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Li-Qing Chen

Associate Professor

Research Description

Control of sugar allocation to improve crop yield or biomass for food and biofuels

Ongoing research in plant biology is essential for growing a sustainable bio-based economy, which encapsulates our vision of a future society with improved global food security and no longer wholly dependent on fossil fuels for energy and industrial raw materials. In plants, photosynthetic products are primarily generated in mature leaves. A better understanding of photoassimilates allocation could help to improve crop yields of food, fiber, wood and fuel for a sustainable bio-based economy. Despite decades of research on carbon allocation, especially sugar translocation from source leaves to sinks, such as root, fruit and seeds, the regulatory network that controls and coordinates allocation is largely elusive. My core interest is to unravel these regulatory networks as a basis for engineering and optimizing assimilates allocation using a combination of in vivo biochemistry, cell biology, molecular genetics, systems and synthetic biology.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Plant Biology, Stanford, CA
Ph.D. China Agricultural University, China

Additional Campus Affiliations

Associate Professor, Plant Biology
Associate Professor, Center for Digital Agriculture, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)

Recent Publications

Xue, X., Beuchat, G., Wang, J., Yu, Y. C., Moose, S., Chen, J., & Chen, L. Q. (2023). Sugar accumulation enhancement in sorghum stem is associated with reduced reproductive sink strength and increased phloem unloading activity. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14, Article 1233813.

Zhou, Y., Zhao, D., Duan, Y., Chen, L., Fan, H., Wang, Y., Liu, X., Chen, L. Q., Xuan, Y., & Zhu, X. (2023). AtSWEET1 negatively regulates plant susceptibility to root-knot nematode disease. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14, Article 1010348.

Chen, L. Q. (2022). Improved Understanding of Sugar Transport in Various Plants. International journal of molecular sciences, 23(18), Article 10260.

Chen, L. Q. (2022). Low sugar, under pressure? Nature plants, 8(2), 102-103.

Chen, Q., Hu, T., Li, X., Song, C. P., Zhu, J. K., Chen, L., & Zhao, Y. (2022). Phosphorylation of SWEET sucrose transporters regulates plant root:shoot ratio under drought. Nature plants, 8(1), 68-77.

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