Lele Shang: The Plant Cell First Author

Lele Shang, co-first author of ‘‘A mutation in a C2H2-type zinc finger transcription factor contributed to the transition towards self-pollination in cultivated tomatoes”

Current Position: Ph.D. Candidate, Huazhong Agricultural University

Education: B.S. in Shandong Agricultural University

Non-scientific Interests: Movie, traveling

Brief bio: I graduated from Shandong Agricultural University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree. And in the same year, I joined the lab of Prof. Zhibiao Ye and Prof. Yuyang Zhang at Huazhong Agricultural University to start my postgraduate study. During my master and doctor stages, I focused on the regulation of stigma exsertion degree in tomato. Using GWAS, we identified a major locus that is associated with the variations of stigma exsertion degree, and further analyzed the locus, we obtained a novel stigma exsertion gene and named SE3.1. Functional complement experiments indicated that SE3.1 controls the conversion from flush stigmas to inserted stigmas, and thus influences the efficiency of self-fertilization. Further analyzing the relationship with the known stigma exsertion gene Style2.1, we proposed a two-step model in controlling the transition from stigma exsertion to insertion during tomato domestication and improvement. Our findings provide a clear framework for investigating the molecular basis underlying flower morphology evolution.