Xiaoya ChenDistinguished Adjunct Professor from CAS , PhD, Distinguished Adjunct Professor from CAS
School of Life Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech Universtiy/ National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics
Plant Molecular Biology
Research in my group includes plant specialized metabolism, plant-insect interactions and cotton fiber development.
Plant specialized or secondary metabolism plays important roles in plant adaptation to environments, particularly in mediating bio-interactions and protecting plants from herbivores and pathogens. Some of the metabolites are highly valuable and used as medicines, food nutrients and in other industrial applications.
Terpenoids form the largest group of plant secondary metabolites. We are interested in sesquiterpene biosynthesis and regulation. In addition to elucidate the gossypol biosynthetic pathway in cotton (Gossypium spp.) and plant defense against insect herbivores, we also investigate the terpenoid biosynthesis in Arabidopsis and selected medicinal plants, such as Salvia.
We recently started our project on plant quinones, including in particular the biosynthetic pathway of ubiquinone, or Coenzyme Q (CoQ), in plants and use synthetic biology approaches to crop breeding for better nutrition.
Cotton fiber, the seed trichome of cotton, is the most important natural fiber for textile industry and a good model to investigate cell elongation and cell wall biosynthesis. In this direction, we are particularly interested in identification of transcription factors and the regulatory complex that control cotton fiber elongation.
Current projects include:
(1) Gossypol biosynthesis pathway with emphasis on the novel aromatization mechanisms and distinct modifications; terpenoid biosynthesis in the selected medicinal plants; enzyme evolution and engineering;
(2) Ubiquinone biosynthesis in plant and improvement of crop nutrition;
(3) Plant-insect interactions, RNAi technology against insect pests;
(4) Transcription factors and their complex controlling cotton fiber (trichome) development.
Representative Publications (*First Author, # Corresponding Author)
Group Member and Photo