Title: Associate Professor
Area of Study: Molecular Genetics, Molecular Toxicology, Biotechnology
Phone: Office - 252-328-2021, Lab - 252-737-4767
Office: 562 Science and Technology Building
Lab: 535 Science and Technology Building
Address: Department of Biology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
Ph.D., Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, 2006
B.A., Plant Genetics and Breeding, Beijing Agricultural University, 1991
B. Courses Taught
BIOL 3820. Plant Biotechnology (For Fall Semester).
C. Research Program
The research in Dr. Zhang's lab focuses on three related fields: molecular genetics, toxicology, and biotechnology.1. Molecular Genetics and Genome Editing
2. Toxicology and Transgenerational Inheritance
D. Funding Agents
NIH NSF USDA DoE DoD
NCBC Cotton Inc. Dupont
E. Selected Publications (*, graduate students; #, undergraduate students)
Selected plant genomics, genetics and biotechnology-related publications
1. Li C, Unver T, & Zhang BH (2017) A high-efficiency CRISPR/Cas9 system for targeted mutagenesis in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Scientific Reports, 7:43902 | DOI: 10.1038/srep43902
2. Alagoz Y, Gurkok T, Zhang BH, and Unver T (2016) Manipulating the biosynthesis of bioactive compound alkaloids for next-generation metabolic engineering in opium poppy using CRISPR-Cas 9 genome editing technology. Scientific Reports, 6: 30910. doi: 10.1038/srep30910.
3. Candar-Çakir B*, Arican E, and Zhang BH (2016) Small RNA and degradome deep Sequencing reveals drought- and Tissue-specific microRNAs and their important roles in drought-sensitive and -tolerant tomato genotypes. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 14(8):1727-46. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12533.
4. He QL, Jones DC, Li W, Xie FL*, Ma J*, Sun RR*, Wang QL, Zhu SJ, and Zhang BH (2016) Genome-wide identification of R2R3-MYB genes and expression analyses during abiotic stress in Gossypium raimondii. Scientific Reports, 6:22980. doi: 10.1038/srep22980
5. Zhang ZY, Chao MN, Wang SF, Bu JJ, Tang JX, Li F, Wang QL, and Zhang BH (2016) Proteome quantification of cotton xylem sap suggests the mechanisms of potassium-deficiency-induced changes in plant resistance to environmental stresses. Scientific Reports, 6: 21060. doi: 10.1038/srep21060
6. Cakir O, Candar-Cakir B*, & Zhang BH (2016) Small RNA and degradome sequencing reveals important microRNA function in Astragalus chrysochlorus response to selenium stimuli. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 14(2):543-56. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12397.
7. Ma J*, Liu F, Wang QL, Wang KB, Jones D, & Zhang BH (2016) Comprehensive analysis of TCP transcription factors and their expression during cotton (Gossypium arboreum) fiber early development. Scientific Reports, 6:21535. doi: 10.1038/srep21535.
8. Gao S, Yang L, Zeng HQ, Yang ZM, Li H, Sun D, Zhou ZS, Xie FL*, Zhang BH (2016) A cotton miRNA is involved in regulation of plant response to salt stress. Scientific Reports, 6:19736. doi: 10.1038/srep19736.
9. Xie FL*, Wang QL, and Zhang BH (2015) Global microRNA modification in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Plant Biotechnology Journal, 13(4): 492-500. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12271.
10. Zhang BH (2015) MicroRNA: a new target for improving plant tolerance to abiotic stress. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66 (7): 1749-1761 doi: 10.1093/jxb/ erv013
11. Trumbo JL, Zhang BH and Stewart CN (2015) Manipulating microRNAs for improved biomass and biofuels from plant feedstocks. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 13(3):337-54. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12319.
13. Xie FL*, Jones DC, Wang QL, Sun RR, and Zhang BH (2015) Small RNA sequencing identifies miRNA roles in ovule and fiber development. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 13(3): 355-369. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12296.
14. Xie FL*, Wang QL, Sun RR*, and Zhang BH (2015) Deep sequencing reveals important roles of microRNAs in response to drought and salinity stress in cotton. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66(3): 789-804. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru437
15. Xie FL*, Stewart N, Taki FA*, He QL, Liu HW & Zhang BH (2014) High throughput deep sequencing shows that microRNAs play important roles in switchgrass responses to drought and salinity stress. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 12: 354-366.
Selected bioinformatics and computational biology-related publications
16. Frazier TP, Palmer NA, Xie FL*, Tobias CM, Donze-Reiner TJ, Bombarely A, Childs KL, Shu SQ, Jenkins JW, Schmutz J, Zhang BH, Sarath G and Zhao BY (2016) Identification, characterization, and gene expression analysis of nucleotide binding site (NB)-type resistance gene homologues in switchgrass. BMC Genomics, 17:892. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-3201-5
17. Ma J*, Wang QL, Sun RR, Xie FL*, Jones DC, and Zhang BH (2014) Genome-wide identification and expression analysis of TCP transcription factors in Gossypium raimondii. Scientific Reports 4: 6645. doi:10.1038/srep06645
18. Xie FL*, Xiao P, Chen DL*, Xu L* & Zhang, Baohong(2012) miRDeepFinder: a miRNA analysis tool for deep sequencing of plant small RNAs. Plant Molecular Biology, 80 (1): 75-84. DOI: 10.1007/s11103-012-9885-2
19. Xie FL*, Sun GL, Stiller JW & Zhang, Baohong (2011) Genome-wide functional analysis of the cotton transcriptome by creating an integrated EST database. PLOS One, 6(11):e26980 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026980
Selected environmental and health health-related publications
21. O’Donnell B*, Huo L, Polli JR, Qiu L, Collier D, Zhang BH, & Pan XP. (2016) ZnO nanoparticles enhanced germ cell apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans, in comparison with ZnCl2. Toxicological Sciences (In press).
22. Taki FA*, Pan XP & Zhang BH (2015) Revisiting Chaos theorem to understand the nature of miRNAs in response to drugs of abuse. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 230(12):2857-68. doi: 10.1002/jcp.25037.
23. Polli JR#, Dobbins DL*, Kobet RA#, Farwell MA, Zhang BH, Lee MH, and Pan X (2015) Drug-Dependent Behaviors and Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Expressions in Caenorhabditis elegans Following Chronic Nicotine Exposure. NeuroToxicology, 47: 27-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuro.2014.12.005
25. Kobet RA#, Pan XP, Zhang BH, Pak SC, Asch AS and Lee MH (2014) Caenorhabditis elegans: a model system for anti-cancer drug discovery and therapeutic target identification. Biomolecules & Therapeutics, 22(5): 371-383.
26. Taki FA *, Abdel-Rahman AA and Zhang BH (2014) A comprehensive approach to identify reliable reference gene candidates to investigate the link between alcoholism and endocrinology in Sprague-Dawley rats. PLOS One 9(5):e94311.
27. Taki FA *, Pan XP & Zhang BH (2014) Chronic nicotine exposure systemically alters microRNA expression profiles during post-embryonic stages in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 229(1): 79-89. doi: 10.1002/jcp.24419.
28. Taki FA *, Pan XP & Zhang, Baohong (2013) Nicotine exposure caused significant transgenerational heritable behavioral changes in Caenorhabditis elegans. EXCLI Journal, 12:793-806.
29. Smith MA *, Zhang Y *, Polli JR #, Wu H, Zhang, Baohong, Xiao P, Farwell MA, and Pan X (2013) Impacts of chronic low-level nicotine exposure on Caenorhabditis elegans reproduction: identification of novel gene targets. Reproductive Toxicology, 40: 69-75. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2013.05.007.
30. Zhang YQ*, Chen DL*, Ennis AC#, Polli JR#, Xiao P, Zhang, Baohong, Stellwag EJ, Overton A, & Pan XP (2013) Chemical dispersant potentiates crude oil impacts on growth, reproduction, and gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans. Achieves of Toxicology, 87(2):371-382. DOI 10.1007/s00204-012-0936-x.
31. Shah MY*, Pan XP, Fix LN*, Farwell MA & Zhang, Baohong (2011) 5-fluorouracil drug alters the microRNA expression profiles in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 226(7): 1868-1878.
F. Laboratory Personnel
Ilya N. Boykov
Daniel H. Parker
Kaeden M. Jordison
Former graduate students, postdoc and visiting scientists
Kevin A Adams (M.S., 2016), now technician at RTP, NC
Faten Taki (M.S., 2013; Ph.D., 2016), now Postdoctoral scholar at Cornell University
Jun Ma (M.S., 2015), now Ph.D. student at NC State University
Fuliang Xie (Ph.D., 2014), now research scientist of bioinformatics at RTP, NC
William Winfrey (M.S., 2013) now MD students at ECU Brody School of Medicine
Caitlin E. Burklew (M.S., 2012), now scientist at Excet Inc.
Lindsey Nicole Fix (M.S., 2010), now MD students at ECU Brody School of Medicine
Taylor Price Frazier (M.S., 2010), now Postdoctoral Scholar at University of Tennessee
Maitri Yogen Shah (M.S., 2010), now Ph.D. student at MD Anderson Cancer Center
G. Selected student Awards
- James S. McDaniel Scholarship for “Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year” in excellent research: Maitri Yogen Shah (2019), Caitlin E. Burklew (2011), Jun Ma (2014), Juliana Cobb (2015)
- Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research: Lindsey Nicole Fix (2010), Faten Taki (2015)
- SETAC Foundation for Environmental Education Travel Award: Maitri Shah (2009), Faten Taki (2013), Juliana Cobb (2015)
- Best Student Platform Presentation in Toxicogenomics, SETAC North America Annual Meeting: Lindsey Nicole Fix (2009), Faten Taki (2013)
- Graduate Student Awards in Environmental Chemistry by the America Chemical Society: Faten Taki (2013)
H. Prospective Students
Dr. Zhang’s lab is now accepting graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) who have an interest in molecular genetics, molecular toxicology, and/or biotechnology. The Department of Biology has a Master of Science degree program and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree program (IDPBS). Currently, graduate students in Dr. Zhang’s lab have the freedom to choose their study organism(s) and system. If you are interested in working with me, you should contact Dr. Zhang directly to discuss the details and possibilities. You may stop by Dr. Zhang’s office at Science and Technology Building 562 (office) or 535 (Lab) or email Dr. Zhang at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Zhang’s lab is keen on accepting students who are enthusiastic, hard working, and interested in facing challenges and solving questions related to molecular genetics, molecular toxicology, and/or biotechnology. Many graduate students in Dr. Zhang’s lab have won national and international awards and had at least two publications when they graduated.
Undergraduate students, particularly freshman and junior, are also welcome and encouraged to join Dr. Zhang’s lab to gain research experience. If interested, you may also directly stop by Dr. Zhang’s office or email him to discuss possible research opportunities. Many undergraduate students have generated publications as co-authors in Dr. Zhang’s lab.
In the next 4 years, both of undergraduate and graduate students working
in Dr. Zhang’s lab, have great potentials to travel with Dr. Zhang to China for
performing collaborative research.