I received my PhD degree (Plant Breeding and Genetics) from Tohoku University in Japan, under the supervision of Professor Takeshi Nishio. I completed my BSc and MSc degrees at Anhui Agricultural University and Nanjing Agricultural University from China, respectively.
After completing PhD, I spent one year working on oil palm breeding and genetics in Temasek Lifesciences Laboratory, at National University of Singapore, Singapore. Before joining Laurier, I was a Research Associate and Sessional Instructor in Department of Plant Science at University of Manitoba. There, I worked on canola-blackleg interaction, manipulation of fungal pathogen, CRISPR/Cas9 multiplex genome editing on Brassica napus for functional gene characterization, and integrated pest management strategies in Brassica crops.
My lab is working on how the canola crop adapts the climate change as rising CO2 and economically important plant diseases such as blackleg, verticillium stripe using CRISPR/Cas9 multiplex genome editing system. The aim of my research program is to take the advantage of new technology/knowledge (genome editing, exosomes) to improve canola resilience to biotic and abiotic stress, and therefore, to maintain our food safety, security, and sustainability.
Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP)-Ag Action Manitoba Program (2021-2023)
2023 Canola Agronomic Research Program (CARP: 2023-2026)
Mitacs Accelerate Proposal (2023-2026)
Zhongwei Zou*, W.G. Dilantha Fernando. 2023. Overexpression of BnNAC19 in Brassica napus enhances resistance to Leptosphaeria maculans, the blackleg pathogen of canola. Plant Pathology, https://doi.org/10.1111/ppa.13791.
Zhongwei Zou, Xujun Zhu, Sanjaya Gyawali. 2022. Editorial: Horticultural Crops: Interaction with Fungal Communnity. Frontiers in Plant Science, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.1096201
Shuanglong Huang, Chun Zhai, Zhongwei Zou, Fei Liu, Paula Parks, Linda Mcgregor, WG Dilantha Fernando, Gary Peng. 2022. Effect of wounding and wound age on infection of canola cotyledons by Leptosphaeria maculans, interacting with leaf wetness. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, 44, 709-722.
Fang Li, Chengjia Lv, Zhongwei Zou, Yu Duan, Junjie Zhou, Xujun Zhu, Yuanchun Ma, Zhaoliang Zhang, Wanping Fang. 2022. CsAAP7. 2 is involved in the uptake of amino acids from soil and the long-distance transport of theanine in tea plants (Camellia sinensis L.). Tree Physiology, 42, 2369-2381.
Zhaolan Han, Chen Zhang, Huan Zhang, Yu Duan, Zhongwei Zou, Lin Zhou, Xujun Zhu, Wanping Fang and Yuanchun Ma. 2022. CsMYB Transcription Factors Participate in Jasmonic Acid Signal Transduction in Response to Cold Stress in Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis). Plants, 11, 2869
Xiaogang Lei, Ting Wang, Bin Yang, Yu Duan, Lin Zhou, Zhongwei Zou, Yuanchun Ma, Xujun Zhu & Wanping Fang. 2022. Progress and perspective on intercropping patterns in tea plantations. Beverage Plant Research, 2, 18.
Lin Zhou, Youming Cai, Liuyan Yang, Zhongwei Zou, Jiao Zhu and Yongchun Zhang. 2022. Comparative Metabolomics Analysis of Stigmas and Petals in Chinese Saffron (Crocus sativus) by Widely Targeted Metabolomics. Plants, 11, 2427.
Xiaowen Shang, Zhaolan Han, Dayan Zhang, Ya Wang, Hao Qin, Zhongwei Zou, Lin Zhou, Xujun Zhu, Wanping Fang and Yuanchun Ma. 2022. Genome-Wide Analysis of the TCP Gene Family and Their Expression Pattern Analysis in Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis). Frontiers in Plant Science, 13, 840350.
Bin Yang, Shuang Ren, Kexin Zhang, Song Li, Zhongwei Zou, Xue Zhao, Jinqiu Li, Yuanchun Ma, Xujun Zhu, Wanping Fang. 2022. Distribution of trace metals in a soil–tea leaves–tea infusion system: characteristics, translocation and health risk assessment. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 44, 4631-4635.
Kexin Zhang, Yu Duan, Yu Cao, Yiwen Chen, Zhongwei Zou, Fang Li, Qiang Shen, Xiaowei Yang, Yuanchun Ma, Wanping Fang, and Xujun Zhu. 2022. CsCuAOs and CsAMADH1 Are Required for Putrescine-Derived γ-Aminobutyric Acid Accumulation in Tea. Foods, 11, 1356.
Ting Wang, Yu Duan, Guodong Liu, Xiaowen Shang, Lefeng Liu, Kexin Zhang, Jinqiu Li, Zhongwei Zou, Xujun Zhu, Wanping Fang. 2022. Tea plantation intercropping green manure enhances soil functional microbial abundance and multifunctionality resistance to drying rewetting cycles. Science of the Total Environment. 810, 151282.
Justine Cornelsen*, Zhongwei Zou* (Co-first author), Shuanglong Huang, Paula Parks, Ralph Lange, Gary Peng, W.G. Dilantha Fernando. 2021. Validating the strategic deployment of blackleg resistance gene groups in commercial canola fields on the Canadian prairies. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12: 669997.
Aria Dolatabadian*, Justine Cornelsen*, Shuanglong Huang*, Zhongwei Zou* (Co-first author) and W.G. Dilantha Fernando. 2021. Sustainability on the Farm: Breeding for Resistance and Management of Major Canola Diseases in Canada Contributing towards an IPM approach. (Review paper), Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. 44,157-190.
Zhongwei Zou, Fei Liu, Shuanglong Huang, W.G.D. Fernando. 2021. Genome-Wide Identification and Analysis of the Valine-Glutamine Motif Containing Gene Family in Brassica napus and Functional Characterization of BnMKS1 in Response to Leptosphaeria maculans. Phytopathology, 111, 281-292.
Fei Liu, Zhongwei Zou, Gary Peng, W. G. Dilantha Fernando. 2021. Leptosphaeria maculans Isolates Reveal Their Allele Frequency in Western Canada. Plant Disease, 105,1440-1447.
Jieren Liao, Qiang Shen, Ruiyang Li, Yu Cao, Yue Li, Zhongwei Zou, Taiyu Ren, Fang Li, Wanping Fang, Xujun Zhu. 2021. GABA shunt contribution to flavonoid biosynthesis and metabolism in tea plants (Camellia sinensis). Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 166, 849-856.
Cunchun Yang, Zhongwei Zou, W.G. Dilantha Fernando. 2021. The Effect of Temperature on the Hypersensitive Response (HR) in the Brassica napus–Leptosphaeria maculans Pathosystem. Plants, 10, 843.
Yu Duan, Xiaowen Shang, Guodong Liu, Zhongwei Zou, Xujun Zhu, Yuanchun Ma, Fang Li, Wanping Fang. 2021. The effects of tea plants-soybean intercropping on the secondary metabolites of tea plants by metabolomics analysis. BMC Plant Biology, 21,482.
Kexin Zhang, Taiyu Ren, Jieren Liao, Shan Wang, Zhongwei Zou, Yuanchun Ma, Fang Li, Wanping Fang, Xujun Zhu. 2021. Targeted metabolomics reveals dynamic changes during the manufacturing process of Yuhua Tea, a stir-fried green tea. Beverage Plant Research, 2021, 1, 6.
Xiaogang Lei, Ya Wang, Yuhan Zhou, Yongzhong Chen, Hongyuan Chen, Zhongwei Zou, Lin Zhou, Yuanchun Ma, Fei Chen1, and Wanping Fang. 2021.TeaPGDB: Tea Plant Genome Database. Beverage Plant Research, 1, 5.
Jinqiu Li, Yu Duan, Zhaolan Han, Xiaowen Shang, Kexin Zhang, Zhongwei Zou, Yuanchun Ma, Fang Li, Wanping Fang, Xujun Zhu. 2021. Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis of the NRAMP Family Genes in Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis). Plants, 10,1055.
Anburaj Jeyaraj, Tamilselvi Elango, Ying Yu, Xuefei Chen, Zhongwei Zou, Zhaotang Ding, Zhen Zhao, Xuan Chen, Xinghui Li, Linbo Chen. 2021. Impact of exogenous caffeine on regulatory networks of microRNAs in response to Colletotrichum gloeosporioides in tea plant. Scientia Horticulturae, 279, 109914.
Zhongwei Zou, Carrie Selin, Fei Liu, W.G. Dilantha Fernando. 2020. Generation and characterisation of a virulent Leptosphaeria maculans isolate carrying a mutated AvrLm7 gene using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11, 1969.
Zhongwei Zou, Vikram Bisht, W. G. Dilantha Fernando. 2020. Identification and Characterization of Verticillium longisporum lineage A1/D1 from Brassica Crops in Manitoba, Canada. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21, 3499.
Fei Liu, Zhongwei Zou, Shuanglong Huang, Paula Parks, W. G. Dilantha Fernando. 2020. Development of a specific marker for detection of a functional AvrLm9 allele and validating the interaction between AvrLm7 and AvrLm9. Molecular Biology Reports, 47, 7115-7123.
Fei Liu, Carrie Selin, Zhongwei Zou, W.G. Dilantha Fernando. 2020. LmCBP1, a secreted chitin-binding protein, is required for the pathogenicity of Leptosphaeria maculans on Brassica napus. Fungal Genetics and Biology, 136, 103320.
Jiazhi Shen, Zhongwei Zou, Hongqing Xing, Yu Duan, Xujun Zhu, Yuanchun Ma, Yuhua Wang, Wanping Fang. 2020. Genome-wide analysis reveals stress and hormone responsive patterns of JAZ family genes in Camellia sinensis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21, 2433.
Arkorful Emmanuel, Shunkai Hu, Zhongwei Zou, Yu Ying, Xuan Chen, Xinghui Li. 2020. Metabolomic analyses provide new insight into signaling mechanisms for nutrient uptake by lateral roots of pruned tea plant (Camellia sinensis). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 68, 7890-7903.
Bo Wen, Shuang Ren, Yanyuan Zhang, Yu Duan, Jiazhi Shen, Xujun Zhu, Yuhua Wang, Yuanchun Ma, Zhongwei Zou, Wanping Fang. 2020. Effects of geographic locations and topographical factors on secondary metabolites distribution in green tea at a regional scale. Food Control, 110, 106979.
Yu Duan, Xujun Zhu, Jiazhi Shen, Hongqing, Xing, Zhongwei Zou, Yuanchun Ma, Yuhua Wang, Wanping Fang. 2020. Genome-wide Identification, characterization and expression analysis of the amino acid permease gene family in tea plants (Camellia sinensis). Genomics, 03.
Shunkai Hu, Mi Zhang, Yiqing Yang, Wei Xuan, Zhongwei Zou, Emmanuel Arkorful, Yi Chen, Qingping Ma, Anbura Jeyaraj, Xuan Chen, Xinhui Li. 2020. A novel insight into nitrogen and auxin signaling in lateral root formation in tea plant Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze. BMC Plant Biology, 20, 232.
Zhongwei Zou, Xuehua Zhang, Paula Parks, Lindsey, J. du Toit, Angela P. Van de Wouw. 2019. A new subclade of Leptosphaeria biglobosa identified from Brassica rapa. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20, 1668.
Zhongwei Zou, Fei Liu, Changqin Chen, W. G. Dilantha Fernando. 2019. Effect of Elevated CO2 on the Disease Severity of Compatible and Incompatible Interactions of Brassica napus-Leptospheria maculans Pathosystem. Plants, 8, 484.
Zhongwei Zou, Fei Liu, W. G. Dilantha Fernando. 2018. Rapid detection of Leptosphaeria maculans avirulence gene AvrLm4-7 conferring the avirulence/virulence specificity on canola using a tetra primer ARMS-PCR. European Journal of Plant Pathology. 152, 515-520.
Zhongwei Zou, Xuehua Zhang, and W. G. Dilantha Fernando. 2018. Distribution of mating-type alleles and genetic variability in field populations of Leptosphaeria maculans in western Canada. Journal of Phytopathology, 00:1-10.
Vikram Bisht, Manika Pradhan, Curties Cavers, Dilantha Fernando, Zhongwei Zou, T Barasubiye. 2019. First report of radish (daikon) showing Verticillium longisporum infection in Manitoba, Canada. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, 41,143-143.
Rasanie E. Padmathilake, Humira Sonah, Zhongwei Zou, James R. Tucker, Adam Carter, Richard R. Belanger, W.G. Dilantha Fernando. 2019. Transcriptomic analysis of Brassica napus-Leptosphaeria maculans pathosystem by dual RNA-seq using a single-R-gene cultivar and a single-Avr-gene isolate. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, 41,159-1459.
Jiazhi Shen, Zhongwei Zou, Xuzhou Zhang, Lin Zhou, Yuhua Wang. Wanping Fang, Xujun Zhu. 2018. Metabolic analyses reveal different mechanisms of leaf color change in two purple-leaf tea plant (Camellia sinensis L.) cultivars Running title: Leaf color change mechanisms of two purple tea cultivars. Horticulture Research, 5, 7.
Qingping Ma, Changsong Chen, Zhongping Zeng, Zhongwei Zou, Huan Li, Qiongqing Zhou, Xuan Chen, Kang Sun, Xinghui Li. 2018. Transcriptomic analysis between self- and cross-pollinated pistils of tea plants (Camellia sinensis). BMC Genomics, 19:289.
Qingping Ma, Huan Li, Zhongwei Zou, Emmanuel Arkorful, Qianru Lv, Qiongqiong Zhou, Xuan Chen, Kang Sun, Xinghui Li. 2018. Transcriptomic analyses identify albino associated genes of a novel albino tea germplasm ‘Huabai 1’. Horticulture Research, 5, 54.
Tomohiro Kakizaki, Hiroyasu Kitashiba, Zhongwei Zou, Feng Li, Nobuko Fukino, Takayoshi Ohara, Takeshi Nishio, Masahiko Ishida. 2017. A 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase mediates the biosynthesis of glucoraphasatin in radish. Plant Physiology, 173, 1583-1593.
Harunur Rashid, Zhongwei Zou, and W. G. Dilantha Fernando. 2018. Development of molecular markers linked to the Leptosphaeria maculans resistance gene Rlm6 and inheritance of SCAR and CAPS markers in B. napus x B. juncea interspecific hybrids. Plant Breeding, 00:1-10.
Feng Li, Zhongwei Zou, Hui-Yee Yong, Hiroyasu Kitashiba, Takeshi Nishio. 2013. Nucleotide sequence variation of GLABRA1 contributing to phenotypic variation of leaf hairiness in Brassicaceae vegetables. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 26, 1227-1236.
Hui-Yee Yong, Zhongwei Zou, Eng-Piew Kok, Bih-Hua Kwan, Kingsley Chow, Shiori Nasu, Masami Nanzyo, Hiroyasu, Kitashiba, Takeshi Nishio. 2014. Comparative transcriptome analysis of leaves and roots in response to sudden increase of salinity in Brassica napus by RNA-seq. Biotechnology Research International, 467395.
Hiroyasu Kitashiba, Feng Li, Hideki Hirakawa, Takahiro Kawanabe, Zhongwei Zou, Yoichi Hasegawa, Kaoru Tonosaki, Sachiko Shirasawa, Aki Fukushima, Shuji Yokoi, Yoshihito Takahata, Tomohiro Kakizaki, Masahiko Ishida, Shunsuke Okamoto, Koji Sakamoto, Kenta Shirasawa, Satoshi Tabata, Takeshi Nishio. 2014. Draft sequences of the radish (Raphanus sativus L.) genome. DNA Research, 21, 481–490.
Mingle Wang, Zhongwei Zou, Qinghui Li, Huahong Xin, Xujun Zhu, Xuan Chen, Xinghui Li. 2017. Heterologous expression of three Camellia sinensis small heat shock protein genes confers temperature stress tolerance in yeast and Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Cell Reports, 26, 1125-1135.
Mingle Wang, Zhongwei Zou, Qinghui Li, Kang Sun, Xuan Chen, Xinghui Li. 2017. The CsHSP17.2 molecular chaperone is essential for thermotolerance in Camellia sinensis. Scientific Reports, 7, 1237.
Lubing Song, Qingping Ma, Zhongwei Zou, Kang Sun, Yuantao Yao, Jihan Tao, Najeeb A. Kalerl, Xinghui Li. 2017. Molecular Link between Leaf Coloration and Gene Expression of Flavonoid and Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Camellia sinensis Cultivar ‘Huangjinya’. Frontier in Plant Science, 8: 803.
Mingle Wang, Jing Zhuang, Zhongwei Zou, Qinghui Li, Huahong Xin, Xinghui Li. 2017. Overexpression of a Camellia sinensis DREB transcription factor gene (CsDREB) increases salt and drought tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Plant Biology, 60, 452-461.
May Lee, Junhong Xia, Zhongwei Zou, Jian Ye, Rahmadsyah, Yuzer Alfiko, Jingjing Jin, Jessica Virginia Lieando, Maria Indah Purnamasari, Chin Huat Lim, Antonius Suwanto, Limsoon Wong, Nam-Hai Chua, Genhua Yue. 2015. A consensus linkage map of oil palm and a major QTL for stem height. Scientific Reports, 5, 8232.
Yue Zhang, Xujun Zhu, Mingle Wang, Changnian Song, Zhongwei Zou, Wanping Fang, Xinghui Li. 2014. Identification and characterization of cold responsive microRNAs in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) and their targets using high-throughput sequencing and degradome analysis. BMC Plant Biology, 14, 271.
Zhongwei Zou, Masahiko Ishida, Feng Li, Tomohiro Kakizaki, Sho Suzuki, Hiroyasu Kitashiba, Takeshi Nishio. 2013. QTL analysis using SNP markers developed by next-generation sequencing for identification of candidate genes controlling 4-methylthio-3-butenyl glucosinolate contents in roots of radish, Raphanus sativus L. PLos One, 8 (1), e53541.
Zhongwei Zou, Wanping Fang, Ding Zhang, et al. 2008. Analysis of Differential Expression Genes in Cold-induced Tea Plant. Journal of Tea Science. 28, 249-254.
Zhongwei Zou, Xinghui Li, Ding Zhang, et al. 2009. Cloning and sequence analysis of cold-induced H1-Histone protein gene from cold induced Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis). Acta Botanica Boreali-Occidentalia sinica. 29, 1514-1519
Yunshang Duan, Zhongwei Zou, Hao Chen. et al. 2008. The research development of β-glucosidase in tea plant. Journal of China tea. 6, 15-18.
Xuan Chen, Zhongwei Zou, Xinghui Li, et al. 2009. Cloning and expression analysis of CBF gene in cold induced tea plant [Camellia Sinensis (L.) O.Kuntze], Journal of Tea Science. 1: 53~59.
Xuan Chen, Zhongwei Zou, Wanping Fang, et al. 2009. Molecular Cloning and Expression of a Flowering-related Calcium-dependent Protein Kinase Gene in Tea Plant [Camellia sinensis (L.) O.Kuntze], Journal of Tea Science. 1: 47~52.
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