Fuguo Cao: The Plant Cell First Author

Fuguo Cao, co-first author of “Methylation of a MITE insertion in the MdRFNR1-1 promoter is positively associated with its allelic expression in apple in response to drought stress”

Current Position: Ph.D. student, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Shanxi Normal University

Non-scientific Interests: work out

Brief bio: In 2018, I joined Prof. Qingmei Guan’s lab at College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University to start my graduate study. My PhD thesis focused on the mechanism of drought-tolerance through the leaf cuticle development in apple. I also did some transgenic work and other experiments in this research. Since the transgenic work of apple was difficult and needed a long time, after several years of work, we explored the mechanism of MdRFNR1 in drought tolerance of apple with the careful guidance of Prof. Qingmei Guan. MITE-MdRF1, which belongs to the transposon element, positively regulates the expression of MdRFNR1-1 that plays a positive role in drought stress tolerance. This research shed light on the molecular mechanisms of natural variation in perennial trees in response to drought stress, and also provided an example that transposon element could enhance the expression of downstream genes. Our research provides a theoretical basis for stress-tolerance breeding of fruit trees, and I will continue to explore the mechanism of drought-tolerance in apple.