Plant steroid hormones, Brassinosteroids (BRs), regulate plant growth and stress responses. BRs act through plasma membrane receptors BRI1/BAK1 and a cascade of signaling components to control the activities of BES1 and BZR1 family transcription factors, which regulate the expression of thousands of genes for various BR responses. Our recent studies showed that under drought conditions, BES1 is targeted to autophagy pathway to slow down plant growth. On the other hand, BES1 interacts with other transcription factors and acts through transcriptional networks to coordinate plant growth and drought tolerance. Finally, BRs regulate the expression of FER receptor kinase gene, which controls MYC2 transcription factor to modulate plant response to bacterial pathogen. Our results thus establish complex gene regulatory networks through which plant steroid hormone control various aspect of plant growth and responses to both abiotic and biotic stresses.
Dr. Yanhai Yin received his Ph.D. in Macromolecular and Cellular Structure and Chemistry from the Scripps Research Institute in 1997 in the laboratory of Dr. Roger Beachy. After postdoctoral studies at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies with Dr. Joanne Chory, Dr. Yin joined Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology (GDCB) at Iowa State University (ISU) as an Assistant Professor in 2004. He was promoted to Professor in 2014, has been selected as a Plant Science Institute Faculty Scholar at ISU since 2015 and has been serving as GDCB department Chair since 2018. Dr. Yin received NSF CAREER Award in 2006 and his current research is supported by grants from NIH and NSF.