Bin Yu
Bin Yu
Associate Professor

Ph.D. Michigan State University, 2004
M.S. Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, 1999
B.A. ShangDong Agricultural University, 1994
Contact Information
E324 Beadle Center


Research Interests

The long-term research interest of my laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying small RNA metabolism and function. Small RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), are 20 to 24 nucleotide (nt) RNAs that function as sequence-specific regulators of gene expression at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels in eukaryotes. These small RNAs are involved in numerous cellular processes including development, differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, and stress responses. We currently employ a combination of genetic, biochemical, cell biological, and genomic approaches to identify and characterize components involved in small RNA metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana.


Ren G, Chen X, Yu B (2012) Uridylation of miRNAs by HEN1 SUPPRESSOR 1 in Arabidopsis. Current Biology. 22:695-70

Ren G, Xie M, Dou Y, Zhang C and Yu B (2012) Regulation of miRNA abundance by RNA binding protein TOUGH in Arabidopsis. PNAS. (In Press; doi/10.1073/pnas.1204915109 )

Xie M, Ren G, Pedro C, Pontes O, Yu B (2012) A subgroup of SGS3-LIKE proteins act redundantly in RNA-directed DNA methylation. Nucleic Acid Research. 40:4422-31

Xie M, Ren G, Zhang C, and Yu B (2012) The DNA and RNA binding protein FACTOR of DNA METHYLATION 1 requires XH domain-mediated complex formation for its function in RNA- directed DNA methylation. The Plant Journal. (In Press; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2012.05092.x)

Xu Y, Santamaria Rde L, Virdi KS, Arrieta-Montiel MP, Razvi F, Li S, Ren G, Yu B, Alexander D, Guo L, Feng X, Dweikat IM, Clemente TE, and Mackenzie SA (2012) The chloroplast triggers developmental reprogramming when mutS HOMOLOG1 is suppressed in plants. Plant Physiol 159, 710-720.

Yu B, Liu B, Zhai J, Agarwal M, Li S, Wu Q, Ding S, Meyers B, Vaucheret V, Chen X (2010) siRNAs compete with miRNAs for methylation by HEN1 in Arabidopsis. Nucleic Acid Research. 38:5844-50.

Yu B and Chen X. (2010) Analysis of miRNA modification. Methods in Molecular Biology. 592:137-48.

Yu B* and Wang H. (2010) Translational inhibition by miRNAs in Plants. Prog Mol Subcell Biol. 50:41-57.

Zheng B, Wang Z, Li S, Yu B, Liu J, Chen X (2009) Intergenic transcription by RNA Polymerase II coordinates Pol IV and Pol V in siRNA-directed transcriptional gene silencing in Arabidopsis . Genes & Development. In press

Song D, Yang Y, Yu B, Zheng B, Deng Z, Lu B, Chen X, Jiang T (2009) Computational prediction of novel non-coding RNAs in Arabidopsis thaliana. BMC Bioinformatics, 10(Suppl 1):S36

Yu B, Liu B, Zheng B, Ji Li, Agarwal M, Chevalie D, Lagrange T, Walker JC, Chen X (2008) The FHA domain proteins DAWDLE in Arabidopsis and SNIP1 in humans act in small RNA biogenesis Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 105:10073-10078

Yang Z, Vilkaitis G, Yu B, Klimasauskas S, Chen X (2007) Approaches for Studying MicroRNA and Small Interfering RNA Methylation In Vitro and In Vivo. Methods Enzymol. 427:139-54

Yu B, Chapman EG, Yang Z, Carrington JC, Chen X (2006) Transgenically expressed viral RNA silencing suppressors interfere with microRNA methylation in Arabidopsis. FEBS Lett 580:3117-20

Yang Z, Ebright YW, Yu B, Chen X (2006) HEN1 recognizes 21-24 nt small RNA duplexes and deposits a methyl group onto the 2' OH of the 3' terminal nucleotide. Nucleic Acids Res. 34:667-75

Xu C, Yu B CornishAJ, Froehlich JE, Benning C (2006) Phosphatidylglycerol biosynthesis in chloroplasts of Arabidopsis mutants deficient in acyl-ACP glycerol-3- phosphate acyltransferase. Plant J. 47:296-309

Li J, Yang Z, Yu B, Liu J, and Chen X (2005) Methylation protects miRNAs and siRNAs from a 3’ end uridylation activity in Arabidopsis. Current Biology 15:1501-1507. --- Featured in “ Editors' Choice: Highlights of the recent literature”. Science 309, 1651. 

Yu B*, Yang ZY*, Li JJ, Minakhina S, Yang MC, Padgett RW, Steward R, Chen X (2005) Methylation as a crucial step in plant microRNA biogenesis. Science. 307:932-5 (*: equal contribution)

Weber A, Oesterhelt C, Gross W, Bräutigam A, Imboden L, Krassovskaya I, Linka N, Truchina J, Schneidereit J, Voll LM, Zimmermann M, Riekhof WR, Yu B, Garavito RM, Benning C. (2004) EST-analysis of the thermo-acidophilic red microalga Galdieria sulphuraria reveals potential for lipid A biosynthesis and unveils the pathway of carbon export from rhodoplasts. Plant Mol. Biol. 55:17-32.

Yu B, Wakao S, Fan JL, Benning C. (2004) Loss of plastidic lysophosphatidate:acyl-ACP acyltransferase activity causes embryo lethality in Arabidopsis. Plant & Cell Physiology 45:503-10

Yu B and Benning C. (2003) Anionic lipids are required for chloroplast structure and function in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 36:762-70

Xu C, Hartel H, Wada H, Hagio M, Yu B, Eakin C, Benning C. (2002) The pgp1 mutant locus of Arabidopsis encodes a phosphatidylglycerolphosphate synthase with impaired activity. Plant Physiol. 129:594-604.

Yu B, Xu C, Benning C. (2002) Arabidopsis disrupted in SQD2 encoding sulfolipid synthase is impaired in phosphate-limited growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 99:5732-7.