Skip to main content

Andrew Leakey's Laboratory

Jiayang (Kevin) Xie

Jiayang (Kevin) Xie, Crop Sciences



Education: Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University,  2016

My research interest:

Genetics and Physiology of Zea. Mays Stomata Density and Development

Stomata are the pores on the leaf surface, controlling the influx of CO2 for photosynthesis while at the same time water vapor inevitably escapes from the leaf to the atmosphere. The ratio of this carbon gain to water loss is defined as photosynthetic water use efficiency (WUE) and is the most fundamental trade-off faced by terrestrial plants. Increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration over the last few decades mean that the CO2 concentration inside these cells is now higher than is needed to achieve maximum rates of photosynthesis. Therefore, we are testing the idea that C4 crops with fewer stomata on the leaf surface will use less water and avoid drought stress, without having lower photosynthesis and grain productivity. Unlike the case in C3 plants, C4 stomata regulating pathway is largely unknown and I am looking for genes responsible for stomata patterning in maize using a linkage mapping in a RIL population and a transcriptome analysis in stomata development zones. The potential gains for crop performance would be considerable as water availability current limits the size of the potential corn growing region and also yields in times and places of drought within the current production area.