Center for Plant Cell Biology


Anthony HuangAnthony Huang

Professor of Plant Cell and Molecular Biology

Mailing Address:

Botany and Plant Sciences
Batchelor Hall /2121
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521

Phone: (951) 827-4783
Fax: (951) 827-4437
Email: anthony.huang@ucr.edu


PhD 1973 University of California, Santa Cruz
BS 1969 National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Areas Of Expertise:

Plant Cell and Developmental Biology; Flowering; Seed Lipids and Proteins; Genetic Engineering of Seed Lipids and Proteins; Flower Anther Cell Biology and Development

Awards / Honors:

2001  AAAS Fellow (American Association for the Advancement of Science)
1987  Carolina Research Professor

Research Summary:

Research in the Huang lab focuses on the cell, molecular and developmental biology of seeds and flowers, and the application of knowledge to enhance agriculture productivity.  In particular,

(1) Storage oils and proteins in seeds: 

  • Control of their synthesis during maturation and degradation during germination
  • Enhancement of their quality and quantity via genetic engineering


Fig. 1. In the model of a seed oil body, the oil (blue), the phospholipids (red), and oleosin (yellowish green) are shown in proportional sizes. The size of the oil body relative to the molecules is diminished to reveal the surface structure.

(2) Cell biology of the tapetum, a layer of cells that control pollen formation in flowers:  

  • Structure, function and biogenesis of organelles
  • Mechanism of transfer of proteins and non-proteins from the tapetum to maturing pollen
  • Functions of these proteins and non-proteins
  • Use of tapetum-specific gene promoters to generate male sterility for hybrid seed production


Fig. 2.  [Prepared by Y.C. Lin] The photo shows a flowering rice plant. Each flower possesses 6 anthers (male organ) and 1 carpel (female organ). Within each anther, a one-cell layer called the tapetum encloses and nurtures the maturing pollen. Most male sterility genes used in the production of hybrid rice, corn and other crops express in the anther tapetum and abort the pollen. Dr. Huang has been studying the cell biology of the tapetum and creating male sterility genes for the manufacture of hybrid crops.


Featured on the cover of Journal of Biological Chemistry (Vol 282, issue1, 2007) . During maize sexual reproduction, a pollen lands on the female silk. It produces a tube that penetrates into the silk and advances to the egg (upper panel). The penetration requires enzymatic action of a pollen-coat xylanase on the silk wall. Antisense treatment against the xylanase gene results in the pollen tube unable to penetrate into the silk (lower panel).
Featured on the cover of The Plant Journal (Vol. 43, issue 6, 2005). Tapetosomes are novel abundant organelles in anther tapetum cells of Brassica and Arabidopsis. Each tapetosome is composed of ER-derived vesicles and oil droplets. The cover picture shows confocal microscopy images of ER cisternae during anther maturation (lower portion) and illustrations of the structures of the forming tapetosomes (upper portion).
The book, entitled “Plant Endoplasmic Reticulum,” was edited by David Roberson, 2006. Tapetosomes are novel abundant organelles in anther tapetum cells of Brassica and Arabidopsis. The drawing shows a forming tapetosome containing ER-derived vesicles and oil droplets.

Selected Publications:

List of publications from HubMed

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Center Information

Center for Plant Cell Biology
Botany & Plant Sciences Department
2150 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (951) 827-7177
Fax: (951) 827-5155
E-mail: genomics@ucr.edu