Unraveling Gene-Regulatory Networks and Unveiling Transcription Factor Functions in Plant Innate Immunity Activation
Our research focuses on understanding the intricate cellular regulations that govern plant responses to biotic threats within a changing environment. With the plant genome containing highly redundant genetic components, accurately predicting the immune outcomes, such as resistance or susceptibility, in the presence of numerous perturbations becomes challenging. Additionally, studying isolated processes without a comprehensive understanding of the entire system proves difficult. Therefore, we recognize the significance of identifying gene-regulatory networks (GRNs) to robustly comprehend how plants interact with the environment, encompassing the interactions between molecular regulators (such as transcription factors or TFs) and their target genes, as well as other substances like hormones.
Our current research at the Ding Lab is centered around uncovering the dynamics and hierarchies of transcription factors (TFs) and their target genes during the activation of intracellular immune receptors known as NLRs. To achieve this, we employ state-of-the-art multi-omics approaches, allowing us to capture a holistic view of the molecular interactions involved. Furthermore, we are committed to validating and characterizing the functions of TFs identified through these GRN studies. Ultimately, our goal is to leverage the knowledge gained from these investigations to guide plant breeding strategies aimed at enhancing disease resistance.
Through our research endeavors, we aspire to contribute to a deeper understanding of the complex regulatory mechanisms governing plant immunity. By integrating cutting-edge technologies with practical applications, we aim to facilitate the development of improved crop varieties with enhanced disease resistance, thereby addressing the challenges posed by biotic threats in an ever-changing environment.