Director, Research Associate Professor
Web site: MU Plant Transformation Core Facility Office address:
Plant Transformation Core Facility, Division of Plant Sciences
007A Sears Plant Growth Facility, University of Missouri Office phone:
(573) 882-6922 Fax:
Plant Genetic Engineering; Soybean transformation
The primary research goal in my laboratory is to develop cutting-edge transgene technologies for soybean (Glycine max) and maize (Zea mays). My research focus is on developing high-throughput transformation processes for soybean and maize and efficient gene regulation in complex genome such as soybean. I am also interested in soybean functional genomics employing reverse genetics tools.
My current research falls into three major areas:
Improvement of Transformation System
Improvement of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of soybean (Glycine max) and maize (Zea mays) is our continuous endower. This research area includes the improvement of T-DNA integration efficiency and quality. The success in this area will make it possible to produce a large number of transgenic soybean lines through transformation-based mutagenesis or RNAi for the discovery of huge number of soybean genes and accelerate soybean engineering efforts. Transformation of maize inbred lines is highly desirable but has been very inefficient worldwide. Therefore, it is essential to develop efficient maize inbred transformation systems using simple binary vector system.
Efficient RNAi for Gene Regulation
Efficient gene regulation in complex genome background such as soybean represents a new challenge in transgene technology. RNAi technology has been shown to be a powerful tool to accomplish this goal. Our current focus is on design and implement of efficient RNAi in soybean. We are now exploring several strategies in improving the efficacy of RNAi in this crop. The experience and lessons we learn from down-regulation of several important soybean genes should be applicable for regulation of other genes in soybean. In addition, transgenic soybean lines developed in these studies can be used as breeding materials for soybean trait improvement.
Transposon mutagenesis has been demonstrated to have a great utility in tagging genes in the plant genome. We are now actively collaborating on this project with several other institutions. Our goal is to tag a large number of soybean genes with special interest in seed traits. Tagged genes will be mapped to the soybean physical map. Mutant soybean lines and genes whose functions are identified in this study will be a good resource for the soybean research community.
- Barampuram S, Zhang Z. 2011. Recent advances in plant transformation. Methods Mol Biol 701:1-35.
- Wright TR, Shan G, Walsh TA, Lira JM, Cui C, Song P, Zhuang M, Arnold NL, Lin G, Yau K, Russell SM, Cicchillo RM, Peterson MA, Simpson DM, Zhou N, Ponsamuel J, Zhang Z. 2010. Robust crop resistance to broadleaf and grass herbicides provided by aryloxyalkanoate dioxygenase transgenes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107: 20240–20245.
- Baykal U and Zhang Z. 2010. Chapter XI: Small RNA-mediated gene silencing for plant biotechnology. In: Gene silencing: theory, techniques and applications. Catalano AJ. ed., Nova Sci. Pub. p255-269.
- Yin X, Zhang Z. 2010. Recent Patents on Plant Transgenic Technology. Recent Patents on Biotechnology 4:98-111.
- Mathieu, M., Winters, E.K., Kong, F., Wan, J., Wang, S., Eckert, H., Luth, D., Paz, M., Donovan, C., Zhang, Z., Somers, D., Wang, K., Nguyen, H., Shoemaker, R.C., Stacey, G., Clemente, T. 2009. Establishment of a soybean (Glycine max Merr. L) transposon-based mutagenesis repository. Planta 229:279-289
- Mitra A, Han J, Zhang Z, Mitra A. 2009. The intergenic region of Arabidopsis thaliana cab1 and cab2 divergent genes functions as a bidirectional promoter. Planta 225:1015-1022.
- Lu L, Wu X, Yin X, Morrand J, Chen X, Folk WR, Zhang Z. 2009. Development of marker-free transgenic sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] using standard binary vectors with bar as a selectable marker. PCTO: Journal of Plant Biotechnology 99:97–108.
- Vega JM, Yu W, Han F, Kato A, Peters EM, Zhang Z, Birchler JA. 2008. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of maize (Zea mays) with Cre-lox site specific recombination cassettes in BIBAC vectors. Plant Molecular Biology 66:587-598.
- Flores T, Karpova O, Su X, Zeng P, Bilyeu K, Sleper D, Nguyen H, Zhang Z. 2008. Silencing of GmFAD3 gene by siRNA leads to low a-linolenic acids (18:3) of fad3-mutant phenotype in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] Transgenic Research (online first: DOI 10.1007/s11248-008-9167-6).
- Bilyeu KD, Zeng P, Coello P, Zhang Z, Krishnan HB, Beuselinck PR, Polacco JC. 2008. Conversion of seed phytate to utilizable phosphorus in soybean seeds expressing a bacterial phytase. Plant Physiology 146:468-477.
- Vega J, Yu W, Kennon A, Chen X, Zhang Z. 2008. Improvement of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in Hi-II maize (Zea mays L.) using standard binary vectors. Plant Cell Reports 27:297-305.
- Lee BK, Kim KH, Kim SL, Yu SH, Lee SC, Zhang Z, Kim MS, Park HM, Lee JY. 2008. Seed specific expression of perilla ?-tocopherol methyltransferase gene increases a-tocopherol content in transgenic perilla (Perilla frutescens). Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 92:47-54.