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Keqiang Wu, Professor



Highest Degree

Ph.D., University of Saskatchewan, Canada


Plant Stress Biology, Plant Development  and Epigenetics

Laboratory R1026 Life Science Building
Telephone 3366-4546
Research Interests
Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in DNA sequence. Much of todays epigenetic research focuses on the study of covalent and noncovalent modifications of DNA and histone proteins and the mechanisms by which such modifications influence overall chromatin structure. Recently, it has become evident that RNA, particularly noncoding RNAs, also play a role in controlling multiple epigenetic phenomena. Many important aspects of plant development are regulated by changes in gene expression that derive from modifications of chromatin structure. Histone modification is an important molecular mechanism of epigenetics. In particular, the reversible acetylation and deacetylation of specific lysine residues on core histones of chromatins regulate the accessibility of chromatins and gene activity. We have shown that reversible acetylation of core histones is involved in hormonal signaling and responses to biotic and abiotic stimuli in Arabidopsis. Given the importance of histone modification in the regulation of gene expression in plants, a better understanding of how histone modification modulates gene expression may provide a new insight into how plants response to the environment during plant development.
Lab Members
(Chun-Wei Yu).
陈W@ (Lin-Tin Chen).
D (Angie Wang).
L强 (Chuck Lin).
Malona Velasco (R).


  1. Yu CW, Tai R, Wang SC, Yang P, Luo M, Yang S, Cheng K, Wang WC, Cheng YS and Wu K * (2017) HISTONE DEACETYLASE6 Acts in Concert with Histone Methyltransferases SUVH4, SUVH5, and SUVH6 to Regulate Transposon Silencing. Plant Cell. pii: tpc.00570.2016. doi: 10.1105/tpc.16.00570. [Epub ahead of print]

  2. Gu D, Chen CY, Zhao M, Zhao L, Duan X, Duan J*, Wu K * and Liu X* (2017) Identification of HDA15-PIF1 as a key repression module directing the transcriptional network of seed germination in the dark. Nucleic Acids Res. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx283. [Epub ahead of print]

  3. Liu X, Luo M, Yang S and Wu K * (2015)Role of Epigenetic Modifications in Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses. In Nuclear Functions in Plant Transcription and Signaling, O. Pontes and H. Jin eds., Springer Science+Business Media, New York, pp., 81-92.

  4. Yang S, Li C, Zhao L, Gao S, Lu J, Zhao M, Chen C, Liu X, Luo M, Cui Yu, Yang C and Wu K * (2015) Arabidopsis SWI2/SNF2 chromatin remodeling ATPase BRAHMA targets directly to pins and is required for root stem cell niche maintenance. Plant Cell 27:1670-1680.

  5. Luo M, Tai R, Yu CW, Yang S, Chen C, Lin WD, Wolfgan S and Wu K * (2015) Regulation of flowering time by the histone deacetylase HDA5 in Arabidopsis. Plant J 82:925-936.

  6. Zhao M, Yang S, Chen C, Li C, Shan W, Lu W, Cui Yu, Liu X, and Wu K * (2015) Arabidopsis BREVIPEDICELLUS interacts with the SWI2/SNF2 chromatin remodeling ATPase BRAHMA to regulate KNAT2 and KNAT6 expression in control of inflorescence architecture. PLoS Genet. 11: e1005125.

  7. Zhao M, Yang S, Liu X, and Wu K * (2015) Arabidopsis histone demethylases LDL1 and LDL2 control primary seed dormancy by regulating the DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 and ABA signaling-related genes. Front. Plant Sci. 6:159. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00159.

  8. Li C, Chen C, Gao L, Yang S, Nguyen V, Shi X, Siminovitch K, Kohalmi SE, Huang S, Wu K, Chen X, Cui Y (2015) The Arabidopsis SWI2/SNF2 chromatin remodeler BRAHMA regulates polycomb function during vegetative development and directly activates the flowering repressor gene SVP. PLoS Genet.11: e1004944.

  9. Zhao L, Lu J, Zhang J, Wu P, Yang S, Wu K *(2015)Identification and characterization of histone deacetylases in tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum). Front. Plant Sci. 5:760. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00760

  10. Hsu C, Wu P, Chen T, Yu C, Tsai W, Wu K, Wu W, Chen W, and Chen H (2014) Histone acetylation accompanied with promoter sequences displaying differential expression profiles of B-class MADS-box genes for Phalaenopsis floral morphogenesis. PLoS ONE (accepted)

  11. Singh P, Yekondi S, Chen PW, Tsai CH, Yu CW, Wu K, Zimmerli L*]2014^Environmental history modulates Arabidopsis pattern-triggered immunity in a HISTONE ACETYLTRANSFERASE1-dependent manner. Plant Cell 26:2676-2688.

  12. Liu X, Yang S, Zhao M, Luo M, Yu CW, Chen C, Tai R, and Wu K* (2014) Transcriptional repression by histone deacetylases in plants. Mol Plant 7, 764V772.

  13. Luo M, Hung F, Yang S, Liu X, and Wu K* (2014) Histone lysine demethylases and their functions in plants. Plant Mol Biol Rep 32:558V565.

  14. Yuan L, Liu X, Luo M, Yang S, and Wu K* (2013) Involvement of histone modifications in plant abiotic stress responses. J Integr Plant Biol 55: 892-901.

  15. Liu X, Chen C, Wang K, Luo M, Tai R, Yuan L, Zhao M, Yang S, Tian G, Cui Y, Hsieh H and Wu K* (2013) PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR3associates with the Histone Deacetylase HDA15 in repression of chlorophyll biosynthesis and photosynthesis in etiolated Arabidopsis seedlings. Plant Cell 25: 1258V1273.

  16. Zhou Y, Tan B, Luo M, Lin Y, Liu C, Chen C, Yu C-Wu, Yang S, Dong S, Ruan J, Yuan L, Zhang Z, Zhao L, Li C, Chen H, Cui Y,Wu K*and Huang S* (2013) HISTONE DEACETYLASE19 interacts with HSL1 and participates in the repression of seed maturation genes in Arabidopsis seedlings. Plant Cell 25: 134V148.

  17. Luo M, Yu C-W, Chen F-F, Zhao L, Tian G, Liu X, Cui Y, Yang J-Y, and Wu K* (2012) Histone Deacetylase HDA6 Is Functionally Associated with AS1 in Repression of KNOX Genes in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genet 8(12): e1003114. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003114

  18. Luo M, Wang YY, Liu X, Yang S, Lu Q, Cui Y, and Wu K* (2012)HD2C interacts with HDA6 and is involved in ABA and salt stress response in Arabidopsis. J. Exp. Bot. 63: 3297-3306.

  19. Alinsug MV, Chen FF, Luo M, Tai R, Jiang L, and Wu K* (2012) Subcellular Localization of Class II HDAs in Arabidopsis thaliana: Nucleocytoplasmic Shuttling of HDA15 Is Driven by Light. PLoS ONE 7(2): e30846. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030846

  20. Liu X, Yu CW, Dun J, Luo M, Wang K, Tian G, Cui Y, and Wu K* (2012) HDA6 directly interacts with DNA methyltransferase MET1 and maintains transposable elements silencing in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 158: 119-129

  21. Liu X, Luo M, Zhang W, Zhao J, Zhang J, Wu K*, Tian L* and Duan J* (2012) Histone acetyltransferases in rice (Oryza sativa L.): phylogenetic analysis, subcellular localization and expression. BMC Plant Biology 12:145. doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-145

  22. Gao Y, Yang S, Yuan L, Cui Y, and Wu K* (2012) Comparative analysis of SWIRM domain-containing proteins in plants. Comp. Funct. Genomics 2012:310402.

  23. Luo M, Wang Y, Liu X, Yang S, Wu K*, (2012) HD2 proteins interact with RPD3-type histone deacetylases. Plant Signal Behav. 7: 608 V 610.

  24. Liu X, Luo M, and Wu K*(2012) Epigenetic interplay of histone modifications and DNA methylation mediated by HDA6. Plant Signal Behav. 7: 633 V 635

  25. Luo M, Liu X, Singh P, Cui Y, Zimmerli L, and Wu K* (2011) Chromatin modifications and remodeling in plant abiotic stress responses. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. V Gen. Regul. 1819: 129-136.

  26. Zhou Y, Chu P, Chen H, Li Y,Liu J,Ding Y,Tsang EW, Jiang L, Wu K, and Huang S. (2012) Overexpression of Nelumbo nucifera metallothioneins 2a and 3 enhances seed germination vigor in Arabidopsis.Planta (2012) 235:523V537

  27. Yu CW, Liu X, Luo M, Chen C, Lin X, Tian G, Lu Q, Cui Y, and Wu K* (2011) Histone Deacetylase6 interacts with Flower Locus D and regulates flowering in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 156: 173-184.

  28. Chen L, and Wu K* (2010) Role of histone deacetylases HDA6 and HDA19 in ABA and abiotic stress response. Plant Signal Behav. 5: 1318-1320.

  29. Chen L, Luo M, Wang Y, and Wu K* (2010) Involvement of Arabidopsis histone deacetylase HDA6 in ABA and salt stress response. J. Exp. Bot. 61: 3345-3353.

  30. Song Y, Wu K, Dhaubhade S, An L and Tian L (2010) Arabidopsis DNA methyltransferase AtDNMT2 associates with histone deacetylase AtHD2s activity. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 396:187-192.

  31. Fu G, Zhong Y, Li C, Li Y , Lin X, Liao B, Tsang E WT, Wu K* , and Huang S (2010) Epigenetic regulation of peanut allergen gene Ara h 3 in developing embryos. Planta 231: 1049-1060.

  32. Li C, Wu K, Fu G, Li Y, Zhong Y, Lin X, Zhou Y, and Huang S (2009) Regulation of oleosin expression in developing peanut embryos through nucleosome loss and histone modifications. J. Exp. Bot. 60: 4371-4382.

  33. Alinsug MV, Yu C-W and Wu K* (2009) Phylogenetic analysis, subcellular localization, and expression patterns of RPD3/HDA1 family histone deacetylases in plants. BMC Plant Biol. 9: 37.

  34. Wu K* , Zhang L, Zhou C, Yu C, and Chaikam V (2008) HDA6 is required for jasmonate response, senescence and flowering in Arabidopsis. J. Exp. Bot.59: 225V234.

  35. Liu Z, Zhou C and Wu K (2008) Creation and analysis of a novel chimeric promoter for the complete containment of pollen- and seed-mediated gene flow. Plant Cell Rep. 27:995V1004

  36. Ciou C, Wu K. and Yeh K. (2008) Characterization and promoter activity of chromoplast specific carotenoid associated gene (CHRC) from Oncidium gower ramsey. Biotechnology Letters 30:1861-1866.

  37. Fu W., Wu K. and Duan J. (2007) Sequence and expression analysis of histone deacetylases in rice. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 356G843-850.


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