Recognizing Plant Cell first authors: Hao Chen

Hao Chen, first author of Hierarchical Transcription-Factor and Chromatin Binding Network for Wood Formation in Populus trichocarpa

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University, USA.

Education:  2011-2017 MS and PhD in Forestry, North Carolina State University, USA

Non-scientific Interests: Running, financial writing, and reading.

 Brief bio: After graduation, I joined the Forestry Biotechnology Group directed by Prof. Vincent Chiang and Prof. Ronald Sederoff at North Carolina State University. My graduate project focused on how transcription factors (TFs) affect wood cell wall biosynthesis in Populus trichocarpa. During the early years of my PhD studies, I analyzed how alternative splicing of TF functions in wood formation. I found the splice variant of VND6C1 transcript encodes a truncated TF, which negatively affects other SNDs (Secondary Wall-Associated NAC Domain proteins) and VNDs  (Vascular-Related NAC-Domain proteins) by interfering their  with the dimerization process. During the late years of my PhD studies, I established a TF-DNA and TF-TF hierarchical network that regulates the expression of 27 wood cell-wall genes. After getting my PhD degree, I decided to expand my knowledge in post-transcriptional regulation and joined the laboratory of Prof. Jose Alonso and Prof. Anna Stepanova. I am characterizing how auxin and ethylene rapidly affect plant growth and development via post-transcriptional regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana and Solanum lycopersicum using ribo-footprint sequencing and chemical modification coupled sequencing.