CAES: Quan Zeng

Quan Zeng

{Image of Quan Zeng}

Department of Plant Pathology and Ecology
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
123 Huntington Street
P.O. Box 1106
New Haven, CT 06504
Voice: (203) 974-8613  Fax:  (203) 974-8502

Dr. Zeng has expertise in bacterial diseases of plants, plant-microbe interactions and molecular genetics.  He studied fire blight, a disease of apple and pears, soft rot, a potato and vegetable disease, as well as etiolation and decline, a turfgrass disease, from aspects of disease mechanisms, management, and detection.

B.S. Nanjing Agricultural University (2006); Biological Engineering
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2011); Biological Sciences
Postdoctoral associate Michigan State University (2011-2014); Plant Pathology

Station Career:
Assistant Agricultural Scientist II, 2014-present

Research Interests:

Plant diseases caused by bacteria cause significant economical loss to the U.S. agriculture annually. Our research aims to provide support to mitigate bacterial plant diseases and to minimize the damage to the plant agriculture. To do so, we first utilizes molecular, genetic, and genomic tools to provide better understanding of how bacterial plant pathogens cause infection on host plants, and how the bacterial pathogens adapt to new hosts or spread to new geographical regions. In addition to providing answers to these basic research questions, we also aim to use applied research to address the immediate needs of the farmers, by providing information of antibiotic resistance in the pathogen population, developing more effective biological controls, and by exploring other novel management materials such as antisense antimicrobials and nanoparticles.

Specific research areas include:
1. Understand how bacterial plant pathogens respond to host signals and modulate virulence expression during the host-microbe interactions.
2. Characterize apple flower microbiome, and use the information to guide the identification of effective biological controls for fire blight in Eastern U.S.
3. Use genomics and comparative genomics tools to study the pathogen distribution and evolution of virulence factors in plant pathogenic bacteria
4. Develop antisense antimicrobials as novel bactericide against bacterial plant pathogens and use them as management options in controlling bacterial plant diseases.

Selected publications available from author,

Refereed Journals:

Q. Zeng, J. Wang, F. Bertels, P. R. Giordano, M. I. Chilvers, R. B. Huntley, J. M. Vargas, G. W. Sundin, J.L. Jacobs, C.-H. Yang (2017) Recombination of virulence genes in divergent Acidovorax avenae strains that infect a common host. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. (Accepted)

R.R. Patel, G.W. Sundin, C.-H. Yang, Jie Wang, R.B. Huntley, X. Yuan, and Q. Zeng (2017) Exploration of using antisense peptide nucleic acid (PNA)-cell penetrating peptide (CPP) as a novel bactericide against fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovoraFrontiers in Microbiol. 8:687. 

S.M. Slack, Q. Zeng, C.A. Outwater, and G.W. Sundin (2017) Microbiological examination of Erwinia amylovoraexopolysaccharide ooze. Phytopathology 107: 403-411

G. Sundin, L. Castiblanco, X. Yuan, Q. Zeng, and C.H. Yang (2016) Bacterial disease management: Challenges, experience, innovation, and future prospects. Mol. Plant Pathol. DOI: 10.1111/mpp.12436

R. McNally, Q. Zeng, and  G.W. Sundin (2016) HrcU and HrpP are pathogenicity factors in the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora required for the type III secretion of DspA/E. BMC Microbiol. 16:88

P. Giordano, Q. Zeng, N. M. Dykema, A.R. Detweiler, J. M. Vargas.  (2015) First report of Xanthomonas translucens causing wilt disease on perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) in the United States Plant Disease. PDIS-01-15-0127-PDN

Acimovic, S., Q. Zeng, G. C. McGhee, G. W. Sundin, J. C. Wise.  (2015) Control of fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) on apple trees with trunk-injected plant resistance inducers and antibiotics and assessment of induction of pathogenesis-related protein genes. Front. Plant Sci. 6:16

Q. Zeng and G. Sundin (2014) Genome-wide identification of Hfq-regulated small RNAs in the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora discovered small RNAs with virulence regulatory function. BMC Genomics 15:414

Wu, X., Q. Zeng, Koestler, B., Waters, C., Sundin, G., and C.-H. Yang (2014) Deciphering the components that coordinately regulate virulence factors of the soft rot pathogen Dickeya dadantiiMol. Plant-Microbe Interact 27:1119-1131

Khokhani, D., Zhang, C., Li, Y., Wang, Q., Q. Zeng, Yamazaki, A., Hutchins, W., Zhou, S., Chen, X., and C-H. Yang (2013) Discovery of plant phenolic compounds that act as type three secretion system inhibitors or inducers of fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovoraAppl. Environ. Microbiol.

Q. Zeng, R. McNally, G. Sundin (2013) Global small RNA chaperone Hfq and regulatory small RNAs are important virulence regulators in Erwinia amylovora. J. Bacteriol. 195:1706-1717  

Zou L.*, Q. Zeng*, H. Lin, G. Gyaneshwar, G. Chen, and C.-H. Yang (2012)  SlyA regulates T3SS genes in parallel with the T3SS master regulator HrpL in Dickeya dadantii 3937. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78:2888-2895.  *Co-first author

Q. Zeng
, M. D. Laiosa, D. A. Steeber, E. M. Biddle, Q. Peng, and C.-H. Yang (2012) Cell individuality: the bistable gene expression of T3SS in Dickeya dadantii 3937. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 25:37-47.

Yamazaki, A., J. Li, Q. Zeng, D. Khokhani, W. C. Hutchins, A. C. Yost, E. Biddle, E. J. Toone, X. Chen, C.-H. Yang (2011) Derivatives of plant phenolic compound affect the type III secretion system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa via a GacS/GacA two component signal transduction system. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 56:36-43.

Q. Zeng, A. M. Ibekwe, E. Biddle, and C.-H. Yang (2010) Regulatory mechanisms of exoribonuclease PNPase and regulatory small RNA on T3SS of Dickeya dadantii. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 23: 1345 1355.

Yi, X., A.Yamazaki, E. Biddle, Q. Zeng, and C.-H. Yang (2010) Genetic analysis of two phosphodiesterases reveals cyclic diguanylate regulation of virulence factors in Dickeya dadantii. Mol. Microbiol. 77:787-800.

Li, Y., A. Yamazaki, L. Zou, E. Biddle, Q. Zeng, Y. Wang, H. Lin, Q. Wang, and C.-H. Yang (2010) ClpXP protease regulates the Type III Secretion System of Dickeya dadantii 3937 and is essential for the bacterial virulence. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 23:871-878.

Yang, S., Q. Peng, M. San Francisco, Y. Wang, Q. Zeng, and C.-H. Yang (2008) Type III secretion system genes of Dickeya dadantii 3937 are induced by plant phenolic acids. PLoS ONE 3(8): e2973.

Book Chapter

Q. Zeng and Sundin (2013) Identification and characterization of Hfq and Hfq-regulated small RNAs in Erwinia amylovora. XIII International Workshop on Fire Blight-Acta Horticulturae

Content Last Modified on 7/6/2017 12:35:38 PM