Xinnian Dong

Arts and Sciences Professor of Biology in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

4213 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-1000
(919) 613-8176
Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system, my laboratory studies the mechanisms of plant defense against microbial pathogens. We focus on a specific response known as systemic acquired resistance (SAR). SAR, which can be induced by a local infection, provides the plants with long lasting, systemic resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Salicylic acid (SA; an active ingredient of aspirin) has been found to be the endogenous signal of SAR. Using a genetic approach, our laboratory identified genes involved in the regulation of SAR. Molecular and genetic analyses are being carried out to understand the gene function and to elucidate the SAR signaling pathway. These SAR-regulating genes are also favorite targets for molecular engineering of disease-resistance crops.


  • Ph.D., Northwestern University 1988

  • B.S., National Wuhan University 1982

Durrant, WE, Wang, S, and Dong, X. "Arabidopsis SNI1 and RAD51D regulate both gene transcription and DNA recombination during the defense response." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104, no. 10 (March 6, 2007): 4223-4227. Full Text

Zhang, X, Dai, Y, Xiong, Y, DeFraia, C, Li, J, Dong, X, and Mou, Z. "Overexpression of Arabidopsis MAP kinase kinase 7 leads to activation of plant basal and systemic acquired resistance." Plant Journal 52, no. 6 (2007): 1066-1079. Full Text

Wang, D, Amornsiripanitch, N, and Dong, X. "A genomic approach to identify regulatory nodes in the transcriptional network of systemic acquired resistance in plants." Plos Pathogens 2, no. 11 (November 2006): e123-null. Full Text

Mosher, RA, Durrant, WE, Wang, D, Song, J, and Dong, X. "A comprehensive structure-function analysis of Arabidopsis SNI1 defines essential regions and transcriptional repressor activity." The Plant Cell 18, no. 7 (July 2006): 1750-1765. Full Text

Wang, D, Weaver, ND, Kesarwani, M, and Dong, X. "Induction of protein secretory pathway is required for systemic acquired resistance." Science (New York, N.Y.) 308, no. 5724 (May 2005): 1036-1040. Full Text

Heidel, AJ, Clarke, JD, Antonovics, J, and Dong, X. "Fitness costs of mutations affecting the systemic acquired resistance pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana." Genetics 168, no. 4 (December 2004): 2197-2206. Full Text

Dong, X. "NPR1, all things considered." Current Opinion in Plant Biology 7, no. 5 (October 2004): 547-552. (Review) Full Text