Daoheng Hu: The Plant Cell First Author

Daoheng Hu, co-first author of “Multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 editing of DNA methyltransferases in rice uncovers a class of non-CG methylation specific for GC-rich regions

Current Position: Research Assistant at the school of life sciences of Yunnan University, China

Education: PhD & Master in Genetics at Wuhan University, China. BSc in Biology at Wuhan University.

Non-scientific Interests: Traveling, Running, Animation.

Bio: I completed my PhD in the state key laboratory of hybrid rice, in the group of Yangsheng Li, studying the functional genome of rice. We used map-based cloning to explore many important agronomic traits genes in rice, and then reveal their function by cell biotechnology and biochemistry. After I finished my PhD in 2017, I moved to the group of Jixian Zhai at the Southern University of Science and Technology where we studied the epigenetic of crop plants. My research project is focused on understanding the landscape of non-CG methylation on the rice. We obtained various non-CG DNA methyltransferase mutants of rice by a high efficiency of the multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 system. Then we performed WGBS to analyze the methylation status of each mutants, and found the OsCMT2, OsCMT3a, and OsDRM2 are the three major non-CG DNA methyltransferases in rice. Furthermore, we found the non-CG methylation of a group of highly GC-rich regions is still existed without all the major non-CG DNA methyltransferases, and OsCMT3b, a homolog of OsCMT3a, can maintain the methylation of these GC-rich regions.