Wenfeng Ye: Plant Direct First Author

Wenfeng Ye, first author of “Belowground and aboveground herbivory differentially affect the transcriptome in roots and shoots of maize”

Current Position: Post-Doctor, Laboratory of Fundamental and Applied Research in Chemical Ecology, University of Neuchâtel (UniNE), Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Education: Ph.D. in Entomology, Laboratory of Insect Chemical and Molecular Ecology, Zhejiang University (ZJU), Zhejiang, China; M.Agr in Pesticide Science, Institute of Plant Protection, Yunnan Agricultural University (YNAU), Yunnan, China; B.Sc in Plant Protection, College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University (HZAU), Hubei, China

Non-scientific Interests: Sci-Fiction, Video Games, Gundam plastic model, traveling

Brief bio: I originally worked on insect gene family characterization and salivary effector identification of brown planthopper during my PhD study with Prof. Yonggen Lou at Zhejiang University. I shifted to plant-plant communication study and transgenic sentinel plant construction under the mentorship of Prof. Ted Turlings when I transitioned to a postdoctoral position in University of Neuchâtel. In this study, we compared the transcriptomic changes in maize plants in response to mechanical damage to shoot and roots with the responses to damage caused by a specialized aboveground (fall armyworm) and a specialized belowground (western corn rootworm) herbivore. The study reveals a clear distinction between the gene expression profiles upon shoot and root attack and how these attacks cause gene expression changes in other tissues. These findings not only provide new insight into the specificity of plant defense responses but also provide a molecular resource database for further genetic studies on maize resistance to herbivores.