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Cao Yangrong

Yangrong Cao

Ph. D. & Professor

National Key Lab of Agricultural University

College of Life Science and Technology

Huazhong Agricultural University

Wuhan, China. 430070

Email: yrcao@mail.hzau.eud.cn


2004-2008: Ph.D., Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

2001-2004: Master, Key Lab of Plant Stress Research, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China

1997-2001: Bachelor, Department of Biology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China


2015-present: Professor, National Key Lab of Agricultural University and College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong agricultural University

2012-2015: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Division of Plant Sciences and National Center for Soybean Biotechnology, University of Missouri. Supervisor: Prof. Gary Stacey

2008-2012: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Plant pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Supervisor: Prof. Andrew F. Bent


The molecular basis of legume-rhizobial symbiosis.


General Genetics (for undergraduate)

Progress of Life Science (for undergraduate)

Interaction between Plant-Microbe (for undergraduate)


1. Huang R, Li Z, Mao C, Zhang H, Sun Z, Li H, Huang C, Feng Y, Shen X, Bucher M, Zhang Z, Lin Y, Cao Y*, Duanmu D*. 2019. Natural variation at OsCERK1 regulates arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis in rice. New Phytol. DOI: 10.1111/nph.16158

2. Yin J, Guan X, Zhang H, Wang L, Li H, Zhang Q, Chen T, Xu Z, Hong Z, Cao Y*, Zhang Z*. 2019. An MAP kinase interacts with LHK1 and regulates nodule organogenesis in Lotus japonicus. Sci China Life Sci. 62(9):1203-1217

3. Yu H, Bao H, Zhang Z, Cao Y*. 2019. Immune signaling pathway during terminal bacteroid differentiation in nodules.Trends Plant Sci. 24: 299-3024.

4. Zhang L, Liu JY, Gu H, Du Y, Zuo JF, Zhang Z, Zhang M, Li P, Dunwell JM, Cao Y, Zhang Z, Zhang YM. 2018. Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens USDA 110- Glycine max Interactome Provides Candidate Proteins Associated with Symbiosis. J Proteome Res. 17:3061-3074

5. Yu H, Xiao A, Dong R, Fan Y, Zhang X, Liu C, Wang C, Zhu H, Duanmu D, Cao Y*, Zhang Z*. 2018. Suppression of innate immunity mediated by the CDPK‐Rboh complex is required for rhizobial colonization in Medicago truncatula nodules. New Phytol. 220: 425-434

6. Li H, Chen M, Duan L, Zhang T, Cao Y, Zhang Z. 2018. Domain swap approach reveals the critical roles of different domains of SymRK in root nodule symbiosis in Lotus japonicus. Front Plant Sci. 9:697

7. Chen D, Cao Y, Li H, Kim D, Ahsan N, Thelen J, Stacey G. 2017. Extracellular ATP elicits DORN1-mediated RBOHD phosphorylation to regulate stomatal aperture. Nat Commun. 2017 8: 2265.

8. Chen T, Duan L, Zhou B, Yu H, Zhu H, Cao Y, Zhang Z. 2017. Interplay of Pathogen-Induced Defense Responses and Symbiotic Establishment in Medicago truncatula. Front. Microbiol. 8:973

9. Liao D#, Cao Y#, Sun X, Espinoza C, Nguyen CT, Liang Y, Stacey G. 2017. Arabidopsis E3 ubiquitin ligase PLANT U-BOX13 (PUB13) regulates chitin receptor LYSIN MOTIF RECEPTOR KINASE5 (LYK5) protein abundance. New Phytol. 214:1646-1656.

10. Cao Y, Halane MK, Gassmann W, Stacey G. 2017. The role of plant innate immunity in the legume-rhizobium symbiosis. Annu. Rev. Plant Biol. 68:535-561

11. Nguyen CT, Tanaka K, Cao Y, Cho SH, Xu D, Stacey G. 2016. Computational Analysis of the Ligand Binding Site of the Extracellular ATP Receptor, DORN1. PLoS One. 11: e0161894.

12. Wang C, Yu H, Luo L, Duan L, Cai L, He X, Wen J, Mysore KS, Li G, Xiao A, Duanmu D, Cao Y, Hong Z, Zhang Z.2016. NODULES WITH ACTIVATED DEFENSE 1 is required for maintenance of rhizobial endosymbiosis in Medicago truncatula. New Phytol. 212:176-91.

13. Tao J, Cao Y, Chen H, Wei W, Li Q, Ma B, Zhang W, Chen S, and Zhang J. 2015. Tobacco TCTP interacts with ethylene receptor NTHK1 and enhances plant growth through promotion of cell division. Plant Physiol. 169:96-114.

14. Cao Y, Liang Y, Tanaka K, Nguyen CT, Jedrzejczak RP, Joachimiak A, and Stacey G. 2014. LYK5 is the main chitin receptor in Arabidopsis and forms a chitin-induced complex with CERK1. Elife. e03766.

15. Cao Y, Chen H, Li, Z, Tao J, Song Q, Ma, B, Chen, T, Zhang Z, Zhang W, Xie Q, Chen S, Zhang J. 2014. Ankyrin protein NEIP2 associates with the ethylene receptor NTHK1 to regulate plant growth and stress response. Plant Cell Physiol. 56:803-818.

16. Liang Y, Toth K, Cao Y, Tanaka K, Espinoza C, Stacey G. 2014. Lipochitooligosaccharide recognition: an ancient story. New Phytol. 204: 289-296.

17. Tanaka K, Choi J, Cao Y, and Stacey G. 2014. Extracellular ATP acts as a damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) signal in plants. Front Plant Sci. 5: 446.

18. Choi, J, Kiwamu, K, Liang Y, Cao Y, Lee SY, Stacey G. 2014. Extracellular ATP, a danger signal, is recognized by DORN1 in Arabidopsis. Biochem J. 463: 429-437.

19. Cao Y, Tanaka K, Nguyen CT, Stacey G. 2014. Extracellular ATP is a central signaling molecule in plant stress responses. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 20: 82-97.

20. Le, MH, Cao Y, Zhang XC, Stacey G. 2014. LIK1, A CERK1-interacting kinase, regulates plant immune responses in Arabidopsis. PLoS ONE. 9: e102245.

21. Choi J, Tanaka K, Cao Y, Qi Y, Qiu J, Liang Y, Lee SY, Stacey G. 2014. Identification of a Plant Receptor for Extracellular ATP. Science. 343:290-294.

22. Liang Y, Cao Y, Thibivilliers S, Tanaka K, Choi J, Kang CH, Qiu J, Stacey G. 2013. Nonlegumes Respond to Rhizobial Nod Factors by Suppressing the Innate Immune Response. Science. 341:1384-1387. 

23. Cao Y, Aceti DJ, Sabat G, Makino, S, Fox BG, Bent AF. 2013. Autophosphorylation site Serine-938 is critical for Arabidopsis FLS2-mediated immune responses. PLoS Pathog. 9(4):e1003313. 

24. Sun W*, Cao Y*, Jansen K, Bittel P, Boller T, Bent AF. 2012. Probing the plant flagellin receptor: FLS2-FLS2 association and the contributions of specific domains to signaling function. Plant Cell. 24: 1096-1113.

25. Mu R, Cao Y, Liu Y, Lei G, Zou HF, Liao Y, Wang HW, Zhang WK, Cao WH, Du JZ, Yuan M, Zhang JS, Chen SY. 2009. An R2R3-type transcription factor gene, AtMYB59, regulated by ethylene signaling, affects cell cycle progression and root growth in Arabidopsis. Cell Res. 19:1291-304.

26. Cao Y, Chen S, and Zhang J. 2008. Ethylene signaling regulates salt stress response. Plant Signaling & Behav. 3(10):761-763.

27. Cao Y, Li Z, Chen T, Zhang Z, Zhang J, and Chen S. 2008. Overexpression of a tobacco small G protein gene NtRop1 causes salt sensitivity and hydrogen peroxide production in transgenic plants. Sci China (Series C) Life Sci. 51: 383-390. 

28. Cao Y, Guo X, Zhang Q, Cao Z, Zhao Y, and Zhang H. 2005. Isolation and characterization of carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase gene in halophyte Suaeda salsa. Plant Growth Regul. 46: 61-67. 

29. Tanaka K, Nguyen CT, Liang Y, Cao Y, Stacey G. 2013. Role of LysM receptors in chitin-triggered plant innate immunity. Plant Signal Behav. 8: e22598.

30. Guo X, Cao Y, Cao ZY, Zhao YX, and Zhang H. 2004. Molecular cloning and characterization a stress-induced peroxiredoxin Q gene in halophyte Suaeda salsa. Plant Sci. 167: 969-975. 

31. Lei G, Li ZG, Shen M, Zhang B, Duan KX, Cao Y, Zhang WK, Ma B, Chen SY, Zhang JS. 2011. EIN2 regualtes salt stress response and interacts with a MA3 domain-containing protein ECIP1 in Arabdidopsis. Plant Cell Environ. 34(10):1678-92. 

32. Chen T, Liu J, Lei G, Liu YF, Li ZG, Tao JJ, Hao YJ, Cao Y, Lin Q, Zhang WK, Ma B, Chen SY, Zhang JS. 2009. Effects of tobacco ethylene receptor mutations on receptor kinase activity, plant growth and stress responses. Plant Cell Physiol. 50: 1636-1650. 

33. Li ZG, Cao Y, Zhang JS, and Chen SY. 2008. Characterization of Arabidopsis calreticulin mutants in response to calcium and salinity stresses. Prog. Nat. Sci. 18:1219-1224. 

34. Cao WH, Liu J, Chen T, Cao Y, He XJ, Mu RL, Zhou HL, Xie C, Chen SY, Zhang JS. 2007. Ethylene receptor signaling and plant salt-stress responses. Advances in Plant Ethylene Research: 333-339. (Book chapter)

35. Zhou QY, Xie ZM, Zhang ZG, Cao Y, Zhang JS, Chen SY. 2007. Cloning, expression and characterization of a nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDPK) gene from tobacco. Prog. Nat. Sci. 17: 906-912. 

36. Zhou HL, He SJ, Cao Y, Chen T, Du BX, Chu CC, Zhang JS, and Chen SY. 2006. OsGlu1, a putative membrane-bound endo-1, 4-β-D-glucanase from rice, affects plant internode elongation. Plant Mol. Biol. 60: 137-151. 

37. Zhou HL, Cao WH, Cao Y, Liu J, Hao YJ, Zhang JS, and Chen SY. 2006. Role of ethylene receptor NTHK1 domains in plant growth, stress response and protein phosphorylation. FEBS Lett. 580: 1239-1250. 

38. Cao WH, Liu J, Zhou QY, Cao Y, Zheng SF, Du BX, Zhang JS, and Chen SY. 2006. Expression of tobacco ethylene receptor NTHK1 alters plant responses to salt stress. Plant Cell Environ. 29: 1210-1219.

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