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The Research Team for Fruit trees morphogenesis and development biology

The Research Team for Fruit trees morphogenesis and development biology
Director: Chen Houbin

The Research Team for Fruit treesmorphogenesis and development biology

Team Leader: Chen Houbin

The major fruit crops studied are litchi, longan, mango andbanana, and grapes, annona and wax apple are also studied. This team studiesroot and shoot formation, growth rhythm and mechanism of their relevantcontrol; phasic changes in floral differentiation and development; pollination,fertilization and fruit quality development; precise control of shoot, flowerand fruit growth.

There are 9 team members, with 7 professors. Five of themstudied and visited in the USA for more than one year. From 2011 to 2015,twenty-one projects with 14.092 million yuan were conducted. And sixty-nineresearch papers were published, among which 27 were listed in SCI. Three litchistandards and guidelines were finished and delivered. One achievement wasawarded as the 2nd and 1st award in the national and Guangdong Science andTechnology Progress Award in 2014 and 2012 respectively. Two patents were registered.



Selected publication (Five years)


Lai B, Du L-N, Liu R, Hu B, Su W-B, Qin Y-H, ZhaoJ-T, Wang H-C*, Hu G-B*. 2016. TwoLcbHLH transcription factors interacting with LcMYB1 in regulating latestructural genes of anthocyanin biosynthesis in Nicotiana and Litchi chinensis during anthocyaninaccumulation. Front. Plant Sci. 7:166. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00166


Li XJ, Lai B, ZhaoJT, Qin YH, He JM, Huang XM, Wang HC*, Hu GB*. 2016. Sequencedifferences in LcFGRT4 alleles are responsible for the diverse anthocyanincomposition in the pericarp of Litchichinensis. Mol Breeding 36:93 DOI 10.1007/s11032-016


Li XJ, Zhang JQ, Wu ZC, Lai B, Huang XM, Qin YH, Wang HC*, Hu GB*. 2016. Functional characterization of aglucosyltransferase gene, LcUFGT1, involved in the formation of cyanidinglucoside in the pericarp of Litchichinensis. Physiologia Plantarum 156: 139–149.


Wu ZC, Yang ZY, Li JG, Chen HB, Huang XM, Wang HC*. 2016. Methyl-inositol, γ-aminobutyric acid and otherhealth benefit compounds in the aril of litchi, International Journal of FoodSciences and Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1198888


ShenJY, Xiao QS, Qiu HJ, ChenCJ, Chen HB. 2016. Integrativeeffect of drought and low temperature on litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) floral initiation revealed by dynamicgenome-wide transcriptome analysis. ScientificReports 6:11



Ding F, Zhang SW, Chen HB, Su ZX, Zhang R, Xiao QS, Li Hl. 2015. Promoter differenceof LcFT1 is a leading cause of natural variation of flowering timing indifferent litchi cultivars (Litchichinensis Sonn.). Plant Science, 241,128-137

Lai B,Hu B, Qin YH, Zhao JT, Wang HC, Hu GB*. 2015. Transcriptomic analysis of Litchi chinensis pericarp duringmaturation with a focus on chlorophyll degradation and flavonoid biosynthesis.BMC Genomics, 16:225 DOI 10.1186/s12864-015-1433-4


Li CQ, Wang Y, Ying PY, MaWQ, Li JG*. 2015. Genome-widedigital transcript analysis of putative fruitlet abscission related genesregulated by ethephon in litchi. Frontiers in Plant Science, 6(502):1-16


Li CQ, Wang Y, Huang XM, Li J, Wang HC, Li JG*.  2015. An improved fruit transcriptome and theidentification of the candidate genes involved in fruit abscission induced bycarbohydrate stress in litchi. Frontiers in Plant Science, 6(439):1-15


Liu WW, Chen HB, Lu XY, Rahman J, Zhong S, Zhou BY. 2015. Identification of nitricoxide responsive genes in the floral buds of Litchi chinensis. Biologia Plantarum, 59: 115-122



Wang TD, Zhang HF, Wu ZC, Li JG, Huang XM*, Wang HC*. 2015. Sugar uptake in thearil of litchi fruit depends on the apoplasmic post-phloem transport and theactivity of proton pumps and the putative transporter LcSUT4. Plant and CellPhysiology, 56(2):377-387

Yang S, Li C, Zhao L, Gao S, Lu J, Zhao ML, Chen CY,Liu X, Luo M, Cui Y, Yang C, and Wu KQ. 2015. The Arabidopsis SWI2/SNF2 Chromatin RemodelingATPase BRAHMA Targets Directly to PINs and Is Required for Root Stem Cell NicheMaintenance. Plant Cell. 27, 1670-1680


Yang ZQ, Zhong XM, FanY, WangHC, Li JG, Huang XM. 2015.  Burst ofreactive oxygen species in pedicel-mediated fruit abscission after carbohydratesupply was cut off in longan (Dimocarpuslongan). Frontiers in Plant Science, 6:360


 ZhaoML, Yang SG, Chen CY, Li CL, Shan W, Lu WJ, Cui YH, Liu XC and Wu KQ. 2015. Arabidopsis BREVIPEDICELLUS Interactswith the SWI2/SNF2 Chromatin Remodeling ATPase BRAHMA to Regulate KNAT2 andKNAT6 Expression in Control of Inflorescence Architecture. PLOS Genetics.DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005125.


Zhao ML, Yang SG, Liu XC and WuKQ. 2015. Arabidopsis histone demethylases LDL1 and LDL2 control primary seeddormancy by regulating DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 and ABA signaling-related genes.Frontiers in Plant Science. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00159.



Chen HB, Su ZX,Zhang R, Zhang HN, Ding F, Zhou BY.2014. Research advances in floral differentiation of litchi. AgriculturalScience Sinica, 47(9): 1774-1783 [in Chinense]


Fu XY, Mo WP, Zhang JY, Zhou LY, WangHC, Huang XM. 2014. Shoot growthpattern and quantifying flush maturity with SPAD valuein litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) ScientiaHorticulturae 174, 29–35


Huang XM,Chen HB. 2014. Studies on shoot, flower and fruit development in litchi andstrategies for improved litchi production. Acta Horticulturae, 1029: 127-136


Lai B, Li XJ, Hu B, Qin YH, Huang XM, Wang HC*, HuGB*. 2014. LcMYB1 is a key determinant of differential anthocyan inaccumulation among genotypes, tissues, developmental phases and ABA and lightStimuli in Litchi chinensis. PLoS ONE, 9(1): e86293.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086 293.


Li CQ, Ying PY, Chen L, Li JG*,Lu WJ. 2014. Molecular cloning and expression analysis of LcHMG3 gene encodinga 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl Coenzyme A Reductase from Litchi chinensis.Acta Hort., 1029: 101-108


Liu WW, Chen HB, Lu XY, Rahman J,Zhong S, Zhou BY. 2014. Identificationof nitric oxide responsive genes in the floral buds of Litchi chinensis. Biologia Plantarum.


Liu,X., Yang,S., Zhao,M., Luo,M., Yu,C.W., Chen,C.Y., Tai,R.,Wu,K. 2014. TranscriptionalRepression by Histone Deacetylases in Plants. Molecular Plant. 7,764-772


Lu X, Kim H, ZhongS, Chen H, Hu Z, Zhou B. De novotranscriptome assembly for rudimentary leaves in Litchi chinesis Sonn. and identification of differentiallyexpressed genes in response to reactive oxygen species. BMC Genomics, 2014,15:805


Wang TD,Zhang HF, Wu ZC, Li JG, Huang XM, Wang HC. 2014. Sugaruptake in the aril of litchi fruit depends on the apoplasmic post-phloemtransport and the activity of proton pumps and the putative transporter LcSUT4.Plant and Cell Physiology, doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcu173.


ShenJY, Tieman D, Jones JB,Taylor MG, Schmelz E, Huffaker A, Bies D, Chen KS, Klee HJ. 2014. A13-lipoxygenase, TomloxC, is essential for synthesis of C5 flavour volatiles intomato. Journal of Experimental Botany 65(2):419-428


ShenJY, Wu L, Liu HR, Zhang B,Yin XR, Ge YQ, Chen KS. 2014. Bagging treatment influences production of C-6aldehydes and biosynthesis-related gene expression in peach fruit skin.Molecules 19(9):13461-13472


Yang HF, Kim HJ, Chen HB, RahmanJ, Lu XY, Zhou BY. 2014. Carbohydrateaccumulation and flowering-related gene expression levels at differentdevelopmental stages of terminal shoots in Litchichinensis. Hortscience, 49(11):1-11


Yang ZY,Zhang JQ,Wang TD, HuangXM, Hu GB, Wang HC*. 2014. Doesacid invertase regulate the seed development of Litchi chinensis?Acta Hort, 1029: 301-307


Zhang HN, Wei YZ, Shen JY, Lai B, Huang XM,Ding F, Su ZX, Chen HB. 2014.Transcriptomic analysis of floral initiation in litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) based on de novo RNA sequencing. Plant CellReports 33(10):1723-1735.

Zhou BY, Chen HB, Wu CB. 2014. Anoverview on natural triggers and stress signals in relation to flowering in Litchi chinensis and Dimocarpus longan.ActaHorticulturae,1029:137-144.(The 4th international symposium on lychee, longan and other Sapindaceae fruits)



Cui Z, Zhou B, Zhang Z, Z. Hu. 2013. Abscisicacid promotes flowering and enhances LcAP1 expression inLitchi chinensis Sonn.South African Journal of Botany, 88: 76-79


Fu XY, Zhou LY, Huang JB, Mo WP, Zhang JY, Li JG, Wang HC, Huang XM. 2013. Relating photosyntheticperformance to leaf greenness in litchi: A comparison among genotypes. ScientiaHorticulturea, 152:16–25


LiCQ, Wang Y, Huang XM, Li J, Wang HC, LiJ G. 2013. De novo assembly and characterization of fruittranscriptome in Litchi chinensis Sonn and analysis of differentially regulated genes in fruit in response toshading. BMC genomics,14(1):552 :doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-552


Liu X, Chen CY, Wang KC, Luo M, Tai R, Yuan L, Zhao M, Yang S,Tian G, Cui Y, et al. 2013. PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR3 associates with thehistone deacetylase HDA15 in repression of chlorophyll biosynthesis andphotosynthesis in etiolated Arabidopsis seedlings. Plant Cell. 25, 1258–1273.


Liu WW, Kim HJ,Chen HB, Lu XY, Zhou BY. 2013. Identificationof MV-generated ROS responsive EST clonesin floral buds of Litchi chinensis Sonn. Plant Cell Reports, 32:1361–1372


PengG, Wu JY, Lu WJ, Li JG*. 2013. Apolygalacturonase gene clustered i nto clade E involved in lychee fruitletabscission,  Scientia Horticulturae, 150: 244-250,   


Wu P, Zhou B, Chen J. 2013. Changes incarbohydrate in branches and its relation to flowering in Averrhoa carambola. Acta Horticulturae, 975: 433-439


Zhao ML, Wang JN, Shan W, Fan JG, Kuang JF, Wu KQ, Li XP, Chen WX, He FY,Chen JY, Lu WJ. 2013. Induction of jasmonate signaling regulators MaMYC2s andtheir physical interactions with MaICE1 in methyl jasmonate-induced chillingtolerance in banana fruit. Plant Cell Environ. 36, 30–51.


Zhou B, Huang X, Chen H, Shu W, Hu Z, Liu W, Xiang C, Zhang S. 2013. Effectsof ethylene on rudimentary leaf and panicle primordium in litchi: antioxidantenzymes, hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide. Acta Horticulturae, 975: 247-254



Fu XY, Peng SX, Yang S, Chen YH, Zhang JY, Mo WP, Zhu JY, Ye YX, Huang XM*. 2012. Effects of flooding ongrafted annona plants of different scion/rootstock combinations. AgriculturalScience, 3(2), 249-256


Jiang SY, Xu HY, Wang HC,Hu GB, Li JG, Chen HB, Huang XM*.2012. A comparison of the costs of flowering in ‘Feizixiao’ and ‘Baitangying’litchi. Scientia Horticulturae 148 (2012) 118–125


KuangJF, Wu JY, Zhong HY, Li CQ, Chen JY, Lu WJ, Li JG *. 2012. Carbohydrate stress affecting fruitlet abscissionand expression of genes related to auxin signal transduction pathway in litchi,Int. J. Mol. Sci. 13(12): 16084-16103, doi: 10.3390/ ijms131216084


Wang HC, Hu ZQ,Wang Y, Chen HB, Huang XM *. 2011.Phenolic compounds and the antioxidant activities in litchi pericarp:Difference among cultivars. Scientia Horticulturae 129, 784-789


Xi WP, Zhang B, Liang L, Shen JY, Wei WW, Xu CJ, Allan AC,Ferguson IB, Chen KS. 2012. Postharvest temperature influences volatile lactoneproduction via regulation of acyl-CoA oxidases in peach fruit. PlantCell and Environment 35(3):534-545

Xi WP, Zhang B, Shen JY, Sun CD, Xu CJ, Chen KS. 2012. Intermittent warmingalleviated the loss of peach fruit aroma-related esters by regulation of AATduring cold storage. Postharvest Biology and Technology 74:42-48


Xia R , Li CQ, Lu WJ, Du J,Wang ZH, Li JG. 2012.3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase 1 (HMG1) is highly associated with the cell division during the earlystage of fruit development which determines the final fruit size in Litchi chinensis. Gene ,498:28-35


Zhou B,Li N, Zhang Z, Huang X, Chen H, Hu Z, Pang X, Liu W, Lu Y. 2012. Hydrogenperoxide and nitric oxide promote reproductive growth in Litchi chinensis. Biologia Plantarum, 56:321-329



Chen JY ., Liu DJ ., Jiang YM, Zhao ML, Shan W, Kuang JF, Lu WJ.2011. Molecular Characterization of a Strawberry FaASR Gene in Relation to Fruit Ripening. PLoS ONE 6(9): e24649. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024649

Chen L,ZHong HY, Kuang JF, Li JG, Lu WJ,Chen JY . 2011. Validation of reference genes for RT-qPCR studies of geneexpression in banana fruit under different experimental conditions. Planta,234:377–390


VanBurenR , Li JG, Zee F, Zhu JH, Liu CM, ArumuganathanAK, Ming R. 2011. Longli is not a hybrid of longan and lychee as revealed bygenome size analysis and trichome morphology. Tropical Plant Biol. 4:228–236


Wang HC, Cheng LL*. 2011. Differential Effects ofNitrogen Supply on Skin Pigmentation and Flesh Starch Breakdown of ‘Gala’Apple. HortScience, 46(8):1-5


Wang HC, Hu ZQ, Wang Y, Chen HB, Huang XM*. 2011. Phenolic compounds and the antioxidantactivities in litchi pericarp: Difference among cultivars. ScientiaHorticulturea, 129: 784-789


Wei Y Z, Hu F C, Hu G B, LiX J, Huang X M, Wang H C*. 2011. Differential expression of anthocyaninbiosynthetic genes in relation to anthocyanin accumulation in the pericarp of Litchi Chinensis Sonn. PLoS ONE 6(4): e19455.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019455


Xia R,Lu WJ, Wang ZH, Li JG. 2011. Cloningand characterisation of two genes for 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme Areductase and their possible roles during fruit development in Dimocarpus longan. Journal ofHorticultural Science & Biotechnology ,86 (1) 25–30


Zhang B, Xi WP, Wei WW, Shen JY, Ferguson I, Chen KS. 2011.Changes in aroma-related volatiles and gene expression during low temperaturestorage and subsequent shelf-life of peach fruit. Postharvest Biology and Technology 60(1):7-16


Zhong HY, Chen J W, Li C Q,Chen L, Wu J Y, Chen J Y, Lu W J, Li JG.2011. Selection of reliable reference genes for expression studies by reversetranscription quantitative real-time PCR in litchi under different experimentalconditions. Plant Cell Report, 30(4):641-653



Hu ZQ, Huang XM, Chen HB, Wang HC *. 2010. Antioxidant capacity and phenolic compounds inlitchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.)Pericarp. Acta Horticulturae, 863: 567-574


Hu GB, Chen HB, and HuangXM *. 2010. Shoot Growth from scions top-grafted on different litchi cultivars.Acta Horticulturae. 863: 449-452

Li JG, Zhu H, Yuan R. 2010.Profiling the Expression of Genes Related to Ethylene Biosynthesis, Ethylene Perception,and Cell Wall Degradation during Fruit Abscission and Fruit Ripening in Apple.J. AMER. SOC. HORT. SCI. 135 (3) 391-401

Li JG, Huang XM, Huang HB. 2010. An overview of factors related to fruitsize in litchi chinensis Sonn. ActaHorticulturae, 863: 477-482


Wang HC, Ma FF, Cheng LL*. 2010.Metabolism of Organic Acids, Nitrogen and Amino Acids in Chlorotic Leaves of‘Honeycrisp’ Apple (Malusdomestica Borkh) withexcessive accumulation of carbohydrates. Planta, 2010, 232:511-2


Wang Y, Wang HC, Hu ZQ, Chen HB, Hu GB, XM Huang*. 2010. Litchi good for heath from skin to heart: anoverview of litchi functional activities and compounds. Acta Horticulturae,863: 645-652


Yang WH, Zhu XC, Deng SC, WangHC, Hu GB, Wu H, Huang XM *.2010. Developmental problems in over-winter off-season longan fruit. I: Effectof temperatures. Scientia Horticulturae, 126 (2010) 351-358


Zhang B, Shen JY, Wei WW, Xi WP, Xu CJ, Ferguson I, Chen KS. 2010.Expression of Genes Associated with Aroma Formation Derived from the Fatty AcidPathway during Peach Fruit Ripening. Journalof Agricultural and Food Chemistry 58(10):6157-6165


Zhou BY *, Huang XM, Chen HB, Hu ZQ, Gao ZG, Li N and Lu Y. 2010. Physiologicalcomparison of abscising rudimentary leaf and vigorously developing panicle inlitchi: antioxidant enzymes and phytohormones. Acta Horticulturae, 863: 461-467


Zhou B, Chen H, Huang X, Wu G, Hu Z, Gao Z. 2010. Changes ofantioxidant enzyme activity and hydrogen peroxide concentration in Litchi chinensis during floraldifferentiation. Acta Horticulturae, 863: 453-460


Zhou B, Huang X, Chen H, Hu Z, Gao Z, Li N,Lu Y. 2010. Physiological comparison of abscising rudimentary leaf and vigorouslydeveloping paniclein litchi: antioxidant enzymes and phytohormones. ActaHorticulturae, 863: 461-467