1) Identification of key enzymes required for biosynthesis of important carotenoids and apocarotenoids.
2) Understanding the genetic and evolutionary basis of apocarotenoids & derived plant hormones or signaling molecule diversity, and how plants exploit these metabolites to interact with abiotic environments as well as their surrounding biotic.
3) Plant metabolic engineering for producing high value apocarotenoids metabolites.
Xiongjie Zheng, Kaijie Zhu, Quan Sun, Weiyi Zhang, Xia Wang, Hongbo Cao, Meilian Tan et al. "Natural variation in CCD4 promoter underpins species-specific evolution of red coloration in citrus peel." Molecular plant (2019): 1294-1307.
Xiongjie Zheng, Zongzhou Xie, Kaijie Zhu, Qiang Xu, Xiuxin Deng, Zhiyong Pan. Isolation and characterization of carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 4 genes from different citrus species [J]. Molecular Genetics and Genomics, 2015, 290(4): 1589-1603.
Xiongjie Zheng, Yuqing Tang, Junli Ye, Zhiyong Pan, Meilian Tan, Zongzhou Xie, Lijun Chai, Qiang Xu, Paul D. Fraser, Xiuxin Deng. SLAF-based construction of a high-density genetic map and its application in QTL mapping of carotenoids content in citrus fruit [J]. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b05176.
Xiongjie Zheng, Giovanni Guliano, and Salim Al-Babili. "Carotenoid biofortification in crop plants: citius, altius, fortius." Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids (2020): 158664.
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.
2019 April-: Postdoctoral fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
Prof. Salim Al-Babili's Group
CDA - Center for Desert Agriculture
BESE - Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division