Recognizing The Plant Cell first authors: Mingjiu Li

Mingjiu Li, first author of Leaf Variegation and Impaired Chloroplast Development Caused by a Truncated CCT Domain gene in albostrians Barley

Current Position: Postdoctoral fellow, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Germany

Education: Ph.D. in Genetics, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany; M.Sc. in Genetics, Northeast Normal University, China; B.Sc. in Plant Science, Jilin University, China.

Non-scientific Interests: Basketball, badminton, running, reading, movies, and watching NBA.

Brief bio: I have been involved in plant science and research since I enrolled in college in 2004. As a sophomore, my first academic experience was performing an internship by participating in a maize breeding program (mainly crossing in the field). I learned the molecular cloning and tissue culture techniques during preparation of my Bachelor’s thesis. The scientific practices stimulated my immanent interest in plant research that encouraged me to continue study as a Master. In frame of my Master project, I focused on epigenetic stability of a synthetic allohexaploid wheat variety. With a successful fellowship application, I got the opportunity to pursue my PhD abroad at Humboldt University of Berlin (HU) in Germany. My PhD dissertation was performed at Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) under supervision of Prof. Dr. Nils Stein (IPK) and Prof. Dr. Thomas Börner (HU). The results of my PhD work are summarized in the current The Plant Cell paper. In brief, we cloned the causal gene underlying the green-white variegation (striped) phenotype of the historical barley mutant albostrians. After completing my PhD, I decided to continue my scientific career as a Postdoc and focus on the elucidation of molecular mechanism of the albostrians variegation. Thus, I wrote a research proposal to the German Research Foundation (DFG) with contributions of my PhD supervisors. The proposal was approved and provides me with the opportunity to extend my research towards understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying albostrians based leaf variegation in barley.