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Dr Mingjun Gao

Dr Mingjun Gao

Research Associate

Sainsbury Laboratory
University of Cambridge
47 Bateman Street

Cambridge CB2 1LR
Office Phone: +44(0)1223 761100

Research Interests

I received my PhD degree from Dr. Zuhua He's lab in the Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. My research focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying rice immunity. I identified rod1 (resistance of disease1) mutant which conferred broad-spectrum resistance to the pathogens. ROD1, which encodes a putative calcium sensor, is a suppressor of plant immunity. I also studied two GDSL lipases modulate immunity through lipid homeostasis in rice.

After joining the Sainsbury Laboratory of Cambridge University, my research focused on how plants control their development in response to a changing environment (temperature and light). By using CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing method, I investigate the conservation and diversification of floral induction pathways between Brachypodium and Arabidopsis. I am also interested in the molecular mechanism underlying heat acclimation response in Brachypodium. We are currently studying how plants remember temperature stress and the integration of light signalling into the acclimation response by combining next-generation sequencing with conventional genetic screens.

Key Publications

Jung JH, Domijan M, Klose C, Biswas S, Ezer D, Gao M, Khattak AK, Box MS, Charoensawan V, Cortijo S, Kumar M, Grant A, Locke JC, Schäfer E, Jaeger KE, Wigge PA (2016). Phytochromes Function as Thermosensors in Arabidopsis. Science. 354: 886-889.

Gao MJ, He ZH (2013). Studies on innate immunity in rice. SCIENTIA SINICA Vitae, 43: 1016–1029.

Yang W, Gao M, Yin X, Liu J, Xu Y, Zeng L, Li Q, Zhang S, Wang J, Zhang X, and He Z (2013). Control of Rice Embryo Development, Shoot Apical Meristem Maintenance and Grain Yield by a Novel Cytochrome P450. Molecular Plant 6: 1945-60.

Yang W, Ren S, Zhang X, Gao M, Ye S, Qi Y, Zheng Y, Wang J, Zeng L, Li Q, Huang S, He Z (2011). BENT UPPERMOST INTERNODE1 encodes a class II formin FH5 crucial for actin organization and rice development. Plant Cell 23: 661-680.

Chen F, Gao MJ, Miao YS, Yuan YX, Wang MY, Li Q, Mao BZ, Jiang LW, He ZH (2010). Plasma Membrane Localization and Potential Endocytosis of Constitutively Expressed XA21 Proteins in Transgenic Rice. Molecular Plant 3: 917-926.

Wang Y, Gao M, Li Q, Wang L, Wang J, Jeon JS, Qu N, Zhang Y, He Z (2008). OsRAR1 and OsSGT1 physically interact and function in rice basal disease resistance. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 21: 294-303.

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