Plants in nature are in constant contact with microbes, including pathogens, symbionts and commensal microbes, during their life cycle.
These microbial contacts could greatly influence important plant traits such as growth and disease resistance.
Xiufang’s group study plant-microbe interactions, and is particularly interested in the following two areas:
- Plant-pathogen interactions, focusing on bacterial pathogenesis, interplay between host immunity and pathogen virulence mechanisms and environmental regulation of plant diseases. We work with the model system Arabidopsis thaliana-Pseudomonas syringae as well as diseases on the important crop species rice
- Plant-microbiome interactions, focusing on the mechanisms of how plants control a “healthy” and balanced phyllosphere microbiome and how the homeostasis of the phyllosphere microbiome contributes to basic plant health
- Plant Disease – Interplay between bacterial parthenogenesis and plant immunity
- Environmental Sensing – Mechanisms of environmental influence on plant diseases
- Plant Microbiome – Investigating plant-microbiome interactions
Education background and academic experience
- 2004-2008 B.S. in biology, China Agricultural University, College of Biological Sciences
- 2008-2014 Ph.D. in plant biology, Michigan State University (USA), DOE-Plant Research Laboratory
- 2014-2017 Post-doc, Michigan State University (USA), DOE-Plant Research Laboratory
- 2017- Principal Investigator, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai, CAS / CAS-JIC Centre of Excellence for Plant and Microbial Science