Zhaojiang Zuo, co-first author of Isoprene Acts as a Signaling Molecule in Gene Networks Important for Stress Responses and Plant Growth
Current Position: Associate Professor, School of Forestry and Biotechnology, Zhejiang A & F University, China.
Education: PhD, College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, China.
Non-scientific interests: Basketball, Chinese chess and poker.
Brief bio: I have always been interested in plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their roles within plants and in ecosystems. Up to now, 50 papers have been published and four projects have been carried out, including two from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, one from Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province, and one from Personnel Startup Project Funds of the Scientific Research and Development Foundation of Zhejiang A & F University. I have used algae and higher plants as materials to study the emission of VOCs under abiotic stresses, such as light, high temperature, nutrient, salinity, acid, etc. Artemisia frigida VOCs showed allelopathic effects on neighbor pasture grasses, and Microcystis VOCs can inhibit other algal growth, indicating that VOCs contribute to the dominance of the emitters in their ecosystems. In water, I discovered that VOCs can transfer stress information between Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells. Cinnamomum camphora mainly released monoterpenoids, and the emissions improved thermotolerance by quenching reactive oxygen species and improving photosynthetic abilities. During my visit to Michigan State University, I researched the roles of isoprene in altering plant growth and expression of stress-related genes with other researchers in the guidance of Professor Thomas D. Sharkey, and luckily found a new role of isoprene in adjusting plant growth. In the future, I will continue my research on VOCs and their roles, and hope to uncover how and why plants release VOCs.
左照江，第一作者“Expression of isoprene synthase alters plant growth and expression of stress-related genes”
本人一直致力于植物挥发性有机化合物(VOCs)及其功能作用研究。目前，已发表论文50篇，主持各类项目4项，其中国家自然科学基金项目2项、浙江省自然科学基金项目1项、浙江农林大学科研发展基金人才项目1项。本人以低等藻类和高等植物为材料，研究了光、高温、营养、盐和酸等非生物胁迫条件下VOCs释放。冷蒿VOCs对牧草生长具有化感作用，微囊藻VOCs可抑制其它藻类生长，这表明VOCs可促进冷蒿和微囊藻成为其生态系统中的优势种群。在藻类研究中，本人发现VOCs可在莱茵衣藻细胞间传递胁迫信息。香樟主要释放单萜，这些VOCs可通过猝灭活性氧和提高光合性能以提高香樟抗高温胁迫能力。在密歇根州立大学访学期间，本人在Thomas D. Sharkey教授的指导下与其他科研人员一起研究了异戊二烯在调控植物生长和胁迫相关基因表达中的作用，幸运地发现了异戊二烯具有调控植物生长发育的新功能作用。未来，本人将继续致力于VOCs及其功能作用研究，以期揭示植物如何和为何释放VOCs。