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Jin-Rong Xu

Botany and Plant Pathology 

  • Professor
765.496.6918
765.494.5896
Whistler Hall Room 222

Area of Expertise: Fungal Biology - Characterization of infection-related signal transduction pathways and genes important for fungal-plant interactions in Magnaporthe grisea and Fusarium graminearum

Fungi have enormous impact on human welfare by destroying valuable crops and producing toxins that are harmful to humans and livestock. My interest lies in the identification and characterization of genes essential for fungal development and pathogenesis. My lab works with the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae and the wheat scab fungus Fusarium graminearum. Rice blast is one of the most severe diseases on rice and is a model to study fungal-plant interactions. Current efforts are focused on the signal transduction pathways that regulate infection-related morphogenesis and infectious growth after penetration. We are also using proteomics and functional genomics approaches to identify pathogenesis-related genes and characterize their interactions during plant infection.

The wheat scab fungus is a less studied but important pathogen that can cause devastating outbreaks on wheat and barley worldwide. Besides yield loss, F. graminearum also produced a variety of mycotoxins, including vomitoxin and zearalenone. Currently, we are using comparative genomics approaches to study genes that are important for F. graminearum biology and pathogenesis (in comparison with F. orysporum and F. verticillioides).  We are also studying molecular mechanisms regulating Fusarium-wheat interactions and DON production in flowering wheat heads.

Awards & Honors

(2010) Member of the Editorial Board for Eukaryotic Cell. Eukaryotic Cell, American Society of Microbiology.

Selected Publications

Jiang, C., Zhang, S., Zhang, Q., Yin, T., & Xu, J. (2015). FgSKN7 and FgATF1 have overlapping functions in ascosporogenesis, pathogenesis, and stress responses in Fusarium graminearum. Environmental Microbiology, 10.1111. Retrieved from http://doi:10.111/1462-2920.12561

Xu, J., & Zhang, S. (2014). Effectors and effector delivery in Magnaporthe oryzae. PloS Pathogens, 10(1), e1003826.

Zhao, Z., Liu, H., Luo, Y., Zhou, S., Zhou, M., Wang, C., & Xu, J. (2014). Evolutionary analysis of tubulin family reveals molecular mechanism driving functional divergence of '±- or '_-tubulin paralogs in fungi. Nature Scientific Reports, 4, 6746.

Zhou, X., Zhao, X., Xue, C., & Xu, J. (2014). Formation of aerial appressoria without surface attachment in Magnaporthe oryzae by overactive Ras signaling. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 27, 996-1004.

Zhang, H., Wu, Z., Li, Y., Wang, C., & Xu, J. (2014). Germination and infectivity of microconidia in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Nature Communications, 5, 4518. Retrieved from http://DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5518

Zhao, Z., Jin, Q., Xu, J., & Liu, H. (2014). Identification of a fungi-specific lineage of protein kinases closely related to tyrosine kinases. PLoS One, 9, e89813.

Chen, X., Shi, T., Yang, J., Chen, D., Xu, X., Xu, J., . . . Peng, Y. (2014). N-Glycosylation of effector proteins by an alpha-1,3-mannosyltransferase is required to evade host innate immunity by the rice blast fungus. Plant Cell, 26, 1360-1376.

Hu, S., Zhou, X., Gu, X., Cao, S., Wang, C., & Xu, J. (2014). The cAMP-PKA pathway regulates growth, sexual and asexual differentiation, and pathogenesis in Fusarium graminearum. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, 27, 557äóñ566.

Luo, Y., Zhang, H., Qi, L., Zhang, S., Zhou, X., Zhang, Y., & Xu, J. (2014). The FgKin1 kinase localizes to the septal pore and differentially regulates the localization of two beta-tubulins in Fusarium graminearum. New Phytologist, 204(943-954).

Chen, D., Wang, Y., Zhou, X., & Xu, J. (2014). The Sch9 kinase regulates conidium size, stress responses, and pathogenesis in Fusarium graminearum. PLOS One, 9, e105811.