Xiaojin Zhou: Plant Physiology First Author

Xiaojin Zhou, co-first author of Maize Interveinal Chlorosis 1 Links the Yang Cycle and Fe Homeostasis through Nicotianamine Biosynthesis”

Current Position: Associate professor, Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China

Education: Ph.D. in Developmental Biology at Beijing Normal University; B.S. in Bioengineering at China Agricultural University

Non-scientific Interests: Drawing; Music; Tennis

Brief bio: My research interest is to address the mechanisms regulating seed and flower development, hormone crosstalk, and iron transport in maize using a combination of forward and reverse genetics, bioinformatics, and experimental biology. Accumulation of iron in seeds is essential for both kernel development and human nutrition. This study highlights the interaction between the Yang cycle and biosynthesis of nicotianamine (a chelator for iron transport), suggesting an additional aspect of iron homeostasis regulation in graminaceous plants. Using a multi-omics approach, we are recently working on the identification of genes that regulate nicotianamine biosynthesis and transport in maize. These gene resources could contribute to the breeding of iron-rich maize varieties.