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Zhenguo Lin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Courses Taught

Genomics, Bioinformatics I, Bioinformatics II


 Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Research Interests

The main research interests in the Lin laboratory are in understanding the evolutionary dynamics of genomic architecture, content, and sequences in different lineages of organisms, and in elucidating its impacts on the evolution of biological novelty and diversity. These are fundamental biological questions that are also, directly and indirectly, related to many human diseases. The research activities in the lab involve the generation and analysis of large collections of next-generation sequencing data, as well as using molecular biology techniques to validate results generated by bioinformatics analysis using various yeast species as model systems. Specifically, the current research projects of my laboratory include:

  1. Identification and characterization of core promoters in yeasts using CAGE sequencing technique
  2. Investigating the functional significance and evolutionary dynamic of 5'UTR length
  3. Studying the genetic basis underlying the evolution of aerobic fermentation in yeasts
  4. Understanding the evolutionary dynamics of genome architecture

Labs and Facilities

Lin Lab webpage:

Publications and Media Placements

*corresponding author, +graduate student mentee, #undergraduate student mentee


Chang X, Wei L, Lu Z+, Chen ZH, Chen F, Lai Z, Lin Z*, Zhang L. 2020 Origins and stepwise expansion of R2R3-MYB transcription factors for the terrestrial adaptation of plants. Frontiers in Plant Science. In press.

Lu Z+, Lin Z*. 2020. The origin and evolution of a distinct mechanism of transcription initiation in yeasts. Genome research doi:10.1101/gr.264325.120.

Zhang L, Yang JR, Zhang Z, Lin Z*. 2020. Genomic variations of COVID-19 suggest multiple outbreak sources of transmission. medRxiv

Zhang L, Shen FM, Chen F, Lin Z. 2020. Origin and Evolution of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Clin Infect Dis 71: 882-883.

Fanter CE, Lin Z, Keenan SW, Janzen FJ, Mitchell TS, Warren DE. 2020. Development-specific transcriptomic profiling suggests new mechanisms for anoxic survival in the ventricle of overwintering turtles. J Exp Biol 223.

Mersman BA, Jolly SN, Lin Z, Xu F. 2020. Gap Junction Coding Innexin in Lymnaea stagnalis: Sequence Analysis and Characterization in Tissues and the Central Nervous System. Front Synaptic Neurosci 12: 1.

Mullis A+, Lu Z+, Zhan Y+, Wang TY, Rodriguez J+, Rajeh A, Chatrath A, Lin Z*. 2020. Parallel Concerted Evolution of Ribosomal Protein Genes in Fungi and Its Adaptive Significance. Molecular biology and evolution 37: 455-468.


Wang J, Chew BLA, Lai Y, Dong H, Xu L, Balamkundu S, Cai WM, Cui L, Liu CF, Fu XY, Lin Z, Shi PY, Lu TK, Luo D, Jaffrey SR, and Dedon PC, Quantifying the RNA cap epitranscriptome reveals novel caps in cellular and viral RNA.  Nucleic Acid Research 2019, 47(20):e130,  [Full Text | PDF]

Chen F, Song Y, Li X, Zhang X, Tang H, Lin Z, and Zhang L. Genome sequences of horticultural plants: past, present, and future. Horticulture Research2019 6:112  [Full Text | PDF]

Lu Z+ and  Lin Z*,  Pervasive and Dynamic Transcription Initiation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Genome Research; 2019. 29:1198-1210; [Full Text | PDF]

McMillan J#, Lu Z+, Rodriguez JS, Ahn T-H, Lin Z*. YeasTSS: An Integrative Web Database of Yeast Transcription Start Sites. Database (Oxford); 2019 baz048,  [Full Text | PDF]   

Vijayraghavan S, Kozmin SG, Strope PK, Skelly DA, Lin Z, Kennell J, Magwene PM, Dietrich FS. and McCusker JH. Mitochondrial Genome Variation Affects Multiple Respiration and Non-respiration Phenotypes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics; 2019;211(2):773-86; [Full Text ] 


Chen F, Zhang L, Lin Z, Cheng ZM. Identification of a novel fused gene family implicates convergent evolution in eukaryotic calcium signaling. BMC Genomics; 2018, 19:306 [Full Text | PDF]   

Rajeh A#,  Lv J, and Lin Z*. Heterogeneous rates of genome rearrangement contributed to the disparity of species richness in Ascomycota. BMC Genomics; 2018, 19:282 [Full Text | PDF]

Chen F, Dong W, Zhang, J, Guo X, Lin Z, Tang H, Zhang L. The sequenced angiosperm genomes and genome databases. Frontiers Plant Science; 2018, 9:418. [Full Text | PDF]

Chen F, Hu Y, Vannozzi A, Wu K, Cai H, Qin Y, Mullis A+, Lin Z*, and Zhang, L*. The WRKY transcription factor family in model plants and crops. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences; 2018, 36:311-335 [Full Text PDF]


Wang B, Han X, Bai Y, Lin Z, Qiu M, Nie X, Wang S, Zhang F, Zhuang Z, Yuan J, Wang S. Effects of nitrogen metabolism on growth and aflatoxin biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus. J Hazard Mater; 2017, 324(Pt B):691-700. [Full text  PDF


Zhang L, Chen F, Zhang GQ, Zhang YQ, Niu S, Xiong JS, Lin Z, Cheng Z, Liu ZJ. Origin and mechanism of crassulacean acid metabolism in orchids as implied by comparative transcriptomics and genomics of the carbon fixation pathway. The Plant Journal; 2016, 86:175-185 [Full text PDF


Li Y, Zhang W, Zheng D, Zhou Z, Yu W, Zhang L, Feng L, Liang X, Guan W, Zhou J, Chen J, and Lin Z*. Genomic Evolution of Saccharomyces cerevisiae under Chinese Rice Wine Fermentation. Genome Biol Evol; 2014. 6:2516-2526 [ Full text  PDF 

Prior to joining SLU

Lin Z and Li WH. Comparative Genomics and Evolutionary Genetics of Yeast Carbon Metabolism in Molecular Mechanisms in Yeast Carbon Metabolism J. Piškur and C. Compagno Editors. 2014 Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 97-120.

Zhu Y, Lin Z, and Nakhleh L. Evolution After Whole-genome Duplication: A Network Perspective. G3: Genes Genomes Genetics; 2013, 3:2049-2057

Lin Z, Wang TY, Tsai BS, Wu FT, Yu FJ, Tseng YJ, Sung HM, and Li WH. Identifying cis-regulatory changes involved in the evolution of aerobic fermentation in yeasts. Genome Biol. Evol; 2013, 5:1065-1078.

Li Y, Zhang L, Ball RL, Liang X, Li J, Lin Z, and Liang H. Comparative analysis of somatic copy-number alterations across different human cancer types reveals two distinct classes of breakpoint hotspots. Hum. Mol. Genet; 2012, 21:4957-4965

Lin Z, and Li WH. Evolution of 5’untranslated region length and gene expression reprogramming in yeasts. Mol. Biol. Evol; 2012, 29:81-89

Lin Z, and Li WH. The evolution of aerobic fermentation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe was associated with regulatory reprogramming but not nucleosome reorganization. Mol. Biol. Evol; 2011, 28:1407-1413

Lin Z, and Li WH. Expansion of hexose transporter genes was associated with evolution of aerobic fermentation in yeasts. Mol. Biol. Evol; 2011, 28:131-142

Lin Z, Wu WS, Liang H, Woo Y and Li WH. Spatial distributions of cis-regulatory elements and nucleosomes in yeast promoters and their effects on transcriptional regulation. BMC Genomics; 2010, 11:581

Zhou X, Lin Z, and Ma H. Phylogenetic detection of numerous gene duplications shared by animals fungi and plants. Genome Biology; 2010, 11:R38

Li Y, Liang H, Gu Z, Lin Z, Guan W, Zhou L, Li Y, and Li WH. Detecting positive selection in the budding yeast genome. J Evol Biol; 2009, 22:2430.

Lin Z*, Ma H, and Nei M. Ultraconserved coding regions outside the homeobox of mammalian Hox genes. BMC Evol Biol; 2008, 8:260.

Lin Z, Nei M, and Ma H. The origins and early evolution of DNA mismatch repair genes: multiple horizontal gene transfers and co-evolution. Nucleic Acids Res; 2007, 35 7591-7603.

Lin Z, Kong H, Nei M, and Ma H. Origins and evolution of the recA/RAD51 gene family: evidence for ancient gene duplication and endosymbiotic gene transfer. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; 2006, 103:10328-10333.

Li W, Yang X, Lin Z, Timofejeva L, Xiao R, Makaroff CA, and Ma H. TheAtRAD51C gene is required for normal meiotic chromosome synapsis and double-stranded break repair in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol; 2005, 138:965-976.