Dr. Yuan Zhong

Dr. Yuan Zhong

Dr. Yuan Zhong

Assistant Professor, Plant development, horticultural science, concepts of botany, and general biology.

Office: Roddy 274
Phone: 871-5112

Additional Information


B.Sc., Huazhong Normal University M.Sc., Guangxi University Ph.D., University of New Brunswick

Courses Taught:

BIOL471.01 –- Plant Developmental Biology BIOL471.03 –- Horticultural Science BIOL472.03 -- Senior Seminar (Plant Senescence/PCD) BIOL221 -- Concepts of Botany BIOL100 -- General Biology

Areas of Specialization:

Plant developmental biology, plant comparative genomics, vegetable breeding.

Research Interest(s):

  • plant comparative genomics : including gene identification and structural/functional/phylogenetic analysis of the important gene families, by using the approach of systems biology and applying the tool of bioinformatics and molecular biology in DNA/protein sequence analysis and gene expression analysis; such studies can provide thorough and timely overviews of the gene families at genome level, which can provide novel insights on gene function and regulatory mechanisms, and can facilitate molecular breeding and evolutionary studies in plants;
  • regulation of leaf and flower senescence/PCD : aiming at finding the main molecular factors controlling the early leaf/flower senescence, in order to improve crop production (higher yield) or flower quality (longer flowering period);

regulation of trichome differentiation : studying the regulation mechanisms of the differentiation of different types of glandular trichomes, in order to manipulate the abundance and distribution of the desired glandular trichomes for trichome-specific genetic engineering which can avoid the accumulation of foreign gene products in the food organs;

Selected Publication(s):

Journal Publication(s):

Zhong, Y., Taylor, J., and Williams, M.E. (2012) The End: Senescence and Cell Death. Teaching Tools in Plant Biology. The Plant Cell (online), January 2012.

Zhong, Y.* and C. Ciafre. 2011. Role of ABA in ethylene-independent flower senescence.  International Proceedings of Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering. Food Engineering and Biotechnology 9: 261-266. The presentation based upon this paper won "The Best Paper" award in the 2011 International Conference on Food Engineering and Biotechnology in Bangkok, Thailand.

Xue, T. , D. Wang , S. Z. Zhang , J. Ehlting, F. Ni , S. Jakab , C. C. Zheng and Y. Zhong *. 2008. Genome-wide and expression analysis of protein phosphatase 2C in rice and Arabidopsis. BMC Genomics 9: 550-570. This paper was rated a "highly accessed article" (www.biomedcentral.com/info/about/mostreviewed) in 2009 by BioMed Central.

Zhong, Y. , Mellerowicz, E. J., Lloyd, A. D., Leinhos, V., Riding, R. T., and Little, C. H. A. 1995. Seasonal variation in the nuclear genome size of ray cells in the vascular cambium of Fraxinus americana (L.). Physiologia Plantarum 93: 305-311.

Zhong, Y. and R. A. Savidge. 1995. Effects of IAA and GA 3 on in vitro wood formation in merchantable white ash stems ( Fraxinus americana L.). Quarterly of the Plant Growth Regulator Society of America 3 : 231-236.

Zhong, Y. and R. A. Savidge. 1995. Manipulating wood and in particular lignin formation in one-year-old white ash cuttings using IAA and GA 3 . Quarterly of the Plant Growth Regulator Society of America 3 : 160 -165.

Zhong, Y. , P. Baas and E. A. Wheeler. 1992. Wood anatomy of trees and shrubs from China. IV. Ulmaceae. IAWA Journal 13 (4): 419-453.

Invited presentations:

Zhong, Y. * 2008. What Regulates Ethylene-insensitive PCD/Senescence of Iris Flowers. Proceedings of First International Symposium on Applied Biotechnology in Horticulture.

Zhong, Y* . 2006. Trichome-specific genetic engineering of tomato for the production of natural insecticides against sucking insect pests. Kick-off Meeting of International Training Centre of Horticultural Plant Biology (ITC-HPB).