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  Location: Home >> Faculty >> Developmental Biology
  Developmental Biology

Yongbiao Xue

1983 BSc Lanzhou University,China
1986 Msc The Postgradute School, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
1989 PhD University of East Anglia, UK

1987 University Studentship, University of East Anglia, UK
1987 Overseas Research Student Awards, University of East Anglia, UK
1995 K.C. Wang Fellowship, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

1990 Postdoc Fellow, John Innes Center and University of Oxford (with Prof. E. S. Coen, FRS
   and Prof. H. G. Dickinson), UK
1995 Research Scientist, The Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Center, UK
1997 Principle Investigator, Institute of Developmental Biology, The Chinese Academy of
   Sciences, China
1999 Assistant Director, Institute of Developmental Biology, The Chinese Academy of
2000 Professor, Faculty of Life Sciences, The Postgraduate School, The Chinese Academy of
   Sciences, China
2001 Principle Investigator, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, The Chinese
   Academy of Sciences, China
2001 Associate Director, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, The Chinese
   Academy of Sciences, China
2002 Adjunct Professor, College of Life Sciences, Beijing University, China
2004-2014 Director,Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology,The Chinese Academy of


1. Molecular control of self-incompatibility in Antirrhinum

Self-incompatibility (SI) is a widely-distributed genetic mechanism to prevent inbreeding in flowering plants and represents a model system to study molecular basis of pollen recognition and rejection. In solanaceous-type self-incompatible species, recent studies have shown that the S-locus encodes two types of genes in a haplotype manner controlling the pistil and pollen function of SI, respectively. A class of ribonucleases known as S-RNases mediates the pistil function, and a novel F-box gene called S-locus F-box (SLF) controls the pollen function. The first member of the SLF family, AhSLF-S2, was identified in Antirrhinum. We have shown that it mediates the pollen function of S-RNase-based SI and its protein product forms part of an SCF (Skp1/Cullin or CDC53/F-box) complex to target S-RNases for destruction by the ubiquitin/26S proteosome-mediated proteolytic pathway during compatible pollination. However, little is known about how these two proteins interact with each other to elicit SI responses. Currently, we are taking a combination of molecular genetics, biochemistry and cell biology to address this issue in Antirrhinum.

2. Molecular studies on pollination and fertilization in rice

Pollination and fertilization are key steps leading to seed formation. But, relatively little is known about their molecular control in rice. To identify genes involved in these processes, we have constructed a cDNA microarray containing over 10K unique cDNA in rice and monitored gene expression profiles during pollination. Subsequently, over 200 candidate cDNA have been found with possible roles in pollination in rice. We are investigating their detailed functions using a variety of approaches. In addition, we are collaborating with Drs Weiren Wu and Yuanling Duan from Fujian Agricultural University of China to clone several key genes controlling rice reproductive development using a map-based method.

3. Identification of genes controlling cotton fiber formation

Cotton fibers are single cell-derived structures from ovule epidermis. Very little is known about their molecular control. Based on the fact that both trichomes and fibers are derived from single cells, we have identified numerous MYB genes expressed during fiber formation. In particular, one gene known as GhMYB109 is specifically expressed in fiber initials and elongating fibers, suggesting that it likely controls these steps. Currently, we are disecting its function through a transgenic approach.

(see for a complete list)


Research Papers:
1. Bradley, D., Xu, P., Mohorianu, II, Whibley, A., Field, D., Tavares, H., Couchman, M., Copsey, L., Carpenter, R., Li, M., Li, Q., Xue, Y., Dalmay T., Coen E. (2017) Evolution of flower color pattern through selection on regulatory small RNAs. Science 358, 925-928.
2. Li, J., Zhang, Y., Song, Y., Zhang, H., Fan, J., Li, Q., Zhang, D., and Xue, Y.(2017) Electrostatic potentials of the S-locus F-box proteins contribute to the pollen S specificity in self-incompatibility in Petunia hybrida. Plant J 89, 45-57.
3.Zhang, B., Wu,S., Zhang Y., Xu, T., Guo, F., Tang, H., Li, X., Wang, P., Qian, W., Xue Y.,(2016) A High Temperature-Dependent Mitochondrial Lipase EXTRA GLUME1 Promotes Floral Phenotypic Robustness against Temperature Fluctuation in Rice (Oryza sativa L.). PLOS Genetics.  doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006152 
4.Wang, D., Qin, B., Li, X., Tang, D., Zhang, Y., Zheng, Z.,  Cheng, Z., Xue,Y.,(2016) Nucleolar DEAD-Box RNA Helicase TOGR1 Regulates Thermotolerant Growth as a PrerRNA Chaperone in Rice. PLOS Genetics. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005844
5.Li Q., Zhao T., Yue M., Xue Y., Bao S.,( 2016) The Protein Arginine Methylase 5 (PRMT5/SKB1) Gene Is Required for the Maintenance of Root Stem Cells in Response to DNA Damage. JGG 43 (2016) 187e197
6.Liu, W., Fan, J., Li, J., Song, Y., Li,Q., Zhang, Y., Xue, Y., (2014) SCFSLF-mediated cytosolic degradation of S-RNase is required for cross-pollen compatibility in S-RNase-based self-incompatibility in Petuniahybrida. Front.Genet. 5:288 doi: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00228 
7.Hu, X., Qian Q., Xu T., Zhang Y., Dong G., Gao, T., Xie, Q., Xue, Y. (2013) The U-Box E3 ubiquitin ligase TUD1 functions with a heterotrimeric G a subunit to regulate brassinosteroid-mediated growth in rice. PLoS Genet 9(3): e1003391

8.Xu, C., Li, M., Wu, J., Guo, H., Li, Q., Zhang, Y., Chai, J., Li, T., Xue, Y. (2013) Identification of a canonical SCFSLF complex involved in S-RNase-based self-incompatibility of Pyrus (Rosaceae). Plant Mol. Biol. 81:245-257

9.Duan,Y. , Xing, Z., Diao, Z., Xu, W., Li, S., Du, X., Wu, G., Wang, C., Lan, T., Meng, Z., Liu, H., Wang, F., Wu, W., Xue, Y. (2012) Characterization of Osmads6-5, a null allele, reveals that OsMADS6 is a critical regulator for early flower development in rice (Oryza sativa L.) . Plant Mol. Biol. 80:429-442

10.Duan, Y., Li, S., Chen, Z., Zheng, L., Diao, Z., Zhou, Y., Lan, T., Guan, H., Pan, R., Xue, Y., Wu, W. (2012). Dwarf and Deformed Flower 1, encoding an F-box protein, is essential for regulating vegetative and floral development in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant J. 72:829-842

11.The Tomato Genome Consortium (2012) The tomato genome sequence provides insights into fleshy fruit evolution. Nature 485:635-641

12.Chen, G., Zhang, B., Liu, L., Li, Q., Zhang, Y., Xie, Q., Z., Xue, Y. (2012) Identification of a ubiquitin-binding structure in the S-locus F-box protein controlling S-RNase-based self-incompatibility. J Genet Genom 39:93-102

13.Xu, W., Yang, R., Li, M., Xing, Z., Yang, W., Chen, G., Guo, H., Gong, Z., Du, Z., Zhang, Z., Hu, X., Wang, D., Qian, Q., Wang, T., Su, Z., Xue, Y. (2011) Transcriptome phase distribution analysis reveals diurnal regulated biological processes and key pathways in rice flag leaves and seedling leaves. PLoS One 6: e17613

14.Zhang, Z., Zhang, S., Zhang, Y., Wang, X., Li, D., Li, Q., Yue, M., Li, Q., Zhang, Y., Xu, Y., Xue, Y., Chong, K., Bao, S. (2011) Arabidopsis floral initiator SKB1 confers high salt tolerance by regulating transcription and pre-mRNA splicing through altering histone H4R3 and small nuclear ribonucleoprotein LSM4 methylation. Plant Cell 23:396-411
15.Wei, L., Xu, W., Deng, Z., Su, Z., Xue, Y., Wang, T. (2010) Genome-scale analysis and comparison of gene expression profiles in developing and germinated pollen in Oryza sativa. BMC Genomics 11:338
16.Causier, B., Castillo, R., Xue, Y., Schwarz-Sommer, Z., Davies, B. (2010) Tracing the evolution of the floral homeotic B- and C-function genes through genome synteny. Current Biol. 27:2651-2664
17.Zhao, L., Huang, J., Zhao, Z., Li, Q., Sims, T.L., Xue, Y. (2010) The SKP1-like protein SSK1 is required for cross-pollen compatibility in S-RNase-based self-incompatibility. Plant J. 62:52-63
18.Wang, K., Tang, D., Hong, L., Xu, W., Huang, J., Li, M., Gu, M., Xue, Y., Cheng, Z. (2010) DEP and AFO regulate reproductive habit in rice. PLoS Genet. 6(1): e1000818
19.Liu, F., Xu, W., Wei, Q., Zhang, Z., Tan, L., Chao, D., Yao, D., Wang, C., Yan, H., Sun C. Xue, Y., Su, Z. (2010) Gene expression profiles deciphering rice phenotypic variation between Nipponbare (Japonica) and 93-11(Indica) during oxidative stress. PLoS One 5(1): e8632
20.Li, H., Xue, D., Gao, Z., Yan, M., Xu, W., Xing, Z., Huang, D., Qian, Q., Xue, Y. (2009) A putative lipase gene EXTRA GLUME1 regulates both empty glume fate and spikelet development in rice. Plant J. 57:593-605

21.Zhang, Y., Xu, W., Li, Z., Deng, X., Wu, W., Xue, Y. (2008) F-box protein DOR functions as a novel inhibitory factor for ABA-induced stomatal closure under drought stress in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiol. 148:2121-2133

22.Xu, S., Deng, Z., Chong, K., Xue, Y., Wang, T. (2008) Dynamic proteomic analysis reveals a switch between central carbon metabolism and alcoholic fermentation in Oryza sativa filling grains. Plant Physiol. 148:908-925

23.Pu, L., Li, Q., Fan, X., Yang, W., Xue, Y. (2008) A R2R3 MYB transcription factor GhMYB109 is required for cotton fiber development. Genetics 180:811-820

24.Chen, J., Ding, J., Ouyang, Y., Du, H., Yang, J., Cheng, K., Zhao, J., Qiu, S., Zhang, X., Yao, J., Liu, K., Wang, L., Xu, C., Li, X., Xue, Y., Xia, M., Ji, Q., Lu, J., Xu. M., Zhang, Q. (2008) A tri-allelic system of S5 is a major regulator of the reproductive barrier and compatibility of indica-japonica hybrids in rice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105:11436-11441

25.Yang, W., Kong, Z., Omo-Ikerodah, E., Xu, W., Li, Q., Xue, Y. (2008) A calcineurin B-like interacting protein kinase OsCIPK23 functions in pollination and drought stress responses in rice (Oryza sativa L.). JGG 35:531-543

26.Yang, W., Lai, Y., Li, M., Xu, W., Xue, Y. (2008) A novel C2-domain phospholipid binding protein, OsPBP1, is required for pollen fertility in rice. Mol Plant 1:770-785

27.Zhang, D., Yang, Q., Ding, Y., Cao, X., Xue, Y., Cheng, Z. (2008) Cytological characterization of the tandem repetitive sequences and their methylation status in Antirrhinum majus genome. Genomics 92:107-114

28.Liu, F., Xu, W., Tan, L., Xue, Y., Sun, C., Su, Z. (2008) Case study for identification of indel-caused alternative expression isoforms in rice subspecies japonica and indica by integrative genome analysis. Genomics 91:186-194

29.Li, M., Xu, W., Yang, W., Kong, Z., Xue, Y. (2007) Genome-wide gene expression profiling reveals conserved and novel molecular functions of the stigam in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant Physiol. 144:1797-1812
30. Yang, Q., Zhang, D., Li, Q., Cheng, Z., Xue, Y. (2007) Heterochromatic and genetic features are consistent with recombination suppression of the self-incompatibility (S)-locus in Antirrhinum. Plant J. 51:140-151
31. Wang, X, Zhang, Y., Ma, Q., Zhang, Z., Xu, Z., Xue, Y., Bao, S., Chong, K. (2007) SKB1-mediated symmetric dimethylation of histone H4R3 controls flowering time in Arabidopsis. EMBO J. 26:1934-1941
32. Dai, S., Chen, T., Chong, K., Xue, Y., Li, S., Wang, T. (2007) Proteomic identification of differentially expressed proteins associated with pollen germination and tube growth reveals characteristics of germinated Oryza sativa pollen. Mol. Cell. Proteomics 6:207-230
33. Kong, Z., Li, M., Yang, W., Xu, W., Xue, Y. (2006) A novel nuclear-localized CCCH-type zinc finger protein, OsDOS, is involved in delaying leaf senescence in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant Physiol. 141:1376-1388
34. Huang, J., Zhao, L., Yang, Q., Xue, Y. (2006) AhSSK1, a novel SKP1-like protein that interacts with the S-Locus F-box protein. Plant J. 46:780-793
35. Dai, S., Li, L., Chen, T., Chong, K., Xue, Y., Wang, T. (2006) Proteomic analyses of Oryza sativa mature pollen reveal novel proteins associated potentially with pollen germination and tube growth. Proteomics 6:2504-2529
36. Dong, L., Wang, L., Zhang, Y., Zhang, Y., Deng, X., Xue, Y. (2006) An auxin-inducible F-box protein CEGENDUO negatively regulates auxin-mediated lateral root formation in Arabidopsis. Plant Mol Biol. 60:599-616
37.Lan, L., Li, M., Lai, Y., Xu, W., Kong, Z., Ying, K., Han, B., Xue, Y. (2005) Microarray analysis reveals similarities and variations in genetic programs involved in pollination/fertilization and stress responses in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant Mol Biol 59:151-164
38.Wang, Z., Liang, Y., Li, C., Xu, Y., Lan, L., Chen, C., Xu, Z., Xue, Y., Chong, K. (2005) Identification of anther development-related genes by gene expression profiling with a 10-K cDNA microarray in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant Mol Biol 58:721-737
39.Causier, B., Castillo, R., Zhou, J., Ingram, R., Xue, Y., Schwarz-Sommer, Z., Davies, B. (2005) Evolution in action:following function in duplicated floral homeotic genes. Curr. Biol. 15:1508-1512
40.Wang, L., Dong, L., Zhang, Y. E., Zhang, Y., Wu, W., Deng, X.W., Xue, Y. (2005) Genome-wide analysis of S-locus F-box –like genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Mol Biol 56:929-945
41.Qiao, H., Wang, F., Zhao, L., Zhou, J., Lai, Z., Zhang, Y., Robbins, T., Y., Xue, Y. (2004) The F-box protein AhSLF-S2 controls the pollen function of S-RNase-based self-incompatibility. Plant Cell 16:2307-2322
42.Lan, L., Chen, W., Lai, Y., Suo, J., Kong, Z., Li, C., Lu, Y., Zhang, Y., Zhao, X., Zhang, X., Han, B., Cheng, J., Xue, Y. (2004) Monitoring of gene expression profiles and isolation of candidate genes involved in pollination and fertilization in rice (Oryza sativa L.) using a 10K cDNA microarray. Plant Mol Biol 54:471-487
43.Qiao, H., Wang, H., Zhao, L., Zhou, J., Huang, J., Zhang, Y., Xue, Y. (2004) The F-box protein AhSLF-S2 physically interacts with S-RNases that are inhibited by the ubiquitin/26S proteasome pathway of protein degradation during compatible pollination in Antirrhinum.Plant Cell 16:582-295
Reviews and Book Chapters:
1.Chen, G., Zhang, B., Zhao, Z., Sui, Z., Zhang, H., Xue, Y. (2010) “A life or death decision” for pollen tubes in S-RNase-based self-incompatibility. J. Exp. Bot. 61:2027-2037

2.Zhang, Y., Zhao, Z., Xue, Y. (2009) Roles of proteolysis in plant self-incompatibility. Ann. Rev. Plant Biol. 60:21-42

3.Zhang, Q., Li, J., Xue, Y., Han, B., Deng, X. (2008) Rice 2020: A call for an international coordinated effort in rice functional genomics. Mol Plant 1:715-719

4.Li, C., Zhao, J., Jiang, H., Geng, Y., Dai, Y., Fan, H., Zhang, D., Chen, J., Lu, F., Shi, J., Sun, S., Chen, J., Yang, X., Lu, C., Chen, C., Cheng, Z., Ling, H., Wang, Y., Xue, Y., Li, C. (2008) A snapshot of the Chinese SOL Project. JGG 35: 387-390

5.Zhang, Y., Xue, Y. (2008) Molecular biology of S-RNase-based self-incompatibility. Pages 193-215 in Franklin-Tong, V. E. (ed.) Self-Incompatibility in Flowering Plants: Evolution, Diversity and Mechanisms, Springer-Verlag
6. Wang, Y., Xue, Y. and Li, J. (2005) Towards molecular breeding and improvement of rice in China. Trends Plant Sci. 10:610-614