Xiaoyu Zhang
Associate Professor
Plant Sciences, Rm 4520
Phone Number:  706-542-4822
Office/Lab:  Plant Sciences, Rm 4409
Phone Number: 

Ph.D Plant Molecular Biology, Epigenetics and Genomics, University of Georgia 2003

Research Projects: 

The current research in my lab is directed to understand the establishment and maintenance of histone modifications in plants, their roles in regulating gene expression and development, and how they have contributed to the evolution of gene and genome functions. We use Arabidopsis and rice as model systems and employ a wide range of approaches, including genetic, molecular biology, biochemistry and genomic tools such as high-throughput sequencing and high-density tiling microarrays.

Selected Publications: 
  • Sequeira-Mendes (2014) The Functional Topography of the Arabidopsis Genome is Defined by Nine Chromatin States that Associate in a Small Number of Motifs. The Plant Cell (in revision)
  • Zhang X. (2014) Delayed Gratification – Waiting to Terminate Stem Cell Identity. Science 343(6170):498-9
  • Amborella Genome Sequencing Consortium (2013) The Amborella Genome and the Evolution of Flowering Plants. Science 342(6165):1241089
  • Schmitz R.J and Zhang X. (2013) Decoding the Epigenomes of Herbaceous Plants. In Genomes of Herbaceous Plants, Elsevier, Amsterdam
  • Srivastava A., Zhang X., LaMarca S., Cai L., and Malmberg RL. (2013) Patterns of Chromatin- Modifications Discriminate Different Genomic Features in Arabidopsis. ISBRA2013.
  • Gent JI, Ellis NI, Guo L, Harkess AE, Yao Y, Zhang X, Dawe RK. (2012) CHH islands: de novo DNA methylation in near-gene chromatin regulation in maize. Genome Research 23(4):628-37
  • Eichten SR, Ellis NA, Makarevitch I, Yeh CT, Gent JI, Guo L, McGinnis KM, Zhang X, Schnable PS, Vaughn MW, Dawe RK, Springer NM. (2012) Spreading of heterochromatin is limited to specific families of maize retrotransposons. PLoS Genetics. 8(12):e1003127
  • Zhang X. (2012) Dynamic differential methylation facilitates pathogen stress response in Arabidopsis. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., USA. 109(32):12842-3.
  • Zhang X. (2012) Chromatin Modifications in Plant Genomes. In Plant Genome Diversity Volume 1: Plant Genomes, their Residents, and their Evolutionary Dynamics. Springer, Vienna
  • Schmitz R.J. and Zhang X. (2011) High-throughput approaches for plant epigenomic studies. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. doi:10.1016/j.pbi.2011.03.010
  • Costas C., de la Paz Sanchez M., Stroud H., Yu Y., Oliveros JC., Feng S., Benguria A., López-Vidriero I., Zhang X. Solano R., Jacobsen SE. and Gutierrez C. (2011) Genome-wide mapping of Arabidopsis thaliana origins of DNA replication and their associated epigenetic marks. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology doi:10.1038/nsmb.1988
  • Guo L., Yu Y., Law J.A, Zhang X. (2010) SET DOMAIN GROUP2 is the major histone H3 lysine 4 trimethyltransferase in Arabidopsis thaliana. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., USA. 107: 18557-62.
  • Chodavarapu R.K., Feng S., Bernatavichute Y., Chen P.Y., Stroud H., Yu Y., Hetzel J., Kuo F., Kim J., Cokus S., Casero D., Bernal M., Huijser P., Krämer U., Merchant S.S., Zhang X. Jacobsen S.E. and Pellegrini M. (2010) Relationship between nucleosome positioning and DNA methylation. Nature. 466:388-392.
  • Feng S., Cokus S.J., Zhang X. Chen P-Y, Bostick M., Goll M.G., Hetzel J., Jain J., Strauss S.H., Halpern M.E., Ukomadu C., Sadler K.C., Pellegrini M., Jacobsen S.E. (2010) Conservation and divergence of plant and animal methylation patterning. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., USA. 107:8689-8694. [PDF]
  • Zhang X., Bernatavichute, Y.B., Cokus S., Pellegrini M. and Jacobsen S.E. (2009) Genome-wide Analysis of Mono-, Di- and Trimethylation of Histone H3 Lysine 4 in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genome Biology, 10:R62.
  • Zhang X. (2008) The Epigenetic Landscape of Plants. Science 320:489 - 492.
  • Zhang X., Germann S., Blus J.B., Khorasanizadeh S., Gaudin V. and Jacobsen S.E. (2007) The Arabidopsis LHP1 protein colocalizes with histone H3 Lys27 trimethylation. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 14:869 - 871.
  • Zhang X., Leroy O., Cokus S, Bernatavichute Y.B., Pellegrini M., Goodrich, J. and Jacobsen S.E. (2007) Whole-genome Analysis of Histone H3 Lysine 27 Trimethylation in Arabidopsis. PLoS Biology 5(5): e129.
  • Zhang X., Yazaki J., Sundaresan A., Cokus S, Chan S.W-L., Chen H., Henderson I.R., Shinn P., Pellegrini M., Jacobsen S.E. and Ecker J.R. (2006) Genome-wide high-resolution mapping and functional analysis of DNA methylation in Arabidopsis. Cell 126: 1189 - 1201.