Skip to content

Feng Chen




Research in the Chen group is directed towards understanding plant secondary metabolism. Despite the importance of secondary metabolites for the plant as well as for human health, plant secondary metabolism in general remains poorly characterized. The research program in the Chen group employs an integrated functional genomic approach, which combines bioinformatic analysis, metabolic profiling, expression profiling, and large-scale in vitro biochemical assays, to systemically discover novel genes in plant secondary metabolism using rice and Arabidopsis as main model species. This study is expected to yield important results that will open new avenues to understanding the metabolism, physiology and evolution of plants, and also provide knowledge and tools for plant metabolic engineering.


  • PhD: Plant Biology - University of California, Davis (2000)
  • MS: Genetics - Chinese Academy of Science (1997)
  • BS: Molecular Biology - Nankai University (1994)


Lin, J., Mazarei, M., Zhao, N., Zhu, J-W., Zhuang, X., Liu, W., Pantalone, V.R., Arelli, P.R., Stewart, C.N., and Chen, F. (2013) Overexpression of a soybean salicylic acid methyltransferase gene confers resistance to soybean cyst nematode. Plant Biotech. J. 11: 1135–1145

Zhao, N., Yao, J., Chaiprasongsuk, M., Li, G-L., Guan, J., Tschaplinski, T.J., Guo H., and Chen, F. (2013) Molecular and biochemical characterization of the jasmonic acid methyltransferase gene from black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa). Phytochemistry 94: 74–81

Zhao, N., Wang, G-D., Norris, A., Chen, X-L., and Chen, F. (2013) Studying plant secondary metabolism in the age of genomics. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. 32: 369–382.

Ye, X., Busovb, V., Zhao, N., Meilanc, R., McDonnelld, L.M., Colemand, H.D., Mansfieldd, S.D., Chen, F., Li, Y., and Cheng, Z-M. Transgenic poplar trees for forest products, bioenergy, and functional genomics. Biotechnology Advances. Submitted

Zhao, N., Zhuang, X., Shrivastava, G., and Chen, F. Analysis of insect-induced volatiles from rice. In Y Yang eds, Methods in Molecular Biology: Rice Protocols. Submitted

Chen, F., Martin R.C., Song SQ, and Nonogaki, H. Seed Development and Germination. In Plant Tissue Culture: Development and Biotechnology, eds Trigiano R.N. & Gray D.J., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Submitted

Lin, J.Y., Wang, N., Pantalone, V.R., and Chen, F. Genetic engineering of fruit flavors. In Handbook of Flavors from Fruits and Vegetables, eds Chen, F., Hui, Y.H. and Nollet L.M.L., John Wiley & Sons, submitted

Ye, X., Yuan, S., Guo, H., Chen, F., Cheng, Z-M., Evolution and divergence of the poplar gene family encoding xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolases in the coding and promoter regions. Tree Genet. Genomes. Submitted

Chen, F., Liu, C-J., Tschaplinski, T.J., and Zhao, N. (2009) Genomics of secondary metabolism in Populus: Interactions with biotic and abiotic environments. Crit. Rev.Plant Sci. in press

Panthee, D. and Chen. F. (2009). Genomics of fungal disease resistance in tomato. Curr. Genomics. in press

Chen, F., Al-Ahmad, H., Joyce, B., Zhao, N., Köllner, T.G., Degenhardt, J., Stewart, C.N. (2009). Within-plant distribution and emission of sesquiterpenes from Copaifera officinalis. Plant Physiol. Biochem. In press

Zhao, N., Boyle, B., Duval, I., Ferrer, J., Lin, H., Seguin, A., Mackay, J. and Chen, F. (2009). SABATH methyltransferases from white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss): Gene cloning, functional characterization and structural analysis. Tree Physiol. 29: 947-957

Navia-Gine, W., Gomez, S.K., Yuan, J.S., Chen, F. and Korth, K.L (2009). Insectinduced gene expression at the core of volatile terpene release in Medicago truncatula. Plant Sign. Beha. 4: 636-638

Yuan, J.S., Himanen, S.J., Holopainen, J.K., Chen, F. and Stewart, C.N. (2009). Smelling global climate change: mitigation of function for plant volatile organic compounds. Trends Ecol Evol. 24: 323-331 Navia-Gine W., Yuan J.S., Mauromoustakos,

Contact Information

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.