Dr Xiaoqi Feng

Project Leader
Cell and Developmental Biology

Xiaoqi works on sexual reproduction in plants to understand how plant germ cells maintain their genetic integrity and maximise reproductive success.

By employing a combination of molecular, genomics and imaging approaches, the lab investigates the influence of genetic and epigenetic factors on male sexual lineage.

A particular research interest is germ cell sensitivity and response to the environment such as changing temperatures, with implications for improving crop fertility and yield when food security is becoming a more important issue in a changing climate.


Tel: 01603 450684

Breakthrough study reveals new insight into “immortal” plant cells

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Five new Project Leaders join the John Innes Centre

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Selected Publications

Walker J., Gao H., Zhang J., Aldridge B., Vickers M., Higgins J., Feng X. (2018)

Sexual-lineage-specific DNA methylation regulates meiosis in Arabidopsis.

Nature Genetics 50 p130-137

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/s41588-017-0008-5

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

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

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

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

Development 137 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 p571-6

Publisher’s version: 10.1042/BST0380571

View All

Xiaoqi Feng


BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, 2014-19


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