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Zhihua Jiang

Zhihua Jiang

Zhihua Jiang

Professor of Comparative Genomics
Office: VBRB 151
Phone: 509-335-8761

COMPARATIVE RNA BIOLOGY  Transcriptome analysis is fundamental to understanding the biochemical, cellular, physiological and environmental systems involved in the complex phenotypes that affect development, growth, reproduction and well-being in human and animals. In mammals, up to 75% of genes use alternative promoters, isoforms or polyadenylation sites, contributing greatly to transcriptome flexibility, diversity and dynamics. The long-term goal of our Comparative RNA Biology program is to create state-of-the-art tools for profiling the full transcriptome that will advance the field of functional genomics and increase its applicability to solve unmet problems in human health and animal productivity. We believe that accurate profiling of transcript variants will promote the discovery of genetic mutations that underlie complex phenotypes, aid in the selection of regulatory switch units for functional characterization, and discover alternative variants that can be used for disease diagnosis and drug discovery in humans and for biomarker selection in animals.

Specific Research Areas:

  • Development of next-generation sequencing tools for profiling of alternative transcripts.
  • Development of alternative transcript resources in animals and model organisms.
  • Development of animal models to understand alternative transcripts and multi-functions of genes.

Most Recent Publications:

For a complete list of publications, please visit

  1. Brutman JN, Zhang S, Choi P, Zhang Y, Stotts MJ, Michal J, Jiang Z, Davis JF. Vapor cannabis exposure promotes genetic plasticity in the rat hypothalamus. Sci Rep. 2019;9:16866.
  2. Wang Q, Jia Y, Wang Y, Jiang Z, Zhou X, Zhang Z, Nie C, Li J, Yang N, Qu L. Evolution of cis- and trans-regulatory divergence in the chicken genome between two contrasting breeds analyzed using three tissue types at one-day-old. BMC Genomics. 2019;20:933.
  3. He S, Zhang Z, Sun Y, Ren T, Li W, Zhou X, Michal JJ, Jiang Z, Liu M. Genome-wide association study shows that microtia in Altay sheep is caused by a 76 bp duplication of HMX1. Anim Genet. 2019 Nov 6. doi: 10.1111/age.12876. [Epub ahead of print].
  4. Zhou X, Zhang Y, Michal JJ, Qu L, Zhang S, Wildung MR, Du W, Pouchnik DJ, Zhao H, Xia Y, Shi H, Ji G, Davis JF, Smith GD, Griswold MD, Harland RM, Jiang Z. Alternative polyadenylation coordinates embryonic development, sexual dimorphism and longitudinal growth in Xenopus tropicalis. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2019;76:2185-2198.
  5. Zhu S, Wu X, Fu H, Ye C, Chen M, Jiang Z, Ji G. Modeling of genome-wide polyadenylation signals in Xenopus Tropicalis. Front. Genet. 2019;10:647.
  6. Gu H, Qi X, Jia Y, Zhang Z, Nie C, Li X, Li J, Jiang Z, Wang Q, Qu L. Inheritance patterns of the transcriptome in hybrid chickens and their parents revealed by expression analysis. Sci Rep. 2019;9:5750.
  7. Wang W, Zhang X, Zhou X, Zhang Y, La Y, Zhang Y, Li C, Zhao Y, Li F, Liu B, Jiang Z. Deep genome resequencing reveals artificial and natural selection for visual deterioration, plateau adaptability and high prolificacy in Chinese domestic sheep. Front Genet. 2019;10:300.
  8. Jiang Z. RNA and the key to the diversity of life. Scientia 2019. (