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Kai-Wun Yeh Professor

Ph.D, Institute of Agro-Biochemistry, National Taiwan University

Specialty: Plant Molecular Biology, Plant Physiology, Mycology


Laboratory: Life Science Building R932

Telephone: 886-2-3366-2536

Current Research Interests

  1. Plant endogenous insect-resistant mechanism and insecticide compds

  2. Flowering physiology and Oncidium spp

  3. Molecular mechanism of plant drought-tolerance

  4. ESTs library of Chinese cabbage roots colonized with Piriformospora indica

Laboratory Introduction

  • Sweet potato is the major experimental material in our laboratory. Sweet potato has some good feathers, for instance, pathogen and insect-resistance, drought-enduring and heat-tolerance. Therefore, we looked for some valuable genes actively which are related to the insect-resistance and stress tolerance from sweet potato in our laboratory recently. Over the past years, we have found several important genes:

  • Insect-resistant gene(SPORAMIN)-- SPORAMIN is an abundant storage protein in tuberous root of sweet potato. It accounts for about 80% of total soluble proteins in tuberous root of sweet potato, and is tissue-specific expressed. It is expressed majorly in tuberous root of sweet potato. Through the experiment, we demonstrated that this protein has strong inhibitory activity against trypsin in vitro. And then, we transformed SPORAMIN gene into tobacco, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra plants via Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediation, and drived by CaMV 35S promoter. Lastly, we proved that these transgenic plants were pest-resistant.(figure.1) On the other hand, we found that SPORAMIN gene promoter (PROSPOA) not only has the wound-inducible ability in transgenic tobacco and Arabidopsis,(figure.2) but also has the tuber-specific expression in transgenic potato. It is really an interesting promoter. Now, in order to avoid the occurrence of gene silencing, we devote to utilize the MAR(matrix attachment region) sequence of SPORAMIN gene to help the transformed gene for stablely and highly expressing in transgenic plants.

Figure 1.
Figure 2.

These years, we took a National Program about Oncidium Gower Ramsey. We principally investigated the genes which effected the inflorescence development before and during flowering stage in Oncidium Gower Ramsey. The subtractive ESTs and cDNA microarray analysis were used to screen the large scale genes which are differentially expressed before and during inflorescence development in Oncidium Gower Ramsey. Now, we proved that inflorescence development is related to the content of mannan and starch in the pseudobulbs of Oncidium Gower Ramsey. In addition, peroxidase and β-mannosidase maybe play a key role during the inflorescence development in Oncidium Gower Ramsey. Now, we are investigating these genes deeply and hope that we can regulate the florescence development of Oncidium Gower Ramsey efficiently in the future.

Selected Publications

  1. Meents, A. K., Chen, S. P., Reichelt, M., Lu, H. H., Bartram, S., Yeh, K. W.*, Mithofer, A. (2019) Volatile DMNT systemically induces jasmonate-independent direct anti-herbivore defense in leaves of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) plants. Sci. Rep. 9:17431.

  2. Chin, D. C., Senthilkumar R., Suen, C. S., Chien, C. Y., Hwang, M. J., Hsu, C. H., Xuhan, X., Lai, Z. X., Yeh, K. W. (2019) Plant Cytosolic Ascorbate Peroxidase with Dual Catalytic Activity Modulates Abiotic Stress Tolerances. iScience. 16: 31- 49.

  3. Ko, S. S., Liu, Y. C., Chung, M. C., Shih, M. C., Mohammadmehdi H., Oguchi T., Watanabe K. N., Yeh K. W. (2019) Environmental biosafety assessment on transgenic Oncidium orchid modified by RNA interference of Phytoene Synthase genes. Plant Biotechnol. 36: 181- 185.

  4. Liu, H., Senthilkumar, R,, Ma, G., Zou, Q., Zhu, K., Shen, X., Tian, D., Hua, M. S., Oelmüller, R., Yeh, K. W. (2019) Piriformospora indica-induced phytohormone changes and root colonization strategies are highly host-specific. Plant Signal Behav. 14 (9): 1632688.

  5. Lin, H. F., Xiong, J., Zhou, H. M., Chen, C. M., Lin, F. Z., Xu, X. M., Oelmüller, R., Xu, W. F., Yeh, K. W. (2019) Growth promotion and disease resistance induced in Anthurium colonized by the beneficial root endophyte Piriformospora indica. BMC Plant Biol. 19 (1) : 40.

  6. Liu, Y. C., Yeh, C. W., Chung, J. D., Tsai, C. Y., Chiou, C. Y., Yeh, K. W. (2019) Petal‐specific RNAi‐mediated silencing of the phytoene synthase gene reduces xanthophyll levels to generate new Oncidium orchid varieties with white‐colour blooms. Plant Biotechnol. J. 17 (11) : 2035- 2037.

  7. Chih-Wei Kao, Madhunita Bakshi,Irena Sherameti, Sheqin Dong, Michael Reichelt, Ralf Oelmuller and Kai-Wun Yeh*. (2016). A Chinese cabbage (Brassica campetris subsp. Chinensis) τ-type glutathione-S-transferase stimulates Arabidopsis development and primes against abiotic and biotic stress. Plant Mol Biol. [Epub ahead of print]

  8. Shi-Peng Chen, Chih-Hsien Kuo, Hsueh-Han Lu, Hui-Shan Lo and Kai-Wun Yeh*. (2016). The Sweet Potato NAC-Domain Transcription Factor IbNAC1 Is Dynamically Coordinated by the Activator IbbHLH3 and the Repressor IbbHLH4 to Reprogram the Defense Mechanism against Wounding. PLoS Genet. 12(10): e1006397

  9. Rajendran Senthil Kumar, Chin-Hui Shen, Pei-Yin Wu, Subbiah Suresh Kumar, Moda Sang Hua and Kai-Wun Yeh*. (2016). Nitric oxide participates in plant flowering repression by ascorbate. Scientific Reports. 6: 35246.

  10. Shi-Peng Chen, I Winnie Lin, Xuanyang Chen, Yin-Hao Huang, Shiao-Chi Chang, Hui-Shan Lo, Hseuh-Han Lu and Kai-Wun Yeh*. (2016). Sweet potato NAC transcription factor, IbNAC1, upregulates sporamin gene expression by binding the SWRE motif against mechanical wounding and herbivore attack.Plant J. 86(3): 234-48.

  11. Dan-Chu Chin, Chia-Chi Hsieh, Hsin-Yi Lin and Kai-Wun Yeh*. (2016). A Low Glutathione Redox State Couples with a Decreased Ascorbate Redox Ratio to Accelerate Flowering in Oncidium Orchid. Plant Cell Physiol.57(2): 423-36. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcv206.

  12. Chii-Jeng Wang, Yuan-Li Chan, Chin Hui Shien and Kai-Wun Yeh*. (2015). Molecular characterization of fruit-specific class III peroxidase genes in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Journal of Plant Physiology. doi:10.1016/j.jplph.

  13. Jian-Xin Liu, Chung-Yi Chiou, Chin-Hui Shen, Peng-Jen Chen, Yao-Chung Liu, Chin-Der Jian,Xiao-Lan Shen, Fu-Quan Shen and Kai-Wun Yeh*. (2014). RNA interference-based gene silencing of phytoene synthase impairs growth, carotenoids, and plastid phenotype in Oncidium hybrid orchid. SpringerPlus. 3: 478

  14. Yuan-Li Chan, Yong He, Tsen-Tsz Hsiao, Chii-Jeng Wang, Zhihong Tian and Kai-Wun Yeh*. (2014). Pyramiding taro cystatin and fungal chitinase genes driven by a synthetic promoter enhances resistance in tomato to root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita. Plant Science. 231: 74-81.

  15. Chin DC, Shen CH, SenthilKumar R and Yeh KW*. (2014). Prolonged Exposure to Elevated Temperature Induces Floral Transition via Up-Regulation of Cytosolic Ascorbate Peroxidase 1 and Subsequent Reduction of the Ascorbate Redox Ratio in Oncidium Hybrid Orchid. Plant Cell Physiol. 55(12): 2164-76.

  16. SenthilKumar Rajendran, I-Winnie Lin, Mei-Ju Chen, Chien-Yu Chen and Kai-Wun Yeh*. (2014). Differential activation of sporamin expression in response to abiotic mechanical wounding and biotic herbivore attack in the sweet potato. BMC Plant Biology.14: 112

  17. Peng-Jen Chen, Rajendran Senthilkumar, Wann-Neng Jane, Yong He, Zhihong Tian and Kai-Wun Yeh.(2014).Transplastomic Nicotiana benthamiana plants expressing multiple defence genes encoding protease inhibitors and chitinase display broad-spectrum resistance against insects, pathogens and abiotic stresses. Plant Biotechnology Journal. DOI:10.1111/pbi.12157

  18. Wei Ye, Chin-Hui Shen, Yuling Lin, Peng-Jen Chen, Xuming Xu, Ralf Oelmuller, Kai-Wun Yeh, Zhongxiong Lai.(2014). Growth Promotion-Related miRNAs in Oncidium Orchid Roots Colonized by the Endophytic Fungus Piriformospora indica. PLoS One. 9(1): e84920.

  19. Dong SQ, Tian ZH, Chen PJ, Senthilkumar R, Shen CH, Cai D, Oelmullar R, Yeh KW.(2013).The maturation zone is an important target of Piriformospora indica in Chinese cabbage roots. Journal of Experimental Botany(doi:10.1093/jxb/ert265)

  20. Rajendran Senthilkumar and Kai-Wun Yeh.(2012). Multiple biological functions of sporamin related to stress tolerance in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas Lam). Biotechnology Advances [Epub ahead of print]

  21. Xiao-Jing Liu, Yao-Nung Chuang, Chung-Yi Chiou, Dan-Chu Chin, Fu-Quan Shen, and Kai-Wun Yeh. (2012). Methylation effect on chalcone synthase gene expression determines anthocyanin pigmentation in floral tissues of two Oncidium orchid cultivars. Planta [Epub ahead of print]

  22. Ing-Feng Chang, Peng-Jen Chen, Chin-Hui Shen, Tsung-Ju Hsieh, Ya-Wen Hsu, Bau-Lian Huang, Ching-I Kuo, Yu-Ting Chen, Hsiu-An Chu, Kai-Wun Yeh, Li-Chun Huang (2010)Proteomic profiling of proteins associated with the rejuvenation of Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl. Proteome Science 8: 64 (doi: 10.1186/1477-).

  23. Yin-Chen Lee, Joy Michal Johnson, Ching-Te Chien, Chao Sun, Daguang Cai, Binggan Lou, Ralf Oelmuller, and Kai-Wun Yeh (2011) Growth Promotion of Chinese Cabbage and Arabidopsis by Piriformospora indica Is Not Stimulated by Mycelium-Synthesized Auxin. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions Vol. 24, No. 4, 2011, pp. 421–431.

  24. Y.-L. Chan, D. Cai, P. W. J. Taylor, M.-T. Chan and K.W. Yeh (2010) Adverse effect of the chitinolytic enzyme PjCHI-1 in transgenic tomato on egg mass production and embryonic development of Meloidogyne incognita. Plant Pathology Volume 59, Issue 5, pages 922–930

  25. Chung-Yi Chiou, Hsin-An Pan, Yao-Nung Chuang and Kai-Wun Yeh (2010) Differential expression of carotenoid-related genes determines diversified carotenoid coloration in floral tissues of Oncidium cultivars. Planta, 232:937-948 (SCI).

  26. Yuan-Li Chan, Ming-Tsair Chan, Daguang Cai, Kai-Wun Yeh (2010) A novel chitinolytic enzyme, PjCHI-1, causes aberrant embryonic development and egg mass production of Meloidogyne incognita in transgenic tomato. Plant pathology (in press)

  27. Yuan-Li Chan, Ai-Hwa Yang, Jen-Tzu Chen, Kai-Wun Yeh , Ming-Tsair Chan (2010) Heterologous expression of taro cystatin protects transgenic tomato against Meloidogyne incognita infection by means of interfering sex determination and suppressing gall formation. Plant Cell Reports 29:231-238

  28. Senthil Kumar, Cheng C.P. and Yeh K.W.(2010) Genetically pyramiding protease inhibitor genes for dual broad-spectrum resistance against insect and phytopathogens in transgenic tobacco. Plant Biotechnology Journal 8:65-75

  29. Chin-Hui Shen and Kai-Wun Yeh (2010) The signal network of ascorbate homeostasis. Plant Signaling & Behavior 5:1-3

  30. Shen C.H and Yeh K.W.(2010) Hydrogen peroxide mediates the expression of ascorbate-related genes in response to methanol stimulation in Oncidium. Journal of plant physiology 167(5):400-407

  31. Shen C. H., Krishnamurthy R. and Yeh K.W. (2009) Decreased L -Ascorbate Content Mediating Bolting is Mainly Regulated by the Galacturonate Pathway in Oncidium. Plant Cell Physiol. 50(5): 935-946 (SCI).

  32. Wang K.M., Rajendran S.K. Cheng Y.S., Shripathi V., Yang A.H. and Yeh K.W. (2008) Characterization of inhibitory mechanism and antifungal activity between group-1 and group-2 phytocystatin from taro (Colocasia esculenta). FEBS Journal 275: 4980-4989 (SCI).

  33. Chiou C.Y., Wu K.Q. and Yeh K.W. (2008) Characterization and promoter activity of chromoplast specific carotenoid associated gene (CHRC) from Oncidium Gower Ramsey. Biotechnology Letters 30: on-line (SCI).

  34. Ku A.T., Huang Y.S. Wang Y.S., Ma D. and Yeh K.W. (2008) IbMADS1 (Ipomoea batatas MADS-box 1 gene) is involved in tuberous root initiation in sweet potato. Annals of Botany 102: 57-67 (SCI).

  35. Chiou C.Y. and Yeh K.W. (2008) Differential expression of MYB gene (OgMYB1) determines color patterning in floral tissue of Oncidium Gower Ramsey. Plant Molecular Biology, 66:379-388 (SCI).

  36. Wang C.Y., Chiou C.Y., Wang H.L., Ramanarayan Krishnamurthy, Shripathi Venkatagiri, Tan J. and Yeh K.W. (2007) Carbohydrate mobilization and gene regulatory profile in the pseudobulb of Oncidium orchid during the flowering process. Planta, 227:1063-1077 (SCI).

  37. Chen C.C., Kumar H.G., Kumar S., Tzean S.S., Yeh K.W. (2007) Molecular cloning, characterization, and expression of a chitinase from the entomopathogenic fungus Paecilomyces javanicus. Curr. Microbiol. 55:8-13.

  38. Kumar, A., Ku, A.T. and Yeh, K.W. (2007) An efficient and rapid plant regeneration system for sweet potato [I. batatas(L.) Lam]. European J. Hort. Sci. 72(2) 85-89 (SCI)

  39. Chen, H. J., Wang, S. J., Chen. C. C. and Yeh, K.W. (2006) New gene construction strategy in T-DNA vector to enhance expression level of sweet potato sporamin and insect resistance in transgenic brassica oleracea. Plant Science 171:367-374

  40. A. H. Yang, and Yeh, K.W. (2005) Molecular cloning, recombinant gene expression,and anti (Colocasia esculenta cv. Kaosiung no. 1)fungal activity of cystatin from taro. Planta 221(4):493-501(SCI)

  41. A. H. Yang, and Yeh, K.W.(2005) Survey on gene expression of phytocystatin from local taro (Colocasia esculenta) plants. Crop, Environment & Bioinformatics,2:123-130

  42. Tan, J., Wang, H. L. and  Yeh, K.W. (2005) Analysis of organ-specific, expressed genes in Oncidium orchid by subtractive expressed sequence tags library. Biotechnology Letters 27:1517-1528

  43. Wang, S. J., Yeh, K.W., and Tasi, C. Y. (2004) Circadian control of sweet potato granule-bound starch synthase I gene in Arabidopsis plants. Plant Growth Regulation 42:161-168(SCI)

  44. Cai, D., Lange, T., Tian, Y.Y., Thurau, T., Jung, C. and Yeh, K.W. (2003) Sporamin- mediated Resistance to Cyst Nematode (Heterodera schachtii Schm.) Is dependenet on Trypsin inhibitory Activity. Plant Molecular biology . Plant Mol. Biol.51:839-849 (SCI).

  45. Chen C.W. , Lei, B.C., Yeh K.W.  and Duan K.J.  (2003) Recombinant Sweet potato Sporamin Production via Glucose/pH Control in Fed-batch Cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Process Biochemistry 11:50-56(SCI).

  46. Wang, H.Y., Huang, Y.C., Chen, S.F. and Yeh, K.W. (2003) Molecular cloning, characterization and gene expression of a water deficiency and chilling induced proteinase inhibitor I gene family from sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas Lam.) leaves. Plant Science. 165:191-203(SCI)

  47. Y. C. Lan, S. F. Chen, S. J. Wang, Yeh, K. W.  (2002) Wounding-responsive regulation of the promoter region of sporamin gene in sweet potato. Plant Mol. Biol. 48:223-231(SCI)

  48. Yao, P.L., Hwang, M. J.,Chen Y.M., Yeh, K. W.  (2001) Site-directed mutagenesis evidence for a negatively charged trypsin inhibitory loop in sweet potato sporamin. FEBS letters. 496: 134-138 (SCI)

  49. Wang, C.K.,Duan, K.J., Yeh, K. W., Chen, W.C.(2001) Production of a fusion protein of sweet potato sporamin from recombinant E. coli XL1 Blue by fed-batch fermentations. Biotechnology Letters. 23:475-479(SCI).

  50. Wang, S.J., Yeh, K. W., Tsai, C.Y. (2001) Regulation of starch granule-bound starch synthase I gene expression by circadian clock and sucrose in the source tissue of sweet potato. Plant Science. 161:635-644 (SCI)

  51. Wang, S.J., Yeh, K. W., Tsai, C.Y. (1999) Molecular characterization and expression of a starch granule-bound starch synthase gene in the sink and source tissues of sweet potato. Physiologia Plantarum 106: 253-261(SCI).

  52. Ding, L.C., Hu, C.Y., Yeh, K.W. and Wang, P. J. (1998) Development of insect-resistant transgenic cauliflower plants expressing the trypsin inhibitor gene isolated from local sweet potato. Plant Cell Reports 17: 854-860 (SCI)

  53. Yu, Y.L., Yeh, K.W., and Lin, C.P. (1998) An antigenic protein genes of a phytoplasma associated with sweet potato witches' broom. Microbiology 144: 1257-1262(SCI)

Courses taught

  • Molecular Biology

  • Plant Signal transduction

  • Site-directed mutagenesis

  • Plant function genome and exp

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