BI Plant Science, Biology Department
Brookhaven National Laboratory
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000
Dr. Meng Xie received his Ph.D. degree in Plant Systems Biology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he studied molecular mechanisms controlling small RNA biogenesis and small RNA-induced gene silencing in plants. After graduation, Dr. Meng Xie joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville as a postdoctoral associate researcher, where he gained extensive exposure to population-level approaches to reveal novel aspects of lignin biosynthesis in poplar. In 2020, Dr. Meng Xie joined Brookhaven National Laboratory to co-found the Quantitative Plant Science Initiative (QPSI) Science Focus Area program, which is supported by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science. QPSI integrates computational approaches with genome-wide and targeted experimentation into a versatile and scalable capability for determining gene function in bioenergy crops. Within QPSI, Dr. Meng Xie is the Science Lead of Functional Genomics to leverage multi-omics and the cell-based experimental platform to identify genes crucial for poplar resilience to transition metal stresses, as well as to characterize their molecular-level functions.
Poplar is one of the primary bioenergy crops that DOE has been focusing on for decades. With the state-of-the-art genomics resources, poplar has emerged as a model system to study woody perennial plants. There is general agreement that the study of poplar is required to understand the specialized physiology of woody perennials, especially adaptation to environmental stresses. The transition metals iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) are indispensable cofactors for numerous critical aspects of plant growth, including metabolism, signaling, gene expression, genome stability, and the assimilation of other nutrients. However, in excess, these metals can be cytotoxic for plants. Imbalanced Fe and Zn concentrations in soils can cause physiological stress that negatively impacts crop health and yield. Plants have evolved metal homeostasis mechanisms to tightly modulate the availability of metals within the cell, avoiding protein inactivity due to deficiency and cytotoxic interactions due to excess. A better understanding of the genetic and regulatory mechanisms controlling poplar metal homeostasis and its coordination with lignocellulosic biomass formation is critical for the genetic improvement of poplar as a cost-effective sustainable biomass feedstock. Additionally, these studies on poplar will enhance the understanding of the specialized physiology of long-lived perennial plants.
The Xie group is interested in using a multidisciplinary approach to accelerate the understanding of gene function in non-model plants (e.g., poplar). In particular, we focus on integrating population studies, functional genomics, genetics, cell-based experiments, molecular and structural analyses to discover and characterize genes and regulatory networks crucial for 1) poplar resilience to transition metal stresses and metal homeostasis, and 2) the genetic coordination of cell wall formation and stress response mechanisms. We aim to achieve a predictive understanding of gene functions and regulatory networks in poplar for the reengineering of high-yield and sustainable bioenergy crops. In addition, we are interested in leveraging and developing protoplast-based approaches for the genome-wide identification of protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions, which provides a robust system to characterize protein functions for plants with difficulty and/or long turnaround time in transgenic plant generation.
2018 – 2020 Post-Doc University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Center for Bioenergy Innovation
2015 – 2018 Post-Doc Oak Ridge National Laboratory, BioEnergy Science Center, Biosciences Division
2009 – 2014 Ph.D. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Center for Plant Science Innovation, School of Biological Sciences
2005 – 2009 B.S. China Agricultural University, Department of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering
2020 – present Assistant Biologist, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Biology Department
2020 – present Science Lead of Functional Genomics, Quantitative Plant Science Initiative SFA
- Xie M, Zhang J, Yao T, Bryan AC, Pu Y, Labbé J, Pelletier DA, Engle N, Morrell-Falvey JL, Schmutz J, Ragauskas AJ, Tschaplinski TJ, Chen F, Tuskan GA, Muchero W, Chen J (2020) Arabidopsis C-terminal binding protein ANGUSTIFOLIA modulates transcriptional co-regulation of MYB46 and WRKY33. New Phytologist 228:1627–1639. doi: 10.1111/nph.16826
- Xie M, Zhang J, Singan VR, McGranahan MJ, LaFayette PR, Jawdy SS, Engle N, Doeppke C, Tschaplinski TJ, Davis MF, Lindquist E, Barry K, Schmutz J, Parrott WA, Chen F, Tuskan GA, Chen J, Muchero W (2020) Identification of functional single nucleotide polymorphism of Populus trichocarpa PtrEPSP-TF and determination of its transcriptional effect. Plant Direct. doi: 10.1002/pld3.178
- Zhang J, Xie M, Li M, Ding J, Pu Y, Bryan AC, Rottmann W, Winkeler KA, Collins CM, Singan V, Lindquist EA, Jawdy SS, Gunter LE, Engle NL, Yang X, Barry K, Tschaplinski TJ, Schmutz J, Tuskan GA, Muchero W, Chen J (2019) Overexpression of a Prefoldin β subunit gene reduces biomass recalcitrance in the bioenergy crop Populus. Plant Biotechnology Journal 18:859–871. doi: 10.1111/pbi.13254
- Xie M, Muchero W, Bryan AC, Yee K, Guo H-B, Zhang J, Tschaplinski TJ, Singan VR, Lindquist E, Payyavula RS, Barros-Rios J, Dixon R, Engle N, Sykes RW, Davis M, Jawdy SS, Gunter LE, Thompson O, DiFazio SP, Evans LM, Winkeler K, Collins C, Schmutz J, Guo H, Kalluri U, Rodriguez M, Feng K, Chen J-G, Tuskan GA (2018) A 5-Enolpyruvylshikimate 3-Phosphate Synthase Functions as a Transcriptional Repressor in Populus. The Plant Cell 30:1645–1660. doi: 10.1105/tpc.18.00168
- Xie M, Zhang J, Tschaplinski TJ, Tuskan GA, Chen J-G, Muchero W (2018) Regulation of Lignin Biosynthesis and Its Role in Growth-Defense Tradeoffs. Frontiers in Plant Science. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01427
- Yang X, Hu R, Yin H, Jenkins J, Shu S, Tang H, Liu D, Weighill DA, Cheol Yim W, Ha J, Heyduk K, Goodstein DM, Guo H-B, Moseley RC, Fitzek E, Jawdy S, Zhang Z, Xie M, Hartwell J, Grimwood J, Abraham PE, Mewalal R, Beltrán JD, Boxall SF, Dever LV, Palla KJ, Albion R, Garcia T, Mayer JA, Don Lim S, Man Wai C, Peluso P, Van Buren R, De Paoli HC, Borland AM, Guo H, Chen J-G, Muchero W, Yin Y, Jacobson DA, Tschaplinski TJ, Hettich RL, Ming R, Winter K, Leebens-Mack JH, Smith JAC, Cushman JC, Schmutz J, Tuskan GA (2017) The Kalanchoë genome provides insights into convergent evolution and building blocks of crassulacean acid metabolism. Nature Communications. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01491-7
- Xie M, Zhang S, Yu B (2014) microRNA biogenesis, degradation and activity in plants. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 72:87–99. doi: 10.1007/s00018-014-1728-7
- Ren G, Xie M, Zhang S, Vinovskis C, Chen X, Yu B (2014) Methylation protects microRNAs from an AGO1-associated activity that uridylates 5' RNA fragments generated by AGO1 cleavage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111:6365–6370. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1405083111
- Zhang S, Xie M, Ren G, Yu B (2013) CDC5, a DNA binding protein, positively regulates posttranscriptional processing and/or transcription of primary microRNA transcripts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110:17588–17593. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1310644110
- Xie M, Ren G, Costa-Nunes P, Pontes O, Yu B (2012) A subgroup of SGS3-like proteins act redundantly in RNA-directed DNA methylation. Nucleic Acids Research 40:4422–4431. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks034
- Ren G, Xie M, Dou Y, Zhang S, Zhang C, Yu B (2012) Regulation of miRNA abundance by RNA binding protein TOUGH in Arabidopsis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109:12817–12821. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1204915109