Zhongfu Yang, first author of “DNA hypermethylation promotes the flowering of orchardgrass during vernalization”
Current Position: PhD student, Sichuan Agricultural University
Education: Jilin Agricultural University (Bachelor)
Non-scientific Interests: Badminton and travel
Brief bio: In 2015, I joined professor Xinquan Zhang’s research group in the College of Grassland Science and Technology at Sichuan Agricultural University. Our lab has been engaged in studying the molecular mechanism of important agronomic traits in forages. Orchardgrass is one of the top four economically important forage grasses cultivated worldwide, and the flowering time of orchardgrass is one of the main factors for its utilization. Under the guidance of Prof. Xinquan Zhang and Prof. Linkai Huang, my main work during the doctoral stage is to study the molecular mechanism of environmental signals regulating the flowering time of orchardgrass. In this study, we found that an increase in the levels of genome DNA methylation during the early vernalization of orchardgrass activated the expression of vernalization-pathway related genes and further promoted floral primordium initiation and development of orchardgrass. It is hoped that our research results will provide new targets and ideas for the improvement of forage and crop breeding.