ZHAO Zhong



Zhong,ZHAO. Ph.D.


School of Life Sciences

University of Science & Technology of China

Tel: +86 551 63600640

Fax: +86 551 63600640

Email: zhzhao@ustc.edu.cn

Address: Huangshan Road 443, Hefei, Anhui, 230027, P. R. China

Personal profile

Dr. Zhao received a B.S. degree in Cell Biology from the Lanzhou University, China in 1991, and the M.S. degree in 1994. In 2003, Dr. Zhao obtained his Ph. D. degree in Botany from the Fudan University in China. Subsequently, he worked asa postdoctoral fellowat the Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes (CNRS) in Strasbourg,France from 2003 to 2005 studying the epigenetic regulation of flowering in Arabodopsis thaliana. In the beginning of 2006, Dr. Zhao joined Prof. Jan Lohmann’s lab as his second postdoctoral research in Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tuebingen Germany, and then as a senior researcher since 2009 atthe Department of Stem Cell Biology in Heidelberg University. In 2011 Dr. Zhao joined the faculty as a full professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Science and Technology of China.

Research Interests

In contrast to most animals, plants maintain pluripotent stem cells throughout their entire life span, which are embedded into dynamic niche microenvironments to sustain their self-renewal, and continuously coordinated with developmental programs and environmental conditions.

We are interested in understanding how plant hormones interact to control the shoot stem cell niche and stem cell behavior. To address this question, we will focus on four related topics: a) define the spatial organization and functions of hormones metabolism in the shoot stem cell niche; b) elucidate the function of MONOPTEROS, a key transcription factor in regulating hormone cross-talk in the stem cell niche; c) probe the mechanisms of core regulatory machinery control in plant stem cells; d)address how stem cell regulatory machinery adapted to nature variation.

As a long-term goal, we aim to understand how individual components of hormone signaling, cell cycle progression and the core regulatory machinery are integrated to control stem cell maintenance and differentiation in the shoot apical meristem.

Selected Publications

1.Zhao Z, Andersen SU, Ljung K, Dolezal K, Miotk A, Schultheiss SJ andLohmann JU. Hormonal control of the shoot stem cell niche. Nature, 465: 1089-1092, 2010.


2.Busch W, MiotkA, Ariel FD, Zhao Z, Forner J, Daum G, Suzaki T, Schuster C, SchultheissSJ, Leibfried A, Haubeiß S, Ha N, Chan R and LohmannJU. Transcriptional control of a plant stem cell niche.Developmental Cell.18, 841-853, 2010.


3.Zhao Z, Zhu Y, Erhardt M, Ruan Y, Shen WH. A Non-canonical Transferred DNA Insertion at the BRI1 Locus in Arabidopsis thaliana, J Integr Plant Biol., 51(4): 367-73, 2009.


4.Andersen SU, Buechel S, Zhao Z, Ljung K, Novák O, Busch W, Schuster C, Lohmann JU. Requirement of B2-type cyclin-dependent kinases for meristem integrity in Arabidopsis thaliana, Plant Cell, 20(1): 88-100, 2008.


5.Xu L, Zhao Z, Dong A, Soubigou-Taconnat L, Renou JP, Steinmetz A, Shen WH. Di- and tri- but not monomethylation on histone H3 lysine 36 marks active transcription of genes involved in flowering time regulation and other processes in Arabidopsis thaliana.Mol Cell Biol., 28(4): 1348-60, 2008.


6.Feng X*, Zhao Z*, Tian Z*, Xu S, Luo Y, Cai Z, Wang Y, Yang J, Wang Z, Weng L, Chen J, Zheng L, Guo X, Luo J, Sato S, Tabata S, Ma W, Cao X, Hu X, Sun C, Luo D. Control of petal shape and floral zygomorphy in Lotus japonicus. ProcNatlAcadSci U S A. 103(13): 4970-4975, 2006, (*co-first authors).


7.Guo X, Zhao Z, Chen J, Hu X, Luo D. A putative CENTRORADIALIS/TERMINAL FLOWER 1-like gene, Ljcen1, plays a role in phase transition in Lotus japonicus.J Plant Physiol., 163(4): 436-44,2006.     


8.Zhao Z, Yu Y, Meyer D, Wu C and Shen WH. Prevention of early flowering by expression of FLOWERING LOCUS C requires methylation of histone H3 K36, Nature Cell Biology, 7(12): 1256-60, 2005.


9.Dong ZC, Zhao Z, Liu CW, Luo JH, Yang J, Huang WH, Hu XH, Wang TL, Luo D. Floral patterning in Lotus japonicus. Plant Physiol., 137(4): 1272-82, 2005.


10.Zhao Z and Shen WH. Plants contain a high number of proteins showing sequence similarity to the animal SUV39H family of histone methyltransferases.Ann.N.Y.Acad.Sci.1030: 661-669, 2004.