Feng Zhang
Office Address

1500 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
United States



Assistant Professor
Plant and Microbial Biology

Dissecting DNA repair pathways in genetic and epigenetic contexts to enable efficient and precise genome engineering in plants.

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Research interests

A critical challenge we face today is to produce sufficient food and plant-derived products for a growing population.  This challenge is further complicated by an ever-changing and unstable climate.  In the past 20 years, a substantial effort has been made in understanding plant gene function and the basic mechanisms of plant growth, development and interaction with the environment.  The knowledge gleaned from these studies has paved the way to design better plant varieties by modifying, editing and rewriting their genetic code.  The primary goal of my research program is to improve plant productivity and quality through highly efficient, large scale genome editing and synthetic biology approaches. 


Selected publications

  1. Zachary L Demorest, Andrew Coffman, Nicholas J Baltes, Thomas J Stoddard, Benjamin M Clasen, Song Luo, Adam Retterath, Ann Yabandith, Maria Elena Gamo, Jeff Bissen, Luc Mathis, Daniel F Voytas, Feng Zhang. (2016) Direct stacking of sequence-specific nuclease-induced mutations to produce high oleic and low linolenic soybean oil. BMC Plant Biology 6:225. 
  2. Thomas J Stoddard, Benjamin M Clasen, Nicholas J Baltes, Zachary L Demorest, Daniel F Voytas, Feng Zhang, Song Luo. (2016) Targeted mutagenesis in plant cells through transformation of sequence-specific nuclease mRNA. PLoS ONE 11(5):e0154634. 
  3. Jin Li, Thomas J Stoddard, Zachary L Demorest, Pierre‐Olivier Lavoie, Song Luo, Benjamin M Clasen, Frederic Cedrone, Erin E Ray, Andrew P Coffman, Aurelie Daulhac, Ann Yabandith, Adam J Retterath, Luc Mathis, Daniel F Voytas, Marc‐André D'Aoust, Feng Zhang. (2016) Multiplexed, targeted gene editing in Nicotiana benthamiana for glyco‐engineering and monoclonal antibody production. Plant Biotechnology Journal 14(2):533-542. 
  4. Benjamin M. Clasen, Thomas J. Stoddard, Song Luo, Zachary L. Demorest, Jin Li, Frederic Cedrone, Redeat Tibebu, Shawn Davison, Erin E. Ray, Aurelie Daulhac, Andrew Coffman, Ann Yabandith, Adam Retterath, William Haun, Nicholas J. Baltes, Luc Mathis, Daniel F. Voytas and FengZhang. (2016) Improving cold storage and processing traits in potato through targeted gene editing. Plant Biotechnology Journal 14 (1):169-176. 
  5. Song Luo, Jin Li, Thomas J Stoddard, Nicholas J Baltes, Zachary L Demorest, Benjamin M Clasen, Andrew Coffman, Adam Retterath, Luc Mathis, Daniel F Voytas, Feng Zhang. (2015) Non-transgenic plant genome editing using purified sequence-specific nucleases. Molecular Plant 8(9):1425-1427. 
  6. William Haun, Andrew Coffman, Benjamin M Clasen, Zachary L Demorest, Anita Lowy, Erin Ray, Adam Retterath, Thomas Stoddard, Alexandre Juillerat, Frederic Cedrone, Luc Mathis, Daniel F Voytas, Feng Zhang. (2014) Improved soybean oil quality by targeted mutagenesis of the fatty acid desaturase 2 gene family. Plant Biotechnology Journal 12(7):934-940. 
  7. Yiping Qi, Xiaohong Li, Yong Zhang, Colby G Starker, Nicholas J Baltes, Feng Zhang, Jeffry D Sander, Deepak Reyon, J Keith Joung, Daniel F Voytas. (2013) Targeted deletion and inversion of tandemly arrayed genes in Arabidopsis thaliana using zinc finger nucleases. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics 3(10):1707-1715. 
  8. Marine Beurdeley, Fabian Bietz, Jin Li, Severine Thomas, Thomas Stoddard, Alexandre Juillerat, Feng Zhang, Daniel F Voytas, Philippe Duchateau, George H Silva. (2013) Compact designer TALENs for efficient genome engineering. Nature Communications 4:1762. 
  9. Y Qi, Y Zhang, F Zhang, JA Baller, SC Cleland, Y Ryu, CG Starker, DF Voytas. (2013) Increasing frequencies of site-specific mutagenesis and gene targeting in Arabidopsis by manipulating DNA repair pathways. Genome Research 23(3):547-554. 
  10. Y Zhang*, F Zhang*, X Li, JA Baller, Y Qi, CG Starker, AJ Bogdanove, DF Voytas. (2013) Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases Enable Efficient Plant Genome Engineering. Plant Physiol. 161(1):20-27 (* co-first author).