Tai-ping Sun

Professor of Biology

Office: 
3104 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
90338
Phone: 
(919) 613-8166
Fax: 
(919) 660-7293

Research Interests: 

The diterpenoid phytohormone gibberellin (GA) plays pivotal roles in regulating growth and development throughout the life cycle of higher plants. Mutations affecting GA biosynthesis or GA response were the key to control plant stature in wheat and rice that led to dramatically increased grain yield and contributed greatly to the success of the ‘Green Revolution’ in the 1960s. Although the GA biosynthetic pathway had been characterized biochemically, little was known about the sites of GA production and the mode of GA action. By multi-faceted approaches using the model system Arabidopsis, my lab has made major breakthroughs in revealing the sites and regulatory mechanisms of GA biosynthesis. We also elucidated the conserved molecular events of GA perception and the early GA signaling pathway. We identified the nuclear transcriptional regulators DELLA proteins, which function as master growth repressors by inhibiting all aspects of GA responses. Binding of GA to its nuclear receptor GID1 enhances the GID1-DELLA interaction, which in turn leads to the rapid proteolysis of DELLA through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, and allows transcriptional reprogramming of GA-responsive genes. We and other researchers further showed that GA-GID1-DELLA is a key regulatory module that controls plant growth by integrating internal developmental cues, and external biotic and abiotic signals (light, cold, salt and pathogen stresses). Surprisingly, we recently found that DELLA directly interacts with multiple classes of key regulatory proteins in other signaling pathways. Our work is revealing the complex regulatory network between the GA pathway and other pathways to control plant growth and development.

The diterpenoid phytohormone gibberellin (GA) plays pivotal roles in regulating growth and development throughout the life cycle of higher plants. Mutations affecting GA biosynthesis or GA response were the key to control plant stature in wheat and rice that led to dramatically increased grain yield and contributed greatly to the success of the ‘Green Revolution’ in the 1960s. Although the GA biosynthetic pathway had been characterized biochemically, little was known about the sites of GA production and the mode of GA action. By multi-faceted approaches using the model system Arabidopsis, my lab has made major breakthroughs in revealing the sites and regulatory mechanisms of GA biosynthesis. We also elucidated the conserved molecular events of GA perception and the early GA signaling pathway. We identified the nuclear transcriptional regulators DELLA proteins, which function as master growth repressors by inhibiting all aspects of GA responses. Binding of GA to its nuclear receptor GID1 enhances the GID1-DELLA interaction, which in turn leads to the rapid proteolysis of DELLA through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, and allows transcriptional reprogramming of GA-responsive genes. We and other researchers further showed that GA-GID1-DELLA is a key regulatory module that controls plant growth by integrating internal developmental cues, and external biotic and abiotic signals (light, cold, salt and pathogen stresses). Surprisingly, we recently found that DELLA directly interacts with multiple classes of key regulatory proteins in other signaling pathways. Our work is revealing the complex regulatory network between the GA pathway and other pathways to control plant growth and development.

Education

  • Ph.D. 1987, Duke University

  • B.S. 1980, National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan)

Papers Published

Gibberellin Signaling Requires Chromatin Remodeler PICKLE to Promote Vegetative Growth and Phase Transitions, 2, 2017
Park, J; Oh, D-H; Dassanayake, M; Nguyen, KT; Ogas, J; Choi, G; Sun, T-P, Plant physiology. 173 vol. (2); pp. 1463-1474

Structure of the SHR-SCR heterodimer bound to the BIRD/IDD transcriptional factor JKD, 2, 2017
Hirano, Y; Nakagawa, M; Suyama, T; Murase, K; Shirakawa, M; Takayama, S; Sun, TP; Hakoshima, T, Nature Plants. 3

The Arabidopsis O-fucosyltransferase SPINDLY activates nuclear growth repressor DELLA., 2, 2017
Zentella, R; Sui, N; Barnhill, B; Hsieh, W-P; Hu, J; Shabanowitz, J; Boyce, M; Olszewski, NE; Zhou, P; Hunt, DF; Sun, T-P, Nature Chemical Biology.

The ERF11 Transcription Factor Promotes Internode Elongation by Activating Gibberellin Biosynthesis and Signaling., 8, 2016
Zhou, X; Zhang, Z-L; Park, J; Tyler, L; Yusuke, J; Qiu, K; Nam, EA; Lumba, S; Desveaux, D; McCourt, P; Kamiya, Y; Sun, T-P, Plant physiology. 171 vol. (4); pp. 2760-2770

O -GlcNAcylation of master growth repressor DELLA by SECRET AGENT modulates multiple signaling pathways in Arabidopsis, 1, 2016
Zentella, R; Hu, J; Hsieh, W-P; Matsumoto, PA; Dawdy, A; Barnhill, B; Oldenhof, H; Hartweck, LM; Maitra, S; Thomas, SG; Cockrell, S; Boyce, M; Shabanowitz, J; Hunt, DF; Olszewski, NE; Sun, T-P, Genes & development. 30 vol. (2); pp. 164-176

Functional characterization and developmental expression profiling of gibberellin signalling components in Vitis vinifera, 3, 2015
Acheampong, AK; Hu, J; Rotman, A; Zheng, C; Halaly, T; Takebayashi, Y; Jikumaru, Y; Kamiya, Y; Lichter, A; Sun, T-P; Or, E, Journal of Experimental Botany. 66 vol. (5); pp. 1463-1476

Role of the gibberellin receptors GID1 during fruit-set in Arabidopsis, 9, 2014
Gallego-Giraldo, C; Hu, J; Urbez, C; Gomez, MD; Sun, T-P; Perez-Amador, MA, The Plant Journal. 79 vol. (6); pp. 1020-1032

Plant Science. Sex and the single fern., 10, 2014
Sun, T-P, Science. 346 vol. (6208); pp. 423-424

Leaf-induced gibberellin signaling is essential for internode elongation, cambial activity, and fiber differentiation in tobacco stems, 2012
Dayan, J; Voronin, N; Gong, F; Sun, T-P; Hedden, P; Fromm, H; Aloni, R, The Plant cell. (2012) 24 vol. (1); pp. 66-79

Hypocotyl transcriptome reveals auxin regulation of growth-promoting genes through GA-dependent and -independent pathways, 0, 2012
Chapman, EJ; Greenham, K; Castillejo, C; Sartor, R; Bialy, A; Sun, T-P; Estelle, M, PloS one. 7 vol. (5); pp. e36210

Brassinosteroid, gibberellin and phytochrome impinge on a common transcription module in Arabidopsis, 0, 2012
Bai, M-Y; Shang, J-X; Oh, E; Fan, M; Bai, Y; Zentella, R; Sun, T-P; Wang, Z-Y, Nature Cell Biology. 14 vol. (8); pp. 810-817

Plant hormone jasmonate prioritizes defense over growth by interfering with gibberellin signaling cascade, 0, 2012
Yang, D-L; Yao, J; Mei, C-S; Tong, X-H; Zeng, L-J; Li, Q; Xiao, L-T; Sun, T-P; Li, J; Deng, X-W; Lee, CM; Thomashow, MF; Yang, Y; He, Z; He, SY, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. 109 vol. (19); pp. E1192-E1200

Rapid and orthogonal logic gating with a gibberellin-induced dimerization system, 0, 2012
Miyamoto, T; DeRose, R; Suarez, A; Ueno, T; Chen, M; Sun, T-P; Wolfgang, MJ; Mukherjee, C; Meyers, DJ; Inoue, T, Nature Chemical Biology. 8 vol. (5); pp. 465-470

SCARECROW-LIKE 3 promotes gibberellin signaling by antagonizing master growth repressor DELLA in Arabidopsis, 0, 2011
Zhang, Z-L; Ogawa, M; Fleet, CM; Zentella, R; Hu, J; Heo, J-O; Lim, J; Kamiya, Y; Yamaguchi, S; Sun, T-P, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. 108 vol. (5); pp. 2160-2165

Generation of Intracellular Logic Gates with Two Orthogonal Chemically Inducible Systems, 2012
DeRose, R; Miyamoto, T; Suarez, A; Ueno, T; Chen, M; Sun, T-P; Mukherjee, C; Meyers, D; Inoue, T, Molecular Biology of the Cell. (2012) 22 pp. 465

The molecular mechanism and evolution of the GA-GID1-DELLA signaling module in plants, 0, 2011
Sun, T-P, Current Biology. 21 vol. (9); pp. R338-R345

SCARECROW-LIKE 3 promotes gibberellin signaling by antagonizing DELLA in Arabidopsis, 2011
Zhang, ZL; Ogawa, M; Fleet, CM; Zentella, R; Hu, J; Heo, J-O; Lim, J; Kamiya, Y; Yamaguchi, S; Sun, T-P, PNAS. (2011) 108 pp. 2160-2165

Gibberellin signal transduction in stem elongation & leaf growth, 1, 2010
Sun, TP, pp. 308-328

Gibberellin-GID1-DELLA: A pivotal regulatory module for plant growth and development, 0, 2010
Sun, T-P, Plant physiology. 154 vol. (2); pp. 567-570

Isolation and characterization of cul1-7, a recessive allele of CULLIN1 that disrupts SCF function at the C terminus of CUL1 in Arabidopsis thaliana, 2009
Gilkerson, J; Hu, J; Brown, J; Jones, A; Sun, T-P; Callis, J, Genetics. (2009) 181 vol. (3); pp. 945-963

Proteolysis-independent downregulation of DELLA repression in Arabidopsis by the gibberellin receptor GIBBERELLIN INSENSITIVE DWARF1, 0, 2008
Ariizumi, T; Murase, K; Sun, T-P; Steber, CM, The Plant cell. 20 vol. (9); pp. 2447-2459

Potential sites of bioactive gibberellin production during reproductive growth in Arabidopsis, 0, 2008
Hu, J; Mitchum, MG; Barnaby, N; Ayele, BT; Ogawa, M; Nam, E; Lai, W-C; Hanada, A; Alonso, JM; Ecker, JR; Swain, SM; Yamaguchi, S; Kamiya, Y; Suna, T-P, The Plant cell. 20 vol. (2); pp. 320-336

Gibberellin-induced DELLA recognition by the gibberellin receptor GID1, 0, 2008
Murase, K; Hirano, Y; Sun, T-P; Hakoshima, T, Nature. 456 vol. (7221); pp. 459-463

Erratum: Genetic characterization and functional analysis of the GID1 gibberellin receptors in Arabidopsis (Plant Cell (2006) 18, (3399-3414)), 0, 2007
Griffiths, J; Murase, K; Rieu, I; Zentella, R; Zhang, Z-L; Powers, SJ; Gong, F; Phillips, AL; Hedden, P; Sun, T-P; Thomas, SG, The Plant cell. 19 vol. (2); pp. 726-

Global analysis of DELLA direct targets in early gibberellin signaling in Arabidopsis, 0, 2007
Zentella, R; Zhang, Z-L; Park, M; Thomas, SG; Endo, A; Murase, K; Fleet, CM; Jikumaru, Y; Nambara, E; Kamiya, Y; Sun, T-P, The Plant cell. 19 vol. (10); pp. 3037-3057

PIL5, a phytochrome-interacting bHLH protein, regulates gibberellin responsiveness by binding directly to the GAI and RGA promoters in Arabidopsis seeds, 0, 2007
Oh, E; Yamaguchi, S; Hu, J; Yusuke, J; Jung, B; Paik, I; Lee, H-S; Sun, T-P; Kamiya, Y; Choi, G, The Plant cell. 19 vol. (4); pp. 1192-1208

Functional analysis of Spindly in gibberellin signaling in Arabidopsis, 2007
Silverstone, AL; Tseng, T-S; Swain, SM; Dill, A; Sun, YJ; Olszewski, NE; Sun, T-P, Plant physiology. (2007) 143 vol. (2); pp. 987-1000

Genetic characterization and functional analysis of the GID1 gibberellin receptors in Arabidopsis, 2006
Griffiths, J; Murase, K; Rieu, I; Zentella, R; Zhang, Z-L; Powers, SJ; Gong, F; Phillips, AL; Hedden, P; Sun, T-P; Thomas, SG, The Plant cell. (2006) 18 vol. (12); pp. 3399-3414

Regulation of hormone metabolism in Arabidopsis seeds: Phytochrome regulation of abscisic acid metabolism and abscisic acid regulation of gibberellin metabolism, 0, 2006
Seo, M; Hanada, A; Kuwahara, A; Endo, A; Okamoto, M; Yamauchi, Y; North, H; Marion-Poll, A; Sun, T-P; Koshiba, T; Kamiya, Y; Yamaguchi, S; Nambara, E, The Plant Journal. 48 vol. (3); pp. 354-366

Distinct and overlapping roles of two gibberellin 3-oxidases in Arabidopsis development, 2006
Mitchum, MG; Yamaguchi, S; Hanada, A; Kuwahara, A; Yoshioka, Y; Kato, T; Tabata, S; Kamiya, Y; Sun, T-P, The Plant Journal. (2006) 45 vol. (5); pp. 804-818

A DELLAcate balance: The role of gibberellin in plant morphogenesis, 2005
Fleet, CM; Sun, T-P, Current Opinion in Plant Biology. (2005) 8 vol. (1); pp. 77-85

A novel dwarfing mutation in a green revolution gene from Brassica rapa, 2005
Muangprom, A; Thomas, SG; Sun, T-P; Osborn, TC, Plant physiology. (2005) 137 vol. (3); pp. 931-938

Arabidopsis CAND1, an unmodified CUL1-interacting protein, is involved in multiple developmental pathways controlled by ubiquitin/proteasome-mediated protein, 0, 2004
Feng, S; Shen, Y; Sullivan, JA; Rubio, V; Xiong, Y; Sun, T-P; Deng, XW, Plant Cell. 16 vol. (7); pp. 1870-1882

Update on gibberellin signaling. A tale of the tall and the short, 2004
Thomas, SG; Sun, T-P, Plant Physiology. (2004) 135 vol. (2); pp. 668-676

The Arabidopsis F-Box Protein SLEEPY1 Targets GA Signaling Repressors for GA-Induced Degradation, 2004
Dill, A; Thomas, SG; Hu, J; Steber, CM; Sun, T-P, Plant Cell. (2004) 16 vol. (6); pp. 1392-1405

Della proteins and gibberellin-regulated seed germination and floral development in Arabidopsis, 2004
Tyler, L; Thomas, SG; Hu, J; Dill, A; Alonso, JM; Ecker, JR; Sun, T-P, Plant Physiology. (2004) 135 vol. (2); pp. 1008-1019

The arabidopsis F-box protein SLEEPY1 targets gibberellin signaling repressors for gibberellin-induced degradation, 0, 2004
Dill, A; Thomas, SG; Hu, J; Steber, CM; Sun, T-P, Plant Cell. 16 vol. (6); pp. 1392-1405

Molecular mechanism of gibberellin signaling in plants, 2004
Sun, T-P; Gubler, F, Annual Review of Plant Biology. (2004) 55 pp. 197-223

Overexpression of AtCPS and AtKS in Arabidopsis confers increased ent-kaurene production but no increase in bioactive gibberellins, 0, 2003
Fleet, CM; Yamaguchi, S; Hanada, A; Kawaide, H; David, CJ; Kamiya, Y; Sun, T-P, Plant Physiology. 132 vol. (2); pp. 830-839

The Arabidopsis SLEEPY1 gene encodes a putative F-box subunit of an SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase, 0, 2003
McGinnis, KM; Thomas, SG; Soule, JD; Strader, LC; Zale, JM; Sun, T-P; Steber, CM, Plant Cell. 15 vol. (5); pp. 1120-1130

The GA-response gene SLEEPY1 (SLY1) is a putative F-box subunit of an SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase, 0, 2003
McGinnis, ; M, K; Thomas, ; G, S; Soule, ; D, J; Stader, ; C, L; Zale, ; M, J; Sun, ; T-p, ; Steber, ; M, C, Plant Cell. 15 vol. (5); pp. 1120-1130

Gibberellin signaling: Biosynthesis, catabolism, and response pathways, 0, 2002
Olszewski, N; Sun, T-P; Gubler, F, Plant Cell. 14 vol. (SUPPL.); pp. S61-S80

Characterization of cis-regulatory regions responsible for developmental regulation of the gibberellin biosynthetic gene GA1 in Arabidopsis thaliana, 0, 2002
Chang, C-W; Sun, T-P, Plant Molecular Biology. 49 vol. (6); pp. 579-589

Distinct cell-specific expression patterns of early and late gibberellin biosynthetic genes during Arabidopsis seed germination., 11, 2001
Yamaguchi, S; Kamiya, Y; Sun, T, The Plant Journal. 28 vol. (4); pp. 443-453

Synergistic derepression of gibberellin signaling by removing RGA and GAI function in Arabidopsis thaliana., 10, 2001
Dill, A; Sun, T, Genetics. 159 vol. (2); pp. 777-785

Repressing a repressor: Gibberellin-induced rapid reduction of the RGA protein in Arabidopsis, 0, 2001
Silverstone, AL; Jung, H-S; Dill, A; Kawaide, H; Kamiya, Y; Sun, T-P, Plant Cell. 13 vol. (7); pp. 1555-1565

The DELLA motif is essential for gibberellin-induced degradation of RGA, 0, 2001
Dill, A; Jung, H-S; Sun, T-P, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. 98 vol. (24); pp. 14162-14167

Gibberellin signal transduction., 10, 2000
Sun, T, Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 3 vol. (5); pp. 374-380

Gibberellins and the green revolution, 0, 2000
Silverstone, AL; Sun, T-P, Trends in Plant Science. 5 vol. (1); pp. 1-2

The Arabidopsis RGA gene encodes a transcriptional regulator repressing the gibberellin signal transduction pathway., 1998
Silverstone, AL; Ciampaglio, CN; Sun, T, The Plant cell. (1998) 10 vol. (2); pp. 155-169

Phytochrome regulation and differential expression of gibberellin 3beta-hydroxylase genes in germinating Arabidopsis seeds., 12, 1998
Yamaguchi, S; Smith, MW; Brown, RG; Kamiya, Y; Sun, T, The Plant cell. 10 vol. (12); pp. 2115-2126

The GA2 Locus of Arabidopsis thaliana Encodes ent-Kaurene Synthase of Gibberellin Biosynthesis, 1998
Yamaguchi, S; Sun, T-P; Kawaide, H; Kamiya, Y, Plant Physiology. (1998) 116 vol. (4); pp. 1271-1278

Developmental regulation of the gibberellin biosynthetic gene GA1 in Arabidopsis thaliana., 1997
Silverstone, AL; Chang, C; Krol, E; Sun, TP, The Plant Journal. (1997) 12 vol. (1); pp. 9-19

Regulation and cellular localization of ent-kaurene synthesis, 1997
Sun, T-P; Kamiya, Y, Physiologia Plantarum. (1997) 101 vol. (4); pp. 701-708

The new RGA locus encodes a negative regulator of gibberellin response in Arabidopsis thaliana, 1997
Silverstone, AL; Mak, PYA; Martínez, EC; Sun, T-P, Genetics. (1997) 146 vol. (3); pp. 1087-1099

The LS locus of pea encodes the gibberellin biosynthesis enzyme ent-kaurene synthase A, 1997
Ait-Ali, T; Swain, SM; Reid, JB; Sun, T-P; Kamiya, Y, The Plant Journal. (1997) 11 vol. (3); pp. 443-454

The arabidopsis GA1 locus encodes the cyclase ent-kaurene synthetase a of gibberellin biosynthesis, 1994
Sun, T-P; Kamiya, Y, Plant Cell. (1994) 6 vol. (10); pp. 1509-1518

Cloning Arabidopsis genes by genomic subtraction, 1992
Sun, T.-p., Straus, D., and Ausubel, F.M., (1992) pp. 331-341

Cloning the arabidopsis GA1 locus by genomic subtraction, 1992
Sun, T-P; Goodman, HM; Ausubel, FM, The Plant cell. (1992) 4 vol. (2); pp. 119-128

Low-frequency infection of F<sup>-</sup> bacteria by transducing particles of filamentous bacteriophages, 0, 1988
Russel, M; Whirlow, H; Sun, T-P; Webster, RE, Journal of Bacteriology. 170 vol. (11); pp. 5312-5316

Nucleotide sequence of a gene cluster involved in entry of E colicins and single-stranded DNA of infecting filamentous bacteriophages into Escherichia coli, 0, 1987
Sun, T-P; Webster, RE, Journal of Bacteriology. 169 vol. (6); pp. 2667-2674

fii, a bacterial locus required for filamentous phage infection and its relation to colicin-tolerant tolA and tolB, 0, 1986
Sun, T-P; Webster, RE, Journal of Bacteriology. 165 vol. (1); pp. 107-115

Book Chapters:

Update: The Gibberellin Receptor. in Plant Hormones: Biosynthesis, Signal Transduction, Action!, 2010
T. Sun

Gibberellin Metabolism, Perception and Signaling Pathways in The Arabidopsis Book, September, 2008
T. Sun

Gibberellin signaling in stem elongation in Plant Hormones: Biosynthesis, Signal Transduction, Action!, 0, 2004
Sun, T.-p.

Cloning plant genes by genomic subtraction in Molecular Plant Biology Volume I: A practical approach, 0, 2002
T. Sun