Zhen Wang, first author of “PHOSPHATE RESPONSE 1 family members act distinctly to regulate transcriptional responses to phosphate starvation”
Current Position: The Open University of China, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Medicine, Lecturer
2015.9-2021.6, Tsinghua University, Plant molecular genetics, Ph.D
2011.9-2015.6, Nanjing Agriculture University, Horticulture, B.S.
Non-scientific Interests: Knitting, Hiking
I started my research when I joined Prof. Dong Liu’s lab in 2015 at Tsinghua University with a focus on the molecular mechanism of phosphate starvation responses of Arabidopsis. One years ago, after obtaining my Ph.D degree from Tsinghua University, I became a lecturer at the Open University of China.
In this work, we explored functions and relationships between four PHR1 family members which play key role in regulating plant transcriptional responses under Pi starvation. By performing comparative phenotypic and transcriptomic analyses using Arabidopsis mutants with various combinations of mutations, we found that PHR1/PHL1 and PHL2/PHL3 function as two distinct modules in regulating plant development and transcriptional responses to Pi starvation. By analyzing their common and specific targets, we showed that these PHR proteins could function as both positive and negative regulators of PSR gene expression depending their targets. In addition, we identified a large set of defense-related genes whose expression is not affected in wild-type plants but is altered in the mutant plants under Pi starvation. These results increase our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying plant transcriptional responses to Pi starvation.