Plant Signal ​​Transduction and Lipid Metabolism Laboratory

Description of Dr Ma Wei Lab Research
  • Plants accumulate oil in the form of triacylglycerol in their seeds as a main resource of carbon and energy for seedling development. Plant oils are essential for the human diet and renewable industrial feedstock. The Ma lab focuses on how the transmission of exterior signals into plant cells, and the subsequent cellular responsive cascades, affect plant oil biosynthesis.
  • We use multiple approaches to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of transcription factors that regulates oil biosynthesis. We investigate post-translational modifications, interacting partners, and regulatory domains/motifs of a key oil biosynthetic regulator, called WRINKED1 (WRI1). We establish the interactome of WRI1 and use the information to guide our efforts in understanding the regulatory mechanism of WRI1. We also study the relationship between key fatty acid biosynthetic regulators and plant developmental process. Our goals include identification of novel regulators that can be used to improve oil crops.


Ma Wei
Assistant Professor

Email: [email protected]
Phone:(65) 6904 7230
Office: SBS-02S-88E
Kong QueKong Que
Senior Research Fellow

Email: [email protected]
Yang YuzhouYang Yuzhou
Research Fellow

Email:  [email protected]
Cheah Yining
Project Officer

Email: [email protected]
Song Yu Qing
Project Officer

Email: [email protected]
Low Pui ManLow Pui Man
PhD Student

Email: [email protected]
Lim Rui Qi, Audrey
PhD Student

Email: [email protected]


    • A Transcriptional Repressor Orchestrates Secondary Cell Wall Formation and Seed Shattering
    • Development of traits in oilseed plants with improved oil content as well as climate resilience for sustainable agriculture
    • Elucidating the molecular action of integrators of environmental signals to modulate plant metabolism
    • From protein droplets to oil droplets: understanding the role of WRINKLED1 phase separation in the biosynthesis of vegetable oils
    • Bioengineering-enabled Precision Farming: A Semi-closed Agri-food System
    • Functional characterization of WRINKLED1 (WRI1) in seed oil biosynthesis & development and Development of high oil crops

    Full list of publications can be found here

    Lim, A.R.Q., Kong, Q., Noor, A., Song, Y.Q., Pattanaik, S., Yuan, L., and Ma, W.* (2023) B-BOX-DOMAIN PROTEIN32 modulates seed oil biosynthesis in Arabidopsis by interacting with WRINKLED1. Plant Physiol. 193: 919-922.

    Yang, Y., Kong, Q., Tee, W.T., Li, Y., Low, P.M., Patra, B., Guo, L., Yuan, L., and Ma, W.* (2023) Transcription factor bZIP52 modulates Arabidopsis seed oil biosynthesis through interaction with WRINKLED1. Plant Physiol. 192: 2628–2639. 

    Qiao, Z., Kong, Q., Tee, W.T., Lim, A.R.Q, Teo, M.X., Olieric, V., Low, P.M., Yang, Y., Qian, G., Ma, W.*, and Gao, Y.G.* (2022) Molecular basis of the key regulator WRINKLED1 in plant oil biosynthesis. Sci. Adv. 8: eabq1211.

    Yang, Y., Kong, Q., Lim, A.R.Q., Lu, S., Zhao, H., Guo, L.*, Yuan, L.*, and Ma, W.* (2022) Transcriptional regulation of oil biosynthesis in seed plants: current understanding, applications, and perspectives. Plant Commun. 3: 100328.

    Lim, A.R.Q., Kong, Q., Singh, S.K., Guo, L., Yuan, L., and Ma, W.* (2022) Sunflower WRINKLED1 plays a key role in transcriptional regulation of oil biosynthesis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 23: 3054.

    Kong, Q., Low, P.M., Lim, A.R.Q., Yang, Y., Yuan, L., and Ma, W.* (2022) Functional antagonism of WRI1 and TCP20 modulates GH3.3 expression to maintain auxin homeostasis in roots. Plants 11: 454. 

    Chng, C.P., Wang, K., Ma, W., Hsia, K.J., and Huang, C. (2022) Chloroplast membrane lipid remodeling protects against dehydration by limiting membrane fusion and distortion. Plant Physiol. 188: 526-539.

    Tang, S., Zhao, H., Lu, S., Yu, L., Zhang, G., Zhang, Y., Yang, Q.Y., Zhou, Y., Wang, X., Ma, W., Xie, W., and Guo, L. (2021) Genome- and transcriptome-wide association studies provide insights into the genetic basis of natural variation of seed oil content in Brassica napus. Mol. Plant 14: 470-487.

    Kong, Q., Singh, S.K., Mantyla, J.J., Pattanaik, S., Guo, L., Yuan, L., Benning, C., and Ma, W.* (2020) TEOSINTE BRANCHED1/CYCLOIDEA/PROLIFERATING CELL FACTOR 4 interacts with WRINKLED1 to mediate seed oil biosynthesis. Plant Physiol. 184: 658-665. 

    Kong, Q., Yang, Y., Guo, L., Yuan, L., and Ma, W.* (2020) Molecular basis of plant oil biosynthesis: insights gained from studying the WRINKLED1 transcription factor. Front. Plant Sci. 11: 24.