Tianxia Yang, co-first author of “Tomato MED25 Regulates Fruit Ripening by Interacting with EIN3-like Transcription Factors”
Current Position: Postdoc. Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Education: Huazhong Agricultural University. Doctor of Science in Agriculture (Ph.D)
Non-scientific Interests: Seal cutting
Brief bio: I joined Prof. Zhibiao Ye’s group at the Huazhong Agricultural University as a graduate student since 2013. In 2015, I started my dissertation research in my co-mentor Prof. Chuanyou Li’s lab at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. After graduation, I stayed there to start my postdoctoral training. My research focuses on transcriptional regulation mechanism of fruit ripening and plant defense, as well as application of molecular breeding technology.
Ethylene mediates the ripening of climacteric fruits, and activates the expression of downstream ripening-related genes through the master regulator EIN3-like (EIL) transcription factor. Although the regulation of ethylene signal has been deeply studied for many years, it is still unclear how EIL transmits the signal to RNA polymerase II (Pol II). We found that MED25, a subunit of the Mediator transcriptional coactivator complex, participates in the regulation of fruit ripening. We show that MED25 physically interacts with EIL proteins, thereby orchestrating an ethylene-dependent transcriptional program for the regulation of ripening-related genes expression. We demonstrated that the EIL–MED25 module directly or indirectly activates ripening-related genes to promote quality formation. We also proved that EIL–MED25 forms both positive and negative feedback loops with its downstream regulators to maintain ethylene homeostasis. In the future, we will further study the transcriptional regulation mechanism of plant resistance during fruit ripening, and to improve fruit resistance against necrotrophic pathogens without affecting fruit quality.