Boxin Liu, first author of Manipulating ZmEXPA4 Expression Ameliorated Drought-induced Disruption of Anthesis and Silking Interval in Maize
Current Position: job candidate
Education: PhD in Prof. Feng Qin’s Lab at Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Non-scientific Interests: Music, Basketball, Football
In September 2015, I joined the research group of professor Qin Feng, in Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, for my doctoral course study. The main research work was to reveal the molecular mechanism underlying the drought induced interval between anthesis and silking of maize. Firstly, we carried out the transcriptome analysis of the maize B73 ears at different developmental stages grown under normal and different levels of drought conditions. We found that the genes functioning in cell expansion in 50 mm ears were significantly down-regulated in drought stressed ears compared with those grown under normal conditions. Then, We performed a genome-wide association analysis of drought-induced ASI were using a natural variation panel. A significant relationship between the level of α-expansin4 (ZmEXPA4) expression and drought-induced ASI was identified. Enlightened by these findings, we generated transgenic maize using a drought-inducible promoter to drive the expression of ZmEXPA4 in the developing ears. Resultantly, under normal watering conditions the transgenic plants did not show obvious difference in plant height, yield and ASI; while alleviated drought-induced ASI was achieved in these transgenics.
Here I would like to thank professor Feng Qin, the other team members, friends and my family who have helped and supported me during the research. The way of the research ahead will be long, and our work will continue.
2015年9月进入中国科学院植物研究所秦峰教授课题组开启博士生涯。博士期间的主要工作是对干旱胁迫影响玉米雌雄穗开花时间间隔的分子机制的研究。首先是对玉米B73材料各个发育阶段不同干旱程度的雌穗转录组数据进行分析，发现50 mm雌穗中调控细胞伸长的相关基因下调。随后我们利用228份自交系构成的自然变异群体，对干旱胁迫下ASI表型进行了候选基因关联分析。结果发现，ZmEXP4基因的自然变异与干旱胁迫下ASI表型显著相关，并且该基因在50 mm雌穗中干旱下与正常条件下的表达量的比值与ASI显著负相关。进一步，在玉米雌穗中利用干旱诱导型启动子驱动ZmEXPA4的表达，结果发现转在正常浇水条件下转基因植株的株高、产量和ASI与野生型材料无显著差异；而干旱胁迫下，其ASI比野生型显著减小。