About me

I am currently an Assistant Scientist working with Dr. Jonathan Wendel in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University. My research focuses on evolutionary genetics of polyploidization and phenotypic evolution in plants, specifically using the cotton genus Gossypium as a model system. Since 2006, I have been a PhD student (till 2013) and then Postdoc researcher (till 2018) in the same group under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Wendel. My PhD dissertation work was to understand proteomic consequences of genome doubling, to describe cotton proteomes from the standpoint of polyploid fiber development and domestication, and to identify key proteins associated with and therefore possibly responsible for phenotypic changes and important traits relevant to crop improvement.

As an evolutionary biologist, I am broadly interested in the forces, patterns and processes that shape plant forms and functions. More specifically, I ask questions regarding the common yet mysterious phenomenon of polyploidization, how the whole-genome duplication of genes and their patterns of expression can be molded by natural and artificial selection, what aspects of genetic and developmental networks are most pliable, and ultimately how genotypes mold phenotypes. My current research employs functional genomics and epigenomic approaches to study duplicated gene networks in allopolyploid cotton, aiming to illustrate how the “redundant” sets of gene network interact with each other to regulate developmental dynamics, respond to abiotic stresses and drive morphological diversity.

Please feel free to explore the website to learn more about my research projects!


  • **2020-
  • 2019-10-10 I am attending the Agricultural Genomics 2019—Big Data for Better Agriculture in Shenzhen, China (Nov 21-23, 2019).
  • 2019-6-13 I am attending the International Conference on Polyploidy in Ghent, Belgium (11-14 June, 2019) and giving a talk on “Chromatin Structure and Evolution of Duplicated Gene Expression”.
  • 2018-10-9 I am giving a seminar as a part of the ISU Fall 2018 Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics “Workshop in Genetics” graduate course. The course topic is “Epigenetics and Epitranscriptomics: How do DNA and RNA modifications affect gene expression, development, and disease?”.
  • 2018-9-1 My title officially changed from “Postdoc Research Associate” to “Assistant Scientist”.
  • 2018-1-13~17 I am attending the International Plant & Animal Genome XXVI conference in San Diego, and will give a talk in the “Polyploidy” workshop!
  • 2017-5-12~13 I am attending the NYC Global Reseach Iniative Workop “Plant Genome Evolution: From Genotype to Phenotype through Regulatory Networks”, and give a talk titled “Dynamics of duplicated netoworks in polyploids”.
  • 2017-4-23 Hellow World! My website is up.


353B Bessey hall
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011

Email: huguanjing[at]gmail.com or hugj2006[at]iastate.edu