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. "SA, JA, ethylene, and disease resistance in plants." Curr Opin Plant Biol 1, no. 4 (August 1998): 316-323. (Review)

Cao, H, Li, X, and Dong, X. "Generation of broad-spectrum disease resistance by overexpression of an essential regulatory gene in systemic acquired resistance." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 95, no. 11 (May 26, 1998): 6531-6536.

Clarke, JD, Liu, Y, Klessig, DF, and Dong, X. "Uncoupling PR gene expression from NPR1 and bacterial resistance: characterization of the dominant Arabidopsis cpr6-1 mutant." Plant Cell 10, no. 4 (April 1998): 557-569.

Bowling, SA, Clarke, JD, Liu, Y, Klessig, DF, and Dong, X. "The cpr5 mutant of Arabidopsis expresses both NPR1-dependent and NPR1-independent resistance." Plant Cell 9, no. 9 (September 1997): 1573-1584. Full Text

Cao, H, Glazebrook, J, Clarke, JD, Volko, S, and Dong, X. "The Arabidopsis NPR1 gene that controls systemic acquired resistance encodes a novel protein containing ankyrin repeats." Cell 88, no. 1 (January 10, 1997): 57-63.

Dong, X. "Finding the missing pieces in the puzzle of plant disease resistance." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 92, no. 16 (August 1, 1995): 7137-7139.

Bowling, SA, Guo, A, Cao, H, Gordon, AS, Klessig, DF, and Dong, X. "A mutation in Arabidopsis that leads to constitutive expression of systemic acquired resistance." Plant Cell 6, no. 12 (December 1994): 1845-1857. Full Text

Cao, H, Bowling, SA, Gordon, AS, and Dong, X. "Characterization of an Arabidopsis Mutant That Is Nonresponsive to Inducers of Systemic Acquired Resistance." Plant Cell 6, no. 11 (November 1994): 1583-1592. Full Text

Melan, MA, Dong, X, Endara, ME, Davis, KR, Ausubel, FM, and Peterman, TK. "An Arabidopsis thaliana lipoxygenase gene can be induced by pathogens, abscisic acid, and methyl jasmonate." Plant Physiology 101, no. 2 (1993): 441-450.