Hailing Jin, University of California-Riverside, will be presented the 2017 Ruth Allen Award at the APS Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX, U.S.A. in August this year.
Jin received her BS from Wuhan University in 1991 and PhD from the Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1996. She joined the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at the University of California, Riverside in 2004 and currently holds the Cy Mouradick Endowed Chair. Jin investigates the role of small RNAs (sRNAs) and epigenetics in plant-pathogen interactions, with the goal of controlling plant diseases. Her laboratory discovered cross-kingdom RNAi during host–pathogen interactions. They demonstrated that some pathogen sRNAs move into host plant cells and suppress host immunity genes, whereas plant-generated small RNAs can also travel to pathogen cells to manipulate fungal gene expression. They also found plant endogenous sRNAs that regulate plant regulatory genes in host immunity against pathogen attack. Furthermore, application of double-stranded RNAs and sRNAs on the surface of fruits, vegetables and flowers can significantly inhibit grey mold disease. Such pathogen gene-targeting RNAs represent a new generation of environmentally friendly fungicides.