Sheng-Yang He

Professor of Biology

Interested in the fascinating world of plants, microbes or inter-organismal communication and co-evolution? Please contact Prof. Sheng-Yang He (; Millions of years of co-evolution between plants and microbes have resulted in an intricate web of attack, counter-attack, decoy, and hijacking mechanisms in biology. Moreover, co-evolution between plants and microbes is greatly impacted by ongoing climate change. In our lab, we probe “host-microbe-climate” interactions to answer the following fundamental questions: (1) How do microbial pathogens infect a susceptible host? (2) How do plants select beneficial microbiomes to ensure health? (3) How do climate conditions impact disease and immunity?       We use contemporary methods to address these questions, including those commonly used in molecular genetics, genomics, biochemistry, cell biology, bioinformatics, microbiology, plant biology, co-evolution and infectious disease biology.    


  • Ph.D., Cornell University 1991

Speth, E. B., M. Melotto, W. Zhang, S. M. Assmann, and S. Y. He. “Crosstalk in Pathogen and Hormonal Regulation of Guard Cell Signaling.” In Signal Crosstalk in Plant Stress Responses, 96–112, 2009. Full Text

Yuan, Minhang, Zeyu Jiang, Guozhi Bi, Kinya Nomura, Menghui Liu, Yiping Wang, Boying Cai, Jian-Min Zhou, Sheng Yang He, and Xiu-Fang Xin. “Pattern-recognition receptors are required for NLR-mediated plant immunity.Nature, March 10, 2021. Full Text

Kim, Jong Hum, Richard Hilleary, Adam Seroka, and Sheng Yang He. “Crops of the future: building a climate-resilient plant immune system.Current Opinion in Plant Biology 60 (January 14, 2021): 101997. Full Text

Lu, Yi-Ju, Pai Li, Masaki Shimono, Alex Corrion, Takumi Higaki, Sheng Yang He, and Brad Day. “Arabidopsis calcium-dependent protein kinase 3 regulates actin cytoskeleton organization and immunity.Nature Communications 11, no. 1 (December 4, 2020): 6234. Full Text

Pang, Zhiqian, Li Zhang, Gitta Coaker, Wenbo Ma, Sheng-Yang He, and Nian Wang. “Citrus CsACD2 Is a Target of Candidatus Liberibacter Asiaticus in Huanglongbing Disease.Plant Physiology 184, no. 2 (October 2020): 792–805. Full Text

Aung, Kyaw, Panya Kim, Zhongpeng Li, Anna Joe, Brian Kvitko, James R. Alfano, and Sheng Yang He. “Pathogenic Bacteria Target Plant Plasmodesmata to Colonize and Invade Surrounding Tissues.The Plant Cell 32, no. 3 (March 2020): 595–611. Full Text

Jiang, Yanjuan, Chuan-Xi Zhang, Rongzhi Chen, and Sheng Yang He. “Challenging battles of plants with phloem-feeding insects and prokaryotic pathogens.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116, no. 47 (November 11, 2019): 23390–97. Full Text

Cheng, Yu Ti, Li Zhang, and Sheng Yang He. “Plant-Microbe Interactions Facing Environmental Challenge.Cell Host & Microbe 26, no. 2 (August 2019): 183–92. Full Text

Zhang, Li, Bradley C. Paasch, Jin Chen, Brad Day, and Sheng Yang He. “An important role of l-fucose biosynthesis and protein fucosylation genes in Arabidopsis immunity.The New Phytologist 222, no. 2 (April 2019): 981–94. Full Text

Los Santos-Villalobos, S. de, J. M. Kremer, F. I. Parra-Cota, A. C. Hayano-Kanashiro, L. F. García-Ortega, S. K. Gunturu, J. M. Tiedje, S. Y. He, and J. J. Peña-Cabriales. “Draft genome of the fungicidal biological control agent Burkholderia anthina strain XXVI.Archives of Microbiology 200, no. 5 (July 2018): 803–10. Full Text

Lai, Ya-Shiuan, Luciana Renna, John Yarema, Cristina Ruberti, Sheng Yang He, and Federica Brandizzi. “Salicylic acid-independent role of NPR1 is required for protection from proteotoxic stress in the plant endoplasmic reticulum.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115, no. 22 (May 14, 2018): E5203–12. Full Text


Malnoy, M., E. E. Borejsza-Wysocka, H. S. Aldwinckle, M. Mellotto, and S. Y. He. “Expression of the type III secretion chaperone protein DspF of Erwinia amylovora in apple increases resistance to fire blight.” In Acta Horticulturae, 793:237–40, 2008. Full Text

Triplett, L., M. Melotto, S. Y. He, and G. Sundin. “Translocation and chaperone interaction of the Erwinia amylovora secreted effector DspE.” In Acta Horticulturae, 793:231–36, 2008. Full Text

Borejsza-Wysocka, E. E., M. Malnoy, H. S. Aldwinckle, S. V. Beer, J. L. Norelli, and S. H. He. “Strategies for obtaining fire blight resistance in apple by rDNA technology.” In Acta Horticulturae, 738:283–86, 2007. Full Text

Malnoy, M., E. E. Borejsza-Wysocka, Q. L. Jin, S. Y. He, and H. S. Aldwinckle. “Over-expression of the apple gene MpNPR1 causes increased disease resistance in Malus x domestica.” In Acta Horticulturae, 663:463–68, 2004. Full Text

Aldwinckle, H. S., E. E. Borejsza-Wysocka, M. Malnoy, S. K. Brown, J. L. Norelli, S. V. Beer, X. Meng, S. Y. He, and Q. L. Jin. “Development of fire blight resistant apple cultivars by genetic engineering.” In Acta Horticulturae, 622:105–11, 2003. Full Text

Jin, Q., W. Hu, G. C. McGhee, P. Hart, A. L. Jones, and S. Y. He. “Secretion of Hrp and Dsp proteins via the Hrp pilus during type III secretion in Erwinia amylovora.” In Acta Horticulturae, 590:441–48, 2002. Full Text

Hu, W., Q. Jin, P. Hart, A. Jones, S. Y. He, and S. V. Beer. “The hrp pilus and extracellular proteins of erwinia amylovora.” In Acta Horticulturae, 489:315–19, 1999. Full Text

Hu, W., Q. Jin, P. Hart, A. Jones, S. Y. He, and S. V. Beer. “The HHR pilus and extracellular proteins of Erwinia amylovora.” In Proceedings of the Eighth International Workshop on Fire Blight, 489:315–19, 1999.

Selected Grants

Establishment of an aqueous environment as a novel mechanism of bacterial pathogenesis awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2025

Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants