Email outage from Saturday, September 30, 11 am, until Sunday, October 1, 8 pm (ET)

Annual maintenance work is taking place on our servers this weekend. This will have an impact on incoming and outgoing emails to the NRC, including on our website. Email service should resume immediately after the scheduled maintenance.

Jitao Zou

Roles and responsibilities

Principal Research Officer

Team Lead, Lipid Biochemistry and Metabolism, Aquatic and Crop Resource Development (ACRD) Research Centre

Current research and/or projects

My area of research is plant metabolism and molecular biology. I study enzymes and genetic factors critical to oilseed crop improvement. I also work on plant metabolic responses and crop adaptation to challenging environmental conditions. My technical expertise includes lipid biosynthesis in seeds, metabolic pathway regulation and cellular redox homeostasis in plants under abiotic stresses.



Post-Doctoral Fellow, Yale University, 1990-1992

Ph.D. The Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 1990                                                          

B.Sc. Beijing Normal University, 1983


Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan

American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS)

Key publications

  • Song J, Chen C, Jie Shu, Thapa RK, Xie X, Nyugen V, Bian S, Kohalmi SE, Marsolais F, Zou J, Cui Y (2021) LEAFY COTYLEDON1 expression in the endosperm enables embryo maturation in Arabidopsis. Nature Communications 12(1):3963. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24234-1 (Co-corresponding author, Featured on Editors’ Highlights Focus webpage of “Plants and agriculture” in Nature Communications)
  • Li Q, Shen W, Mavraganis I, Wang L, Gao P, Jie Gao, Cram D, Li Y, Fowler DB, Pan Y, Zou J (2021) Elucidating the biochemical basis of trans-16:1 fatty acid change in leaves during cold acclimation in wheat. Plant-Environmental Interactions 2:101 111.
  • Li Q, Byrns B, Badawi MY, Diallo AB, Danyluk J, Sarhan F, Laudencia-Chingcuanco D, Zou J, Fowler DB (2018) Transcriptomic insights into phenological development and cold tolerance of wheat grown in the field. Plant Physiol. 176: 2376–2394
  • Singers S, Zou J, Weselake R (2016) Abiotic factors influence storage lipid accumulation and composition in oilseed plants. Plant Sci. 243:1-9
  • Pan X, Chen G, Kazachkov M, Greer MS, Caldo KM, Zou J, Weselake RJ (2015) In vivo and In vitro Evidence for Biochemical Coupling of Reactions Catalyzed by Lysophosphatidylcholine Acyltransferase and Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase. J. Biol. Chem. 290:18068-78
  • Li Q, Zheng Q, Shen W, Cram D, Fowler B.D., Wei Y, and Zou J (2015) Understanding the biochemical basis of temperature induced lipid pathway adjustments in plants. Plant Cell 27:86-103
  • Yilmaz LJ, Zhou X, Jasieniecka K, Kazachkov M, Wang P, Zou J, Weselake R, Smith MA, Bayon S, Dyer J, Shockey J, Heinz E, Green A, Banas A, Stymne S (2013) Plant Acyl-CoA : lysophosphatidylcholine Acyltransferases (LPCATs) have Different Specificities in their Forward and Reverse Reactions. J. Biol. Chem. 288:36902-14
  • Wang L, Shen W, Kazachkov M, Chen G, Chen Q, Carlsson AS, Stymne S, Weselake RJ, Zou J (2012) Metabolic Interactions between the Lands Cycle and the Kennedy Pathway of Glycerolipid Synthesis in Arabidopsis Developing Seeds. Plant Cell 24:4652-69
  • Liu G, Ji Y, Bhuiyan NH, Pilot G, Selvaraj G, Zou J, Wei Y (2010) Amino acid homeostasis modulates salicylic acid-associated redox status and defense responses in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 22:3845-63
  • Shen W, Li QJ, Dauk M, Huang Y, Periappuram C, Wei Y, Zou J (2010) Metabolic and transcriptional responses of glycerolipid pathways to purterbation of glycerol-3-phosphate metabolism in Arabidopsis. J Biol. Chem. 285:22957-65
  • Shen W, Wei Y, Dauk M, Tan Y, Taylor D, Selveraj G, Zou J (2006) Involvement of a Glycerol-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase in modulating the NADH/NAD+ Ratio Provides Evidence of a Mitochondrial Glycerol-3-Phosphate Shuttle in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 18:422-411
  • Wei Y, Shen W, Dauk M, Wang F, Selvaraj G, Zou J (2004) Targeted-gene disruption of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase in Colletotrichum gloeosporioides reveals evidence that glycerol is a significant transferred nutrient from host plant to fungal pathogen. J. Biol. Chem. 279: 429-435
  • Zheng Z, Xia Q, Dauk M, Shen W, Selvaraj G, Zou J (2003) The Arabidopsis AtGPAT1, a member of a glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase gene family, is essential for tapetum differentiation and male fertility. Plant Cell 15: 1872-1887
  • Zheng Z, Zou J (2001) The initial step of the glycerolipid pathway: identification of glycerol-3-phosphate / dihydroxyacetone phosphate dual substrate acyltransferases in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J. Biol. Chem. 276: 41710-41716
  • Zou J, Wei Y, Jako C, Kumar A, Selvaraj G, Taylor DC (1999) The Arabidopsis thaliana TAG1 mutant has a mutation in a diacylglycerol acyltransferase gene. Plant Journal 19: 645-654
  • Zou J, Katavic V, Giblin EM, Barton DL, MaKenzie SL, Keller WA, and Taylor DC (1997) Modification of seed oil content and acyl composition in Brassicaceae by expression of a yeast sn-2 acyltransferase gene. Plant Cell 9:909-923
  • Wu H, Zou J, May B, Gu Q, Cheung AY (1993) A novel tobacco gene family for flower cell wall proteins with a proline-rich and cysteine-rich domain. Proc. Nat'l. Acad. Sci. USA 90: 6829-6833

Jitao Zou

Principal Research Officer
Aquatic and Crop Resource Development
110 Gymnasium Place
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 0W9
Preferred language: English
Telephone: 306-975-5583


Agriculture, Biology, Plant molecular