Dr Xiaoqi Feng

Project Leader
Cell and Developmental Biology

Most of our staple food comes from the product of flowering plant sexual reproduction, seeds. Therefore, a deeper understanding of this process is crucial for mankind.

Plant sexual reproduction is carried out by two highly specialized lines of cells, called the male and female sexual lineages. A fundamental but still unresolved question is how the reproductive function and fate are installed and maintained precisely in these cell lineages. We work at the interface of developmental biology and epigenetics to answer this question, using Arabidopsis thaliana as a primary model of study.

Employing a combination of molecular, genetic, imaging, epigenetic and genomic approaches, we aim to dissect the mechanisms by which genetic and epigenetic factors shape the function and fate determination of the male sexual lineage. Revealing novel genetic and epigenetic regulators and their crosstalk is essential for our knowledge of sexual reproduction, and, at a more fundamental level, important for understanding how the development of a specific lineage of cells is tightly controlled in the context of a plastic environment of plant development. Our work has implications for improving crop fertility and yield, and minimizing negative environmental impacts on crop production.

The male sexual lineage serves as a good paradigm for the study of plant lineage development, and Arabidopsis is an ideal model for epigenetic studies as it importantly tolerates significant epigenetic abnormalities. We welcome researchers interested in the genetic and epigenetic regulation of cell fate to join our group.  

 

Contact

Tel: 01603 450684
xiaoqi.feng@jic.ac.uk

Five new Project Leaders join the John Innes Centre

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Selected Publications

Feng X., Zilberman D., Dickinson H. (2013)

A conversation across generations: soma-germ cell crosstalk in plants.

Developmental Cell 24 (3) p215-25

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.01.014

Ibarra C. A., Feng X., Schoft V. K., Hsieh T. F., Uzawa R., Rodrigues J. A., Zemach A., Chumak N., Machlicova A., Nishimura T., Rojas D., Fischer R. L., Tamaru H., Zilberman D. (2012)

Active DNA demethylation in plant companion cells reinforces transposon methylation in gametes.

Science 337 p1360-4

Publisher’s version: 10.1126/science.1224839

Feng X., Dickinson H. G. (2010)

Tapetal cell fate, lineage and proliferation in the Arabidopsis anther.

Development 137 (14) p2409-16

Publisher’s version: 10.1242/dev.049320

Feng X., Dickinson H. G. (2010)

Cell-cell interactions during patterning of the Arabidopsis anther.

Biochemical Society Transactions 38 (2) p571-6

Publisher’s version: 10.1042/BST0380571

Feng X., Dickinson H. G. (2007)

Packaging the male germline in plants.

Trends in Genetics 23 (10) p503-10

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.tig.2007.08.005

Recent Publications

Hsieh P. H., He S., Buttress T., Gao H., Couchman M., Fischer R. L., Zilberman D., Feng X. (2016)

Arabidopsis male sexual lineage exhibits more robust maintenance of CG methylation than somatic tissues.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113 p15132-15137

Publisher’s version: 10.1073/pnas.1619074114

Park K., Kim M. Y., Vickers M., Park J. S., Hyun Y., Okamoto T., Zilberman D., Fischer R. L., Feng X., Choi Y., Scholten S. (2016)

DNA demethylation is initiated in the central cells of Arabidopsis and rice.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113 p15138-15143

Publisher’s version: 10.1073/pnas.1619047114

Johnson K. C., Xia S., Feng X., Li X. (2015)

The Chromatin Remodeler SPLAYED Negatively Regulates SNC1-Mediated Immunity.

Plant Cell Physiology 10.1093 ppcv087

Publisher’s version: 10.1093/pcp/pcv087

View All

Xiaoqi Feng

  • Dr Hongbo Gao Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Jingyi Zhang Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Shengbo He Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Mr James Walker Postgraduate Student
  • Mr Billy Aldridge Postgraduate Student

Awards

BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, 2014-19

Media

For media enquiries, please contact the JIC communications team 01603 450962, jic.communications@jic.ac.uk

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