Xinnian Dong, Ph.D.

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

Office: 
4213 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Box 90338, Durham, NC 277081000
Phone: 
+1 919 613 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.