Yuan Xu

Graduate, Plant Biological Sciences graduate program (currently a postdoctoral fellow at Michigan State University)


    2005-2009 – Peking University (Beijing, China) Biotechnology  B.S..

    2011-2018 – University of Minnesota (St. Paul), Plant Biological Sciences Ph.D. (3/21/2018)

Research Topic:

Untargeted metabolomics study of Arabidopsis thaliana abiotic stress responses


Metabolomics is an emerging but powerful technology that affords detailed characterization of molecular phenotype that can be used for potential biomarker discovery of plant abiotic stress responses. Temperature, water, and light are three stress factors that have major influences on plant growth, development, and reproduction. In nature, plants and crops are more often to encounter a combination of different abiotic stresses rather than a specific single stress condition. Plants have adapted to survive and recover from environmental stresses by making adjustments to their metabolic pathways to achieve a new state of homeostasis. Plants can be primed to an acclimated state by a prior mild stress to enhance their resistant to future stress, which is related to plant ‘memory’. Plants need to seek a balance between memory maintenance for future stress defense and resetting/forgetting for maximum growth and development.

My research in the lab was focused on :

  • Metabolic ‘memory’, priming, and abiotic stress tolerance for cold, heat, drought, and high light in Arabidopsis thaliana.
  • Untargeted metabolomics study for Arabidopsis thaliana combination stress responses for cold, heat, drought, salinity, and high light.
  • Metabolomics analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana abiotic stress susceptible and resistant mutants.
Yuan MS photo