I am currently working on spatial and single cell genomics in the Schmitz lab. I have a PhD in agronomy and crop science from the University of Florida where I studied peanut root nodule symbiosis. I earned my bachelor's degree from Huazhong Agricultural University and worked as a research assistant in Dr. Jingling Meng's and Dr. Jun Zou's lab at the National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement. Before starting my PhD, I also worked for one year as a data analyst at Shanghai OE biotech.
I am particularly interested in root nodule symbiosis and any project that increases agriculture sustainability. I hope to devote myself to research that has beneficial impact on the environment.
Peanut forms nodules with Bradyrhizobia by "crack entry" infection, which has less stringent control of infection and nodulation processes. Understanding the mechanisms of this infection mode will facilitate the peanut cultivar development and engineering of root nodulation symbiosis in non-legume crops. The NGS-based transcriptome and methylome analysis are used to mine the genes involved in the early infection stage. To get the spatial resolution of the symbiosis signaling, the 10X spatial transcriptomics is used to study the early infection response.
Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) supplies ∼80% of table sugar and 60% of bioethanol globally. Sugarcane yields can be reduced by up to 50% due to orange rust, a fungal disease caused by Puccinia kuehnii . From the sugarcane diversity panel, disease resistance QTLs have been identified, however, the key resistance genes and mechanisms are unknown. To addess these questions, I am investigating the cells response to the pathogen using single cell and spatial transcriptomics.