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Wang, Lei
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Wang, Lei


Dec. 2011-now        Associate Professor Kunming Institute of Botany, CAS
Aug. 2005-Aug. 2007   Postdoc       Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Sep. 2001-Jun. 2005    Ph. D    Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, CAS
Sep. 1998-Jul. 2001     M.S    School of Life Sciences, Zhongshan University
Sep. 1994-Jul. 1998     B.S    Department of Biology, Lanzhou University


1. Plant-herbivore interaction

     In response to insect attack, plants rapidly but transiently accumulate large amounts of phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA), which in turn activate defense reactions against insects. Almost all enzymes involved in JA biosynthesis have been discovered,but how JA is metabolized and deactivated is still largely unknown. One of the JA metabolites, jasmonoyl-L-isoleucine (JA-Ile), plays central role in herbivore resistance as a bioactive form of the hormone. However, previous work indicated that JA or its metabolites also function as signals in plant-herbivore
interaction independently of JA-Ile. 12-hydroxyjasmonic acid and its sulfated and
glucosylated derivatives (collectively referred to 12-OH-JAs) are all JA metabolites
that exist in large quantities in many plant species. 12-OH-JAs induce certain
physiological responses including potato tuber formation and leaf closing in rain
trees, suggesting that these compounds may also play a role in plant-herbivore
interactions. To elucidate whether 12-hydroxylation is an important JA metabolic
pathway and have functions in plant-herbivore interactions, we are taking a combination of molecular genetics, chemical analysis and herbivore bioassay to address these issues.

2. JA-GA interactions in regulating thigmomorphogenesis

     Plants evolved very sensitive mechanisms to respond to even very subtle stimuli, such as touching. For example, Arabidopsis plants whose rosette leaves are gently moved back and forth repeatedly over the course of their development exhibit delayed transition to flowering, decreased flowering stem (inflorescence) elongation, and shorter petioles that contribute to the development of smaller rosettes. Touch-induced developmental alterations, called thigmomorphogenesis, are thought to be conserved among most plants. The phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) is important for thigmomorphogenesis: JA levels increase in response to touching; the JA-biosynthesis mutant aos and the coi1 mutant, which is defect in JA perception, are not sensitive to touching. However, the mechanism by which touching-induced JA inhibits plant development remains unclear.  We hopothized touch-induced JA antagnized the gibberellin pathway. Currently, we are taking a combination of molecular genetics, biochemistry and cell biology to address this issue

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