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Ying Li

Horticulture and Landscape Architecture 

  • Assistant Professor of Horticulture
625 Agriculture Mall Dr
West Lafayette, IN 47907


Our lab is interested in studying how crops respond to environmental stimuli at transcriptional and epigenetic levels, using cutting-edge genomics and epigenomics approaches. Plants have evolved a sophisticated system to respond to environmental challenges such as nutrient deficiency and drought. Understanding this regulatory system is vital to agriculture productivity and environmental sustainability.

In our lab, we apply cutting-edge molecular tools and computational approaches to probe gene regulatory networks underlying environmental responses.  We harness the power of omics to develop a comprehensive understanding of plant responses at both transcriptional and epigenetic levels. Our ultimate goal is to identify key molecular players including epigenetic regulators to engineer better crops that are more resilient to adverse conditions.

If you are interested in joining the lab, pleas contact li2627@purdue.edu.

Area of expertise: Functional genomics; Epigenomics; Histone modification; Environmental responses; Systems Biology; Plant Genetics

Lab Website: https://www.purdue.edu/hla/sites/lilab/

Ph.D.    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign    2011
M.S.    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign    2007
B.A.    Tsinghua University                2005

Selected Publications:
Ying Li*, Indrani Mukherjee*, Karen E Thum, Milos Tanurdzic, Manpreet S Katari, Mariana Obertello, Molly B Edwards, W. Richard McCombie, Robert A Martienssen, Gloria M Coruzzi. The histone methyltransferase SDG8 mediates the epigenetic modification of light and carbon responsive genes in plants. Genome Biology 2015: 16 (79) *Equal contribution.

Ying Li, Kranthi Varala, Gloria M Coruzzi. From milliseconds to lifetimes: Tracking the dynamic behavior of transcription factors in gene networks. Trends in Genetics 2015: 31(9)

Alessia Para*, Ying Li*, Amy Marshall-Colón*, Kranthi Varala*, Nancy J Francoeur, Tara M Moran, Molly B Edwards, Christopher Hackley, Bastiaan OR Bargmann, Kenneth D Birnbaum, W Richard McCombie, Gabriel Krouk, Gloria M Coruzzi. Hit-and-run transcriptional control by bZIP1 mediates rapid nutrient signaling in Arabidopsis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2014: 111 (28). * Equal contribution.

Ying Li, Gabriel Krouk, Gloria M Coruzzi, Sandrine Ruffel. Finding a nitrogen niche: a systems integration of local and systemic nitrogen signalling in plants. Journal of Experimental Botany 2014: 65 (19)

Ying Li, Kranthi Varala and Matthew E Hudson. A survey of the small RNA population during far-red light-induced apical hook opening. Frontiers in Plant Science 2014: 5 (156)

Ying Li, Kranthi Varala, Stephen P Moose and Matthew E Hudson. The inheritance pattern of 24 nt siRNA clusters in Arabidopsis hybrids is influenced by proximity to transposable elements. PLoS One 2012: 7 (10)

Ying Li, Kankshita Swaminathan, Matthew E Hudson. Rapid, organ-specific transcriptional responses to light regulate photomorphogenic development in dicot seedlings.Plant Physiology 2011: 156 (4)

Selected Publications

Janick, J., Langevin, D., Li, Y., & Willemijns, M. (2018). Record Giant Pumpkins Fruit Weights: 1857 to 2017. Chronica Horticulturae, 58(2), 13-15.

Bouguyon, E., Li, Y., Rosas, U., Vadodaria, R., Jakupco, N., Fan, A., . . . Coruzzi, G. (n.d.). “Rooting around” natural variation for key genes involved in root nitrogen foraging and nitrogen-use in Arabidopsis. Manuscript in preparation.

Patick, R., & Li, Y. (2018). Experimental and Bioinformatics Advances in Crop Genomics. Plant Breeding Reviews, 42.

Li, Y. (2011). The spatial and temporal regulation of the transcriptome during plant development. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Doidy, J., Li, Y., Neymotin, B., Edwards, M. B., Varala, K., Gresham, D., & Coruzzi, G. M. (2016). "Hit-and-Run" transcription: de novo transcription initiated by a transient bZIP1 "hit" persists after the "run" BMC GENOMICS, 17. doi:10.1186/s12864-016-2410-2

Varala, K., Li, Y., Marshall-Colon, A., Para, A., & Coruzzi, G. M. (2015). "Hit-and-Run" leaves its mark: Catalyst transcription factors and chromatin modification. BIOESSAYS, 37(8), 851-856. doi:10.1002/bies.201400205

Li, Y., Mukherjee, I., Thum, K. E., Tanurdzic, M., Katari, M. S., Obertello, M., . . . Coruzzi, G. M. (2015). The histone methyltransferase SDG8 mediates the epigenetic modification of light and carbon responsive genes in plants. Genome Biology, 16(79).

Li, Q., Li, Y., Moose, S. P., & Hudson, M. E. (2015). Transposable elements, mRNA expression level and strand-specificity of small RNAs are associated with non-additive inheritance of gene expression in hybrid plants. BMC Plant Biology, 15(168).

Li, Y., Varala, K., & Coruzzi, G. M. (2015). From milliseconds to lifetimes: tracking the dynamic behavior of transcription factors in gene networks. 31(9), 509-515. doi:10.1016/j.tig.2015.05.005

Li, Y., Varala, K., & Hudson, M. E. (2014). A survey of the small RNA population during far-red light-induced apical hook opening. FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, 5. doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00156

Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, 625 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2010 USA, (765) 494-1300

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