Research Focus

Globally food shortage is a growing concern due to expanding population and extreme adverse conditions incurring significant crop loss. However the plant research is in a "golden age" with complicated networks being unraveled with ease using modern genomic tools. Our program on "Plant Stress Biology" in the Academia Sinica, Tainan Science Park, is an effort formed by integration of unique expertise, knowledge and facilities to drive the R&D pipeline and translate applied science into a market viable quality product. Towards this our research focus is

Orchid biotechnology

The orchids are a group of interesting plants that represent aristocracy in floriculture with a marketing potential worldwide as cut flowers and potted plants. The orchid industry in Taiwan is well established in cultivar breeding, seedling culture, potted and cut flowers. However pathogen infection in greenhouse grown orchids is a growing concern with negative effects on the economy. Hence research efforts in my lab will be focused on understanding disease mechanisms, low temperature-induced flowering mechanism(s), early/late flower development and longevity traits using metabolomic, proteomic and transcriptomic (pyrosequencing) methods. These efforts will lead to developing pathogen resistance and early flowering varieties which would help promote Taiwan's agricultural biotechnology.

Functional analysis of genes by transgenic plant genomic and proteomic approaches that hold potential for improving tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses.

Our research group has contributed significantly towards understanding the molecular signaling and networking in abiotic and biotic stress responses.

We have used in-house developed tomato microarray to identify potential transcription factors involved in stress tolerance. We will continue to focus on identifying transcription factors that are abiotic and biotic stress responsive and assess their suitability for genetic manipulation of plants to increase stress tolerance. Functional, genomic, proteomic and metabolomic efforts will also focus on lucidating the regulation of candidate gene(s) in response to stress in both model and commercial crops.


The practical applications of our studies are to develop a transgenic technology for the establishment of new variants of orchids with agronomical and economical value (in collaboration with Dr. Shih). We have already successfully introduced two early flowering genes into orchid. We will introduce shuffled variants and codon optimized gene elements, for deriving comparative data in both monocotyledonous (orchid) and dicotyledonous (tomato) crops. We anticipate that this data will serve as a platform for future technology developments in the floral and crop industries.

Fig. 1. Establishment of Oncidium Agrobacterium-mediated transformation


Ming-Tsair Chan

Ming-Tsair Chan

Research Fellow

AS-BCST Room 229
AS-BCST Room 230
Tel: (06)3032280 #230
  • 1992 Ph.D. Dept. of Agronomy, National Taiwan Univ.
  • 1992 - 1998 PDF Inst. of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica
  • 1998 - 2003 Assistant Research Fellow
  • 2003 - present Associate Research Fellow
  • 2008 - 2014 present Director of AS-BCST
  • 2011- present Research Fellow