You are here

Xinnian Dong

Arts and Sciences Professor of Biology, HHMI-GBMF Investigator
(919) 613-8176
Research Interest: 
Research Summary: 
Plant-Microbe interactions
Research Description: 

Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system, my laboratory studies the mechanisms of plant defense against microbial pathogens. We focus on a specific response known as systemic acquired resistance (SAR). SAR, which can be induced by a local infection, provides the plants with long lasting, systemic resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Salicylic acid (SA; an active ingredient of aspirin) has been found to be the endogenous signal of SAR. Using a genetic approach, our laboratory identified genes involved in the regulation of SAR. Molecular and genetic analyses are being carried out to understand the gene function and to elucidate the SAR signaling pathway. These SAR-regulating genes are also favorite targets for molecular engineering of disease-resistance crops.

Salicylic acid activates DNA damage responses to potentiate plant immunity.
Yan S, Wang W, Marqués J, Mohan R, Saleh A, Durrant WE, Song J, Dong X.
Mol Cell. 2013. 52:602-10.

NPR3 and NPR4 are receptors for the immune signal salicylic acid in plants.
Fu ZQ, Yan S, Saleh A, Wang W, Ruble J, Oka N, Mohan R, Spoel SH, Tada Y, Zheng N, Dong X.
Nature. 2012. 486:228-32.

The HSF-like transcription factor TBF1 is a major molecular switch for plant growth-to-defense transition.
Pajerowska-Mukhtar KM, Wang W, Tada Y, Oka N, Tucker CL, Fonseca JP, Dong X.
Curr Biol. 2012. 22:103-12.

How do plants achieve immunity? Defence without specialized immune cells.
Spoel SH, Dong X.
Nat Rev Immunol. 2012. 12:89-100.

Timing of plant immune responses by a central circadian regulator.
Wang W, Barnaby JY, Tada Y, Li H, Tör M, Caldelari D, Lee DU, Fu XD, Dong X.
Nature. 2011. 470:110-4.