Xiongjie Zheng

Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellow



Research Interests

  • Identification of key enzymes required for biosynthesis of important carotenoids and apocarotenoids.
  • Understanding the genetic and evolutionary basis of apocarotenoids and their derived plant hormones or signaling molecule diversity.
  • Plant metabolic engineering for producing high value carotenoid and apocarotenoid compounds. 

Selected Publications

  • Xiongjie Zheng, Jianing Mi, Xiuxin Deng, Salim Al-Babili. (2021) LC-MS-based profiling provides new insights into apocarotenoid biosynthesis and modifications in citrus fruit. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 69(6): 1842-1851.
  • Xiongjie Zheng, Hendrik N.J. Kuijer, Salim Al-Babili. (2020) Carotenoid Biofortification of Crops in the CRISPR Era. Trends in Biotechnology. https://doiorg/10.1016/j.tibtech.2020.12.003.
  • Xiongjie Zheng, Giovanni Giuliano, Salim Al-Babili. (2020) Carotenoid biofortification in crop plants: citius, altius, fortius. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip. 2020.158664.
  • Xiongjie Zheng, Kaijie Zhu, Quan Sun, Weiyi Zhang, Xia Wang, Hongbo Cao, Meilian Tan, Zongzhou Xie, Yunliu Zeng, Junli Ye, Lijun Chai, Qiang Xu1, Zhiyong Pan, Shunyuan Xiao, Paul D. Fraser, Xiuxin Deng. (2019) Natural Variation in CCD4 Promoter Underpins Species-specific Evolution of Red Coloration in Citrus Peel.Molecular Plant. 12, 1294-1307.
  • Xiongjie Zheng, Yuqing Tang, Junli Ye, Zhiyong Pan, Meilian Tan, Zongzhou Xie, Lijun Chai, Qiang Xu, Paul D. Fraser, Xiuxin Deng. (2019) SLAF-based construction of a high-density genetic map and its application in QTL mapping of carotenoids content in citrus fruit. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 67, 994-1002.
  • Chenqiao Zhu, Xiongjie Zheng, Yue Huang, Junli Ye, Peng Chen, Chenglei Zhang, Fei Zhao et al. "Genome sequencing and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing of an early flowering Mini‐Citrus (Fortunella hindsii)." Plant biotechnology journal 17, no. 11 (2019): 2199-2210


  • Ph.D., molecular biology and genetics, Huazhong Agricultural University, China 2018 December

Professional Profile

  • 2019 April-present: Postdoctoral fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia 

KAUST Affiliations

Prof. Salim Al-Babili's Group

CDA - Center for Desert Agriculture

BESE - Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division

Research Interests Keywords

Apocarotenoids Carotenoids Genetics metabolic engineering