Chenhao Bu: Plant Physiology First Author

Chenhao Bu, co-first author of “Enhanced genome-wide association reveals the role of YABBY11-NGATHA-LIKE1 in leaf serration development of Populus”

Current Position: National Engineering Laboratory for Tree Breeding, Key Laboratory of Genetics and Breeding in Forest Trees and Ornamental Plants, doctoral candidate

Education: Shandong Normal University (Bachelor)

Beijing Forestry University (Ph.D. candidate)

Non-scientific Interests: Football, boxing

Brief bio: In 2016, I start my research under supervision of Prof. dr. Yuepeng Song and Prof. dr. Deqiang Zhang, in the Collage of Biological sciences and technology, Beijing Forestry University. My research using poplar as a model for perennial woody plants and mainly focus on the effect of genetic variation at the population level on photosynthetic phenotypes and functional verification of miniature inverted repeat transposable element.

In this study, a combined GWAS and eQTN mapping applied to create a leaf morphology control module using data from Populus tomentosa and Populus simonii populations. YABBY11 was identified as a positive regulator of leaf margin serration. In P. tomentosa, PtoYAB11 carries a premature stop codon (PtoYAB11PSC), resulting in the loss of its positive regulation of NGATHA-LIKE1 (PtoNGAL-1) and RIBULOSE BISPHOSPHATE CARBOXYLASE LARGE SUBUNIT (PtoRBCL). Overexpression of PtoYAB11PSC promoted serrated leaf margins, enlarged leaves, photosynthesis, and increased biomass. Overexpression of PsiYAB11 in P. tomentosa promoted smooth leaf margins, stomatal density, and light damage repair ability. In poplar, YAB11-NGAL1 is sensitive to environmental conditions and acts as a positive regulator of leaf margin serration; it may also link environmental signaling to leaf morphological plasticity.