Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5410 USA
- Plant pathology
Dr. Yao is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University.
Yao understands that for successful survival and reproduction, sessile plants have evolved a sophistic regulatory system to coordinate their growth and defense against environmental challenges. However, how plants balance their growth and defense is not well understood and remains a fundamental question. The jasmonic acid (JA), a plant hormone, apparently plays a key role in this process. Three projects that he conducts in his lab are to:
- Study how the JA signaling pathway regulates defense and growth in the model plant Arabidoposis as well as other crop species;
- Explore the role of JA signaling in regulating disease resistance to an economically important bacterial pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum;
- Investigate the effect of elevated temperature and CO2 on JA signaling and disease susceptibility in plants.
Yao hopes to extend his impact on training the next generation of biologists at Western Michigan University to benefit the society.