Recognizing Plant Physiology first authors: Mingzhu Fan

Mingzhu Fan, first author of A Trihelix Family Transcription Factor is Associated with Key Genes in Mixed-linkage Glucan Accumulation

Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher at Michigan State University

Education: PhD in Developmental Biology (2013), Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; BS in Agriculture (2007) Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China.

Non-scientific Interests: Spending time with family, friends, and my kitty. Hiking and cooking.

Brief bio:  After obtaining my doctorate, I joined the Wilkerson laboratory at Michigan State University to study cell wall biology. My current research is focused on the biosynthesis of a grass specific cell wall hemicellulose named mixed-linkage glucan (MLG). I am interested in uncoving enzymes participating in the production of MLG to increase the amount of this easily digestible polysaccharide in the cell wall with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of grass biomass. My approach involves transcriptional profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation to find both transcription factors and biosynthetic enzymes involved in MLG production. My PhD research in Dr. Yuxin Hu’s lab at Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences identified four LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES DOMAIN transcription factors as key regulators that mediate auxin-induced callus formation during plant regeneration.