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Shu-Yi Yang Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Specialty: Plant Molecular Biology, Plant-Microbe Interactions


Office: Life Science Building R1047

Telephone: 886-2-3366-2533​


Current Research Interests

  • Discovery of the transcriptional regulation mechanism of AM symbiosis-related genes

  • Revealing the molecular mechanism essential for AM symbiosis-related stress tolerance

  • Revealing the relevance of plant peptide hormones for AM symbiosis-related lateral root development

Research Introduction

  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis is the name given to the endosymbiotic association of a plant root and a fungus from the phylum Glomeromycota. More than 80% of vascular plants can be colonized by AM fungi. Inside root inner cortex cells, the fungal hyphae develops highly branched tree-like structures called arbuscule, which is the major site for nutrient exchange between fungi and plant. From my past research, I found that 70% of the overall Pi acquired by the rice cultivar Nipponbare is delivered via the symbiotic route. Surprisingly, mutations in PT11 or PT13, two symbiosis-specific rice Pi transporters, both affected fungal colonization and arbuscule formation, so each gene is essential for AM symbiosis. However, for symbiotic Pi uptake, only PT11 is necessary and sufficient, and the role of PT13 is still unclear.

  • Like PT11 and PT13, a set of genes which was exclusively expressed in mycorrhizal roots might be essential for the cellular reprogramming during AM symbiosis. However, so far the transcriptional regulation mechanism of these genes was not fully understood. Transcription factors which expression is up-regulated by AM symbiosis are often important for AM symbiosis. We have identified plant transcription factors that are induced by AM symbiosis in rice and tomato. The spatial expression pattern, function and downstream genes of these transcription factors have been further studied in order to better understand the mechanisms mediating AM symbiosis development.

  • Even though the benefits of AM symbiosis on host plant stress tolerance are widely reported, the molecular mechanisms behind is still unclear. We have compared the transcriptomes of mock and mycorrhizal rice grown under normal and salinity condition. These analyses could help us to find the candidate genes or metabolites highly correlated with symbiosis-involved stress tolerance.​

  • Plant peptide hormones play important roles in the signaling transduction in plants. However, their relevance to the development of AM symbiosis and whether they are involved in AM-regulated root development remain largely unknown. We have identified the peptide hormones in tomato and rice that the expression is influenced by AM symbiosis, and found that AM symbiosis may reduce the expression of tomato C-terminal encoded peptide (CEP2) to diminish its negative effect on auxin-related pathway in order to enhance lateral root growth.


Well-developed arbuscule inside rice cortical cells indicated by white arrowhead (A). WGA-Alexafluor 488 cell wall staining of Rhizophagus irregularis structures of wild type (B), pt11 RNAi line (C) and pt13 RNAi line (D) roots. Bars = 20 µm. Histochemical GUS staining of a proportion of a R. irregularis colonized rice root expressing empty vector (E), pPT11-GUS (F) and pPT13-GUS (G) constructs. Arrowheads represent cortical cells containing arbuscules. Bars = 20 µm.

(AB) Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) application complemented the lateral root density and auxin distribution affected by the synthetic C-terminally encoded peptide (CEP)2 peptide. (C) Schematic summary of C- terminally encoded peptide (CEP)2 engagement in tomato lateral root formation in response to arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis.

Selected Publications

  1. Hsieh, YH, Wei, YH, Lo, JC, Pan, HY and Yang, SY* (2022), Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis enhances tomato lateral root formation by modulating CEP2 peptide expression. New Phytologist. DOI:

  2. Yang SY*, Lu WC, Ko SS, Sun CM, Hung JC and Chiou TJ. (2019). uORF and phosphate-regulated expression of rice OsNLA1 controls phosphate transport and reproduction. Plant Physiology. DOI:

  3. Roth R, Chiapello M, Montero H, Gehrig P, Grossmann J, O'Holleran K, Hartken D, Walters F, Yang SY, Hillmer S, Schumacher K, Bowden S, Craze M, Wallington EJ, Miyao A, Sawers R, Martinoia E, Paszkowski U. (2018). A rice Serine/Threonine receptor-like kinase regulates arbuscular mycorrhizal 
    symbiosis at the peri-arbuscular membrane.
    Nature Communications. 9(1):4677

  4. Yang SY*, Huang TK*, Kuo HF and Chiou TJ. (2017). Role of vacuoles in phosphorus storage and remobilization. Journal of Experimental Botany Journal of Experimental Botany. 68 (12): 3045–55

  5. Liu TY*, Huang TK*, Yang SY*, Hong YT, Huang SM, Wang FN, Chiang SF, Tsai SY, Lu WC and Chiou TJ (2016) Identification of plant vacuolar transporters mediating phosphate storage. Nature Communications. 31 (7): 11095

  6. Gutjahr C*, Gobbato E*, Choi JM, Riemann M, Johnston MG, Summers W, Carbonnel S, Mansfield C, Yang SY, Nadal M, Acosta I, Takano M, Jiao WB, Schneeberger K, Kelly KA and Paszkowski U (2015) Rice perception of symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi requires the karrikin receptor complex. Science. 350 (6267): 1521-24

  7. Qu G, Kruszka K, Plewka P, Yang SY, Chiou TJ, Jarmolowski A, Szweykowska-Kulinska Z, Echeverria M and Karlowski WM (2015) Promoter-based identification of novel non-coding RNAs reveals the presence of dicistronic snoRNA-miRNA genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. BMC Genomics. 16(1):1009

  8. Gutjahr C, Sawers RJ, Marti G, Andrés-Hernández L, Yang SY, Casieri L, Angliker H, Oakeley EJ, Wolfender JL, Abreu-Goodger C, Paszkowski U (2015) Transcriptome diversity among rice root types during asymbiosis and interaction with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. PNAS. 112(21):6754-59.

  9. Yang SY, Grønlund M, Jakobsen I, Grotemeyer MS, Rentsch D, Miyao A, Hirochika H, Kumar CS, Sundaresan V, Salamin N, Catausan S, Mattes N, Heuer S, Paszkowski U (2012) Nonredundant Regulation of Rice Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis by Two Members of the PHOSPHATE TRANSPORTER1 Gene Family. The Plant Cell. 24(10):4236-51

  10. Yang SY and Paszkowski U (2011) Phosphate import at the arbuscule: just a nutrient? Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 24(11):1296-99.

  11. Yang SY, Shih MD, Lin TP, Hsing YIC (2011) Two soybean (Glycine maxL.) GmPM proteins reduce liposome leakage during desiccation. Botanical Studies. 52 (4): 465-70

  12. Lin YF, Liang HM, Yang SY, Boch A, Clemens S, Chen CC, Wu JF, Huang JL, Yeh KC. (2009). Arabidopsis IRT3 is a zinc-regulated and plasma membrane localized zinc/iron transporter. New Phytologist. 182(2):392-404

  13. Sawers RJH, Yang SY, Gutjahr C, Paszkowski U (2008) The molecular components of nutrient exchange in arbuscular mycorrhizal interactions. In: Z.A. Siddiqui et al., (eds.), Mycorrhizae: Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, pp. 37-59   ©2008 Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Courses Taught

  • Plant physiology

  • General Biology

  • Botany

  • Methods in Plant Molecular Biology Research

Honors and Awards

  • 2022 Ta-You Wu Memorial Award, National Science and Technology Council

  • 2020 Distinguished teaching award in the academic year, National Taiwan University

  • 2019 Outstanding teaching award in the academic year, National Taiwan University

Current members

  • Doctoral class

       Kai-Chieh Chang

  • Master Class

       Ching-Hung Yao、Jui-Chi Lo、Yi-Zheng Lin、Yi-Ru Su、Zheng-Lin Guo、Yu-Chi Zhao、Man-Chi Ho  

  • College student

       Hsuan-Yu Pan

  • Research assistant

       Yi-Hsien Wei

  • Former members

  • Graduated master students

       Ting-Yu Kuo、Heng Chien、Yun-Hsin Chen、Yu-Heng Hsieh、Yi-Hsien Wei

  • Summer college students

       Chi-Chieh Chen

  • High school student

       Hung-You Lin

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