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Heejin Yoo

Assistant Professor


Graduate Program Membership:

Office/Building: ASB 462B
Phone: 801-581-7882
Email: heejin.yoo@biology.utah.edu
Heejin Yoo Lab: https://www.hyoo-pbio.com/

Research Statement


My main research is focused on understanding how plants coordinate metabolic pathways and defense mechanisms to optimize plant growth and defense. Since plants do not have specialized immune cells, plants need to allocate their energy and resource properly to either growth or defense depending on environmental conditions. My research is to understand the underlying mechanisms through transcriptional and translational regulation, and metabolic dynamics during plant innate immunity. This research will ultimately enhance our knowledge of molecular mechanisms and interactions between defense signaling and metabolic regulation to optimize or maximize crop yield and disease resistance. Specifically, projects in my lab include; 1) Regulatory mechanism of salicylic acids for plant immunity in various plant species, 2) The role of amino acids for plant immunity, 3) Global translatome analysis using ribosome profiling during plant systemic immunity, 4) Functional analysis of metabolic pathways during plant immune response, and 5) The role of helper NB-LRR for plant immune mechanisms.

Research Interests


General Interests
Specific Interests
  • Plant immunity
  • Growth to defense trade-off
  • Plant defense hormone, salicylic acid
  • Systemic acquired resistance
  • Translational regulation
  • Plant secondary metabolism
  • Plant volatiles

Selected Publications


  • Yoo H*, Shrivastava S*, Lynch JH*, Huang D, Widhalm JR, Guo L, Carter BC, Qian Y, Maeda HA, Ogas J, Morgan JA, Marshall-Colón A, and Dudareva N. (2021) Overexpression of arogenate dehydratase reveals an upstream point of metabolic control in phenylalanine biosynthesis. The Plant Journal 108:737–751 Full Article Here
  • Yoo H*, Greene GH*, Yuan M*, Xu G, Burton D, Liu L, Marqués J and Dong X. (2020) Translational Regulation of Metabolic Dynamics during Effector-Triggered Immunity. Molecular Plant 13:88-98 Full Article Here
  • Xu G*, Greene GH*, Yoo H*, Liu L, Marqués J, Motley J and Dong X. (2017) Global translational reprogramming is a fundamental layer of immune regulation in plants. Nature 545:487–490 Full Article Here
  • Zheng XY*, Zhou M*, Yoo H*, Pruneda-Paz JL, Spivey NW, Kay SA and Dong X. (2015) Spatial and temporal regulation of biosynthesis of the plant immune signal salicylic acid. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112:9166-9173 Full Article Here
  • Yoo H, Widhalm J, Qian Y, Maeda H, Cooper BR, Jannasch AS, Gonda I, Lewinsohn E, Rhodes D, and Dudareva N. (2013) An alternative pathway contributes to phenylalanine biosynthesis in plants via a cytosolic tyrosine:phenylpyruvate aminotransferase. Nat. Comm. 4:2833 Full Article Here
  • Maeda H, Yoo H, and Doudareva N. (2011) Prephenate aminotransferase directs plant phenylalanine biosynthesis via arogenate. Nat. Chem. Biol. 7:19-21. Full Article Here