WKU received funding support from NSFC again

Recently, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Committee announced the sponsored projects in 2018. The project “Towards a highly tailored indoor horticulture: A functional genomics guided phenotypic approach” led by Dr. Wong Aloysius from Wenzhou-Kean University has been evaluated and funded. It a great honor to WKU and also the second time that our project successfully passes the evaluation from NSFC since the success of project “Mechanism of a novel and efficient in-trans drug carrier K16ApoE across the blood-brain barrier” led by Dr. Meng Yu last year.

For this time, Dr. Wong Aloysius’s project was funded 399,600 RMB by the Research Fund for International Young Scientist. It is his great endeavor and persistence in research that brings award and research support to him. With the Master degree from the University of Cambridge, PhD degree from King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, Dr. Wong Aloysius is now the Assistant Professor from College of Science and Technology in WKU. His research “Growth and development of Arabidopsis thaliana under single-wavelength red and blue laser light” was once awarded by the Dow Chemical Company. Since becoming a scholar in WKU, Dr. Wong Aloysius has published papers in top international academic journals such as Bioinformatics and Frontiers in Microbiology.

Brief introduction of Dr. Wong Aloysius’s project:

The project is to conduct a complementary phenotypic and functional genomics approach to determine the optimal light conditions for plant growth in indoor environments. Firstly, I will conduct a broad screening to document extensively the phenotypes of model plants grown under different light regimes (i.e., different wavelength combinations, intensities and ratios) using narrow waveband and/or single-wavelength lights to determine the optimal light conditions that yield economically important traits and secondly, I will use a functional genomics approach involving transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of plants displaying economically beneficial traits under the respective light regimes to ascertain the molecular signatures governing the regulation of genes involved in expression of these desirable phenotypes. A catalog of phenotype-specific molecular signatures can act as an authoritative guide to determine the optimal light qualities for crop plants, for cultivating different traits and for potential biotechnological innovations that are specific for indoor horticulture applications. Given that the knowledge gained from a complementary phenotypic and functional genomics study can be harvested for economic gains, this highly-tailored approach to indoor horticulture can therefore contribute to sustainable food production.