Light is very improtant for the plant not only because of the photosynthesis but also because of the photomorphogenesis, light is the energy source for photosynthesis and also the signal for plant development.How organisms respond to light and how photosensory receptors mediate light responses are some of the most basic questions in biology. Plants have several kind of photoreceptors, including blue light receptor Cryptochromes, phototropins and FKF/ZTL/LKP2, red/far red light receptor phytochromes, and UVB receptor UVR8. Crytptochrome is the only photoreceptor or critical component of the circadian clock currently known to function in all three evolutionary lineages, from bacteria to plants and animals.
We are using Arabidopsis and maize as the model plant and focus on the mechanism of light regulated transcription, light regulated development and also the crosstalk between light signal and other environment signals.
For Arabidopsis, we are working on the biochemical mechanism of light regulated proteolysis, the molecular mechanism of light regulated transcription and circadian clock regulated transcription, the mechanism of light regulated axillary branch, and also the crosstalk between light signal and other environment signals (such as temperature).
For maize, we are working on the light regulated plant architecture, mainly leaf angel. Maize which has Compact plant architecture enables high density planting, since their leaf angle is small, upper leaves tend to erect, light transmission is good. The angle between stem and leaf is one of the most important traits of plant architecture in maize. We are also working on photoperiodic flowering in maize.