Skip to content

Chan Yul Yoo

Assistant Professor of School of Biological Sciences

Plant Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology, Photoreceptor-containing nuclear bodies (Photobodies), Organelle Communication, Genetics

Chan Yul Yoo


Molecular Biology Program


B.S. Yonsei University

Ph.D. Purdue University



Nuclear bodies are membraneless subnuclear biomolecular condensates consisting of protein/RNA/chromatin complexes involved in the spatiotemporal regulation of fundamental nuclear functions in eukaryotes. The misregulation of nuclear bodies is associated with human disease such as cancer and Parkinson's disease. Nuclear bodies are formed through a biophysical process called liquid-liquid phase separation that is triggered by multivalent interactions between proteins and nucleic acids.

Photobodies are plant nuclear bodies containing photoreceptors that sense light and regulate almost every aspects of growth and development including chloroplast biogenesis (greening). The misregulation of photobodies is associated with defects of chloroplast biogenesis, leading to albino or pale-green phenotypes. However, the function of photobodies in the regulation of nucleus-orgenelle communication in response to environmental changes are largely unknown. Our lab aims to (1) understand function of photobodies in chloroplast biogenesis, (2) investigate molecular mechanisms by which environmental changes modulate phase separation of photobodies, and (3) identify novel regulators of the anterograde signaling (nucleus-to-plasid signaling) to control chloroplast biogenesis. We use a combination of molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics to explore fundamental mysteries of photobodies in plants.

References (Selected Publications)

  1. Yoo CY*, Jiangman He*, Qing Sang*, Qiu Y, Long L, Kim RJ, Chong E, Hahm J, Morffy N, Zhou P, Strader L, Nagatani A, Mo B, Chen X, Chen M (2021) Direct photoresponsive inhibition of a p53-like transcription activation domain in PIF3 by Arabidopsis phytochrome B. Nature Commun 12:5614
  2. Qiu Y*, Pasoreck EK*, Yoo CY*, He J, Wang H, Bajracharya A, Li M, Larsen H, Cheung S, Chen M (2021) RCB initiates Arabidopsis thermomorphogenesis by stabilizing the thermoregulator PIF4 in the daytime. Nature Commun 12:2042
  3. Willige BC*, Zander M*, Yoo CY, Phan A, Garza RM, Trigg SA, He Y, Nery JR, Chen H, Chen M, Ecker JR, Chory J (2021) PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORs trigger environmentally responsive chromatin dynamics. Nature Genet 53:955-961
  4. Yoo CY, Han S, Chen M (2020) Nucleus-to-plastid phytochrome signaling in controlling chloroplast biogenesis. Annu Plant Rev 3:251-280
  5. Yoo CY, Pasoreck EK, Wang H, Cao J, Blaha GM, Weigel D, Chen M (2019) Phytochrome activates the plastid-encoded RNA polymerase for chloroplast biogenesis via nucleus-to-plastid signaling. Nature Commun 10:2629
  6. Yang EJ*, Yoo CY*, Liu J*, Wang H, Cao J, Li F, Pryer K, Sun T, Weigel D, Zhou P, Chen M (2019) NCP activates chloroplast transcription by controlling light-dependent dual nuclear and plastidial switches. Nature Commun 10:2630
  7. Yoo CY, Williams D, Chen, M (2019) Quantitative analysis of photobodies. Methods Mol Biol 2026:135-141
Last Updated: 8/3/22