The overall objective of Dr. Xiao's research is to study the dynamics of cellular processes as they occur in real time at the single-molecule and single-cell level. The depth and breadth of her research require an interdisciplinary approach, combining biological, biochemical and biophysical methods to address compelling biological problems quantitatively. With unprecedented sensitivities to detect individual molecules, the use of single-molecule and single-cell approaches allows one to access information that is not readily available to traditional ensemble measurements.
She and her team are currently focused on the following projects:
Dynamics of the E. coli cell division complex assembly: Their long-term goal is to unravel mechanisms underlying precise molecular controls of bacterial cell division. Currently, they focus on the FtsZ Protein, the first protein that localizes to the middle of the cell to initiate cell division. They employ single-molecular-based superresolution imaging technique to probe the dynamics and structure of the FtsZ-ring and the associated divisome beyond the optical diffraction limit.
Molecular mechanism in gene regulation: They are developing single-molecule gene expression fluorescence reporters to monitor the production of protein molecules in real time. They are currently using the genetic switch of phage as a model system to investigate the transcription mechanism of the lambda repressor CI.
Lab Website: Xiao Group
Buss J, Coltharp C, Huang T, Pohlmeyer C, Wang SC, Hatem C, Xiao J. "In vivo organization of the FtsZ-ring by ZapA and ZapB revealed by quantitative super-resolution microscopy." Mol Microbiol. 2013 Sep;89(6):1099-120. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12331. Epub 2013 Aug 14.
Hensel Z, Weng X, Lagda AC, Xiao J. "Transcription-factor-mediated DNA looping probed by high-resolution, single-molecule imaging in live E. coli cells." PLoS Biol. 2013;11(6):e1001591. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001591. Epub 2013 Jun 18.
Hensel Z, Xiao J. "Single-molecule methods for studying gene regulation in vivo." Pflugers Arch. 2013 Mar;465(3):383-95. doi: 10.1007/s00424-013-1243-y. Epub 2013 Feb 21. Review.
Buss J, Coltharp C, Xiao J. "Super-resolution imaging of the bacterial division machinery." J Vis Exp. 2013 Jan 21;(71). pii: 50048. doi: 10.3791/50048.
Hensel Z, Fang X, Xiao J. Single-molecule imaging of gene regulation in vivo using cotranslational activation by Cleavage (CoTrAC). J Vis Exp. 2013 Mar 15;(73):e50042. doi: 10.3791/50042.