Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh joined the institute in August 2012 and coordinates a research program centered on the biological systems of flowering plants, including fruits and vegetables. Hsieh specializes in systems biology, a relatively new field of research that studies the interactions between the components of biological systems, and how those relationships impact the functions and behaviors of the systems. His area of focus is epigenetics, which aims to understand changes in gene behaviors that are caused by factors other than mutations in DNA.
Hsieh studies the development of endosperms, which play a critical role in human nutrition and health, accounting for more than 75 percent of the world’s food supply, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Cereal crops like corn, rice and wheat – some of the most widely produced crops in the world – are harvested for their grains, which are mostly endosperm. Hsieh is working to better understand endosperm development, including the role imprinted genes play.
Using systems biology approaches, Hsieh and colleagues have already identified certain epigenetics processes as critical regulators for plant reproduction and endosperm development. His studies will provide new opportunities for investigating how the environment can exert influences on plants through epigenetic changes. Ultimately, Hsieh would like to collaborate with N.C. Research Campus partners using the techniques he and colleagues have developed to decipher how plant epigenetics may impact human health. He also researches how epigenetics regulates the production of plant secondary metabolites.
Watch a video introduction of Dr. Hsieh and his research.Publications | Lab Staff | Resources
Zhang, C.Q and Hsieh, T.-F. 2013. Heritable Epigenetic Variation and its Potential Applications for Crop Improvement. Plant Breed. Biotech. 1: 307-319.
Ibarra, C.A., Frost, J.M., Shin, J., Hsieh, T.-F., and Fischer, R.L. 2013. Epigenetic control of Seed Gene Imprinting. Seed Genomic (Editor Philip W. Becraft), John Wiley & Sons, pp 63-82.
Ibarra, C.A.*, Feng, X*, Schoft, V.K.*, Hsieh, T.-F.*, Uzawa, R., Rodrigues, J.A., Zemach, A., Chumak, N., Machlicova, A. , Nishimura, T., Rojas, D., Fischer, R.L., Tamaru, H. and Zilberman, D. 2012. Active DNA demethylation in plant companion cells reinforces transposon methylation in gametes. Science, 337: 1360-1364. *Equal contribution.
Pedersen, B. Hsieh. T.-F. and Fischer, R.L. 2011. Methylcoder: An integrated comparative analysis software pipeline for whole genome bisulfite sequencing. Bioinformatics, 26: 2435-2436.
Hsieh, T.-F*., Shin, J*., Uzawa, R., Silva, P., Cohen, S., Bauer, M.J., Hashimoto, M., Kirkbride, R.C., Harada, J.J., Zilberman, D. and Fischer, R.L. 2011. Regulation of imprinted gene expression in Arabidopsis endosperm. PNAS, 108: 1755-1762. *Equal contribution.
Hsieh, T.-F.*, Ibarra, C.*, Silva, P.*, Zemach, A., Williams, L., Fischer, R.L. and Zilberman, D. 2009. Genome-wide demethylation of the Arabidopsis endosperm. Science, 324: 1451-1454. *Equal contribution.
Stone S.L., Braybrook, S.A., Paula, S.L., Kwong, L.W., Meuser, J., Pelletier, J., Hsieh, T.-F., Fischer, R.L., Goldberg, R.B. and Harada, J.J. 2008. Arabidopsis LEAFY COTYLEDON2 induces maturation traits and auxin activity: Implications for somatic embryogenesis. PNAS, 105: 3151-3156.
Huh, J.H., Bauer, M.J., Hsieh, T.-F. and Fischer, R.L. 2008. Cellular programming of plant gene imprinting. Cell, 132: 735-744.
Huh, J.H., Bauer, M.J., Hsieh, T.-F. and Fischer, R.L. 2007. Endosperm gene imprinting and seed development. Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev., 17: 480-485.
Penterman, J.N., Huh, J.H., Hsieh, T.-F. and Fischer, R.L. 2007. Gene imprinting in Arabidopsis - A review. Plant Cell Monographs, Volume 8, Endosperm – Development and Molecular Biology. Olsen, O.A., ed., Springer-Verlag. New York, 219-239.
Gehring, M.*, Huh, J.H.*, Hsieh, T.-F., Penterman, J., Harada, J.J., Goldberg, R.B. and Fischer, R.L. 2006. Demeter DNA glycosylase establishes MEDEA polycomb gene self-imprinting by allele-specific hypomethylation. Cell, 124: 495-506. Cover article.
Previewed in: Arnaud, P. and Feil, R. 2006. MEDEA takes control of its own imprinting. Cell, 124: 468-470.
Hsieh, T.-F. and Fischer, R.L. 2005. Biology of Chromatin Dynamics, Annual Rev. Plant Biol., 56: 327-51.
Hsieh, T.-F., Hakim, O., Ohad, N. and Fischer, R.L. 2003. From flour to flower: How polycomb group proteins influence multiple aspects of plant development. Trends Plant Sci., 8: 439-445.
Duval, M., Hsieh, T.-F., Kim, S.Y. and Thomas, T.L. 2002. Molecular characterization of AtNAM: A member of the Arabidopsis NAC domain superfamily. Plant Mol. Biol., 50: 237-48.
Chuang, H.-W., Hsieh, T.-F., Duval, M. and Thomas, T.L. 2002. Genomic analysis of Arabidopsis gene expression in response to a systemic fungicide. In Genomics of Plants and Fungi, (eds. R.A. Prade and H.J.Bohnert), Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York.
Mu, X., Zhao, S., Pershad, R., Hsieh, T.-F., Scarpa, A., Wang, S.W., White, A., Beremand, P.D., Thomas, T. L., Gan, L. and Klein, W.H. 2001. Gene expression in the developing mouse retina by EST sequencing and microarray analysis. Nucleic Acids Res., 29: 4983-93.
Chen, I., Hsieh, T.-F., Thomas, T. and Safe, S. 2001. Mechanisms of inhibitory aryl hydrocarbon receptor-estrogen receptor crosstalk in MCF-7 breast cancer cells: Identification of genes downregulated by AhR agonists using suppression subtractive hybridization. Gene, 262: 207-214.
Nuccio, M.L., Hsieh, T.-F. and Thomas, T.L. 2000. Chapter 5. The use of RT-PCR differential display in single celled organisms and plant tissues. In PCR5: Differential display: A practical approach. Editor: R. Leslie and H. Robertson, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Garcia, I., Rodgers, M., Pepin, R., Hsieh, T.-F. and Martringe, M. 1999. Characterization and subcellular compartmentation of recombinant 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase from Arabidopsis in transgenic tobacco. Plant Physio., 119: 1507-1516.
Nuccio, M.L., Li, Z., Hsieh, T.-F., Kim, S.Y. and Thomas, T.L. 1997. Molecular approaches to identify novel genes expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana. SAAS Bulletin: Biochem. & Biotech., 10: 7-11.
Nuccio, M.L., Li, Z., Hsieh, T.-F. and Thomas, T.L. 1996. Identification of novel mRNAs in immature seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana. SAAS Bulletin: Biochem. & Biotech., 9: 23-28.