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

Zhang, Y, Fan, W, Kinkema, M, Li, X, and Dong, X. "Interaction of NPR1 with basic leucine zipper protein transcription factors that bind sequences required for salicylic acid induction of the PR-1 gene." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 96, no. 11 (May 1999): 6523-6528. Full Text

Dong, X. "SA, JA, ethylene, and disease resistance in plants." Current Opinion in Plant Biology 1, no. 4 (August 1998): 316-323. (Review) Full Text

Cao, H, Li, X, and Dong, X. "Generation of broad-spectrum disease resistance by overexpression of an essential regulatory gene in systemic acquired resistance." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 95, no. 11 (May 1998): 6531-6536. Full Text

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." The Plant Cell 10, no. 4 (April 1998): 557-569. Full Text

Bowling, SA, Clarke, JD, Liu, Y, Klessig, DF, and Dong, X. "The cpr5 mutant of Arabidopsis expresses both NPR1-dependent and NPR1-independent resistance." The 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 1997): 57-63. Full Text

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." The 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." The Plant Cell 6, no. 11 (November 1994): 1583-1592. Full Text