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

Yuling Jiao

Yuling Jiao, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Yuling Jiao earned his B.S. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Peking University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University, where he used microarray to study gene expression in Arabidopsis and rice under the guidance of Prof. Xing-Wang Deng. He was awarded Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad and John Spangler Nicholas Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Candidate in Biology for his thesis work. As a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology in the laboratory of Prof. Elliot Meyerowitz, he developed new techniques for cell type-specific transcriptome profiling. In 2010 he became a Group Leader at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB). He switched his research interest to shoot morphogenesis. Since 2015, he has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chinese Academy of Science. Dr. Jiao has been supported by the CAS One Hundred Talent Program, the National Program for Support of Top-Notch Young Professionals, the National High-level Personnel of Special Support Program, the NSFC Excellent Young Scientists Fund, the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, and the Newton Advanced Fellowship from the Royal Society. He received Science and Technology Award for Chinese Youth, CSPB Distinguished Young Scientist Award, VCANBIO Award for Innovations and Breakthroughs in Life Sciences and Medicine, and SCOPUS Young Researcher Award in Life Sciences. At IGDB, Dr. Jiao served as Vice Head of the Center for Genome Biology since 2016. He has served as the Country Representative and more recently Director at the Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee, on the Advisory Board of Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center, and as Vice President and then President of the Chinese Society for Plant Organogenesis. Yuling is a on the Editorial Board of Plant Cell, in silico Plants, and Journal of Plant Research, and is Associate Editor for Quantitative Plant Biology and Frontiers in Plant Science.

Research Description
Yuling Jiao’s lab focuses 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? Their studies involve a combination of transcriptome analysis, live-imaging, molecular genetics, large-scale functional approaches, and computational modeling. In parallel, the lab develops 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. The lab also utilizes knowledge gained from model plants to understand wheat spike branching.
Leaf flattening. The flattening of leaves to form broad blades is an important adaptation that maximizes photosynthesis. Flattening promotes leaf blade outgrowth, and depends on adaxial-abaxial patterning (also known as dorsoventral, or up-down polarity). However, the molecular mechanism underlying this process remains unclear. The lab has found that spatial auxin signaling transforms adaxial-abaxial polarity into leaf flattening, which is partially mediated by cell wall biomechanics.
More recently, the lab has been involved in synthetic plant chromosome research.

Selected Publications
1.Du, F. and Jiao, Y. (2020) Mechanical control of plant morphogenesis: concepts and progress. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 57: 16-23.
2.Du, F., Guan, C. and Jiao, Y. (2018) Molecular mechanisms of leaf morphogenesis. Mol. Plant 11: 1117-1134.
3.Wang, Y. and Jiao, Y. (2018) Axillary meristem initiation — a way to branch out. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 41: 61-66.
Research Articles
1.Zhao, F.#Du, F.#, Oliveri, H., Zhou, L., Ali, O., Chen, W., Feng, S., Wang, Q., Lü, S., Long, M., Schneider, R., Sampathkumar, A., Godin, C., Traas, J.* and Jiao, Y.* (2020) Microtubule-mediated wall anisotropy contributes to leaf blade flattening. Curr. Biol. 30: 3972-3985.
Highlighted with a Dispatch article in Curr. Biol. 30: R1268-R1270
2.Zhou, Y.#, Zhao, X.#, Li, Y., Xu, J., Bi, A., Kang, L., Chen, H., Wang, Y., Wang, Y., Liu, S., Jiao, C., Lu, H., Wang, J., Yin, C., Jiao, Y.* and Lu, F.* (2020) Convergence within divergence: insights of wheat adaptation from Triticum population sequencing. Nat. Genet. doi:10.1038/s41588-020-00722-w.
3.Cao, X.Wang, J.Xiong, Y.Yang, H.Yang, M.Ye, P., Bencivenga, S., Sablowski, S. and Jiao, Y. (2020) A self-activation loop maintains meristematic cell fate for branching. Curr. Biol. 30: 1893–1904.
4.Tian, C., Wang, Y., Yu, H., He, J., Shi, B., Du, Q., Provart, N.J., Meyerowitz, E.M., and Jiao, Y. (2019) A gene-expression map of shoot domains reveals new regulatory mechanisms. Nat. Commun. 10: 141.
5.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.
6.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
7.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
8.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
9.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
10.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.
11.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
12.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.
13.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
14.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.