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Plant Systems Engineering Research Center

Plant Systems Engineering Research Center
We focus on the development of platform technologies for the use in plant science and the improvement of industrially important crop plants. These include identifying functionally important genes as well as establishing a novel transformation system and new transgenic plants with useful traits. We are currently expanding our genomics platform technology for improving useful crops and developing breeding tools. In addition, we are generating industrial transgenic plants with enhanced tolerance to environmental stresses for sustainable development on global marginal lands.
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researchers and research statement
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Sang-Soo Kwak
/ Director
  • Transgenic plants such as sweetpotato and alfalfa with enhanced tolerance to multiple stresses for sustainable development on global marginal lands
Suk Yoon Kwon
/Principal Researcher
  • Structural and functional genomics of plants, and transformation of crop plants for enhancing agricultural traits
Hyun Soon Kim
/Principal Researcher
  • Mass production of the seeds or seedling of useful vegetative-propagation crops and establishment of the optimal system (eg, glycosylation pattern, RNAi knockdown) for molecular farming
Jae Sun Moon
/Principal Researcher
  • Molecular plant-microbe interactions, development of oligo chips for the pathogen diagnosis and identification of the genes involved in the development by virus-induced gene silencing
Sung Ran Min
/Principal Researcher
  • Development of stress resistant and functional crop through nuclear and chloroplast transformation
Haeng-Soon Lee
/Principal Researcher
  • Molecular breeding of tuber crops by metabolic engineering of pigment antioxidants
Jae Heung Jeon
/Principal Researcher
  • Mass production of the seeds or seedling of useful vegetative-propagation crops, and establishment of the optimal system (eg, glycosylation pattern, RNAi knockdown) for molecular farming
Won Joong Jeong
/Principal Researcher
  • Algal biotechnology for biofuel and biomass
Chel-Goo Hur
/Principal Researcher
  • Bioinformatics, network biology, omics research
Jang Ryol Liu
/Principal Researcher
  • Development of "CyanoCrops" by introducing cyanobacterial genes into the chloroplast genome of crops
Park, Jeong Mee
/Principal Researcher
  • Molecular plant-microbe interaction
  • Molecular plant immunity
HyeRan Kim
/Senior Researcher
  • Genomics based crop genetics, breeding and evolution
Jae Cheol Jeong
/Senior Researcher
  • Understanding of sweetpotato antioxidation mechanism and sweetpotato functional genomics
Hye Sun Cho
/Senior Researcher
  • Functional genomics in corp and mechanism of protein structure regulation
Jeongyeo Lee
/ Researcher
  • Crop nutrient molecular biology and genetics, and crop nutrient improvement
research areas
  • Plant genome structural, functional and evolutionary genomics
  • Functional genomics of plant-microbe interactions
  • Metabolic engineering of pigment antioxidants in transgenic plants
  • Development of an environmentally-friendly binary vector system
  • Signal transduction network of plant cell death
  • CyanoCrop using cyanobacterial genes
  • Post-translational mechanism under stress
  • International collaboration on the analysis of the Solanaceae genome
    • Launched in 2004, this ten-year project involves twenty nations, ten of which are participating in the primary operations to decode the genomic sequence. Korea is responsible for the 2nd chromosome, which consists of 12% of the entire genome.
  • Development of transgenic sweetpotato with enhanced pigment antioxidants
    • Transgenic sweetpotatos calli with high yields of ß-carotene by down-regulation of ß-carotene hydroxylase (CHY-ß) or lycopene ε-cyclase (LCY-ε) were successfully generated and characterized. Transgenic sweetpotato plants to produce both anthocyanin and carotenoids in one storage tubers were generated by introducing IbOrange gene responsible for carotenoid accumulation into purple-fleshed sweetpotato.
  • Development of platform technology for research on functional genomics
    • Virus-induced gene silencing technology, developed for the large-scale screening of genes is currently being used in the screening of many types of Solanaceae plants including Nicotiana benthamiana, peppers, and tomatoes.
  • Development of transplastomic technology
    • We have succeeded in developing transformation technology for foreign gene expression in plastids. These genes can only be inherited from the maternal line, which cannot be spread through pollen, thereby ensuring a low environmental risk.
  • Development of an edible plant-derived vaccine for Alzheimer's disease
    • Antigens for mutant b-amyloid proteins, which are known to be a cause of Alzheimer's disease, were overexpressed in potatoes as an edible vaccine. We have developed the transgenic potato, and have confirmed through experiments with mice that the potato vaccine does produce specific antibodies for b-amyloids.
  • Development of genomics assisted breeding tools
    • We have embarked on an ambitious genomics program entitled the 'Cabbage genomics assisted breeding support project'. The long-term objective of the project is to create a genome-level closed breeding system for the Brassica oleracea that can be used as a research platform to study evolution, development, genome organization, polyploidy, domestication, gene regulatory networks and crop improvement
  • Development of algal biotechnology
    • We have developing algal biotechnology using Chlamydomonas, Chlorella, and Porphyra. Our goals are (1) understanding of algal genome using NGS and functional genomics and (2) genetic engineering for basic and applied biology in algae.
  • Development of stress tolerant crop
    • Immunophilins (IMMs) contain a peptidyl prolyl isomerase (PPIase) domain, which catalyze a rate-limiting step in protein-folding by cis/trans isomerization of proline imidic peptide bonds. We have identified and classified rice IMMs (29 FKBPs and 27 CYPs) firstly.
Selected Publications
  • Jae Sun Moon (Co-corresponding) Archiv Virol. 158(8):1817-20.
    • Complete genome sequence of keunjorong mosaic virus, a potyvirus from Cynanchum wilfordii
  • Hye Sun Cho (Co-corresponding) Int J Mol Sci. 14(3):5899-919.
    • A rice immunophilin gene, OsFKBP16-3, confers tolerance to environmental stress in Arabidopsis and rice
  • Jeong Mee Park (Corresponding) Int J Mol Sci. 14(11):22782-95.
    • Identification of novel pepper genes involved in Bax- or INF1-mediated cell death responses by high-throughput virus-induced gene silencing
  • Hyeran Kim (Corresponding) J Agricul Food Chem. 61(46):11222-30.
    • Metabolic differentiation of diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella (L.)) resistnace in cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. ssp. capitata)
  • Haeng Soon Lee and Sang Soo Kwak (Co-corresponding) Physiol Plantarum. 147(4):432-42.
    • Downregulation of the lycopene epsilon-cyclase gene increases carotenoid synthesis via the β-branch-specific pathway and enhances salt-stress tolerance in sweetpotato transgenic calli