Xiaoyu Weng: Plant Physiology First Author

Xiaoyu Weng, first author of “Transcriptome and DNA methylome divergence of inflorescence development between two ecotypes in Panicum hallii

Current Position:

Research Associate, University of Texas at Austin, USA


Ph.D., Huazhong Agricultural University, China

Non-scientific Interests: photography, music, badminton

Brief bio:

My Ph.D. studies focused on the cloning of a pleiotropic gene Ghd7, which has major quantitative trait loci (QTL) effects on flowering time and yield potential in rice. This work has led to the understanding of the mechanisms of photoperiodic flowering and adaptation across different latitudes in rice, providing a reference for many later studies on rice and other crops (e.g., maize and sorghum), and improving current rice breeding practices.

Starting in 2014, I joined Dr. Thomas Juenger’s lab at the University of Texas at Austin to study adaptive evolution in native perennial grasses. Using the native species Panicum hallii (P. hallii) as a model, I investigated the genetic variation of flowering time and inflorescence architecture for a better understanding of local adaptation and life history trade-offs. In this study, our multi-omics results revealed the potential role of cytokinin signaling in the heterochronic changes and the evolutionary features of differentially methylated regions underlying the inflorescence divergence. This study laid the foundation for further understanding of the seed size-number trade-off, a key life history trade-off, in P. hallii.










我的本科和博士均毕业于华中农业大学。我的博士工作主要是水稻产量相关的一因多效QTL基因 Ghd7 的克隆和功能分校。该工作揭示了水稻光周期开花的分子机制和跨纬度种植的适应性机理,为水稻和其他农作物(如玉米和高粱等)的开花适应性研究提供了参考,并为当前水稻育种实践提供了理论依据。

2014年至今,我在德克萨斯大学奥斯汀分校 Thomas Juenger 教授的实验室分别担任博士后和副研究员。过去近十年里,我们将野生禾本科黍属多年生草Panicum hallii (P. hallii) 发展为一种新的模式植物,用以研究多年生草类适应性进化的遗传基础。我的研究主要包括P. hallii开花时间和花序结构的遗传变异,以及它们在本地适应(local adaptation)和生活史权衡(life-history trade-offs)过程中的作用和意义。在本研究中,我们通过多组学的策略,揭示了P. hallii不同生态型之间花序发育的异时性特征(heterochrony)和差异甲基化区域进化特点。 该研究为进一步理解P. hallii 种群进化过程中生活史权衡,特别是种子大小和数量权衡(seed size-number trade-offs)的分子机理奠定了基础。