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  Location: Home >> Faculty >> Molecular Agrobiology
  Molecular Agrobiology

Caixia Gao


1994-1997: Ph.D. China Agricultural University

1991-1994: M.S. Gansu Agricultural University 

1987-1991: B.S. Gansu Agricultural University   



2009-present: Principal investigator, Molecular AgroBiology Center, Institute of Genetics & Developmental Biology, CAS, China 

1998-2009: Research Scientist, Research Division, DLF-Trifolium Group, Denmark 

1997-1998: Postdoc, Research Division, DLF-Trifolium Group, Denmark 


Research Interests: 

Current approaches to the challenge of improving agricultural productivity and global food production rely on traditional plant breeding techniques and transgenic genetic modification (GM). However, these techniques lack precision and require substantial time to develop new crop varieties. Plant genome engineering using sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs) overcomes the limitations of traditional crop improvement technologies by creating plants with novel traits through the targeted modification of plant genomes. Therefore our research area mainly deals with developing a highly efficient and robust TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9 platform in plant cells to enable targeted genome editing as well as employing the developed platform for targeted gene mutagenesis, addition, editing and transcriptional modulation to identify and modify plants traits for high-quality, disease resistance and stress tolerance in crop species.  

Publications (*author for correspondence)
1. Wang M1, Wang S1, Liang Z, Shi W, Gao C*, Xia G* (2017) From Genetic Stock to Genome Editing: Gene Exploitation in Wheat, Trends in Biotechnology, doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.002 (1 co-first authors).
2. Zhang D1, Zhang H1, Li T, Chen K, Qiu J, Gao C* (2017) Perfectly Matched 20-nucleotide Guide RNA Sequences Enable Robust Genome Editing Using High-fidelity SpCas9 Nucleases, Genome Biology, 18, 191. (1 co-first authors).
3. Wang C1, Liu W1, Wang G1, Li J, Dong L, Han L, Wang Q, Tian J, Yu Y, Gao C and Kong Z* (2017) KTN80 confers precision to microtubule severing by specific targeting of katanin complexes in plant cells, The EMBO Journal, e201796823. (1 co-first authors).
4. Meng X1, Yu H1, Zhang Y, Zhuang F, Song X, Gao S, Gao C*, Li J* (2017). Construction of a Genome-Wide Mutant Library in Rice Using CRISPR/Cas9. Mol Plant, 10, 1238-1241. (1 co-first authors).
5. Yin K, Gao C*, Qiu J* (2017) Progress and prospects in plant genome editing, Nature Plants, 3, 17107.
6. Ran Y*, Liang Z, Gao C* (2017) Current and future editing reagent delivery systems for plant genome editing, Science China Life Science, 60 (5) 490-505.
7. Zhang Y1, Bai Y1, Wu G, Zou S, Chen Y, Gao C*, Tang D* (2017) Simultaneous modification of three homoeologs of TaEDR1 by genome editing enhances powdery mildew resistance in wheat, Plant Journal, 91 (4), 714. (1 co-first authors).
8. Li J1, Zhang H1, Si X, Tian Y, Chen K, Liu J, Chen H, Gao C* (2017) Generation of thermosensitive male-sterile maize by targeted knockout of the ZmTMS5 gene. Journal of Genetics and Genomics, 44 (9), 465-468. (1 co-first authors).
9. Zong Y1, Wang Y1, Li C, Zhang R, Chen K, Ran Y, Qiu J, Wang D, Gao C* (2017) Precise base editing in rice, wheat and maize with a Cas9-cytidine deaminase fusion, Nature Biotechnology, 35 (5), 438. (1 co-first authors).
10. Liang Z1, Chen K1, Li T, Zhang Y, Wang Y, Zhao Q, Liu J, Zhang H, Liu C, Ran Y, Gao C* (2017) Efficient DNA-free genome editing of bread wheat using CRISPR/Cas9 ribonucleoprotein complexes, Nature Communications, 8, 14261. (1 co-first authors) (Recommended in F1000Prime).
11. Gil-Humanes J, Wang Y, Liang Z, Shan Q, Ozuna C, Sanchez-Leon S, Baltes N, Starker C, Francisco Barro F, Gao C and Voytas DF* (2017) High-efficiency gene targeting in hexaploid wheat using DNA replicons and CRISPR/Cas9. Plant Journal, 89, 1251-1262.
12. Li J1, Meng X1, Zong Y, Chen K, Zhang H, Liu J, Li J*, Gao C* (2016) Gene replacements and insertions in rice by intron targeting using CRISPR/Cas9. Nature Plants, 2 (10), 16139. (1 co-first authors) (Recommended in F1000Prime).
13. Zhang Y1, Liang Z1, Zong Y1, Wang Y, Liu J, Chen K, Qiu J, Gao C* (2016) Efficient and transgene-free genome editing in wheat through transient expression of CRISPR/Cas9 DNA or RNA. Nature Communications, 7, 12617. (1 co-first authors).
14. Jiao, R.*, Gao C* (2016) The CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing revolution. J. Genet. Genomics, 43, 227-228. [Editorial review]
15. Li, X. H., Xia, K., Liang, Z., Chen, K., Gao, C., & Zhang, M*. (2016). MicroRNA393 is involved in nitrogen-promoted rice tillering through regulation of auxin signal transduction in axillary buds. Scientific Reports, 6, 32158.
16. Ji X1, Zhang H1, Zhang Y, Wang Y, Gao C* (2015) Establishing a CRISPR-Cas-like immue system conferring DNA virus resistance in plants. Nature Plants, 1 (10), 15144. (1 co-first authors).
17. Wang S, Li S, Liu Q, Wu K, Zhang J, Wang S, Wang Y, Chen X, Zhang Y, Gao C, Wang F, Huang H, Fu X* (2015) The OsSPL16-GW7 regulatory module determines grain shape and simultaneously improves rice yield and grain quality. Nature Genetics, 47 (3), 949.
18. Shan Q, Zhang Y, Chen K, Zhang K & Gao C* (2015) Creation of fragrant rice by targeted knockout of the OsBADH2 gene using TALEN technology. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 13, 791-800.
19. Zhang, K, Liu, J, Zhang, Y, Yang, Z & Gao, C* (2015) Biolistic genetic transformation of a wide range of Chinese elite wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) varieties. Journal of Genetics and Genomics, 42, 39-42.
20. Shan Q, Wang Y, Li J, Gao C*(2014) Genome editing in rice and wheat using the CRISPR/Cas system. Nature Protocols, 9, 2395-2410.
21. Gao C* (2015) Genome editing in crops: from bench to field. National Science Review, 2, 13-15.
22. Wang Y1, Cheng X1, Shan Q, Zhang Y, Liu J, Gao C*, Qiu J * (2014) Simultaneous editing of three homoeoalleles in hexaploid bread wheat confers heritable resistance to powdery mildew. Nature Biotechnology, 32, 947-951. (1 co-first authors) (Recommended in F1000Prime).
23. Xiao J, Xu S, Li C, Xu Y, Xing L, Niu Y, Huan Q, Tang Y, Zhao C, Wagner D, Gao C, Chong K* (2014) O-GlcNAc-mediated interaction between VER2 and TaGRP2 elicits TaVRN1 mRNA accumulation during vernalization in winter wheat. Nature Communications, 5, 4572.
24. Voytas D F*, Gao, C* (2014) Precision genome engineering and agriculture: opportunities and regulatory challenges. PLoS Biology, 12, e1001877.
25. Liang Z, Zhang K, Chen K, Gao C* (2014) Targeted Mutagenesis in Zea mays Using TALENs and the CRISPR/Cas System. Journal of Genetics and Genomics, 41, 63-68.
26. Chen K, Shan Q, Gao C* (2014) An efficient TALEN mutagenesis system in rice. Methods, 69, 2-8.
27. Chen K, Gao C* (2014) Targeted genome modification technologies and their applications in crop improvements. Plant Cell Reorts, 33, 575-583.
28. Shan Q1, Wang Y1, Li J1, Zhang Y, Chen K, Liang Z, Zhang K, Liu J, Qiu J*, Gao C* (2013) Targeted genome modification of crop plants using a CRISPR-Cas system. Nature Biotechnology, 31, 686-688. (1 co-first authors).
29. Chen K, Gao C* (2013) TALENs: Customizable Molecular DNA Scissors for Genome Engineering of Plants. Journal of Genetics and Genomics, 40(6), 271-279.
30. Shan Q1, Wang Y1, Chen K1, Liang Z, Li J, Zhang Y, Zhang K, Liu J, Voytas D F, Zheng X, Zhang Y*, Gao C* (2013) Rapid and efficient gene modification in rice and Brachypodium using TALENs. Molecular Plant, 6, 1365-1368. (1 co-first authors).
31. Long D, Wu X, Yang Z, Lenk I, Nielsen K, Gao C* (2011) Comparison of three selectable marker genes for transformation of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) plants by particle bombardment. In Vitro Cell Dev. Biol. Plant, 47, 658-666.
32. Brkljacic J, Grotewold E, Scholl R, Mockler T, Garvin D, Vain P, Brutnell T, Sibout R, Bevan M, Budak H, Caicedo A, Gao C, Gu Y, Hazen S, Holt B, Hong S, Jordan M, Manzaneda A, Mitchell-Olds T, Mochida K, Mur L, Park C, Sedbrook J, Watt M, Zheng S, Vogel J* (2011) Brachypodium as a Model for the Grasses: Today and the Future. Plant Physiology, 157, 1-11.
Invited book chapters (*author for correspondence)
1. Yanpeng Wang, Yuan Zong, and Caixia Gao* (2017) Targeted Mutagenesis in Hexaploid Bread Wheat Using the TALEN and CRISPR/Cas Systems. Methods in Molecular Biology. p169-186. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-7337-8.
2. Zhen Liang, Yuan Zong, Caixia Gao* (2016) An Efficient Targeted Mutagenesis System Using CRISPR/Cas in Monocotyledons Current Protocols in Plant Biology 1:329-344.
3. Yi Zhang, Jun Li, Caixia Gao* (2016) Generation of Stable Transgenic Rice (Oryza sativa L.) by Agrobacterium-Mediated Transformation. Current Protocols in Plant Biology 1:235-246.
4. Chen K, Gao C* (2015) Develping CRISPR technology in major crop plants. F. Zhang et al. (eds.), Advances in New Technology for Targeted Modification of Planty Genomes. p145-161. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-2556-8_8.
5. Chen K, Gao C* (2015) Targeted gene mutation in plants. X.-Q. Li et al. (eds.), Somatic Genome Manipulation. p253-272. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-2389-2_12.
6. Gao C*, Nielsen K (2013) Comparison between Agrobacterium-mediated and direct gene transfer using the gene gun. Methods Mol Biol 940: 1-16