Chentao Lin
Phone: (310) 206-9576
Office: 4014 Terasaki Life Science Building

Research Interests

We are interested in understanding a photosensory receptor called cryptochrome. Cryptochrome is a blue light receptor found in different organisms from a small weed Arabidopsis thaliana to a large animal Homo sapiens. Cryptochrome absorbs blue/UV-A light and it regulates various biological processes including biological clock in animals and flowering time in plants. We choose to work on an Arabidopsis cryptochrome, cry2 (cryptochrome 2), because Arabidopsis is relatively easy to work with. It is also a lot of fun to work with Arabidopsis because its genome has been completely sequenced so that we can use not only molecular genetics and biochemical techniques but also functional genomics approaches to solve our problems. We have found that cry2 regulates Arabidopsis flowering time, and we are trying to figure out how does cry2 do that (namely, what is the signal transduction mechanism of cry2)? We also try to understand how blue-light receptor cryptochromes work together with red-light receptor phytochromes in regulating cell elongation (namely, what is the co-action mechanism of different photoreceptors). You are welcome to come, discuss, or work on these challenge problems. You can also visit our homepage ( to get more information about our work.

Selected Publications

Gao, J., Wang, X., Zhang, M., Bian, M., Deng, W., Zuo, Z., Yang, Z., Zhong, D., and Lin, C., "Trp triad-dependent rapid photoreduction is not required for the function of Arabidopsis CRY1", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112: 9135-9140 (2016).

Wang Q., Barshop W.D., Bian M., Vashisht A.A., He R., Yu X., Liu B., Nguyen P., Liu X., Zhao X., Wohlschlegel J.A., and Lin C, "The Blue Light-Dependent Phosphorylation of the CCE Domain Determines the Photosensitivity of Arabidopsis CRY2", Molecular Plant 8: 631-643 (2015).

Wang, X., Wang, Q., Nguyen, P. Lin, C., "Cryptochrome-mediated light responses in plants", In: Enzymes 35: 167-189 (2014). [link]

Meng Y, Li, H., Wang Q., Liu, B., and Lin C., "Cryptochrome 2 (GmCRY2a) and CRY-interacting bHLH 1 (GmCIB1) mediates light regulation of transcription and leaf senescence in soybean (Glycine max)", Plant Cell 25: 4405-4420 (2013).

Liu, H., Wang, Q., Liu, Y., Zhao, X., Imaizumi, T., Somers, D. E., Tobin, E. M., and Lin, C., "Arabidopsis photoreceptors CRY2 and ZTL mediate blue-light regulation of the transcription factor CIB1 by distinct mechanisms", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110: 17582-17587 (2013).

Liu, Y., Li, X., Li, K., Liu, H., and Lin, C., "Multiple bHLH proteins form heterodimers to mediate CRY2-dependent regulation of flowering-time in Arabidopsis", Plos Genetics 9 (e1003861): (2013).

Wang, H., Zhang, Z., Li, H., Zhao, X., Liu, X., Ortiz, M., Lin, C., and Liu B., "CONSTANS-LIKE 7 regulates branching and shade avoidance response in Arabidopsis", , J Exp. Bot 64: 1017-1024 (2013).

Fristedt, R., Scharff, L.B., Clarke, C.A., Wang, Q., Lin, C., Merchant, S.S., Bock R., "RBF1, a Plant Homolog of the Bacterial Ribosome-Binding Factor RbfA, Acts in Processing of the Chloroplast 16S Ribosomal RNA", Plant Physiology 164: 201-205 (2013).

Wang, Q., Zhu, Z., Ozkardesh, K., and Lin C.,, "Phytochromes and phytohormones: The shrinking degree of separation", Molecular Plant 6: 5-7 (2013).

Liu, H., Gomez, G., Lin, S., Lin, S., and Lin, C., "Optogenetic Control of Transcription in Zebrafish", PLoS ONE 7 (e50738): (2012).

Wang, Q., Fristedt, R., Yu X, Chen, Z., Liu, H., Lee, Y., Guo, H., Merchant, S. Lin, C., "The ?-carbonic anhydrase subcomplex of mitochondrial complex I is essential for development and important for photomorphogenesis of Arabidopsis", Plant Physiology 160: 1373-1383 (2012).

Shikata, H., Shibata, M., Ushijima, T., Nakashima, M., Kong, S.G., Matsuoka, K., Lin, C., and Matsushita, T., "The RS domain of Arabidopsis splicing factor RRC1 is required for phytochrome B signal transduction", Plant J 70: 727-738 (2012).

Briggs, W., and Lin, C., "Photomorphogenesis?from One Photoreceptor to 14: 40 Years of Progress", Mol. Plant 5: 531-532 (2012).

Zuo, Z., Meng, Y., Yu, W., Zhang, Z., Feng, D., Sun, S Liu, B., and Lin, C., "A study of the blue-light-dependent phosphorylation, degradation, and photobody formation of Arabidopsis CRY2", Mol. Plant 5: 726-733 (2012).

Sheen X. Lu2, Hongtao Liu2, Stephen M. Knowles, Jian Li, Ligeng Ma, Elaine M. Tobin*, and Chentao Lin, "A Role for Protein Kinase Casein Kinase2 a-Subunits in the Arabidopsis Circadian Clock1", Plant Physiology 157: 1537-1545 (2011).