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

Li, X, Clarke, JD, Zhang, Y, and Dong, X. "Activation of an EDS1-mediated R-gene pathway in the snc1 mutant leads to constitutive, NPR1-independent pathogen resistance." Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions : Mpmi 14, no. 10 (October 2001): 1131-1139. Full Text

Dong, X. "Genetic dissection of systemic acquired resistance." Current Opinion in Plant Biology 4, no. 4 (August 2001): 309-314. (Review) 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." The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology 27, no. 3 (August 2001): 235-242. Full Text

Chern, MS, 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." The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology 27, no. 2 (July 2001): 101-113. Full Text

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.

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

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.

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

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." The Plant Cell 12, no. 11 (November 2000): 2175-2190. Full Text