Genetics, Development and Cell Biology > Faculty & Research > Faculty > Bing Yang

Bing Yang

Associate Professorbyang10crop

Professor Yang received his B.S. in 1986 and his M.Sc. in 1989 from Southwest Forestry College in China. In 2000, he received his Ph.D. from Kansas State University, where he continued his studies as a postdoctoral research fellow from 2001-2004. From 2004-2006, he was Research Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology at KSU. In 2007, he became Assistant Professor in Genetics, Development and Cell Biology at Iowa State University and in 2013 was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.

Research Description

Rice is one of the world’s most important crops and provides staple food for two thirds of the world population. With its completely sequenced genome, rich genetic and molecular resources, powerful genomics and molecular tools, and syntenic to other cereal crop species, rice has become increasingly popular as a model system to study plant biology in general and crop in particular. Rice bacterial blight is one of most devastating rice diseases, and also a model pathosystem to understand the molecular mechanism of plant disease. The causal pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) primarily infect rice leaves and spread along vascular tissue. The disease is the complex outcome of molecular interaction between factors in both host and pathogen bridged by a bacterial protein secretion system, which is revolutionarily similar to the type III secretion system (T3SS) in some bacterial animal and human pathogens. The T3SS of Xoo delivers and injects a group of substrate proteins, called type III effectors, into host cells to induce a state of disease. The effector serves as either virulence factor intrinsically to promote bacterial growth and disease development or elicitor to trigger host resistance responses through the recognition of specific host resistance R gene leading to the pathogen its own demise. Working with Dr. Frank White at Kansas State University, I have cloned and characterized in Xoo several members of a type III effector family with other members also been found in a wide range of Xanthomonas species and pathovars. Four members (AvrXa27, PthXo1, PthXo6 and AvrXa7) of this eukaryotic transcription activation like (TAL) effector family each specifically activates the corresponding host gene expression. The activation of R gene (Xa27 by AvrXa27) resulted in the host disease resistance, while elevation in expression of S gene (Os8N3 induced by PthXo1 and TFX1 by PthXo6) lead to disease susceptibility in host. Os8N3 is a member of MtN3/Saliva family with unknown molecular function and TFX1 is a bzip transcription factor; we call them S genes because of their association with disease susceptibility of host. My research interests at ISU will focus on revealing the nature of interaction between the effector protein and the promoter of the corresponding responsive gene in rice. My lab will also be interested in understanding the molecular and biochemical basis of the S genes for disease susceptibility. Since field isolates of Xoo depend on different but closely related TAL effector genes for virulence, another research project will be to investigate how many adaptive ways in which this pathogen to explore the host plants for virulence. The long term goal of research in my laboratory is to better understand the plant disease, and gain knowledge to aid the design of more intelligent breeding strategies for disease control by blocking the host disease susceptibility pathway in addition to deployment of genetic disease resistance genes in crop plants

Contact Information

1035C Roy J Carver Co-Lab
Ames, IA 50011-3650
515-294-2968 voice
515-294-5256 fax


B.S., Southwest Forestry College, China, 1986
M.Sc., Southwest Forestry College, China, 1989
Ph.D., Kansas State University, 2000


  • Weeks, D.P., Spalding, M.H. and Yang, B. 2016, Use of designer nucleases for targeted gene and genome editing in plants. Plant. Biotechnol. J., 14, 483-495.
  • Wolt, J.D., Wang, K. and Yang, B. 2016, The Regulatory Status of Genome-edited Crops. Plant. Biotechnol. J., 14, 510-518.
  • Sosso, D., Luo, D., Li, Q.B., Sasse, J., Yang, J., Gendrot, G., Suzuki, M., Koch, K.E., McCarty, D.R., Chourey, P.S., Rogowsky, P.M., Ross-Ibarra, J., Yang, B. and Frommer, W.B. 2015, Seed filling in domesticated maize and rice depends on SWEET-mediated hexose transport. Nat. Genet., 47, 1489-1493.
  • Char, S.N., Unger-Wallace, E., Frame, B., Briggs, S.A., Main, M., Spalding, M.H., Vollbrecht, E., Wang, K. and Yang, B. 2015, Heritable site-specific mutagenesis using TALENs in maize. Plant. Biotechnol. J., 13, 1002-1010.
  • Zhou, J., Peng, Z., Long, J., Sosso, D., Liu, B., Eom, J.S., Huang, S., Liu, S., Vera Cruz, C., Frommer, W.B., White, F.F. and Yang, B. 2015, Gene targeting by the TAL effector PthXo2 reveals cryptic resistance gene for bacterial blight of rice. Plant J., 82, 632-643.
  • Huanbin Zhou, Bo Liu, Donald Weeks, Marty Spalding and Bing Yang. 2014, Large chromosomal deletions and heritable small genetic changes induced by CRISPR/Cas9 in rice. Nucleic Acids Research. doi:10.1093/nar/gku806, first published online September 8, 2014.
  • David Wright, Ting Li, Bing Yang and Martin H. Spalding. 2014. TALEN-mediated genome editing: prospects and perspectives. Biochemistry Journal, 462, 15-24.
  • Ting Li, bo Liu, Chih Ying Chen, *Bing Yang. 2014. TALEN utilization in rice genome modifications. Methods, 69, 9-19.
  • Jiang, WenZhi, Yang, Bing and Weeks, Donald. 2014. Efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in Arabidopsis thaliana and inheritance of modified genes in T2 and T3 generations. PloS One,9:e99225.
  • Wang, Chun-Lian, Qin, Teng-Fei, Yu, Hong-man, Zhang, Xiao-Ping, Che, Jin-Ying, Gao, Ying, Zheng, Chong-Ke, *Yang, Bing and *Zhao, Kai-Jun. 2014. The broad bacterial blight resistance of rice line CBB23 is triggered by a novel transcription activator-like (TAL) effector of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Molecular Plant Pathology, 15(4):333-341.
  • Cernadas, R.A., Doyle, E.L., Niño-Liu, D.O., Wilkins, K.E., Bancroft, T., Wang, L., Schmidt, C.L., Caldo, R.,Yang, B., White, F.F., Nettleton, D., Wise, R.P. and Bogdanove, A.J. 2014. Code-Assisted Discovery of TAL Effector Targets in Bacterial Leaf Streak of Rice Reveals Contrast with Bacterial Blight and a Novel Susceptibility Gene. PLOS Pathogen. e1003972
  • Yang, H., Zhang, J., Jia, H. Sosso, D., Li, T., Frommer, W.B., Yang, B., White, F.F., Wang, N. and Jones, J.B. 2014. Lateral Organ Boundaries 1 is a disease susceptibility gene for citrus bacterial canker disease. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. doi:10.1073/pnas.1313271111. First published on January 13, 2014.
  • Zhai, J., Zhao, Y., Simon, S.A., Huang, S., Petsch, K., Arikit, S., Pillay, M., Ji, L., Xie, M., Cao X., Yu, B., Timmermans, M., Yang, B., Chen, X. and Meyers, B. 2013. Plant MicroRNAs Display Differential 3′ Truncation and Tailing Modifications That Are ARGONAUTE1 Dependent and Conserved Across Species. Plant Cell doi:10.1105/tpc.113.114603, First published on July 9, 2013.
  • Li, T., Huang, S., Zhu, J. and * Yang, B. 2013.  Designer TAL effectors induce disease susceptibility and resistance to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae in rice. Molecular Plant 6(3):781-789.
  • Li, T., Liu, B., Spalding, M.H., Weeks, P.D. and Yang, B. 2012. High-efficiency TALEN-based gene editing produces disease-resistant rice. Nature Biotechnology, 30: 390-392.
  • Li, T., Huang, S., Zhao, X., Wright, D., Carpenter, S., Spalding, M.H., Weeks, P.D. and Yang, B. 2011. The modularly assembled designer TAL effector nucleases for targeted gene knockout and gene replacement in eukaryotes. Nucleic Acids Research, doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr188. (Epub March 31, 2011).
  • Antony, G., Zhou, J., Huang, S., Li, T., Liu, B., White, F.F. and Yang, B. 2010. Rice xa13 Recessive Resistance to Bacterial Blight Is Defeated by Induction of the Disease Susceptibility Gene Os-11N3. The Plant Cell. Nov. 23, 2010 (Epub. ahead of print).
  • Song, C. and Yang, B. 2010. Mutagenesis of 18 Type III Effectors Reveals Virulence Function of XopZPXO99 in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 23: 893-902.
  • T. Li, S. Huang, W. Z. Jiang, D. Wright, M. H. Spalding, D. P. Weeks and B. Yang. 2010. TAL nucleases (TALNs): hybrid proteins composed of TAL effectors and FokI DNA-cleavage domain. Nucleic Acids Research. August 10, 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
  • White, F. and Yang, B.. 2009. Host and pathogen factors controlling the rice-Xanthomonas oryzae interaction. Plant Physiology 150:1677-1686.
  • Sugio, A, B Yang(co-first author), T Zhu, FF White. 2007. Two effector genes of X. oryzae pv. oryzae control the induction of the host genes OsTFIIAg1 and OsTFX1 during bacterial blight of rice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104:10720-10725.
  • Yang, B, A Sugio, FF White. 2006. Os8N3 is a host disease-susceptibility gene for bacterial blight of rice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103:10503-10508.
  • Sugio, A, B Yang, FF White. 2005. Characterization of the hrpF pathogenicity peninsula of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 18:546-554.
  • Yang, B, A Sugio, FF White. 2005. Avoidance of host recognition by alterations in the repetitive and C-terminal regions of AvrXa7, a type III effector of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 18:142-149.
  • Gu, K, B Yang (co-first author), D Tian, L Wu, D Wang, C Sreekala, F Yang, Z Chu, G-L Wang, FF White, Z Yin.. 2005. R gene expression induced by a type-III effector triggers disease resistance in rice. Nature 435:1122-1125.
  • Yang, B, FF White. 2004. Diverse members of AvrBs3/PthA family of type III effectors are major virulence determinants in bacterial blight of rice. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 17:1192-1200.
  • White, FF, B Yang and LB Johnson. 2000. Prospects for avirulence gene function. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 3:291-298.
  • Yang, B, W Zhu, L Johnson and FF White. 2000. The virulence factor AvrXa7 of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae is a type III secretion pathway-dependent nuclear-localized double-stranded DNA-binding protein. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 97:9807-9812.
  • Zhu, W, B Yang, N. Wills, L B Johnson and FF White. 1999. The C terminus of AvrXa10 can be replaced by the transcriptional activation domain of VP16 from the Herpes Simplex Virus. Plant Cell 11:1665 –1674.
  • Zhu, W, B Yang, JM Chittoor, LB Johnson and FF White. 1998. AvrXa10 contains an acidic transcriptional activation domain in the functionally conserved C-terminus. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 11:824 –832.