Dr. Chuansheng Mei joined IALR in 2007 and was promoted to Chief Scientist in Plant Endophyte Research Center in 2019. He has been working on beneficial bacterial endophytes for more than 10 years. He was awarded a DOE Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy grant from 2010- 2014 for a project – Developing a low input and sustainable switchgrass feedstock production system utilizing beneficial bacterial endophytes, and studied mechanisms under which bacterial endophytes promote bioenergy crop switchgrass growth. Recently, he helps establish a bacterial endophyte library of more than 2000 strains isolated from plants grown in various environments. He develops various assay methods and his team has characterized their ability to produce IAA, ACC deaminase, siderophores, fix nitrogen and solubilize phosphate. In addition, the endophytes are screened against plant pathogens utilizing dual culture plates. His team discovered that some endophytes greatly improved growth of tall fescue KY31 in vitro, up to 11-fold increase compared with untreated control plants. Using randomized complete block design, some endophytes showed significant growth promotion of tomato and pepper plants in a greenhouse. Currently, greenhouse research is being conducted using bacterial endophytes against various plant pathogens such as tobacco black shank, strawberry crown rot and anthracnose, soybean root and stem rot, and rice sheath blight. Strawberry field trials have been conducted for two years with support from USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, and promising results were obtained last year. Chuansheng earned his bachelor’s degree in botany and master degree in plant physiology in Nanjing Agricultural University, and his Ph.D. in plant molecular biology and genetic engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- Molecular Biology Techniques – DNA and RNA isolation; PCR and real time PCR; Western blotanalysis; ELISA; General enzyme activity assay; proteinexpression in bacteria and purification; DNA sequence analysis;GUS assay; plant hormone jasmonic acid isolation andquantification with GC-MS; plant growth regulators for growthand stress test.
- Microbial Characterization – N-fixation assay; P solubilization assay; siderophore production assay; auxinproduction assay; ACC deaminase activity assay; bacterial colonization bioassay.
- Plant Tissue Culture and Micropropagation – A large-scale Miscanthus x giganteus micropropagation technique; Rice antherculture.
- Plant Transformation Techniques – Gene cloning; Vector construction; dsRNA interference; biolistic and Agrobacteriumtransformation techniques; rice, maize, switchgrass, alfalfa, and tobaccotransformation.
- Chemical Analysis Techniques – Familiar with analytic chromatographic techniques, such as GC, HPLC, and GC-MS.