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

Dong, X. "Pathogen-induced systemic DNA rearrangement in plants." Trends Plant Sci 9, no. 2 (February 2004): 60-61. (Review) Full Text

Durrant, WE, and Dong, X. "Systemic acquired resistance." Annu Rev Phytopathol 42 (2004): 185-209. (Review) Full Text

Mou, Z, Fan, W, and Dong, X. "Inducers of plant systemic acquired resistance regulate NPR1 function through redox changes." Cell 113, no. 7 (June 27, 2003): 935-944.

Spoel, SH, Koornneef, A, Claessens, SMC, Korzelius, JP, Pelt, JAV, Mueller, MJ, Buchala, AJ, Métraux, J-P, Brown, R, Kazan, K, Loon, LCV, Dong, X, and Pieterse, CMJ. "NPR1 modulates cross-talk between salicylate- and jasmonate-dependent defense pathways through a novel function in the cytosol." Plant Cell 15, no. 3 (2003): 760-770. Full Text

Fan, W, and Dong, X. "In Vivo Interaction between NPR1 and transcription." Plant Cell 14 (2002): 1377-. (Academic Article)

Li, X, Clarke, JD, Zhang, Y, and Dong, X. "Activation of an EDS1-mediated R-gene pathway in the snc1 mutant leads to constitutive, NPR1-independent pathogen resistance." Mol Plant Microbe Interact 14, no. 10 (October 2001): 1131-1139. Full Text

Dong, X. "Genetic dissection of systemic acquired resistance." Curr Opin Plant Biol 4, no. 4 (August 2001): 309-314. (Review)