Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology

Director,
Prof. Rongxiang FANG
Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology is a one of the key labs of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and also acts as the Plant Biotechnology Subcenter of the Research Center for Biotechnology in China under the International Science and Culture Center-World Laboratory and the Beijing Program Office of Singapore-China Biotechnology Program. Our laboratory is engaged in the basic and applied aspects of plant molecular biology and plant biotechnology, especially those relevant to important issues in China's agriculture.

The major research projects are related to:

  • 1. structure of plant virus genomes and function of the viral gene products;
  • 2.development and application of genetically modified plants resistant to viruses, phytopathogenic microbes, insects and stress environments;
  • 3.structure and expression regulation of plant defense genes;
  • 4.transgenic plants as bioreactors for production of pharmaceutical proteins and vaccines.
  • Our recent achievements include:

  • 1.genes coding for structural and non-structural proteins of a number of plant viruses isolated in China have been sequenced. In particular, the complete structure of the rice yellow stunt rhabdovirus genome has been determined;
  • 2.using the strategy of pathogen-derived resistance, virus-resistant transgenic plants of various crops have been produced, including tobacco, chili pepper, tomato, potato, oilseed rape and rice. Tansgenic tobacco resistant to both TMV and CMV has been planted over 40,000 ha. and transgenic chili pepper and potato plants are being tested in fields.
  • 3.insect-resistant poplar and cotton expressing Bt toxins have been developed and the transgenic poplar trees are now in large-scale field trials;
  • 4.transgenic tobacco and potato resistant to the bacterial wilt disease are obtained by expressing antimicrobial peptide and T7 lysozyme;
  • 5.salt-tolerant tobacco and maize have been produced by using both gutD and mtlD genes of E.coli;
  • 6.the structure and expression patterns of the plant defense genes e.g.the rice glycine-rich protein gene and hsp70 gene, have been analyzed.
  • The Laboratory has a staff of 15 researchers, among them 4 are Professors and 2 Associate Professors. We provide Ph.D and Master programs for students and positions for visiting scientists. Currently there are 6 Ph.D students, 4 Master students and 10 Guest Investigators in the laboratory.