Research Area: Plant stem cells, transcriptional signaling in plant development, cell-cell communication, live imaging, quantitative developmental biology
Current Research Interests:
The research interest of Dr. Zhou’s group is to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms in control of plant shoot development, using both experimental and computational approaches. Our research centers on the stem-cell identity and function during plant development, and we are interested in understanding: how stem cells are dynamically organized and maintained through continuous cell division, growth and differentiation; how developmental decisions are made during cell patterning and new organ formation; and how the transcriptional circuits mediate stem-cell homeostasis and cell-cell communication. We are tackling these questions using multiple interdisciplinary methods, including live cell imaging, computational quantification, modeling, biochemistry, molecular genetics, and functional genomics. Our research aims to uncover general principles of plant stem cell behavior, and to potentially boost biomass production and grain/fruit yield through optimizing and programing stem cell numbers and activities.