Yuan Fang

Liverwort classification, tissue culture, spore germination, ultra-structural observation, and bryophyte ecology.

Dissertation Project

My research direction is liverwort oil body. Oil body is a special structure which has a single membrane bounding osmiophic oil globules in a transparent matrix, unique in liverworts. It is a forgotten organelle. The functions of these bodies are rarely reported, for the isolation and purification of intact liverwort oil bodies are difficult.

I am investigating on oil body origin and development, compared with vacuole, or other members of endomembrane system (what are the homologous of the liverwort oil body?); studying on the function of oil body (insect defense, desiccation tolerance, UV protection, or osmotic balance?), and detecting the oleosin gene family in the liverworts , as well as its evolution in liverworts.

Liverworts are small plants, be composed of one or a few cell layers, as mosses. Almost all the metabolisms occur in those cells. However, the liverworts are supposed to be the most possible candidate for the earliest land plants at present, not mosses. The difference in cytological features is the oil body, present in liverworts only. Thus the study on oil body may provide some information for the important historic question of what promote the transition of from water to land.

Other Research Projects


cindy.yuanfang07 at gmail.com