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Plant Physiology Publishes Findings from ZNU
Post Time: 07/09/2018


The internationally renowned periodical Plant Physiology has just published online a research paper from the research team of a distinguished professor at Zhejiang Normal University, Liu Jianzhong: “The MAPK Kinase Kinase GmMEKK1 Regulates Cell Death and Defense Responses.” This research revealed the molecular mechanism of GmMEKKs role in soybeans’ defense response. The result laid the foundation for the enhancement of soybean immunity by genetic modification.

Plant Physiology is an important magazine under the American Society of Plant Biologists. First issued in 1926, it is one of the top international botanic periodicals, with a current impact factor of 5.949. It is listed in the top 5% periodicals in biology in China.




According to the article, “MAPK signaling pathways play critical roles in plant growth/development and immunity.” Liu Jianzhong’s team employed the technique of virus-induced gene silencing, combined with methods in biochemistry, cytobiology, and bioinformatics, to analyze the function of GmMEKK1 in soybeans. The results indicated that “GmMEKK1 plays both positive and negative roles in soybeans that regulates cell death and defense responses,” helping with growth, development, and immunity. Compared with the control plant (arabidopsis thaliana), GmMEKK1 not only conserves the orginal functions, but also presents unique ones. It “appears to signal by promoting GmMPK6, but suppressing GmMPK3.”

This research was jointly conducted by Professor Liu and other scholars from Iowa State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Zhejiang University, China Agricultural University, and Baylor College of Medicine. Four ZNU master’s candidates studying under Prof. Liu—Xu Huiyang, Zhang Chi, Li Zhenchao, and Wang Zhirong—are the first author, and Prof. Liu is the corresponding author. This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China.


Professor Liu’s laboratory has made a series of original research findings in recent years, and has publications in Molecular Plant (IF=9.326), Journal of Biological Chemistry [IF=4.010, among the first batch of periodicals selected in Nature Index], Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (IF=3.588), and other highly respected international periodicals. (Translated by Lin Yuqin, edited by Kendra Fiddler)


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