Hongtao Zhang: Plant Physiology First Author

Hongtao Zhang, first author of “XAP5 CIRCADIAN TIMEKEEPER regulates RNA splicing and the circadian clock by genetically separable pathways”

Current Position:

Ph.D. candidate in Plant Biology, University of California, Davis


2014 – 2018, B.S. in Biological Science, Peking University

Non-scientific Interests:

Soccer, tennis, karaoke, hiking

Brief Bio:

I am interested in the amazing abilities of plants to respond to various environmental signals. As a Ph.D. student in Dr. Stacey Harmer’s lab, I started to conduct my thesis research focusing on the regulation of the circadian clock in plants. The approximate 24-h circadian rhythms help organisms to anticipate daily fluctuating environmental conditions caused by the earth’s rotation. However, the molecular oscillator that drives the clock has not yet been fully understood. I am using a combination of transcriptomic, genetic and biochemical approaches to increase our understanding of post-transcriptional regulation of the clock function in Arabidopsis thaliana. In this current work, we demonstrate unexpected genetically separable roles of XAP5 CIRCADIAN TIMEKEEPER (XCT) in pre-mRNA splicing and the clock system. Our work may thus provide us with new insights into connections between these two fundamental biological processes.



XAP5 CIRCADIAN TIMEKEEPER regulates RNA splicing and the circadian clock by genetically separable pathways




2014 – 2018,北京大学,生物科学,学士

2018 – 今,加州大学戴维斯分校,植物生物学,在读博士





我热衷于植物响应环境信号相关机制的研究。自从进入UC Davis Stacey Harmer教授课题组攻读博士学位以来,我的研究课题主要围绕在植物昼夜节律的调控。受地球自转的影响,地表的环境也会相应的以24小时为周期发生变化。在漫长的自然演化过程中,绝大多数生物都出现了能够预测这种周期性变化的生物节律现象。然而,目前人们对生物节律背后分子机制的认识还只是冰山一角。通过综合运用转录组学,遗传学和生物化学等研究方法,我正致力于探索转录后修饰对于拟南芥生物钟功能的影响。在本文的工作中,我们揭示了XCT这一基因通过作用于不同通路,分别在信使RNA前体剪接和生物节律调控中扮演的重要角色。我们希望这项研究能够为人们理解这两项基本生物学过程之间的联系提供新的思路。