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

Clarke, JD, Aarts, N, Feys, BJ, Dong, X, and Parker, JE. "Constitutive disease resistance requires EDS1 in the Arabidopsis mutants cpr1 and cpr6 and is partially EDS1-dependent in cpr5." Plant J 26, no. 4 (May 2001): 409-420.

Chern, M-S, Fitzgerald, HA, Yadav, RC, Canlas, PE, Dong, X, and Ronald, PC. "Evidence for a disease-resistance pathway in rice similar to the NPR1-mediated signaling pathway in Arabidopsis." Plant Journal 27, no. 2 (2001): 101-113. Full Text

Li, X, Song, Y, Century, K, Straight, S, Ronald, P, Dong, X, Lassner, M, and Zhang, Y. "A fast neutron deletion mutagenesis-based reverse genetics system for plants." Plant Journal 27, no. 3 (2001): 235-242. Full Text

Dong, X, Li, X, Zhang, Y, Fan, W, Kinkema, M, and Clarke, J. "Regulation of systemic acquired resistance by NPR1 and its partners." Novartis Found Symp 236 (2001): 165-173.

Jirage, D, Zhou, N, Cooper, B, Clarke, JD, Dong, X, and Glazebrook, J. "Constitutive salicylic acid-dependent signaling in cpr1 and cpr6 mutants requires PAD4." Plant Journal 26, no. 4 (2001): 395-407. Full Text

Kinkema, M, Fan, W, and Dong, X. "Nuclear localization of NPR1 is required for activation of PR gene expression." Plant Cell 12, no. 12 (December 2000): 2339-2350.

Clarke, JD, Volko, SM, Ledford, H, Ausubel, FM, and Dong, X. "Roles of salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, and ethylene in cpr-induced resistance in arabidopsis." Plant Cell 12, no. 11 (November 2000): 2175-2190.

Li, X, Zhang, Y, Clarke, JD, Li, Y, and Dong, X. "Identification and cloning of a negative regulator of systemic acquired resistance, SNI1, through a screen for suppressors of npr1-1." Cell 98, no. 3 (August 6, 1999): 329-339.

Zhang, Y, Fan, W, Kinkema, M, Li, X, and Dong, X. "Interaction of NPR1 with basic leucine zipper protein transcription factors that bind sequences required for salicylic acid induction of the PR-1 gene." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 96, no. 11 (May 25, 1999): 6523-6528.