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Lisa Ainsworth's Laboratory


Shuai Li





Doctor of Philosophy, Plant Physiology, 2018

Concentrations: Plant volatile organic compounds emission and plant stress biology

Dissertation Title: Induction of volatile organic compound emissions from leaves upon ozone and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatments.

Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia

Master of Natural Science, Biology, 2013

Concentrations: Plant photosynthesis and hydraulics

Dissertation Title: The Heterogeneity of Structure and Function in Giant Leaves: the Hydraulic and Thermal Limitations on Leaf Size

University of Science and Technology of China, China

Bachelor of Science, Biotechnology, 2009

Dissertation Title: Effects of 5-Sulphur Base Salicylic Acid on Two Types of Zea Mays Seeds Germination and Seeding Growth Under NaCl Stress

Dezhou University, China


My research focuses on plant acclimation and adaptation to abiotic and biotic stresses, in particular, the impact of elevated ozone and carbon dioxide on plant growth and senescence, and the ozone sensitivity among plant species. Current research investigates oxidative stress tolerance in improved biomass sorghum, switchgrass and miscanthus genotypes within the DOE-funded Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI). One of my approaches to address these questions is to conduct physiological comparative studies on species with diverse phenotype lines using unique capabilities of Free Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) technology. In addition, the leaf anatomic, photosynthetic and stress tolerance traits will be studied in both C3 and C4 grasses in response to elevated ozone and carbon dioxide.


  • Wedow JM, Ainsworth EA, Li S (2021) Plant biochemistry influences tropospheric ozone formation, destruction, deposition and response. Trends in Biochemical Sciences,
  • Li S, Moller CA, Mitchell NG, Lee DK, Ainsworth EA (2021) Bioenergy sorghum maintains photosynthetic capacity in elevated ozone concentrations. Plant, Cell & Environment 44: 729-746.
  • Li S, Courbet G, Ourry A, Ainsworth EA (2019) Elevated ozone concentration reduces photosynthesis carbon gain but does not alter leaf structure traits, nutrient composition or biomass in switchgrass. Plants 8: 85.
  • Li S, Hao G-Y, Niinemets Ü, Harley PC, Wanke S, Lens F, Zhang Y-J, Cao K-F (2019) The effect of intervessel pit characteristics on xylem hydraulic efficiency and photosynthesis in hemiepiphytic and non-hemiepiphytic Ficus species. Physiologia Plantarum 167: 661-675.
  • Turan S, Kask K, Kanagendran A, Li S, Anni R, Talts E, Rasulov B, Kännaste A, Niinemets Ü (2019) Lethal heat stress-dependent volatile emissions from tobacco leaves: what happens beyond the thermal edge? Journal of Experimental Botany 70: 5017-5030.
  • Li S, Tosens T, Harley PC, Jiang Y, Kanagendran A, Grosberg M, Jaamets K, Niinemets Ü (2018) Glandular trichomes as a barrier against atmospheric oxidative stress: relationships with ozone uptake, leaf damage and emission of volatiles across a diverse set of species. Plant, Cell & Environment 41: 1263-1277.
  • Commentary by Elina Oksanen (2018) Trichomes form an important first line of defence against adverse environment - New evidence from ozone stress mitigation. Plant, Cell & Environment 41: 1497-1499. 
  • Kanagendran A, Pazouki L, Li S, Liu B, Kännaste A, Niinemets Ü (2018) Ozone-triggered surface uptake and stress volatile emissions in Nicotiana tabacum ‘Wisconsin’. Journal of Experimental Botany 69: 681-697.
  • Li S, Harley PC, Niinemets Ü (2017) Ozone-induced foliar damage and release of stress volatiles is highly dependent on stomatal openness and priming by low-level ozone exposure in Phaseolus vulgaris. Plant, Cell & Environment 40: 1984-2003.
  • Jiang Y, Ye J, Li S, Niinemets Ü (2017) Methyl jasmonate-induced emission of biogenic volatiles is biphasic in cucumber: a high-resolution analysis of dose dependence. Journal of Experimental Botany 68: 4679-4694.
  • Jiang Y, Ye J, Li S, Niinemets Ü (2016) Regulation of floral terpenoids emission and biosynthesis in sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). Journal of Plant Growth Regulation 35(4): 921-935.
  • Pazouki L, Kanagendran A, Li S, Kännaste A, Rajabi Memari H, Bichele R, Niinemets Ü (2016) Mono- and sesquiterpene release from tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) leaves upon mild and severe heat stress and through recovery: from gene expression to emission responses. Environmental and Experimental Botany 132: 1-15.
  • Li S, Cao K-F (2014). Heterogeneity of anatomical structure in giant leaves of Musa balbisiana. Chinese Science Bulletin (Chinese Version with English Abstract) 59: 522-528.
  • Li S, Zhang Y-J, Sack L, Scoffoni C, Ishida A, Chen Y-J, Cao K-F (2013). The heterogeneity and spatial pattering of structure and physiology across the leaf surface in giant leaves of Alocasia macrorrhiza. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66016.


  • Li S, Moller CA, Mitchell NG, Ainsworth EA (2019) Photosynthetic response of C4 bioenergy sorghum lines to elevated ozone concentration. Poster, Plant Biology 2019, American Society of Plant Biologists, CA, USA.
  • Li S, Ainsworth EA (2019) Differences in ozone sensitivity in C4 bioenergy crops. Poster, CO2 Assimilation in Plants from Genome to Biome, Gordon Research Conference, ME, USA