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

Yang L., Mo, W., Yu, X., Yao, N., Zhou, Z., Fan, X., Zhang, L., Piao, M., Li, S., Yang, D., Lin, C., and Zuo, Z., "Reconstituting Arabidopsis CRY2 Signaling Pathway in Mammalian Cells Reveals Regulation of Transcription by Direct Binding of CRY2 to DNA", Cell Reports 24: 585-593 (2018).

Wang, Q., Liu, Q., Wang, X., Zuo, Z., Oka, Y., and Lin, C., "Beyond the photocycle - how cryptochromes regulate photoresponses in plants?", Current Opinion in Plant Biology 45: 120-126 (2018).

Wang, Q., Liu, Q., Wang, X., Zuo, Z., Oka, Y., and Lin, C., "New insights into the mechanisms of phytochrome?cryptochrome coaction", New Phytologist 217: 547-551 (2018).

Wang X, Wang Q, Han Y-J, Liu Q, Gu L, Yang Z, Su J, Liu B, Zuo Z, He W, Wang, J, Liu, B, Matsui, M, Kim, J, Oka, Y, and Lin, C., "A CRY-BIC negative feedback circuitry regulating blue light sensitivity", The Plant Journal 92: 426-436 (2017).

Wang, W., Gu L., Ye S., Zhang H., Cai C., Xiang M., Gao Y., Wang Q., Lin C., and Zhu Q., "Genome-wide analysis and transcriptomic profiling of the auxin biosynthesis, transport and signaling family genes in moso bamboo (Phyllostachys heterocycla)", BMC Genomics 18: (2017).

Yang Z., Liu B, Su J, Liao J, Lin C, Oka Y, "Cryptochromes Orchestrate Transcription Regulation of Diverse Blue Light Responses in Plants", Photochemistry and Photobiology 93: 112-127 (2017).

Wang T, Wang H, Cai D, Gao Y, Zhang H, Wang Y, Lin C, Ma L, Gu L, "Comprehensive profiling of rhizome-associated alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation in moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis)", The Plant Journal 91: 684-699 (2017).

He, R., Li, X., Zhong, M., Yan, J., Ji, R., Li, X., Wang, Q., Wu, D., Sun, M., Tang, D., ? and Lin, C, "A photo-responsive F-box protein FOF2 regulates floral initiation by promoting FLC expression in Arabidopsis", The Plant Journal 91: 788-801 (2017).

Su, J., Liu, B., Liao, J., Yang, Z., Lin, C., and Oka, Y., "Coordination of Cryptochrome and Phytochrome Signals in the Regulation of Plant Light Responses", Agronomy 75: 25-47 (2017).

Liu, Q., Wang, Q., Deng, W., Wang, X., Piao, M., Cai, D., Li, Y., Barshop, W. D., Yu, X., Liu, B., Oka, Y., Wohlschlegel, J., Zuo, Z., and Lin, C.,, "Molecular basis for blue light-dependent phosphorylation of Arabidopsis cryptochrome 2", Nature Communications 8: (2017). [link]

Zhang, H., Lin, C., and Gu, L., "Light Regulation of Alternative Pre-mRNA Splicing in Plants", Photochemistry and Photobiology 93: 159-165 (2017).

Wang, Q., Zuo, Z., Wang, X., Gu, L., Yoshizumi, T., Yang, Z., Yang, L., Liu, Q., Liu, W., Han, Y.-J., Kim, J.-I., Liu, L., Wohlschlegel, J.M., Matsui, M., Oka, Y., and Lin, C., "Photoactivation and inactivation of Arabidopsis cryptochrome 2", Science 354: 343-347 (2016).

Zhang, C., Liu, J., Zhao, T., Gomez, A., Li, C., Yu, C., Li, H., Lin, J., Yang, Y., Liu, B., and Lin, C., "A Drought-Inducible Transcription Factor Delays Reproductive Timing in Rice", Plant Physiology 171: 334-343 (2016).

Liu, B., Yang, Z., Gomez, A., Liu, B., Lin, C., and Oka, Y., "Signaling mechanisms of plant cryptochromes in Arabidopsis thaliana", Journal of Plant Research 129: 137-148. (2016).

Yang, L., Wang, X., Deng, W., Mo, W., Gao, J., Liu, Q., Zhang, C., Wang, Q., Lin, C., and Zuo, Z., "Using HEK293 expression system to study photoactive plant cryptochromes", Frontiers in Plant Science 7: (2016). [link]