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  Location: Home >> Faculty >> Center for Genome Biology
  Center for Genome Biology

Qi Xie

1987 BSc Sun Yat-sen (Zhongshan) University, China
1990 MSc Guangdong Institute of Microbiology, China
1994 PhD Centro de Biologia Molecular "Severo Ochoa",
      Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain


1990 PhD Fellowship, European Community grants, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
1995 Postdoctoral Fellow, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
1997 Postdoctoral associate, Rockefeller University, USA
1998 Research Fellow, The Institute of Molecular Agrobiology, Singapore


Employment History
2001 Acting Principal Investigator, The Institute of Molecular Agrobiology, Singapore
2002 Acting Principal Investigator, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore
2002 Changjiang Scholar, Chair Professor, Sun Yat-sen (Zhongshan) University, China


Signal transduction in plant development and stress biology (biotic and abiotic)

The ability to perceive internal and external signals and to adapt to different environmental conditions are hallmarks of all living organisms. Understanding this exchange of information between organism and their environment remains a hot pursuit in life sciences. Plants are an integral part of our ecosystem. A major challenge in plant biology is the uncovering of the developmental process from a single cell into a mature plant. Some aspects of plant development are entirely genetically programmed, but most are influenced by the environment, allowing plants to adapt to prevailing conditions. The molecular mechanisms of signal transduction pathways in higher plant are essential to vital processes such as hormone and light perception, plant and environment recognition and interaction. Our research focuses on elucidation of signal transduction cascades in higher plant response to biotic (Geminivirus) and abitotic (salt, drought and cold) stresses by using model plant Arabidopsis, rice and Thellungiella salsuginea. The chain of events is being defined by the reception and translation of hormonal and environmental signals in specific cells. Currently we are focusing on disclose protein ubiquitination and no coding RNAs in stress signaling pathways. In additional, we are working on genetic improvement of the biomass, sugar contents and stress tolerance of C4 plant sweet sorghum (Sorghum saccharatum).

Key Publications
Zhang, H., Xie, P., Xu, X., Xie, Q. and Yu, F. (2021) Heterotrimeric G protein signalling in plant biotic and abiotic stress response. Plant Biol. 23: (Suppl. 1):20-30.
Liu, R., Xia, R., Xie, Q., and Wu, Y. (2021) Endoplasmic reticulum-related E3 ubiquitin ligases: Key regulators of plant growth and stress responses. Plant Commun. 2(3):100186.
Wei, S., Xia, R., Chen C., Shang X., Ge F., Wei H., Chen, H., Wu, Y., and Xie, Q. (2021) ZmbHLH124 identified in maize recombinant inbred lines contributes to drought tolerance in crops. Plant Biotechnol. J. 19(10):2069-2081.
Pan, W., Lin, B., Yang, X., Liu, L., Xia, R., Li, J., Wu, Y. and Xie, Q. (2020) The UBC27-AIRP3 ubiquitination complex modulates ABA signaling by promoting the degradation of ABI1 in Arabidopsis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 117(44):27694-27702.
Yu, F., Cao, X., Liu, G., Wang, Q., Xia, R., Zhang, X. and Xie, Q. (2020) ESCRT-I Component VPS23A Is Targeted by E3 Ubiquitin Ligase XBAT35 for Proteasome-Mediated Degradation in Modulating ABA Signaling. Mol. Plant S1674-2052(20)30303-8.
Lou, L., Yu, F., Tian, M., Liu, G., Wu, Y., Wu Y., Xia R., Pardo, J., Guo, Y., Xie, Q. (2020) ESCRT-I Component VPS23A Sustains Salt Tolerance by Strengthening the SOS Module in Arabidopsis. Mol. Plant 13(8):1134-1148.
Chen, Q., Yu, F., Xie, Q. (2020) Insights into endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation in plants. New Phytol. 226(2):345-350.
Wang, Q., Yu, F., Xie, Q. (2020) Balancing growth and adaptation to stress: Crosstalk between brassinosteroid and abscisic acid signaling. Plant Cell Environ. 43(10):2325-2335.
Wang, L., Xu, Q., Yu, H., Ma, H., g Li, X., Yang, J., Chu, J., Xie, Q., Wang, Y., Smith, S., Li, J., Xiong, G. and  Wang, B. (2020) Strigolactone and Karrikin Signaling Pathways Elicit Ubiquitination and Proteolysis of SMXL2 to Regulate Hypocotyl Elongation in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 32(7):2251-2270.
Zhang, C., Wei, Y., Xu, L. , Wu, K., Yang, L., Shi, C., Yang, G., Chen, D., Yu, F., Xie, Q., Ding, S. and Wu, J. (2020) A Bunyavirus-Inducible Ubiquitin Ligase Targets RNA Polymerase IV for Degradation during Viral Pathogenesis in Rice. Mol. Plant 13(6):836-850.
Chen, Z., Zhao, J., Chen, Q., Zhang, Z., Li, J., Guo, Z., Xie, Q., Ding, S. and Guo, H. (2020) DNA Geminivirus Infection Induces an Imprinted E3 Ligase Gene to Epigenetically Activate Viral Gene Transcription. Plant Cell 32(10):3256-3272.
Li, Y., Sun, D., Ma, Z.,, Yamaguchi, K., Wang, L., Zhong, S., Yan, X., Shang, B., Nagashima, Y., Koiwa, H., Han, J., Xie, Q., Zhou, M., Wang, Z., Zhang, X. (2020) Degradation of SERRATE via ubiquitin-independent 20S proteasome to survey RNA metabolism. Nat. Plants 6(8):970-982.
Xie, P., Shi, J., Tang, S., Chen, C, Khan, A., Zhang, F., Xiong, Y., Li, C., He, W., Wang, G., Lei, F., Wu, Y., Xie Q. (2019) Control of bird feeding behavior by Tannin1 through modulating the biosynthesis of polyphenols and fatty acid-derived volatiles in sorghum. Mol Plant. 12, 1315-1324
Pan, W., Wu, Y., Xie, Q. (2019) Regulation of ubiquitination is central to the phosphate starvation response. Trends Plant Sci. 24(8):755-769.
Xie Q., Xu Z. (2019) Sustainable agriculture: From sweet sorghum planting and ensiling to ruminant feeding. Mol Plant. 12(5):603-606.
Han, J., Yang, X., Wang, Q., Tang, L., Yu, F., Huang, X., Wang, Y., Liu, J., Xie, Q. (2019) The β5 subunit is essential for intact 26S proteasome assembly to specifically promote plant autotrophic growth under salt stress. New Phytol. 221(3):1359-1368
Li, Y., Li, Y., Liu, Y., Wu, Y., Xie, Q. (2018) The sHSP22 heat shock protein requires the ABI1 protein phosphatase to modulate polar auxin transport and downstream responses. Plant Physiol. 176 (3):2406-2425.
Tang, S., Wang, Z., Chen, C., Xie, P., Xie, Q. (2018) The prospect of sweet sorghum as the source for high biomass crop. J Agric Sci Bot. 2(3): 5-11
Chen, H., Ma, B., Zhou, Y., He, S., Tang, S., Lu, X., Xie, Q., Chen, S., Zhang, J. (2018) E3 ubiquitin ligase SOR1 regulates ethylene response in rice root by modulating stability of Aux/IAA protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 115(17):4513-4518.
Wang, J., Grubb, L., Wang, J., Liang, X., Li, L., Gao, C., Ma, M., Feng, F., Li, M., Li, L., Zhang, X., Yu, F., Xie, Q., Chen, S., Zipfel, C., Monaghan, J. and Zhou, J.*(2018) A regulatory module controlling homeostasis of a plant immune kinase. Molecular Cell 69(3):493-504
Yu, F., Xie, Q. (2017) Non-26S Proteasome Endomembrane Trafficking Pathways in ABA Signaling. Trends Plant Sci. 22(11):976-985.
Zhao, L., Li, Y., Xie, Q., Wu, Y. (2017) Loss of CDKC; 2 increases both cell division and drought tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. 91(5):816-828.
Chen, Q., Liu, R., Wang, Q., Xie, Q. (2017) ERAD Tuning of the HRD1 Complex Component AtOS9 Is Modulated by an ER-Bound E2, UBC32. Mol Plant. 10(6):891-894.
Yu, F., Lou L., Tian, M., Li, Q., Ding, Y., Cao, X., Wu, Y., Belda-Palazon, B., Rodriguez, P., Yang, S. and Xie, Q. (2016) ESCRT-I component VPS23A affects ABA signaling by recognizing ABA receptors for endosomal degradation. Mol. Plant. 9: 570–1582.
Yu, F., Wu, Y. and Xie, Q. (2016) Ubiquitin-Proteasome System in ABA Signaling: From Perception to Action. Mol. Plant 9(1):21-33.
Yan, L., Wei, S., Wu, Y., Hu, R., Li, H., Yang, W. and Xie, Q. (2015) High efficiency genome editing in Arabidopsis using Yao promoter-driven CRISPR/Cas9 system. Mol. Plant 8:1820-1823
Shu, K., Chen, Q., Wu, Y., Liu, R., Zhang, H., Wang, S., Tang, S., Yang, W. and Xie, Q. (2015) ABSCISIC ACID-INSENSITIVE 4 negatively regulates flowering through directly promoting Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS C transcription. J Exp. Bot. 67:195-205
Yu, F., Wu, Y. and Xie, Q. (2015) Precise protein post-translational modifications modulate ABI5 activity. Trends Plant Sci. 20(9): 569-575.
Zhang, H., Wu, Y., Lou, L., Tian, M., Ning, Y., Shu, K. and Xie, Q. (2015) The RING finger ubiquitin E3 ligase SDIR1 targets SDIR1-INTERACTING PROTEIN1 for degradation to modulate the salt stress response and ABA signaling in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 27: 214-27.
Tian, M., Lou, L., Yu, F., Zhao, Q., Zhang, H., Wu, Y., Tang, S., Xia, R., Zhu, B., Serino, G. and Xie, Q. (2015) The RING finger E3 ligase STRF1 is involved in membrane trafficking and modulates salt-stress response in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. 82: 81-92
Wu, Y., Li, Y., Liu, Y. and Xie, Q. (2015) Cautionary Notes on the Usage of abi1-2 and abi1-3 Mutants of Arabidopsis ABI1 for Functional Studies. Mol. Plant 8: p335-338
Ding, Y., Li, H., Zhang, X., Xie, Q., Gong, Z. and Yang, S. (2015) OST1 kinase modulates freezing tolerance by enhancing ICE1 stability in Arabidopsis. Dev. Cell. 32: 278-89.
Shu, K., Zhang, H., Wang, S., Chen, M., Wu, Y., Tang, S., Liu, C., Feng, Y., Cao, X. and Xie, Q. (2013) ABI4 Regulates Primary Seed Dormancy by Regulating the Biogenesis of Abscisic Acid and Gibberellins in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genet. 9: e1003577. 
Zhao, Q., Tian, M., Li, Q., Cui, F., Liu, L., Yin, B. and Xie, Q. (2013) A plant-specific in vitro ubiquitination analysis system. Plant J. 74: 524-533.
Hu, X., Qian, Q., Xu, T., Zhang, Y., Dong, G., Gao, T., Xie, Q. and Xue, Y. (2013) The U-box E3 ubiquitin ligase TUD1 functions with a heterotrimeric G α subunit to regulate Brassinosteroid-mediated growth in rice. PLoS Genet.9: e1003391.
Liu, Z., Wu, Y., Yang, F., Zhang, Y., Chen, S., Xie, Q., Tian X and Zhou JM. (2013) BIK1 interacts with PEPRs to mediate ethylene-induced immunity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110: 6205-6210.
Yan, J., Li, H., Li, S., Yao, R., Deng, H., Xie, Q. and Xie, D. (2013) The Arabidopsis F-box protein CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1 is stabilized by SCFCOI1 and degraded via the 26S proteasome pathway. Plant Cell 25: 486-498.
Wu, H.Zhang, Z., Wang, J.Oh, D.Dassanayake, M., Liu, B., Huang, Q., Sun, H.Xia, R., Wu, Y., … Chu, C., Chen, S.Bohnert, H.Zhu, J.Wang, X. and Xie, Q. (2012) Insights into salt tolerance from the genome ofThellungiella salsugineaProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 24:12219-12224.
Cui, F., Liu, L., Zhao, Q., Zhang, Z., Li, Q., Lin, B., Wu, Y., Tang, S. and Xie, Q(2012) Arabidopsis ubiquitin conjugase UBC32 is an ERAD component that functions in brassinosteroid-mediated salt stress tolerance. Plant Cell 24:233-244.
Zhang, Z., Chen, H., Huang, X., Xia, R., Zhao, Q., Lai, J. Teng, K., Li, Y., Liang, L., Du, Q., Zhou, X., Guo, H. and Xie, Q. (2011) BSCTV C2 Attenuates the Degradation of SAMDC1 to Suppress DNA Methylation-Mediated Gene Silencing in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 23: 273-288.
Liu, L., Cui, F. Li, Q., Yin, B., Zhang, H., Lin, B., Wu, Y., Xia, R., Tang, S. and Xie, Q. (2011) The endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation is necessary for plant salt toleranceCell Res. 21:957-969.
Ning, Y., Jantasuriyarat, C., Zhao, Q., Zhang, H., Chen, S., Liu, J., Liu, L., Tang, S., Park, C.Wang, X., Liu, X., Dai, L., Xie, Q. and Wang, G. (2011) The SINA E3 Ligase OsDIS1 Negatively Regulates Drought Response in Rice. Plant Physiol. 157:242-255.
Liu, Y.Wu, Y.Huang, X.Sun, J. and Xie, Q. (2011) AtPUB19, a U-Box E3 Ubiquitin Ligase, Negatively Regulates Abscisic Acid and Drought Responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Mol. Plant 4: 938-946.
Cui, Y., Li, X., Chen Q., He, X., Yang, Q., Zhang, A., Yu, X., Chen, H., Liu, N., Xie, Q., Yang, W., Zuo J., Palme, K. and Li, W. (2010) BLOS1, a putative BLOC-1 subunit, interacts with SNX1 and modulates root growth in Arabidopsis. Journal of Cell Science 123:3727-3733.
Luo, X., Lin, W., Zhu, S., Zhu, J., Sun, Y., Fan, X., Cheng, M., Hao, Y., Oh, E., Tian, M., Liu, L., Zhang, M., Xie, Q., Chong, K. and Wang, Z. (2010) Integration of Light- and Brassinosteroid-Signaling Pathways by a GATA Transcription Factor in Arabidopsis. Developmental Cell 19: 872-883.
Chen, H., Zhang, Z., Teng, K., Lai, J., Zhang, Y., Huang, Y., Li, Y., Liang, L., Wang, Y. , Chu, C., Guo, H. and Xie, Q. (2010) Up-regulation of LSB1/GDU3 impacts geminivirus infection by activating the salicylic acid pathway. Plant J. 62: 12-23.

Liu, L., Zhang, Y., Tang, S., Zhao, Q., Zhang, Z., Zhang, H., Dong, L., Guo, H. and Xie, Q. (2010) An efficient system to detect protein ubiquitination by agroinfiltration in Nicotiana benthamianaPlant J. 61: 893-903.
Bu, Q., Li, H., Zhao, Q., Jiang, H., Zhai, Q., Zhang, J., Wu, X., Sun, J., Xie, Q., Wang, D. and Li, C. (2009) The Arabidopsis RING finger E3 ligase RHA2a is a novel positive regulator of abscisic acid signaling during seed germination and early seedling development. Plant Physiol. 150: 463-481.

Huang, L., Yang, S., Zhang, S., Liu, M., Lai, J., Qi, Y., Shi, S., Wang, J., Wang, Y., Xie, Q. and Yang, C. (2009) The Arabidopsis SUMO E3 ligase AtMMS21, a homologue of NSE2/MMS21, regulates cell proliferation in the root. Plant J. 60:666-678.
Lai, J., Chen, H., Teng, K., Zhao, Q., Zhang, Z., Li, Y., Liang, L., Xia, R., Wu, Y., Guo, H. and Xie, Q. (2009) RKP, a RING finger E3 ligase induced by BSCTV C4 protein, affects geminivirus infection by regulation of the plant cell cycle. Plant J. 57: 905-917.

Yu, J., Rubio, V., Lee, N., Bai, S., Lee, S., Kim, S., Liu, L., Zhang, Y., Irigoyen, M., Sullivan, J., Zhang, Y., Lee, I., Xie, Q., Paek, N. and Deng, X. (2008) COP1 and ELF3 control circadian function and photoperiodic flowering by regulating GI stability. Mol. Cell 32: 617-630.

Liu, J., Zhang, Y., Qin, G., Tsuge, T., Sakaguchi, N., Luo, G., Sun, K., Shi, D., Aki, S., Zheng, N., Aoyama, T., Oka, A., Yang, W., Umeda, M., Xie, Q., Gu, H. and Qu, L.J. (2008) Targeted degradation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor ICK4/KRP6 by RING-type E3 ligases is essential for mitotic cell cycle progression during Arabidopsis gametogenesis. Plant Cell 20:1538-1554.

Du, Q., Duan, C., Zhang, Z., Fang, Y., Fang, R., Xie, Q. and Guo, H. (2007) DCL4 targets Cucumber mosaic virus satellite RNA at novel secondary structures. Journal of Virology. 81:9142-9151.

Zhang, Y., Yang, C., Li, Y., Zheng, N., Chen, H., Zhao, Q., Gao, T., Guo, H. and Xie, Q. (2007) SDIR1 Is a RING Finger E3 Ligase That Positively Regulates Stress-Responsive Abscisic Acid Signaling in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 19: 1912-1929.

Chu, Z., Chen, H., Zhang, Y., Zhang, Z., Zheng, N., Yin, B., Yan, H., Zhu, L., Zhao, X., Yuan, M., Zhang, X. and Xie, Q. (2007) Knockout of the AtCESA2 gene affects microtubule orientation and causes abnormal cell expansion in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 143: 213-224.

Zou, J., Zhang, S., Zhang, W., Li, G., Chen, Z., Zhai, W., Zhao, X., Pan, X., Xie, Q. and Zhu, L. (2006) The rice HIGH-TILLERING DWARF1 encoding an ortholog of Arabidopsis MAX3 is required for negative regulation of the outgrowth of axillary buds. Plant J. 48: 687-698.

Desvoyes, B., Ramirez-Parra, E., Xie, Q., Chua, N. and Gutierrez, C. (2006) Cell type-specific role of the retinoblastoma/E2F pathway during Arabidopsis leaf development. Plant Physiol. 140: 67-80.

Dong, C., Agarwal, M., Zhang, Y., Xie, Q. and Zhu, J. (2006) The negative regulator of plant cold responses, HOS1, is a RING E3 ligase that mediates the ubiquitination and degradation of ICE1. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA103: 8281-8286.

Guo, H., Xie, Q., Fei, J. and Chua, N. (2005) MicroRNA directs mRNA cleavage of the transcription factor NAC1 to downregulate auxin signals for arabidopsis lateral root development. Plant Cell 17:1376-1386.

Zeng, L., Qu, S., Bordeos, A., Yang, C., Baraoidan, M., Yan, H., Xie, Q., Nahm, B., Leung, H. and Wang, G. (2004) Spotted leaf11, a negative regulator of plant cell death and defense, encodes a U-box/armadillo repeat protein endowed with E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Plant Cell 16:2795-2808.

Guo, H., Fei, J., Xie, Q. and Chua, N. (2003) A chemical-regulated inducible RNAi system in plants. Plant J. 34: 383-392.

Hu, Y., Xie, Q. and Chua, N. (2003) The Arabidopsis auxin-inducible gene ARGOS controls lateral organ size. Plant Cell 15: 1951-1961.

Xie, Q., Guo, H., Dallman, G., Fang, S., Weissman, A. and Chua, N. (2002) SINAT5 promotes ubiquitin-related degradation of NAC1 to attenuate auxin signals. Nature 419:167-170. (Covery story)

Xie, Q., Frugis, G., Colgan, D. and Chua, N. (2000) Arabidopsis NAC1 transduces auxin signal downstream of TIR1 to promote lateral root development. Genes Dev. 14:3024-3036.

Xie, Q., Sanz-Burgos, A.P., Guo, H., Garcia, J. and Gutierrez, C. (1999) GRAB proteins, novel members of the NAC domain family, isolated by their interaction with a geminivirus protein. Plant Mol. Biol. 39: 647-656.

Ramirez-Parra, E., Xie, Q., Boniotti, M. and Gutierrez, C. (1999) The cloning of plant E2F, a retinoblastoma-binding protein, reveals unique and conserved features with animal G(1)/S regulators. Nucleic Acids Res. 27: 3527-3533.

Xie, Q., Sanz-Burgos, A., Hannon, G. and Gutierrez, C. (1996) Plant cells contain a novel member of the retinoblastoma family of growth regulatory proteins. EMBO J. 15: 4900-4908.

Xie, Q., Suarez-Lopez, P. and Gutierrez, C. (1995) Identification and analysis of a retinoblastoma binding motif in the replication protein of a plant DNA virus: requirement for efficient viral DNA replication. EMBO J. 14: 4073-4082.
Chen, Q., Yang, X., and Xie, Q. Approaches to determine protein ubiquitylation residue types. Methods Mol Biol., (2016) Humana Press, 3-10.
Wu, Y., Yu, F. and Xie, Q. Protein Ubiquitination and Sumoylation in ABA Signaling. Abscisic Acid: Metabolism, Transport and Signaling. Zhang D. (2014) p177-190.
Liu, L., Zhao, Q. and Xie, Q. In Vivo Ubiquitination Assay by Agroinfiltration. Plant Signalling Networks: Methods and Protocols. Wang Z.Y. and Yang Z.B. (Ed.), (2012) Humana Press, 153-162.
Zhao, Q., Liu, L. and Xie, Q. In Vitro Protein Ubiquitination Assay. Plant Signalling Networks: Methods and Protocols. Wang Z.Y. and Yang Z.B. (Ed.), (2012) Humana Press, 163-172.
Zhang, H., Li, G., Zhang, Y., Xia, R., Wang, J. and Xie, Q. An Efficient Method to Screen for Salt Tolerance Genes in Salt cress. Plants and Environment. Hemanth K.N. Vasanthaiah and Devaiah Kambiranda (Ed.), (2011) INTECH Press, 242-247.