Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name He, Sheng Yang
Location Duke University
Primary Field Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences
Secondary Field Plant Biology
 Election Citation
He is a world leader in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of how phytopathogenic bacteria deliver type three effector proteins into plant cells via the Hrp pilus. His pioneering work provides a molecular understanding of how bacterial effectors suppress the plant immune system and allow bacterial pathogens to cause disease.
 Research Interests
Sheng Yang He's laboratory is interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of plant disease susceptibility and bacterial pathogenesis. They have used the Arabidopsis thaliana-Pseudomonas syringae pathosystem to learn basic principles that underlie plant susceptibility to bacterial pathogens. P. syringae is representative of a large number of bacterial pathogens that infect the above-ground parts of plants. During infection, this pathogen produces a battery of virulence factors (such as effector proteins and phytotoxins) to engage multiple host cell types (e.g., stomatal guard cells in the epidermis and mesophyll cells inside the plant). Their studies on the molecular action of bacterial effectors and the jasmonate-mimicking phytotoxin coronatine led to insight into a number of fundamental aspects of disease susceptibility, jasmonate hormone signaling, and the immune function of stomata in plants. Recently, their research begins to address next-level questions such as reconstitution of plant disease susceptibility and characterization of multi-dimensional interactions between the environment, the microbiome, and disease.

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