Research Focus

The divergence of translational control for stress-responsive gene expression between wild and domesticated tomatoes

Tomato is one of the most important crops and a source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidant for human diet. Under the agricultural selection, the domesticated and wild species exhibit various traits including fruit size, sugar content and biotic/abiotic stress tolerance. The feature of differential stress tolerances serves domesticated and wild species as good genetic materials to investigate the stress-tolerant mechanism from the genetic variation to gene expression and to phenotypic diversity. Gene expression is involved in a complicated regulatory network including at least transcriptional and translational control. Studies have focused on transcriptional regulatory networks that control gene expression in a temporal- and spatial-specific manner.

While translation process is another key step to determine gene expression, knowledge of translational regulatory network is scarce, especially in crops. The evolutionary divergence of translational mechanism and its impact on stress responsive gene expression remains unknown. Therefore, our lab aims to understand how wild tomatoes, compared domesticated species, acquire stress tolerance by altering gene expressions at translational level and decipher the mechanical basis of translational regulation. By integrating the molecular experiments, next-generation sequencing technology and data-mining approaches, we would like to provide a better understanding how plants adapted to environmental changes that offers great potential for the effective crop improvement.


Ming-Jung Liu

Ming-Jung Liu

Associate Research Fellow

AS-BCST Room 214
AS-BCST Room 213
Tel: 06-3032280#213

2016-present Assistant Research Fellow.
2013-2016 PDF, Department of Plant Biology, MSU, USA.
2012-2013 PDF, Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, AS, Taiwan.
2008-2012 Ph.D. Molecular and Biological Agricultural Sciences, TIGP, AS/NCHU, Taiwan.
2004-2006 M.S., Institution of Plant Biology, NTU, Taiwan.
2000-2004 B.S., Department of Life Science, NCU, Taiwan.