Genetics and Biochemistry Department
Office: 110 Biosystems Research Complex
Ph.D. Molecular Biology
Catholic University of Louvain 1995
M.S. Molecular Biology
Catholic University of Louvain 1990
M.S. Plant Genetics and Breeding
Sichuan Agricultural University 1986
Sichuan Agricultural University 1983
GEN4500/6500: Comparative Genomics
GEN4910: Directed Research in Genetics,
GEN4910H: Honors College course, Directed Research in Genetics.
BCHM4910: Directed Research in Biochemistry
BCHM4910H: Honors College course, Directed Research in Biochemistry
GEN/BCHM4930: Senior Seminar
GEN/BCHM 8050: Issues in Research
GEN/BCHM 8100: Principles of Molecular Biology
Dr. Hong Luo holds a Bachelor degree in Agronomy, and Master’s degrees in Plant Genetics and Breeding, and Molecular Biology. After completing a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, Dr. Luo did his first postdoc on biochemistry and molecular biology to functionally characterize plant plasma membrane ATPase gene family using yeast as a model heterologous expression system. He then accepted a postdoctoral fellowship from the European Union and the National Center of Scientific Research of France to work on molecular marker development for genetic studies in Gracilaria gracilis. He did his third postdoc at Purdue University working on genetic transformation of rice and corn for trait modification, and on the use of the yeast FLP/FRT site-specific DNA recombination system in plants for genome modification. Before joining Clemson University, he was with HybriGene, Inc. as the Director of Research, working on gene transfer for trait modification in turfgrass and rice. His work leads to the development of the first genetically engineered, environmentally safe, male-sterile and herbicide-resistant turfgrass, and the development of a new method for hybrid crop production using site-specific DNA recombination systems. He currently maintains several active research projects for both basic and applied research on genetic modification of crop plants. He is a Faculty Fellow, Clemson Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and the recipient of the 2013 Clemson University Godley-Snell Agricultural Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research. He is the member of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) and the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB), and served as SIVB Plant Biotechnology Section Program Committee Co-Chair and Chair (2014-2016).
My research focuses on gene discovery in grasses and cereals, and genetic improvement of perennials and row crops. Biotic and abiotic stresses are among the most important factors significantly impacting plant growth and agriculture production. We are particularly interested in understanding molecular mechanisms underlying plant response to adverse environmental conditions. Taking advantage of genetics, molecular biology and genomics tools, we seek to identify and functionally characterize new components in plant signal transduction, non-coding small RNA molecules, such as microRNAs (miRNAs), and other genes and biological pathways involved in regulating plant resistance to pest and pathogen infection, drought, salt, heat stress and nutritional starvation. The knowledge acquired allows us to design novel molecular strategies to genetically engineer various food and bioenergy crops and perennial grasses, including turfgrass, switchgrass, rice, soybean and cotton for enhanced performance under various environmental adversities. Using biotechnology approach for trait modifications in economically and environmentally important crops, our long-term goal is to genetically improve major crop species and develop new cultivars with significantly enhanced yield and quality, contributing to agriculture production.
List of publications – since 2006
1. Yuan, N., Yuan, S., Li, Z., Zhou, M., Wu, P., Hu, Q., Mendu, V., Wang, L., Luo, H.* (2018) STRESS INDUCED FACTOR 2, a leucine-rich repeat kinase regulates basal plant pathogen defense. Plant Physiology 176:3062-3080.
2. Alam, M.N., Zhang, L., Yang, L., Islam, M.R., Liu, Y., Luo, H., Yang, P., Wang, Q., Chan, Z. (2018) Transcriptomic profiling of tall fescue in response to heat stress and improved thermotolerance by melatonin and 24-epibrassinolide. BMC Genomics 19:224.
3. Li, Z., Yuan, S., Jia, H., Gao, F., Zhou, M., Yuan, N., Wu, P., Hu, Q., Sun, D.*, Luo, H.* (2017) Ectopic expression of a cyanobacterial flavodoxin in creeping bentgrass impacts plant development and confers broad abiotic stress tolerance. Plant Biotechnology Journal 15:433-446.
4. Mishra, N., Sun, L., Zhu, X., Smith, J., Srivastava, A.P., Yang, X., Pehlivan, N., Esmaeili, N., Luo, H., Shen, G., Jones, D., Auld, D., Burke, J, Payton, P., Zhang, H. (2017) Overexpression of the rice SUMO E3 ligase gene OsSIZ1 in cotton enhances drought and heat tolerance, and substantially improves fiber yields in field under reduced irrigation and rainfed conditions. Plant and Cell Physiology 58:735-746.
5. Sun, X., Sun, C., Li, Z., Hu, Q., Han, L., Luo, H.* (2016) AsHSP17, a creeping bentgrass small heat shock protein modulates plant photosynthesis and ABA-dependent and independent signaling to attenuate plant response to abiotic stress. Plant, Cell & Environment 39:1320-1337.
6. Yuan, N., Yuan, S., Li, Z., Li, D., Hu, Q., Luo, H.* (2016) Heterologous expression of a rice miR395 gene in Nicotiana tabacum impairs sulfate homeostasis. Scientific Reports 6:28791; doi: 10.1038/srep28791.
7. Ren, J., Gao, F., Wu, X., Lu, X., Zeng, L., Lv, J., Su, X., Luo, H., Ren, G. (2016) Bph32, a novel gene encoding an unknown SCR domain-containing protein, confers resistance against the brown planthopper in rice. Scientific Reports 6:37645; doi: 10.1038/srep37645.
8. Ren, X., Wang, J., Liu, L., Sun, G., Li, C., Luo, H., Sun, D. (2016) SNP-based high density genetic map and mapping of btwd1 dwarfing gene in barley. Scientific Reports 6:31741; doi: 10.1038/srep31741.
9. Zhou, B., Luo, H., Qu, R. (2016) Expression of the shrimp antimicrobial peptide penaeidin 4-1 confers resistance against brown patch disease in tall fescue. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture. 125:599-603.
10. Yuan, S., Li, Z., Li, D., Hu, Q., Luo, H.* (2015) Constitutive expression of rice microRNA528 alters plant development and enhances plant tolerance to salinity stress and nitrogen starvation in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.). Plant Physiology 169:576-593.
11. Yuan, N., Cogill, S., Luo, H.* (2015) Development of molecular strategies for gene containment and marker-free genetically modified organisms. In: Genetically Modified Organisms in Food. Watson, R., Stevens, B. (eds), Elservier B.V., pp223-236.
12. Yuan, S., Luo, H.* (2015) Negative regulators of messenger RNA and the role of microRNA for plant genetic engineering. In: Genetically Modified Organisms in Food. Watson, R., Stevens, B. (eds), Elservier B.V., pp237-255.
13. San B., Li Z., Hu Q., Reighard G., Luo H.* (2015) Adventitious shoot regeneration from in vitro cultured leaf explants of peach is significantly enhanced by silver thiosulfate. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 120:757-765.
14. Zhou, M., Luo, H.* (2014) Role of microRNA319 in creeping bentgrass salinity and drought stress response. Plant signaling & Behavior 9:e28700.
15. Menchyk, N., Bielenberg, D.G., Martin, S., Waltz, C., Luo, H., Bethea, F. Jr., Liu, H. (2014) Nitrogen and trinexapac-ethyl applications for managing ‘Diamond’ zoysiagrass putting greens in the transition zone, U.S. HortScience 49:1076-1080.
16. Li, Z., Hu, Q., Zhou, M., Vandenbrink, J., Li, D., Menchyk, N., Reighard, S.R., Norris, A., Liu, H., Sun, D., Luo, H.* (2013) Heterologous expression of OsSIZ1, a rice SUMO E3 ligase enhances broad abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic creeping bentgrass. Plant Biotechnology Journal 11:432-445.
17. Zhou, M., Luo, H.* (2013) MicroRNA-mediated gene regulation: potential applications for plant genetic engineering. Plant Molecular Biology 83:59-75.
18. Zhou, M., Li, D., Li, Z., Hu, Q., Yang, C., Zhu, L., Luo, H.* (2013) Constitutive expression of a miR319 gene alters plant development and enhances salt and drought tolerance in transgenic creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.). Plant Physiology 161:1375-1391.
19. Saski, C., Luo, H.* (2013) Switchgrass genomic resources development and genome sequencing initiatives. In: Compendium of Bioenergy Plants - Switchgrass. Luo, H., and Wu, Y. (eds), CRC Press, Tailor & Francis Group, p214-227.
20. Li, D., Zhou, M., Li, Z., Luo, H.* (2013) MicroRNAs and their potential applications in switchgrass improvements. In: Compendium of Bioenergy Plants – Switchgrass. Luo, H., and Wu, Y. (eds), CRC Press, Tailor & Francis Group, p228-252.
21. Liu, H., Menchyk, N., Bethea, F.G. Jr., Luo, H. (2013) ‘Diamond’zoysiagrass putting greens in the transition zone. International Turfgrass Society Research Journal 12:761-766.
22. Baldwin, C.M., Liu, H., McCarty, L.B., Luo, H., Toler, J.E. (2013) Winter ciltural practices and shade impacts on ‘Tifeagle’ bermudagrass spring green-up. International Turfgrass Society Research Journal 12:257-262.
23. Li, Z., Zhou, M., Hu, Q., Reighard, S., Yuan, S., Yuan, N., San, B., Li, D., Jia, H. and Luo, H.* (2012) Manipulating expression of tonoplast transporters. In: Plant Salt Tolerance: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 913, DOI 10. 1007/978-1-61779-986-0_24, Shabala, S. Cuin, TA. (eds), Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, pp359-369.
24. Teng, S., Luo, H. and Wang, L. (2012) Predicting protein sumoylation sites from sequence features. Amino Acids 43:447-55.
25. Zhou, M., Hu, Q., Li, Z., Chen, C.-F., and Luo, H.* (2011) Expression of a novel antimicrobial peptide penaeidin4-1 in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) enhances plant fungal disease resistance. PLoS ONE 6(9):e24677.
26. Saski, C.A., Li, Z., Feltus, F.A., and Luo, H.* (2011) New genomic resources for switchgrass: a BAC library and comparative analysis of homoeologous genomic regions harboring bioenergy traits. BMC Genomics 12:369.
27. Fang, G.-C., Blackmon, B. P., Henry, D. C., Staton, M. E., Saski, C. A., Hodges, S. A., Tomkins, J. P., and Luo, H.* (2010) Genomic tools development for Aquilegia: Construction of a BAC-based physical map. BMC Genomics 11:621.
28. Li, Z., Baldwin, C. M., Hu, Q., Liu, H., and Luo, H.* (2010) Heterologous expression of Arabidopsis H+-PPase enhances salt tolerance in transgenic creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.). Plant, Cell & Environment 33:272-289.
29. Ke, P. C., Lin, S., Reppert, J., Rao, A., and Luo, H. (2010) Uptake of nanoparticles by mammalian cells and plants, In: Handbook of Nanophysics - Nanomedicine and Nanorobotics, Sattler, K. D. (ed), Taylor&Francis Group (CRC Press), Boca Raton, FL, pp 30:1-15.
30. Teng, S., Luo, H., and Wang, L (2010) Random forest-based prediction of protein sumoylation sites from sequence features. Proceedings of the First ACM International Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (August 2-4, 2010, Niagara Falls, NY, USA), p120-126 (doi.10.1145/1854776.1854797).
31. Baldwin, C. M., Liu, H., McCarty, L. B., Luo, H., and Toler, J. E. (2009) 'L-93' creeping bentgrass putting green responses to various winter light intensities in the southern transition zone. HortScience 44:1751-1756.
32. Lin, S., Reppert, J., Hu, Q., Hudson, J. S., Reid, M. L., Ratnikova, T., Rao, A., Luo, H.*, and Ke, P. C.* (2009) Uptake, translocation and transmission of carbon nanomaterials in rice plants. Small 5:1128-1132.
33. Baldwin, C. M., Liu, H., McCarty, L. B., Luo, H., Wells, C. E., and Toler, J. E. (2009) Impact of altered light spectral quality on warm-season turfgrass growth under greenhouse conditions. Crop Science 49:1444–1453.
34. Baldwin, C. M., Liu, H., McCarty, L. B., Luo, H., and Toler, J. E. (2009) Nitrogen and plant growth regulator influence on ‘Champion’ bermudagrass putting green under reduced sunlight. Agronomy Journal 101:75-81.
35. Baldwin, C. M., Liu, H., McCarty, L. B., Luo, H., and Toler, J. E. (2009) Dormant bermudagrass spring green-up influenced by shade. International Turfgrass Society Research Journal 11:711-721.
36. Hu, Q., Kononowicz-Hodges, H., Nelson-Vasilchik, K., Viola, D., Zeng, P., Liu, H., Kausch, A. P., Chandlee, J. M., Hodges, T. K., and Luo, H.* (2008) FLP-mediated site-specific recombination in rice. Plant Biotechnology Journal 6:176-188 (Featured on the cover).
37. Sun, S. X., Gao, F. Y., Lu, X. J., Wu, X. J., Wang, X. D., Ren, G. J., and Luo, H. (2008) Genetic analysis and gene fine mapping of aroma in rice. Genetics and Molecular Biology 31:532-538.
38. Pasupathy, K., Lin, S., Hu, Q., Luo, H.*, and Ke, P. C.* (2008) Direct plant gene delivery with a poly(amidoamine) dendrimer. Biotechnology Journal 3:1078-1082.
39. Gao, F. Y., Ren, G. J., Lu, X. J., Sun, S. X., Li, H. J., Gao, Y. M., Luo, H., Yan, W. G., and Zhang, Y. Z. (2008) QTL analysis for the resistance to pre-harvest sprouting in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant Breeding 127:268-273.
40. Qu, Q., Luo, H., Meier, V. D. (2008) Turfgrass. In: Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants: Transgenic Plantation Crops, Ornamentals and Turf Grasses, Kole, C., and Hall, T. C. (eds), Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK, pp. 177-218.
41. Baldwin, C. M., Liu, H., McCarty, L. B., Luo, H., Toler, J. E., and Long, S. H. (2008) Winter foot and equipment traffic impacts on a ‘L93’ creeping bentgrass putting green. HortScience 43 (3):922-926.
42. Liu, H., Baldwin, C. M., and Luo, H. (2007) Acid soil and aluminum tolerance in turfgrasses. In: Manual of Turfgrass Management and Physiology, Pessarakli, M. (ed), Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, New York, NY, pp 373-386.
43. Liu, H., Baldwin, C. M., Luo, H., and Pressarakli, M. (2007) Enhancing turfgrass nitrogen use under stresses. In: Manual of Turfgrass Management and Physiology, Pessarakli, M. (ed), Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, New York, NY, pp. 555-599.
44. Saski, C., Lee, S.-B., Fjellheim, S., Guda, C., Jansen, R. K., Luo, H., Tomkins, J., Rognli, O. A., Daniell, H., and Clarke, J. L. (2007) Complete chloroplast genome sequences of Hordeum vulgare, Sorghum bicolor and Agrostis stolonifera, and comparative analyses with other grass genomes. Theoretic and Applied Genetics 115:571-591.
45. Hu, Q., Nelson, K, Luo, H.* (2006) FLP-mediated site-specific recombination for genome modification in turfgrass. Biotechnology Letters 28:1793-1804.
46. Luo, H.*, Lee, J.-Y., Hu, Q., Nelson-Vasilchik, K., Eitas, T. K., Lickwar, C., Kausch, A. P., Chandlee, J. M., and Hodges, T. K. (2006) RTS, a rice anther-specific gene is required for male fertility and its promoter sequence directs tissue-specific gene expression in different plant species. Plant Molecular Biology 62:397-408.
47. Longo, C., Lickwar, C., Hu, Q., Nelson-Vasilchik, K., Viola, D., Hague, J., Chandlee, J. M., Luo, H., and Kausch, A. P. (2006) Turfgrasses. In: Methods in Molecular Biology - Agrobacterium Protocols, Vol. 344: Agrobacterium Protocol, 2/e, Vol. 2, Wang, K. (ed.) Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ, pp 83-95.