Dr Yiliang Ding

Project Leader
Cell and Developmental Biology

Yiliang’s research is on nucleic acid chemistry and RNA biology and bioinformatics.  Her research investigates the role of RNA structure in gene regulation, such as translation, spicing and degradation.


Yiliang focuses on understanding the dynamics of RNA structure in living cells both at the genome-wide scale and for individually targeted functional RNAs. To do this she develops new experimental and analytical approaches for revealing RNA structure and RNA-protein interactions.

Post-transcriptional regulation of genes has gained much attention in recent years because of its direct and rapid regulation of protein levels.

Their previous research has developed two novel and powerful platforms to study RNA structure in vivo and across diverse species at both the genome-wide scale (Ding et al., 2014 Nature) and in individual RNAs (Kwok et al., 2013 Nature Communications). These breakthroughs have removed technological barriers and opened up new avenues for RNA biology research.

The lab uses multidisciplinary knowledge and approaches in areas of Nucleic Acid Chemistry, RNA Biology and Bioinformatics.

Their research focuses on:

1. Determining the role of RNA structure in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression including translation, polyadenylation, RNA splicing, RNA stability and RNA processing

2. Exploring how RNA structures alter in response to environmental changes

3. Developing new experimental and analytical approaches for revealing RNA structure and RNA-protein interactions

The Ding lab is seeking enthusiastic and highly motivated people with interests in studying these new avenues.


Tel: 01603 450266

John Innes Centre scientists awarded prestigious five year european research council starting grants

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Five new Project Leaders join the John Innes Centre

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Recent Publications

Yang X., Yang M., Deng H., Ding Y. (2018)

New Era of Studying RNA Secondary Structure and Its Influence on Gene Regulation in Plants.

Frontiers in plant science 9 p671

Publisher’s version: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00671

Ding Y., Kwok C. K. (2018)

Emergence of vascular plants.

Nature plants

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/s41477-018-0159-0

Deng H., Cheema J., Zhang H., Woolfenden H., Norris M., Liu Z., Liu Q., Yang X., Yang M., Deng X., Cao X., Ding Y. (2018)

Rice in vivo RNA structurome reveals RNA secondary structure conservation and divergence in plants.

Molecular Plant

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.molp.2018.01.008

Manzano C., Pallero-Baena M., Silva-Navas J., Navarro Neila S., Casimiro I., Casero P., Garcia-Mina J. M., Baigorri R., Rubio L., Fernandez J. A., Norris M., Ding Y., Moreno-Risueno M. A., Del Pozo J. C. (2017)

A light-sensitive mutation in Arabidopsis LEW3 reveals the important role of N-glycosylation in root growth and development.

Journal of Experimental Botany 68 p5103-5116

Publisher’s version: 10.1093/jxb/erx324

Norris M., Kwok C., Cheema J., Hartley M., Morris R., Aviran S., Ding Y. (2016)

FoldAtlas: a repository for genome-wide RNA structure probing data

Bioinformatics Sep 22 2016 p1-3

Publisher’s version: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btw611

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