Yingqi Cai | Department of Biological Sciences

Yingqi Cai

Research Asst Professor
LSC, 428B


Research Interests:

  • Lipid droplet biogenesis, function and regulation
  • Lipid metabolism and homeostasis
  • Metabolic engineering in plants

Current Grant:

  • § United States Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Physical Biosciences program. Elucidating the Cellular Machinery for Storage Lipids in Plants. (Kent Chapman PI, Yingqi Cai Co-PI). $635,026 Funded, 9/1/2023 - 8/31/2026. (DE-SC0016536)

Google Scholar Profile: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=D42nW04AAAAJ&hl=en

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0357-5809

Selected Publications:

  1. Anaokar S., Liang Y., Yu X.-H., Cai Y., Cai Y. and Shanklin J. (2024) The expression of genes encoding novel sesame oleosin variants facilitates enhanced triacylglycerol accumulation in Arabidopsis leaves and seeds. New Phytologist doi:10.1111/nph.19548.
  2. Zhai Z.*, Blanford J.*, Cai Y.*, Sun J., Liu H., Shi H., Schwender J., Shanklin J. (2023) CYCLIN-DEPENDENT KINASE 8 positively regulates oil synthesis by activating WRINKLED1 transcription. New Phytologist 238, 724-736. (* equal contribution)
  3. Liang Y., Yu X.-H., Anaokar S., Shi H., Dahl W., Cai Y., Luo G., Chai J., Cai Y., Ernst E., Altpeter F., Martienssen R., Schwender J. and Shanklin J. (2023) Engineering triacylglycerol accumulation in duckweed (Lemna japonica). Plant Biotechnol. J. 21, 317-330. Cover of Issue.
  4. Cai Y., Yu X.-H., Shanklin J. (2022) A toolkit for plant lipid engineering: surveying the efficacies of lipogenic factors for accumulating specialty lipids. Front. Plant Sci. 13, 1064176.
  5. Cai Y., Zhai Z., Blanford J., Liu H., Shi H., Schwender J., Xu C., Shanklin J. (2022). Purple acid phosphatase2 increases fatty acid synthesis and offsets yield drag associated with triacylglycerol hyperaccumulation in vegetative tissues. New Phytologist 236, 1128-1139.
  6. Pyc M., Gidda S.K., Seay D., Esnay N., Kretzschmar F.K., Cai Y., Doner N.M., Greer M.S., Hull J.J., Coulon D., Bréhélin C., Yurchenko O., De Vries J., Valerius O., Braus G.H., Ischebeck T., Chapman K.D., Dyer J.M., Mullen R.T. (2021). LDIP cooperates with SEIPIN and LDAP to facilitate lipid droplet biogenesis in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 33, 3076-3103. Cover of Issue.
  7. Greer M.S., Cai Y., Gidda S.K., Esnay N., Kretzschmar F.K., Seay D., McClinchie E., Ischebeck T., Mullen R.T., Dyer J.M., Chapman K.D. (2020). SEIPIN isoforms interact with the membrane-tethering protein VAP27-1 for lipid droplet formation. Plant Cell 32, 2932-2950.
  8. Cai Y. Whitehead P., Chappell J., and Chapman K.D. (2019). Mouse lipogenic proteins promote the co-accumulation of triacylglycerols and sesquiterpenes in plant cells. Planta 250, 79-94.
  9. Stoeckman A.K., Cai Y., and Chapman K.D. (2019). iCURE (iterative course-based undergraduate research experience): A case-study. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 47, 565-572.
  10. Pyc M., Cai Y., Gidda S.K., Yurchenko O., Park S., Kretzschmar F.K., Ischebeck T., Valerius O., Braus G.H., Chapman K.D., Dyer J.M., and Mullen R.T. (2017). Arabidopsis lipid droplet-associated protein (LDAP) - interacting protein (LDIP) influences lipid droplet size and neutral lipid homeostasis in both leaves and seeds. Plant J. 92, 1182-1201.
  11. Pyc M., Cai Y., Greer M.S., Yurchenko O., Chapman K.D., Dyer J.M., and Mullen R.T. (2017). Turning Over a New Leaf in Lipid Droplet Biology. Trends Plant Sci. 22, 596-609.
  12. Cai Y., McClinchie E., Price A., Nguyen T.N., Gidda S.K., Watt S.C., Yurchenko O., Park S., Sturtevant D., Mullen R.T., Dyer J.M., and Chapman K.D. (2017). Mouse fat storage-inducing transmembrane protein 2 (FIT2) promotes lipid droplet accumulation in plants. Plant Biotechnol. J. 15, 824-836. Cover of Issue.
  13. Gidda S.K., Park S., Pyc M., Yurchenko O., Cai Y., Wu P., Andrews D.W., Chapman K.D., Dyer J.M., and Mullen R.T. (2016). Lipid Droplet-Associated Proteins (LDAPs) Are Required for the Dynamic Regulation of Neutral Lipid Compartmentation in Plant Cells. Plant Physiol. 170, 2052-2071.
  14. Cai Y., Goodman J.M., Pyc M., Mullen R.T., Dyer J.M., and Chapman K.D. (2015). Arabidopsis SEIPIN Proteins Modulate Triacylglycerol Accumulation and Influence Lipid Droplet Proliferation. Plant Cell 27, 2616-2636. Faculty of 1000 Recommended.