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

Yuling Jiao

Yuling Jiao, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
B.S. Peking University, Beijing, China
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
M.S. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
Ph.D. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
Professional Experience
Postdoctoral Scholar with Dr. Elliot M. Meyerowitz, Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
Principal Investigator, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Selected Academic Honors
Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad
John Spangler Nicholas Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Candidate in Biology, Yale University
One Hundred Talent Program, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Excellence in Final Evaluation, 2015)
NSFC Excellent Young Scientists Fund
National Program for Support of Top-Notch Young Professionals

In the Jiao Lab, we focus on two related questions: (1) How do new shoot meristems initiate to enable shoot branching? (2) How does the stem cell-harboring shoot apical meristem (SAM) interplays with lateral organs derived from the SAM? Our studies involve a combination of transcriptome analysis, live-imaging, molecular genetics, large-scale functional approaches, and computational modeling. In parallel, we develop new methods for cell type-specific transcriptome analysis.
Axillary Meristem Initiation. In higher plants, shoot branching depends on the initiation of axillary meristems (AMs). AMs develop from stem cells in the adaxial side of the subtending leaf axil and give rise to branches. Understanding AM initiation may help in the elucidation of stem cell maintenance and differentiation, a long lasting question in biology. In addition, AM activity has long been a target of breeding selection because it significantly affects crop yield by influencing both tiller and spike number and spike branching complexity. We also utilize knowledge gained from model plants to understand wheat spike branching.
Interplay between the Shoot Apical Meristem and Lateral Organs. Plants maintain meristems with undifferentiated stem cells, which are responsible for the life-long organogenesis of growing plants. The SAM gives rise to lateral organs, such as leaves. It has long been proposed that the SAM and lateral organs regulate each other through long distance signaling: SAM produces (Sussex) signal affecting leaf patterning, and lateral organs provide feedback to stem cells by affecting SAM size and organization. Our finding suggests that polar auxin transport contributes to the long-distance coordination of patterning.

1. Wang, Y. and Jiao, Y. (2018) Axillary meristem initiation — a way to branch out. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 41: 61-66.
2.Shi, B., Guo, X., Wang, Y., Xiong, Y., Wang, J., Hayashi, K.-i., Lei, J., Zhang, L. and Jiao, Y. (2018) Feedback from lateral organs controls shoot apical meristem growth by modulating auxin transport. Dev. Cell 44: 204-216.
3. Guan, C., Wu, B., Yu, T., Wang, Q., Krogan, N.T., Liu, X. and Jiao, Y. (2017) Spatial auxin signaling controls leaf flattening in Arabidopsis. Curr. Biol. 27: 2940-2950.
Selected for F1000 Prime
4. Wang, Y., Yu, H., Tian, C., Sajjad, M., Gao, C., Tong, Y., Wang, X. and Jiao, Y. (2017) Transcriptome association identifies regulators of wheat spike architecture. Plant Physiol. 175: 746-757.
Featured on the cover
5. Qi, J., Wu, B., Feng, S., Lü, S., Guan, C., Zhang, X., Qiu, D., Hu, Y., Zhou, Y., Li, C., Long, M. and Jiao, Y. (2017) Mechanical regulation of organ asymmetry in leaves. Nat. Plants 3: 724-733.
Featured on the cover
6. Wang, J., Tian, C., Zhang, C., Shi, B., Cao, X., Zhang, T.-Q., Zhao, Z., Wang, J.-W. and Jiao, Y. (2017) Cytokinin signaling activates WUSCHEL expression during axillary meristem initiation. Plant Cell 29: 1374-1387.
Featured on the cover
Highlighted with a Spotlight article in Trends Plant Sci 22: 815-817
7. Shi, B., Zhang, C., Tian, C., Wang, J., Wang, Q., Xu, T., Xu, Y., Ohno, C., Sablowski, R., Heisler, M.G., Theres, K., Wang, Y. and Jiao, Y. (2016) Two-step regulation of a meristematic cell population acting in shoot branching in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genet. 12: e1006168.
8. Qi, J., Wang, Y., Yu, T., Cunha, A., Wu, B., Vernoux, T., Meyerowitz, E.M. and Jiao, Y. (2014) Auxin depletion from leaf primordia contributes to organ patterning. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 111: 18769-18774.
Highlighted with a Research Highlight article in Sci China Life Sci 58: 315-316
9. Tian, C., Zhang, X., He, J., Yu, H., Wang, Y., Shi, B., Han, Y., Wang, G., Feng, X., Zhang, C., Wang, J., Qi, J., Yu, R. and Jiao, Y. (2014) An organ boundary-enriched gene regulatory network uncovers regulatory hierarchies underlying axillary meristem initiation. Mol. Syst. Biol. 10: 755.
10. Wang, Y., Wang, J., Shi, B., Yu, T., Qi, J., Meyerowitz, E.M. and Jiao, Y. (2014) The stem cell niche in leaf axils is established by auxin and cytokinin in ArabidopsisPlant Cell, 26: 2055-2067.
Highlighted with an In Brief article in Plant Cell 26: 1836
Selected for F1000 Prime
11.Han, Y., Zhang, C., Yang, H. and Jiao, Y. (2014) Cytokinin pathway mediates APETALA1 function in the establishment of determinate floral meristem in ArabidopsisProc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 111: 6840-6845.