Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Pflanzen (ZMBP)

Research Group Lahaye

Dr. Yuan You

Independent Scientist


ZMBP, Allgemeine Genetik
Universität Tübingen
Auf der Morgenstelle 32
D-72076 Tübingen Germany
07071-29-7 46 16
yuan.youspam prevention@zmbp.uni-tuebingen.de
Researchgate: www.researchgate.net/profile/Yuan_You6
ORCID: 0000-0001-5364-5185


- 2018 - Present / Independent Principle Investigator/ Dept. General Genetics, ZMBP, University of Tübingen, Germany
- 2017 / Postdoc / Dept. General Genetics, ZMBP, University of Tübingen, Germany
- 2011 - 2016 / Postdoc / Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany
- 2010 / PhD / University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
- 2007 / MSc / University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
- 2004 / BSc / Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China


Research Interests:

The aim is to understand how plant molecular and cellular processes and developmental programs are affected during bacterial pathogenesis. In particular I am interested in the epigenetic and transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that are involved in compatible host-pathogen interactions. I employ a combination of techniques in plant genetics, epigenetics, molecular biology, developmental biology, and pathology to explore an emerging field of systems epi-phytopathology.

Pathogen invasion of a plant induces complex changes in the host signaling, transcriptome and epigenome both at the site of infection and systemically. Substantial progress has been made in the understanding of the early events upon microbe recognition, for example LRR-signaling pathways and MAPK activation in incompatible interactions (Jones and Dangl, 2006). However, the molecular basis of the initiation of host chromatin remodelling and transcriptional reprogramming in compatible biotic interactions is still largely unknown. Plant pathogenic bacteria inject effector proteins into plant cells and likely manipulate transcription via modification of epigenetic regulators of host plants, to attenuate the expression of host immune response genes and to induce host genes to generate favourable conditions for bacterial growth and multiplication. I am studying how bacterial effectors initiate changes in the hosts’ epigenome and transcriptome, using novel techniques that facilitate selective recovery of effector-targeted host cells (Figure a).

Long‐distance singling plays a role in priming disease effects in the plant’s systemic adaptation to biotic stress. An emphasis is on the dynamic changes and altered development of plant organs. Several studies have suggested that maintenance of the systemic effects in plants is effective if the initiator stimulus is applied to the meristems, the specialized reservoirs of pluripotent stem cells, from which the newly differentiated cells, tissues, and organs are derived (Baulcombe and Dean, 2014). I am also investigating how the initial epigenetic and transcriptional effects are applied to the meristems, thus could consequently be passed on to new organs, and subsequently induce growth and developmental trade-off decisions of host plants during systemic pathogenic processes (Figure b).

My current focus is on black rot disease in Brassica crops, which is caused by a leaf bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), and results in drastic yield losses on a global scale. I utilise the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and will subsequently test the obtained results in other Brassicaceae species, such as cabbage or cauliflower. I will highlight the employment of cell-type specific approaches  for studying initiation of the epigenetic effects in effector-targeted host cells, and for investigating the systemic adaptation of disease-primed epigenetic states in meristemic cells (Figure c) (You et al., Nature Communications, 2017; You et al., The Plant Cell, 2019).

Figures. (a) Schematic depiction of the Arabidopsis-Xcc reporter system for isolating host nuclei that have received the nuclear targeted type III effectors (T3Es). (b) Detection of biotinylation of the nuclear-envelope-targeting protein in the shoot apical meristem of the transgenic Arabidopsis reporter line by in situ immuno-histochemistry. Bar=50 μm. * indicates shoot apical meristem; LP: leaf primordium; V: vasculature. (c) Technologies involved in the cell type-specific studies: Fluorescence Activated Nuclei Sorting (FANS) or Isolation of Nuclei TAgged in specific Cell Types (INTACT).


- 2019 - 2023. DFG-427105396
- 2018 - 2019. Bridging Funds (Institutional Strategy, DFG-ZUK 63), University of Tübingen.



(* first author, § corresponding author)

- 2020. Lee J. E., Goretti D., Neumann M., Schmid M.§ and You Y.§ A gibberellin methyltransferase modulates the timing of floral transition at the Arabidopsis shoot meristem. Physiol. Plant. doi: 10.1111/ppl.13146.

- 2019. You Y.*, §, Sawikowska A., Lee J. E., Benstein R. M., Neumann M., Krajewski P. and Schmid M.§ Shoot phloem companion cell-specific transcriptomics and epigenomics identifies a MORN-motif repeat protein that promotes flowering. The Plant Cell, 31(2): 325-345. doi: 10.1105/tpc.17.00714.

- 2017. You Y.*, Sawikowska A., Neumann M., Posé D., Capovilla G., Langenecker T., Neher R. A., Krajewski P. and Schmid M.§ Temporal dynamics of gene expression and histone marks at the Arabidopsis shoot meristem during flowering. Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/ncomms15120

- 2013. You Y.* and Shirako Y.§ Evaluation of host resistance to Barley yellow mosaic virus infection at the cellular and whole-plant levels. Plant Pathology, 62: 226-232.

- 2012. You Y.*, § and Shirako Y. Influence of amino acid at position 132 in VPg on replication and systemic infection of Barley yellow mosaic virus. Virus Research, 166(1-2): 121-124.

- 2011. Shirako Y., Miyanishi M. and You Y. Preparation and usage of infectious in vitro transcripts for four furoviruses and one bymovirus for the study of virus- host interactions. Proceedings of The Eighth Symposium of The International Working Group on Plant Viruses with Fungal Vectors, 17-22.

- 2010. You Y.* and Shirako Y.§ Bymovirus reverse genetics: requirements for RNA2-encoded proteins in systemic infection. Molecular Plant Pathology, 11(3): 383-394.