Xiaolan Rao | BioDiscovery Institute

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Xiaolan Rao

Xiaolan Rao
Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Xiaolan Rao obtained her Ph.D. in developmental biology from Wuhan University in China in 2011. In 2012, she joined Dr. Dixon's lab as a postdoc in the Plant Biology Division at Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK. From 2013 to 2016, she continued her post-doctoral research in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of North Texas. Dr. Rao works on bioinformatics, including application and development of next-generation sequencing pipelines for gene discovery in natural product biosynthesis, and integration and incorporation of large-scale molecular data sets to explore gene regulatory network in plants.


  • Bioinformatics on data analysis for of next generation sequencing


1.Yang, H., Barros-Rios, J., Kourteva, G., Rao, X., Chen, F., Shen, H., Liu, C., Podstolski, A., Belanger, F., Havkin-Frenkel, D. and Dixon, R.A. (2017). A re-evaluation of the final step of vanillin biosynthesis in the orchid Vanilla planifolia. Phytochemistry 139, 33-46

2.Rao, X., and Dixon, R.A. (2016). The Differences between NAD-ME and NADP-ME Subtypes of C4 Photosynthesis: More than Decarboxylating Enzymes. Frontiers in Plant Science 7, 1525.

3.Rao, X., Lu, N., Li, G., Nakashima, J., Tang, Y. and Dixon, R.A. (2016). Comparative cell-specific transcriptomics reveals differentiation of C4 photosynthesis pathways in switchgrass and other C4 lineages. Journal of Experimental Botany 67, 1649-1662.

4.Chen, X., Ma, Q., Rao, X., Tang, Y., Wang, Y., Li, G., Zhang, C., Mao, Z., Dixon, R.A. and Xu, Y. (2015). Genome-scale identification of cell-wall related genes in switchgrass through comparative genomics and computational analyses of transcriptomic data. BioEnergy Research 9, 172-180.

5.Rao, X., Krom, N., Tang, Y., Widiez, T., Havkin-Frenkel, D., Belanger, F.C., Dixon, R.A. and Chen, F. (2014). A deep transcriptomic analysis of pod development in the vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia). BMC Genomics 15, 964.

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