Current Research
Immune Mechanisms and Regulation in Plants

Xinnian Dong’s research aims to understand local and systemic immune mechanisms in plants. Dong and her team apply genetic, genomic, molecular, and systems-based approaches to study the dynamic regulation of these responses, including the interplay of immunity with the plant circadian clock. The team is developing new ways of controlling the expression of defense genes in crop plants to minimize yield penalties associated with enhanced broad-spectrum immunity against pathogens. In addition, Dong’s investigation of the plant hormone salicylic acid, a derivative of aspirin, may also provide insight into how aspirin functions medicinally, including preventing cardiovascular disease, reducing cancer mortality rates, and treating type 2 diabetes.

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