Xinnian Dong, Professor  

Xinnian Dong

Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1988

Office Location: FFSC: 4213
Office Phone: (919) 613-8176
Email Address:
Web Page:

Cell and Molecular Biology

Research Categories: Plant-Microbe interactions

Current projects: (1) Functional analysis of NPR1, a positive regulator of SAR, (2) Functional analysis of SNI1, a negative regulator of SAR, (3) Study of cross-talks between different defense pathways, (4) Study of programmed cell death in plant defense, (5) Expression profiling of plant defense responses, (6) Study of protein secretory pathway in plant defense, (7) Characterization of antifungal proteins in seeds

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.

Areas of Interest:
signaling transduction mechanisms
plant-microbe interaction
regulation of gene expression
functional genomics

Representative Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. ZQ Fu, S Yan, A Saleh, W Wang, J Ruble, N Oka, R Mohan, SH Spoel, Y Tada, N Zheng, X Dong, NPR3 and NPR4 are receptors for the immune signal salicylic acid in plants., Nature, vol. 486 no. 7402 (June, 2012), pp. 228-32 [doi]  [abs].
  2. XY Zheng, NW Spivey, W Zeng, PP Liu, ZQ Fu, DF Klessig, SY He, X Dong, Coronatine promotes Pseudomonas syringae virulence in plants by activating a signaling cascade that inhibits salicylic acid accumulation., Cell Host & Microbe, vol. 11 no. 6 (June, 2012), pp. 587-96 [doi]  [abs].
  3. KM Pajerowska-Mukhtar, W Wang, Y Tada, N Oka, CL Tucker, JP Fonseca, X Dong, The HSF-like transcription factor TBF1 is a major molecular switch for plant growth-to-defense transition., Current Biology : CB, vol. 22 no. 2 (January, 2012), pp. 103-12 [doi]  [abs].
  4. Wang, W., Barnaby, J. Y., Tada, Y., Li, H., Tör, M., Caldelari, D., Lee, D.-u. Fu, X.-D. and Dong, X., Timing of plant immune responses by a central circadian regulator, Nature, vol. 470 (2011), pp. 110–114 .
  5. SH Spoel, Z Mou, Y Tada, NW Spivey, P Genschik, X Dong, Proteasome-mediated turnover of the transcription coactivator NPR1 plays dual roles in regulating plant immunity., Cell, vol. 137 (May, 2009), pp. 860-72  [abs].
  6. Wang, S., Durrant, W. E., Song, J., Spivey, N. W., and Dong X., The Arabidopsis BRCA2 and RAD51 proteins are specifically involved in defense gene transcription during plant immune responses., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2010) [doi] .
  7. Tada, Y., Spoel, S. H., Pajerowska-Mukhtar, K., Mou Z., Song, J., Dong, X., Plant Immunity Requires Conformational Changes of NPR1 via S-Nitrosylation and Thioredoxins, Science (2008) [8he5p3s6CA6g&keytype=ref&siteid=sci]  [abs].
  8. Dong, W., Weaver, N.D., Kesarwani, M., Dong, X., Induction of Protein Secretory Pathway Is Required for Systemic Acquired Resistance, Science, vol. 308 (2005), pp. 1036-1040 .
  9. Mou, Z. Fan, W., and Dong, X., Inducers of plant systemic acquired resistance regulate NPR1 function through redox changes., Cell, vol. 113 (2003), pp. 935 .
  10. Durrant, W. E., and Dong, X., Systemic acquired resistance, Annual Review of Phytopathology, vol. 42 (2004), pp. 185-209 .
  11. Li, X., Zhang, Y., Clarke, J.D., Li, Y., and Dong, X, Identification and cloning of a negative regulator of systemic acquired resistance, SNI1, through a screen for suppressors of npr1-1, Cell, vol. 98 (1999), pp. 329 .
  12. Kinkema, M., Fan, W., and Dong, X., Nuclear localization of NPR1 is required for activation of PR gene expression, Plant Cell, vol. 12 (2000), pp. 2339-2350 .
  13. Zhang, Y., Fan, W., Kinkema, M., Li, Xin, and Dong, X, Interaction of NPR1 with basic leucine zipper protein transcription factors that bind sequences required for salicylic acid induction of the PR-1 gene., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, vol. 96 (1999), pp. 6523 .
  14. Clarke, J.D., Volko, S.M., Ledford, H., Ausubel, F.M., and Dong, X., Roles of salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, and ethylene in cpr-induces resistance in Arabidopsis, Plant Cell, vol. 12 (2000), pp. 2175-2190 .
  15. Cao, H., X. Li, and X. Dong, Generation of broad-spectrum disease resistance by overexpression of an essential regulatory gene in systemic acquired resistance., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, vol. 95 (1998), pp. 6531-6536 .
  16. Cao, H., J. Glazebrook, J. D. Clarke, S. Volko, and X. Dong., The Arabidopsis NPR1 gene that controls systemic acquired resistance encodes a novel protein containing ankyrin repeats., Cell, vol. 88 (1997), pp. 57-63 .
  17. Durrant, W. E., Wang, S., Dong, X., Arabidopsis SNI1 and RAD51D regulate both gene transcription and DNA recombination during the defense response., PNAS USA, vol. 104 no. 10 (2007), pp. 4223-7  [abs].
  18. Cao, H., S. A. Bowling, A. S. Gordon, and X. Dong, Characterization of an Arabidopsis mutant that is nonresponsive to inducers of systemic acquired resistance., Plant Cell, vol. 6 (1994), pp. 1583-1592 .
  19. D Wang, K Pajerowska-Mukhtar, AH Culler, X Dong, Salicylic acid inhibits pathogen growth in plants through repression of the auxin signaling pathway., Current biology : CB, England, vol. 17 no. 20 (October, 2007), pp. 1784-90  [abs].
  20. Wang, D., Amornsiripanitch, N., Dong, X., A genomic approach to identify regulatory nodes in the transcriptional network of systemic acquired resistance in plants, PloS Pathogens, vol. 2 (2006), pp. 1042-1050 .
  21. SH Spoel, JS Johnson, X Dong, Regulation of tradeoffs between plant defenses against pathogens with different lifestyles., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, United States, vol. 104 no. 47 (November, 2007), pp. 18842-7  [abs].
  22. A. Heidel, J. D. Clarke, J. Antonovics, and X. Dong, Fitness costs of mutants affecting the systemicacquired resistance pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana, Genetics, vol. 168 (2004), pp. 2197-2206 .