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. "NPR1, all things considered." Current Opinion in Plant Biology 7, no. 5 (October 2004): 547-552. (Review) Full Text

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." Annual Review of Phytopathology 42 (January 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 2003): 935-944. Full Text

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

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