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Dr. Guo

Hongqing "Michelle" Guo

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor
My research focus is on receptor kinase FERONIA-mediated signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana. FERONIA, along with co-receptors LLG/LRE, perceives peptide ligands RALFs, and is involved in many aspects of a plant’s life, such as reproduction, roothair development, vegetative growth and responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. Previously, we have found that FER is induced by phytohormone Brassinosteroids (BRs) at the transcript level and is required for optimal plant growth. We have also established that FER phosphorylates and destabilizes MYC2, a major transcription factor in Jasmonic acid signaling pathway, to positively contribute to plant immunity. To gain new insights into the molecular interplay of these processes and to identify new functions of FER, we carried out quantitative transcriptome, proteome, and phosphoproteome profiling of wild-type and a loss-of- function fer mutant in Arabidopsis. Gene Ontology terms for hormone signaling, abiotic stress, and biotic stress are significantly enriched among mis-expressed transcripts, proteins, and/or mis-phosphorylated proteins, in agreement with FER’s known roles in these processes. Analysis of multi-omics data and subsequent experimental evidence revealed previously unknown functions of FER in ER (Endoplasmic Reticulum) body formation and autophagy. Furthermore, we found that a group of abscisic acid (ABA)-induced transcription factors are hypo-phosphorylated in the fer mutant and demonstrated that FER acts through ABI5 to negatively regulate ABA response during germination. Our integrated omics study therefore reveals novel functions of FER and provides new insights into the underlying mechanisms of FER function. We are currently using genetic, genomic, proteomic, molecular and biochemical approaches and network construction to try to dissect the molecular mechanisms through which FERONIA receptor kinase regulates plant growth and stress in response to different environmental conditions.

Contact Info

1031 Carver Co-Lab
1111 WOI Rd.


  • B.S., Biology, Beijing Normal University, 1988
  • M.S., Plant Biology, Beijing Normal University, 1991
  • Ph.D., Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics, Iowa State University, 2019