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Lizhong Xiong is Professor in the School of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, and Group leader of stress biology at the National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement (NKLCGI), China. He obtained his PhD (Biochemistry Molecular Biology) in 1999 at the Huazhong Agricultural University, where he worked since 2002, when he returned to China after three years’ postdoctoral experience in United States.

Research interests

Current research interests are focused on discovery novel genes for stress resistance of rice with focus on drought resistance by using integrated forward and reverse genetics approaches, characterization of key regulators (especially transcription factors) for their roles in stress tolerance, and improving drought resistance and /or water use efficiency of rice at reproductive stage by combination of biotechnology (transgenic and marker assisted selection) and conventional breeding.


  1. Zong W, Zhong X, You J, Xiong L (2013) Genome-wide profiling of histone H3K4-tri-methylation and gene expression in rice under drought stress. Plant Mol Biol 81:175-88. doi: 10.1007/s11103-012-9990-2. Epub 2012 Nov 29.
  2. You J, Zong W, Li X, Ning J, Hu H, Li X, Xiao J, Xiong L (2012) The SNAC1-targeted gene OsSRO1c modulates stomatal closure and oxidative stress tolerance by regulating hydrogen peroxide in rice. J Exp Bot. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ers349 (First published online: December 1, 2012)
  3. Du H, Wu N, Fu J, Wang S, Li X, Xiao J, Xiong L (2012) A GH3 family member, OsGH3-2, modulates auxin and abscisic acid levels and differentially affects drought and cold tolerance in rice. J Exp Bot 63(18): 6467-80. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ers300. Epub 2012 Oct 29.
  4. You J, Hu H, Xiong L (2012) An ornithine δ-aminotransferase gene OsOAT confers drought and oxidative stress tolerance in rice. Plant Sci. 197:59-69. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Sep 14.
  5. Xie K, Shen J, Hou X, Yao J, Li X, Xiong L (2012) Gradual increase of miR156 regulates temporal expression changes of numerous genes during leaf development in rice. Plant Physiol. 158(3):1382-94.
  6. Tang N, Zhang H, Li X, Xiao J, Xiong L (2012) Constitutive Activation of Transcription Factor OsbZIP46 Improves Drought Tolerance in Rice. Plant Physiol. 158(4):1755-68.
  7. Ning J, Zhang B, Wang N, Zhou Y, Xiong L (2011) Increased Leaf Angle1 (ILA1), A Raf-Like MAPKKK That Interacts with a Nuclear Protein Family, Regulates Mechanical Tissue Formation in the Lamina Joint of Rice. Plant Cell 23: 4334–4347.
  8. Du H, Liu L, You L, Yang M, He Y, Li X, Xiong L (2011) Characterization of an inositol 1,3,4-trisphosphate 5/6-kinase gene that is essential for drought and salt stress responses in rice. Plant Mol Biology 77(6): 547-563
  9. Wang N, Xiao B, Xiong L (2011) Identification of a cluster of PR4-like genes involved in stress responses in rice. J Plant Physiol. 168(18):2212-24
  10. Ding X, Li X, Xiong L (2011) Evaluation of near-isogenic lines for drought resistance QTL and fine mapping of a locus affecting flag leaf width, spikelet number, and root volume in rice. Theor Appl Genet. 123(5):815-26
  11. Zhou G, Liu F, Cao J, Yue B, Xiong L (2011) Detecting quantitative trait loci for water use efficiency in rice using a recombinant inbred line population. Chinese Science Bulletin 56 (14): 1481-1487
  12. Chen Q, Wang Q, Xiong L, Zhiyong Lou (2011) A structural view of the conserved domain of rice stress-responsive NAC1. Protein Cell. 2: 55–63
  13. Du H, Wang N, Cui F, Li X, Xiao J, Xiong L (2010) Characterization of the {beta}-Carotene Hydroxylase Gene DSM2 Conferring Drought and Oxidative Stress Resistance by Increasing Xanthophylls and Abscisic Acid Synthesis in Rice. Plant Physiol. 154:1304-1318.
  14. Shen J, Xie K, Xiong L (2010) Global expression profiling of rice microRNAs by one-tube stem-loop reverse transcription quantitative PCR revealed important roles of microRNAs in abiotic stress responses. Mol Genet Genomics. 284:477-488
  15. Ning J, Li X, Hicks LM, Xiong L (2010) A Raf-Like MAPKKK Gene DSM1 Mediates Drought Resistance through Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenging in Rice. Plant Physiol. 152: 876-890
  16. Fang Y, Xie K, Hou X, Hu H, Xiong L (2010) Systematic analysis of GT factor family of rice reveals a novel subfamily involved in stress responses. Mol Genet Genomics 283:157-169
  17. Liu J, Liang D, Song Y, Xiong L (2010) Systematic identification and expression analysis of BREVIS RADIX homologous genes in rice. Plant Science. 178: 183-191
  18. Qin Y, Ye H, Tang N, Xiong L (2009) Systematic identification of X1-homologous genes reveals a family involved in stress responses in rice. Plant Mol Biol. 71(4-5):483-496.
  19. Ye H, Du H, Tang N, Li X, Xiong L (2009) Identification and expression profiling analysis of TIFY family genes involved in stress and phytohormone responses in rice. Plant Mol Biol. 71(3):291-305
  20. Islam MA, Du H, Ning J, Ye H, Xiong L (2009) Characterization of Glossy1-homologous genes in rice involved in leaf wax accumulation and drought resistance. Plant Mol Biol. 70:443-456
  21. Song Y, You J, Xiong L (2009) Characterization of OsIAA1 gene, a member of rice Aux/IAA family involved in auxin and brassinosteroid hormone responses and plant morphogenesis. Plant Mol Biol. 70:297-309
  22. Ding X, Hou X, Xie K, Xiong L (2009) Genome-wide identification of BURP domain-containing genes in rice reveals a gene family with diverse structures and responses to abiotic stresses. Planta. 230:149-163
  23. Hou X, Xie K, Yao J, Qi Z, Xiong L (2009) A homolog of human ski-interacting protein in rice positively regulates cell viability and stress tolerance. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:6410-5
  24. Xiao B, Chen X, Xiang C, Tang N, Zhang Q, Xiong L (2009) Evaluation of seven function-known candidate genes for their effects on improving drought resistance of transgenic rice under the field conditions. Mol Plant 2: 73-83
  25. Song Y, Wang L, Xiong L (2009) Comprehensive expression profiling analysis of OsIAA gene family in developmental processes and in response to phytohormone and stress treatments. Planta 229: 577-591
  26. Xiang Y, Tang N, Du H, Ye H, Xiong L (2008) Characterization of OsbZIP23 as a key player of bZIP transcription factor family for conferring ABA sensitivity and salinity and drought tolerance in rice. Plant Physiol. 148(4): 1938–1952
  27. Hu H, You J, Fang Y, Zhu X, Qi Z, Xiong L (2008) Characterization of transcription factor gene SNAC2 conferring cold and salt tolerance in rice. Plant Mol Biol 67:169-81
  28. Fang Y, You J, Xie K, Xie W, Xiong L (2008)Systematic sequence analysis and identification of tissue-specific or stress-responsive genes of NAC transcription factor family in rice. Mol Genet Genomics 280(6):547-63
  29. Ning J, Liu S, Hu H, Xiong L (2008) Systematic analysis of NPK1-like genes in rice reveals a stress-inducible gene cluster co-localized with a quantitative trait locus of drought resistance. Mol Genet Genomics 280(6):535-46
  30. Nayidu NK, Wang L, Xie W, Zhang C, Fan C, Lian X, Zhang Q, Xiong L (2008) Comprehensive Sequence and Expression Profile Analysis of PEX11 Gene Family in Rice. Gene 412:59-70
  31. Qiu D, Xiao J, Xie W, Liu H, Li X, Xiong L, Wang S (2008) Rice gene network inferred from expression profiling of plants overexpressing OsWRKY13, a positive regulator of disease resistance. Mol Plant 1(3):538-51
  32. Xiang Y, Huang Y, Xiong L (2007) Characterization of stress-responsive CBL-Interacting protein kinase (CIPK) genes in rice for stress tolerance improvement. Plant Physiol 144: 1416-1428
  33. Xiao B, Huang Y, Tang N, Xiong L (2007) Overexpression of a LEA gene by different promoters in rice improved drought resistance under the field conditions. Theor Appl Gene 115: 35-46
  34. Huang Y, Xiao B, Xiong L (2007) Overexpression of a stress responsive proteinase inhibitor gene improves drought resistance of rice. Planta 226:73-85
  35. Wu C, Hu H, Zeng Y, Liang D, Xie K, Zhang J, Chu Z, Xiong L (2006) Identification of novel stress-responsive transcription factor genes in rice by cDNA array analysis. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. 48:1216-1224
  36. Hu H, Dai M, Yao J, Xiao B, Li X, Zhang Q, Xiong L (2006) Overexpressing a NAM, ATAF, and CUC (NAC) transcription factor enhances drought resistance and salt tolerance in rice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 103: 12987-12992
  37. Xie K, Wu C, Xiong L (2006) Genomic organization, differential expression and interaction of SPL transcription factors and microRNA156 in rice. Plant Physiol 142:280-293
  38. Liang D, Wu C, Li C, Xu C, Zhang J, Kilian A, Li X, Zhang Q, Xiong L (2006) Establishment of a patterned GAL4/VP16 transactivation system for discovering gene function in rice. Plant J 46: 1059-1072
  39. You J, Li Q, Yue B, Xue W, Luo L, Xiong L (2006) Identification of quantitative trait loci for ABA sensitivity at seed germination and seedling stages in rice. Acta Genetica Sinica 33 (6): 525-531.
  40. Ning J, Yuan B, Xie K, Hu H, Wu C, Xiong L (2006) Isolation and Identification of SA and JA Inducible Protein Kinase Gene OsSJMK1 in Rice. Acta Genetica Sinica 33 (7): 625-633.
  41. Zhang J, Li C, Wu C, Xiong L, Chen G, Zhang Q, Wang S (2006) RMD: a rice mutant database for functional analysis of the rice genome. Nucleic Acids Res 34: D745-748
  42. Yue B, Xue W, Xiong L, Yu X, Luo L, Cui K, Jin D, Xing Y, Zhang Q (2006). Genetic basis of drought resistance at reproductive stage in rice: Separation of drought tolerance from drought avoidance. Genetics 172: 1213–1228
  43. Hu, H., Xiong, L., and Yang, Y. (2005) Rice SERK1 gene positively regulates somatic embryogenesis of cultured cell and host defense response against fungal infection. Planta 222: 107–117
  44. Yue B, Xiong L, Xue W, Xing Y, Luo L, Xu C (2005) Genetic analysis for drought resistance of rice at reproductive stage in field with different types of soil. Theor Appl Genet 111(6):1127-36
  45. Xie K, Zhang J, Xiang Y, Feng Q, Han B, Chu Z, Wang S, Zhang Q, Xiong L (2005) Isolation and annotation of 10,828 putative full length cDNAs from indica rice. Science In China Ser. C, 35: 6-12
  46. Xiong L, Yang Y (2003) Disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance in rice are inversely modulated by an ABA-inducible MAP kinase. Plant Cell. 15:745-759
  47. Xiong L, Lee MW, Qi M, Yang Y (2001) Identification of defense-related rice genes by suppression subtractive hybridization and differential screening. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 14: 685-692.
  48. Xiong L, Lee MW, Qi M, Yang Y (2000) Isolation of defense-related rice genes by differentially screening a blast fungus-induced cDNA library. AAES Rice Research Series 4:127-131.
  49. Xiong L, Lee MW, Qi M, Yang Y (2000) Identification of defense-related immediate early genes from rice by suppression subtractive hybridization. AAES Rice Research Series 4: 132-137.
  50. Xiong L, Xu C, Saghai Maroof MA, Zhang Q (1999) Patterns of cytosine methylation in parents and F1 of an elite hybrid detected by methylation sensitive amplification. Mol. Gen. Genet. 1999, 261: 439-446.
  51. Xiong L, Liu K, Dai X, Xu C, Zhang Q (1999) Identification of domestication- related traits in rice using an F2 population based on a cross of Oryza sativa and O. rufipogon. Theor. Appl. Genet. 98: 243-251.
  52. Xiong L, Yang G, Xu C, Zhang Q, Saghai Maroof MA (1998) Relationships of differential gene expression in leaves with heterosis and heterozygosity in a rice diallel cross. Mol Breed 4 : 129-136.
  53. Xiong L, Wang S, Liu K, Dai X, Saghai Maroof MA, Hu J, Zhang Q (1998) Distribution of simple sequence repeat and AFLP markers in molecular linkage map of rice. Acta Botanica Sinica 40: 605-614
  54. Xiong L, Liu K, Dai X, Wang S, Zhang D, Saghai Maroof MA, Sasaki T, Zhang Q (1997) A high density RFLP map based on the F2 population of a cross between Oryza sativa and O. rufipogon using Cornell and RPG markers. Rice Genetics News Letter 139-144


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