interests:

Detecting and responding to environmental perturbations are important for all living organisms. One of the most important distinguishing features of plants is that they are sessile and thus have to endure environmental challenges. Our lab is interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying plant responses to harsh environments such as soil salinity, drought and cold temperatures. In addition, we are interested in the mechanisms of transcriptional gene silencing and in the role of epigenetic gene regulation in stress adaptation. We use a combination of genetic, biochemical, genomic and proteomic approaches to analyze various levels of gene regulation (chromatin level/epigenetic, transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and protein activity) and to understand stress signaling and stress tolerance. Our long-term goals are to elucidate the signaling pathways used by plants in responding to environmental stresses and to identify key genes for modifying the responses of crops to environmental stresses which ultimately will lead to major contributions to agriculture and the environment.

Selected Publications:

Oh DH, Dassanayake M, Haas JS, Kropornika A, Wright C, d'Urzo MP, Hong H, Ali S, Hernandez A, Lambert GM, Inan G, Galbraith DW, Bressan RA, Yun DJ, Zhu JK, Cheeseman JM, Bohnert HJ. 2010. Genome structures and halophyte-specific gene expression of the extremophile Thellungiella parvula in comparison to Thellungiella salsuginea (T. halophila) and Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiol.

Melcher K, Xu Y, Ng LM, Zhou XE, Soon FF, Chinnusamy V, Suino-Powell KM, Kovach A, Tham FS, Cutler SR, Li J, Yong EL, Zhu JK, Xu HE. 2010. Identification and mechanism of ABA receptor antagonism. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 17:1102-1108.

Liu Q, Wang J, Miki D, Xia R, Yu W, He J, Zheng Z, Zhu JK, Gong Z. 2010. DNA replication factor C1 mediates genomic stability and transcriptional gene silencing in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 22:2336-2352.

Jin H, Zhu JK. 2010. How many ways are there to generate small RNAs? Mol. Cell. 38:775-777.

Klingler JP, Batelli G, Zhu JK. 2010. ABA receptors: the START of a new paradigm in phytohormone signalling. J. Exp. Bot. 61:3199-3210.

Ren X, Chen Z, Liu Y, Zhang H, Zhang M, Liu Q, Hong X, Zhu JK, Gong Z. 2010. ABO3, a WRKY transcription factor, mediates plant responses to abscisic acid and drought tolerance in Arabidopsis. Plant J.

Gao Z, Liu HL, Daxinger L, Pontes O, He X, Qian W, Lin H, Xie M, Lorkovic ZJ, Zhang S, Miki D, Zhan X, Pontier D, Lagrange T, Jin H, Matzke AJ, Matzke M, Pikaard CS, Zhu JK. 2010. An RNA polymerase II- and AGO4-associated protein acts in RNA-directed DNA methylation. Nature. 465:106-109.

Jin H, Zhu JK. 2010. A viral supprossor protein inhibits host RNA silencing by hooking up with Argonautes. Genes Dev. 24:853-856.

Law JA, Ausin I, Johnson LM, Vashisht AA, Zhu JK, Wohlschlegel JA, Jacobsen SE. 2010. A Protein Complex Required for Polymerase V Transcripts and RNA- Directed DNA Methylation in Arabidopsis. Curr. Biol. 20: :951-956.

Zhu J, Ha Lee B, Dellinger M, Cui X, Zhang C, Wu S, Nothnagel EA, Zhu JK. 2010. A cellulose synthase-like protein is required for osmotic stress tolerance in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 63: 128-140.

Chinnusamy V, Zhu JK, Sunkar R. 2010. Gene regulation during cold stress acclimation in plants. Methods Mol. Biol. 639:39-55.

Yao Y, Ni Z, Peng H, Sun F, Xin M, Sunkar R, Zhu JK, Sun Q. 2010. Non-coding small RNAs responsive to abiotic stress in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Funct. Integr. Genomics. 10:187–190.

Ren Z, Zheng Z, Chinnusamy V, Zhu J, Cui X, Iida K, Zhu JK. 2010. RAS1, a quantitative trait locus for salt tolerance and ABA sensitivity in Arabidopsis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107:5669-5674.

Fedoroff NV, Battisti DS, Beachy RN, Cooper PJ, Fischhoff DA, Hodges CN, Knauf VC, Lobell D, Mazur BJ, Molden D, Reynolds MP, Ronald PC, Rosegrant MW, Sanchez PA, Vonshak A, Zhu JK. 2010. Radically rethinking agriculture for the 21st century. Science 327:833-834.

Zheng Z, Xing Y, He XJ, Li W, Hu Y, Yadav SK, Oh J, Zhu JK. 2010. An SGS3-like protein functions in RNA-directed DNA methylation and transcriptional gene silencing in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 62:92-99.

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