Yuan Huang: The Plant Cell First Author

Yuan Huang, first author of the research article Species-specific gene partial duplication in Arabidopsis thaliana evolved novel phenotypic effects on morphological traits under strong positive selection

Current Position: Professor at Yunnan Normal University, China

Education: Ph.D, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences; B.S., Southwest University, Chongqing, China.

Non-scientific Interests: Hiking, cooking, traveling

Brief bio:

In 2011, I joined Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago to study the origin and evolution of new gene in plants in a collaborative project between the labs of Manyuan Long and Joy Bergelson. Professor Manyuan Long focused on the study of how a gene originates, and developed a study system based on experimental model of the fruit flies aided with computational facility to analyze all organisms with genomes sequenced. Professor Joy Bergelson was interested in phenotypic evolution and genetics in Arabidopsis and created the best experimental platform of plant study I had ever seen. From a lot of publications of evolutionary new genes, I learned that new gene studies then focused on metazoans and little was known about the new gene evolution in plants. Based on my experience in plant research, I identified the species-specific gene, Exov and its parental copy, Exov-L, to investigate its origination process and phenotypic effects in Arabidopsis thaliana. We developed a rigorous approach that integrated necessary multilayer experiments and analyses ranging from CRISPR/Disruptive knockouts to RNAseq-transcriptome-derived networks with genomic sequencing, from molecular evolution to population genomics to test natural selection, and from morphological traits statistic modeling to detect the underlying effects of the new and parental genes. These experiments and analyses allowed me to detect the unexpected morphological effects of Exov in development of the A. thaliana plant.  After finishing my work at Chicago in 2014, I joined the School of Life Sciences in Yunnan Normal University to continue my research about evolutionary new genes.



当前职位:云南师范大学 研究员

教育背景:中国科学院昆明植物研究所 理学博士;西南大学,学士



2011年,我加入了芝加哥大学生态与演化系,参与龙漫远教授实验室和Joy Bergelson教授实验室关于植物新基因起源和演化的合作研究项目。龙漫远教授致力于新基因的起源和演化研究,建立了以模式生物果蝇为研究对象,便于用全基因组数据进行生物信息学分析的研究体系。Joy Bergelson 教授对拟南芥的表型演化和遗传分析有浓厚的研究兴趣,并建立了非常完善的植物学研究实验平台。从大量的新基因研究的文献中,我了解到新基因的研究主要集中在动物,植物的新基因研究还非常少。基于我植物研究的经验,我鉴定了拟南芥特有的新基因EXON和它的老基因EXOV-L来研究新基因的起源以及新基因对植物表型的影响。我和我的同事整合了多种方法从多个层次来研究植物的新基因,从构建CRISPR-Cas9突变体到转录组测序和全基因组测序,从分子演化分析到群体遗传学分析,以及构建形态特征的统计学模型来研究植物新基因对植物形态特征的影响。从这些实验和分析的结果,我们发现了新基因EXOV在拟南芥生长发育过程中对形态特征有意想不到的影响。2014年,结束了在芝加哥大学的工作之后,我加入云南师范大学生命科学学院,继续植物新基因的演化研究。