Dr. Xu “Sirius” Li’s research interests focus on plant secondary metabolism. Plants can produce a large array of diverse specialized metabolites, many of which are known to have beneficial effects on human health. Understanding how these compounds are made and accumulated in plants will enable us to produce crops, vegetables and fruits for enhanced health-promoting properties.
Dr. Li is working to identify novel plant secondary metabolites and to discover the genes and pathways for the biosynthesis of these compounds using natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana. This research will not only advance our understanding of plant secondary metabolism in the model plant Arabidopsis, but will also lead to the development of an integrated metabolomics, genetics and genomics discovery platform that can be applied to gain insight in the biochemical pathways and gene networks involved in the accumulation of bioactive compounds in crops, vegetables and fruits.
Metabolic engineering of secondary metabolism holds great promise for plant improvement; however, perturbation of some pathway leads to a detrimental effect on plant growth and development. Another research area of Dr. Li’s is to elucidate the mechanism that underlies such an effect. The knowledge gained from this research is essential to achieve specific metabolic engineering goals while minimizing the negative impact on plant fitness.
PhD Iowa State University
MS Peking University
BS Peking University
- Scalable, Flexible, and Cost-Effective Seedling Grafting , JOVE-JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS (2023)
- UGT76F1 glycosylates an isomer of the C7-necic acid component of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in Arabidopsis thaliana , PLANT JOURNAL (2023)
- Hyperspectral imaging with chemometrics for non-destructive determination of cannabinoids in floral and leaf materials of industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) , COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS IN AGRICULTURE (2022)
- The Effect of Harvest Date on Temporal Cannabinoid and Biomass Production in the Floral Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Cultivars BaOx and Cherry Wine , HORTICULTURAE (2022)
- The Effect of Transplant Date and Plant Spacing on Biomass Production for Floral Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) , AGRONOMY-BASEL (2022)
- Comparative Phylogenomic Analysis Reveals Evolutionary Genomic Changes and Novel Toxin Families in Endophytic Liberibacter Pathogens , MICROBIOLOGY SPECTRUM (2021)
- Metabolic source isotopic pair labeling and genome-wide association are complementary tools for the identification of metabolite-gene associations in plants , PLANT CELL (2021)
- An Efficient Stevia rebaudiana Transformation System and In vitro Enzyme Assays Reveal Novel Insights into UGT76G1 Function , SCIENTIFIC REPORTS (2020)
- An importin-beta-like protein mediates lignin-modification-induced dwarfism in Arabidopsis , PLANT JOURNAL (2020)
- Overcoming cellulose recalcitrance in woody biomass for the lignin-first biorefinery , Biotechnology for Biofuels (2019)