Xuehua Zhong, PhD

Dean’s Distinguished Professorial Scholar

Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program
Computational and Systems Biology Program
Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program

Research Abstract:

Dr. Zhong is interested in how cellular machines sense intrinsic and extrinsic cues and alter chromatin landscapes to generate adaptive responses. Her group focuses on epigenetic regulation by exploring how chromatin dynamics is established, maintained, erased, and inherited over time, and how altered chromatin modifications lead to improved plant traits and environmental adaptation. They combine functional genomics and high-throughput proteomics and genomics techniques together with traditional genetic and biochemical tools to understand the function and mechanism of epigenetic processes and develop novel chromatin-based technology for biomass production and agricultural improvement.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
Engaging students from underrepresented groups in research is a significant goal of my career development. I have long been interested in promoting a strong and diverse community in the scientific education and research. I consider teaching and mentoring students from diverse backgrounds a special privilege that comes with profound responsibilities as well as personal gratification.

Selected Publications:

Fang J, Jiang J, Leichter SM, Liu J, Biswal M, Khudaverdyan N, Zhong X#, Song J# (2022) Mechanistic basis for maintenance of CHG DNA methylation in plants. Nature Communications, 13, 3877, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-31627-3. #corresponding

Chen J, Liu J, Jiang J, Qian S, Song J, Kabara R, Delo I, Serino G, Liu F, Hua Z, Zhong X (2021) F-box protein CFK1 interacts with and destabilizes de novo DNA methyltransferase in Arabidopsis. New Phytologist, 229 (6), 3303-3317.

Nozawa K, Chen J, Jiang J, Leichter SM, Yamada M, Suzuki T, Liu F, Ito H#, Zhong X# (2021) DNA methyltransferase CHROMOMETHYLASE3 is required for full ONSEN transposon activation in heat stress. PLOS Genetics 17(8): e1009710. #Corresponding authors

Fang J, Leichter SM, Jiang J, Biswal M, Lu J, Zhang Z, Ren W, Zhai J, Cui Q, Zhong X#, Song J# (2021) Substrate deformation regulates DRM2-mediated DNA methylation in plants. BioRxiv doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.17.995522. Science Advances, 7:eabd9224. #corresponding

Jiang J, Liu J, Sanders D, Qian S, Ren W, Song J, Liu F#, Zhong X# (2021) UVR8 interacts with de novo DNA methyltransferase and suppresses DNA methylation in Arabidopsis. Nature Plants 7(2):184-197. #Corresponding

Scheid R, Chen J, Zhong X (2021) Biological role and mechanism of chromatin readers in plants. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 10;61:102008.

Stoddard CI, Feng S, Campbell MG, Liu W, Wang H, Zhong X, Bernatavichute Y, Cheng Y, Jacobsen SE, Narlikar GJ (2019) A nucleosome bridging mechanism for activation of a maintenance DNA methyltransferase. Molecular Cell, 73, 73-83.e6.

Yang Z, Qian S, Scheid RN, Lu L, Liu R, Du X, Lv X, Boersma MD, Scalf M, Smith LM, Denu JM, Du J#, Zhong X# (2018) EBS is a bivalent histone reader that regulates floral phase transition in Arabidopsis. Nature Genetics, 50: 1247-53.#Corresponding

Lu L, Chen X, Qian S, Zhong X (2018) The plant-specific histone residue Phe41 is important for genome-wide H3.1 distribution. Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-02976-9.

Qian S, Lv X, Scheid RN, Lu L, Yang Z, Chen W, Liu R, Boersma MD, Denu JM, Zhong X#, Du J# (2018) Dual recognition of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 by a plant histone reader SHL. Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04836-y. #Corresponding

Chen X, Lu L, Qian S, Scalf M, Smith LM, Zhong X (2018) Canonical and non-canonical actions of Arabidopsis histone deacetylases in ribosomal RNA processing. The Plant Cell, 30: 1-19.

Last Updated: 8/18/2022 4:21:36 PM

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