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Dr. Kway (Joe) Aung

Dr. Kway (Joe) Aung

  • Assistant Professor
Cell-to-cell communication is crucial for developmental regulation and stress adaptation in all organisms. To ensure prompt cellular responses to internal and external stimuli, intercellular communications ensure efficient and effective interactions between neighboring cells. The Aung lab is broadly interested in understanding how plants harness intercellular communication to maintain homeostasis in the regulation of growth and defense. In plants, symplastic transport of signaling molecules between cells is mediated by membrane-lined channels termed plasmodesmata (PD), analogous to gap junctions in mammals. PD-dependent intercellular communication is essential for diverse stress adaptation; however, molecular mechanisms underlying the PD-mediated cell-to-cell communication are largely unknown. We are utilizing cellular, molecular, biochemical, and genetic approaches to uncover how pathogenic microbes manipulate plant PD to promote disease. We will initially explore Arabidopsis-Pseudomonas syringae and Rice-Magnaporthe oryzae pathosystems. Using pathogenic microbes as probes, we aim to reveal the fundamental regulation of cell-to-cell communication network in plants. In addition, the research will further our knowledge of plant cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous responses in the plant-microbe interface.

Contact Info

3207 Adv Tch Res Bd
2213 Pammel Dr.
Social Media and Websites


  • B.S., Horticulture, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan, 2000
  • M.S., Horticulture, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan, 2002
  • Ph.D., Plant Biology, Michigan State University, 2011