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Faculty and Staff
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XTBG, Menglun, Mengla, 666303, Yunnan, China




June 2012: PhD in Evolutionary Genetics. Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

June 2008: MSc in Conservation Genetics. Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

June 2005: B.S. in Botany. College of Life Sciences, Shanxi Normal University, China.



7/ 2012- 01/ 2015: Research Assistant, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Ecological Evolution Group;

01/2015- 03/2018: Associate Professor, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Ecology& Evolution of plant-animal interaction

From 2017/05 to 2018/08: visiting scholar, Ume? University, Sweden.

03/2018- Associate Professor, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Co-evolution Group



Using the population genomics and molecular ecology methodology to infer the formation and maintenance of genetic diversity and adaptive evolution of tropical and subtropical forest tree species.




1 Species delimitation and introgressive hybridization of Ficus auriculata complex in an obligate symbiotic system

Little is known about how obligate pollinator mediated introgressive hybridization in obligate pollination tree system and how it affects the genetic diversity within species. Figs and fig wasps represent a classic case of obligate pollination system and was the key species in the tropical forest ecosystem, which are ideal materials for studying the mechanism of introgressive hybridization in obligate pollination systems. We have sampled three closely related Ficus species complex over SE Asia. We have obtained whole genome re-sequencing data from near 400 individuals on the population level to get a better genetic background of the extent, direction, and genomic mosaic of introgression under heterogeneous environment. Thus, through the “chemical signal-pollinator wasps sharing –introgressive hybridization pattern” multi-level cross validation to provide a fine-scale picture of how the scale and complexity of introgressive hybridization within an obligate pollination system, and the effects on the formation and maintenance of genetic diversity in obligate pollinated forest trees.


2 Effects of interspecific introgression of pines upon their adaptability to climate change

The extensive hybrid zones in Pinus with broad climate range and genetic variation making it an ideal group to understand the effect of the adaptive introgression upon species adaptability to climate change. We had conducted genotype-by-sequencing method on two closely related pine species and a large contact hybrid zone. The whole pine complex covered the climate-space and range of habitats occupied by Pinus in SE Asia. We will use multidisciplinary methods to provide a fine-scale picture of how the scale and complexity of genetic introgression across this ecological hybrid zone affects their adaptability to climate change.




1.    Jie Gao#, Zhi-Long Liu#, Wei Zhao, Kyle W. Tomlinson, Shang-Wen Xia, Qing-Yin Zeng, Xiao-Ru Wang, and Jin Chen (2020) Combined genotype and phenotype analyses reveal pattrens of genomic adaptation to local environments in the subtropical oak Quercus acutissima. Journal of Systematics and Evolution. Doi: 10.1111/jse.12568

2.    Xue Yang, Jinchi Wei, Zhihai Wu*, and Jie Gao* (2020) Effects of substrate-binding site residues on the biochemical properties of a Tau class Glutathione S-Transferase from Oryza sativa. Genes. 11, 25; doi: 10.3390/genes11010025.

3.    Jie Gao#*, Ting Lan. (2016) Functional characterization of the late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) protein gene family from Pinus tabuliformis (Pinaceae) in Escherichia coli. Scientific Reports.6: 19476.

4.    Jie Gao#, Xue Yang, Wei Zhao, Tiange Lang and Tore Samuelsson*. (2015) Evolution, diversification, and expression of KNOX proteins in plants. Frontiers in Plant Science. fpls.2015.00882.

5.    Jie Gao#, Baosheng Wang#, Jian-Feng Mao, P?r Ingvarsson, Qing-Yin Zeng, and Xiao-Ru Wang* (2012) Demography and speciation history of the homoploid hybrid pine Pinus densata on the Tibetan Plateau. Molecular Ecology 19:4811-4827.

6.    Baosheng Wang#, Jian-Feng Mao#, Jie Gao#, Wei Zhao and Xiao-Ru Wang* (2011) Colonization of the Tibetan Plateau by the homoploid hybrid pine Pinus densata. Molecular Ecology 20:3796-3811. (co-1st author)

7.    Jie Gao#, Tian-Hua He, Qiao-Ming Li* (2012) Traditional home-gardens and conservation of genetic diversity – a case study of Acacia pennata in southwest China. Conservation Genetics 13:891898.

8.    Jin Pan#, Baosheng, W, Zhi-yong Pei, Wei Zhao, Jie Gao, Jian-Feng Mao and Xiao-Ru Wang*. (2015) Optimization of the genotyping-by-sequencing strategy for population genomic analysis in conifers. Molecular Ecology Resources. 15: 711-722.

9.    Song Y# and Jie Gao* (2014) Genome-wide analysis of WRKY gene family in Arabidopsis lyrata and comparison with Arabidopsis thaliana and Populus trichocarpa. Chinese Science Bulletin. 59:754-765. (*corresponding author)

10. Song Y#, Jie Gao* Fengxi Yang, Chai-shian Kua, Jingxin Liu, Charles H. Cannon . (2013) Molecular Evolutionary analysis of the Alfin-Like Protein family in Arabidopsis lyrate, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Thellungiella halophila. PLOS One 8: e66838.

11. Yu Song#, Wenpan Dong, Bing Liu, Chao Xu, Xin Yao, Jie Gao and Richard T. Corlett*. (2015) Comparative analysis of complete chloroplast genome sequences of two tropical trees Machilus yunnanensis and Machilus balansae in the family Lauraceae. Frontiers in Plant Science. fpls.2015.00662

12. Ting Lan#, Jie Gao and Qing-Yin Zeng* (2013) Genome-wide analysis of the LEA (late embryogenesis abundant) protein gene family in Populus trichocarpa. Tree Genetics & Genomes 9:253264.




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