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Cunchun Yang

Cunchun Yang

Plant Biologist
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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About Cunchun Yang:

B.Sc.: Biochemistry

M.Sc.: Plant Physiology/Genetics (Meristem genes in B. napus in seed development)

Ph.D.: Plant Pathology (Molecular interaction between L. maculans and B. napus)

Experience

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Department of Plant Science

University of Manitoba

 Sept. 2021 – August 2022

Supervisor: Dr. Rob Duncan

Clubroot - Canola pathology
Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae) is a very serious disease towards canola (Brassica napus), which is able to cost yield of up to 15% in a growing season. 
Phytoglobins (Pgb’s) are very important components in plant embryogenesis and defense. In this project, we developed several B. napus lines of Pgb upr-regulation and suppression, to test their resistance against clubroot (P. brassicae). 

 

 

Research AssistantNational Institute of Biological ScienceFeb. – Aug. 2009

Supervisor: Ms. Lan Kang

  • Assisted the supervisor with experiments, project planning and data collection
  • Managed lab animals highly regulated, such as feeding, peritoneal injection 
  • Participated completely in two projects: bisulfite sequencing assay of two genes (Oct4 and Nanog) and a plasmid construction (not published project) 
  • Finished lab report elucidating the nature, method, result and discussion

 

Related Skills

  1. E. coli culture
  2. Gel extraction (for PCR product)
  3. Cell culture
  4. Bisulfite sequencing
  5. Plasmid isolation/construction

 

 

 

Education

Doctoral of Philosophy (Ph.D.) 

Department of Plant Science

University of Manitoba

 Sept. 2013 – Sept. 2021

Supervisor: Dr. Dilantha Fernando

Molecular Signalling in Brassica napusLeptosphaeria maculans pathosystem

 

My general goal of my Ph.D. study those years is to explore the functional analysis/intrinsic signaling mainly on the canola host defense (i.e. Brassica napus) when B. napus is defending against fungus Leptosphaeria  maculans.
I am focusing on two aspects of internal defense signaling:
-Hormonal signaling (salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and ethylene) against L. maculans
-ROS signaling (superoxides, H2O2, ROS-related genes RBOHs) against L. maculans
Besides, I also investigate the influence of incubation temperature upon the hypersensitive response (HR) of the host (B. napus).
After working at those projects, we concluded that early salicylic acid and ROS signaling are the two essential components for effective resistance.

 

Related Skills

  1. Fungal culture
  2. Small plot field (canola field) evaluation of disease severity of blackleg (canola as the host)
  3. Collection of blackleg (L. maculans) races (from root debris) from the canola fields
  4. Histochemical assays: nitroblue tetrazolium staining (NBT staining), diaminobenzidine staining (DAB staining)
  5. Reverse-transcription quantitative-PCR (RT-qPCR)
  6. Electrolyte leakage measurement
  7. High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC)
  8. Cotyledonary inoculation
  9. RNA extraction/purification, cDNA synthesis

 

 

Publications

  1. Yang, C. and Fernando, W. G. D. (2021). Hormonal responses to susceptible, intermediate, and resistant interactions in the Brassica napus-Leptosphaeria maculans pathosystem. Int J Mol Sci 22(9): 4714. 
  2. Yang, C. and Fernando, W. G. D. (2021). Analysis of the oxidative burst and its relevant signaling pathways in Leptosphaeria maculans-Brassica napus pathsystem. Int J Mol Sci 22(9): 4812. 
  3. Yang, C., Zou, Z. and Fernando, W. G. D. (2021). The effect of temperature on the hypersensitive response (HR) in the Brassica napus-Leptosphaeria maculans pathosystem. Plants(Basel) 10(5): 843. 
  4. Yang, C., Dolatabadian, A. and Fernando, W. G. D. (2022). The wonderful world of intrinsic and intricate immunity responses in plants against pathogens. Can J Plant Pathol 44(1): 1-20. 
  5. Fernando, W. G. D., Zhang, X., Selin, C., Zou, Z., Liban, S. H., Mclaren, D. L., Kubinec, A., Parks, P. S., Rashid, M. H., Padmathilake, K. R. E., Rong, L., Yang, C., Gnanesh, B. N. and Huang, S. (2018). A six-year investigation of the dynamics of avirulence allele profiles, blackleg incidence, and mating type alleles Leptosphaeria maculans populations associated with canola crops in Manitoba, Canada. Plant Dis 102(4): 790-798. 

 

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Department of Plant Science

University of Manitoba

 Jan. 2011 – Dec. 2012

Supervisor: Dr. Claudio Stasolla

The Effects of Altered Expression of Meristem Genes in Brassica napus

The work during my M.Sc. was to assess the roles of the gene STM (in Brassica napus) in the aspects of growth and development (accumulation of nutrients in seeds and in vitro embryogenesis).
The results from my M.Sc. studies suggested that some degrees of STM over-expression improved the viability of embryos and oil contents in canola seeds. The work during my MSc. was to assess the roles of the gene STM (in Brassica napus) in the aspects of growth and development (accumulation of nutrients in seeds and in vitro embryogenesis). The results from my MSc. studies suggested that some degrees of STM over-expression improved the viability of embryos and oil contents in canola seeds.

Related Skills

  1. Tissue fixation (for microscopy)
  2. Enzyme assays
  3. Microspore extraction/culture
  4. Reverse-transcription quantitative-PCR (RT-qPCR)
  5. High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC)
  6. Hormone (cytokinin) induction
  7. RNA extraction/purification, cDNA synthesis

Publications

  1. Elhiti, M., Yang, C., Chan, A., Durnin, D. C., Belmonte, M. F., Ayele, B. T., Tahir, M. and Stasolla, C. (2012). Altered seed oil and glucosinolate levels in transgenic plants overexpressing the Brassica napus SHOOTMERISTEMLESS gene. J Exp Bot 63(12): 4447-4461. 
  2. Elhiti, M., Yang, C., Belmonte, M. F., Gulden, R. H. and Stasolla, C. (2012). Transcriptional changes of antioxidant responses, hormone signalling and developmental processes evoked by the Brassica napus SHOOTMERISTEMLESS during in vitro embryogenesis. Plant Physiol Biochem 58: 297-311. 

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