Kyung-Hwan Han

Kyung-Hwan Han
Telephone: 517-353-4751

Department of Horticulture


1066 Bogue Street, Room A332
East Lansing, MI 48824

Area of Expertise:

Molecular biology of secondary growth; secondary wall biosynthesis; feedstock development for bioenergy and biomaterials; drought tolerance



Quick links: Education    Publications    Research

Joined Department

July 2011




Post-doctoral Fellow, Biochemistry, University of Wasshington, 1991-1994

Ph.D., Plant Breeding and Genetics, Michigan State University, 1991

M.S., Forest Genetics, Kyungpook National University, Korea, 1986

B.S.  Forestry, Kyungpook National University, Korea, 1984



Research Interest

  • Molecular Biology of Secondary Growth
  • Secondary Wall Biosynthesis
  • Feedstock Development for Bioenergy and Biomaterials
  • Drought Tolerance
  • Annual Growth Cycle of Trees


Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications 

  • Shim, D., Ko, J.-H., Kim, W.-C., Wang, Q., Keathley, D.E., and Han, K.-H. 2014. A molecular framework for seasonal growth-dormancy regulation in perennial plants. Horticulture Research 1, 14059
  • Kim, J.Y., Kim, W.-C., Ko, J.-H., Kang, H., Kim, J., and Han, K.-H. 2014. AtC3H14, a plant-specific tandem CCCH zinc finger protein, binds to its target mRNAs in a sequence-specific manner and affects cell elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. 80: 772-784
  • Kim, W.-C., Kim, J.Y., KO, J.-H., Kang, H., and Han, K.-H. 2014. Identification of direct targets of transcription factor MYB46 provides insight into the transcriptional regulation of lignin biosynthesis. Plant Molecular Biology 84: 589-599
  • Ko, J.-H., Jeon, H.-W., Kim, W.-C., Kim, J.-Y., and Han, K.-H. 2014. MYB46-mediated transcriptional regulatory program is a gatekeeper of secondary wall biosynthesis. Annals of Botany 114: 1099-1107
  • Kim, W.-C., Ko, J.-H., Kim, J.-Y., Kim, J.M., Bae, H.J., and Han, K.-H. 2013.MYB46 directly regulates the gene expression of secondary wall-associated cellulose synthases in Arabidopsis. Plant J  73: 26-36 
  • Kim, W.-C., Reca,I.-B.,  Kim, Y., Park, P., Thomashow, M.F., Keegstra, K., and Han, K.-H. 2013. Transcription factors that directly regulate the expression of CSLA9 encoding mannan synthase in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Molecular Biology 84: 577-587
  • Kim, W.-C., Kim, J.-Y., Ko, J.-H., Kim, J., and Han, K.-H. 2013. Transcription factor MYB46 is an obligate component of the transcriptional regulatory complex for function expression of secondary wall-associated cellulose synthases in Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Plant Physiology 170: 1374-1378
  • Lee, H.W., Kim, M.-J., Park, M.Y., Han, K.-H. and Kim, J. 2013. The conserved proline residue in the LOB domain of LBD18 is critical for DNA-binding and biological function. Molecular Plant 6: 1722-1725
  • Kwak, K.J., Kang, H., Han, K.-H., and Ahn, S.-J. 2013. Molecular cloning, characterization, and stress-responsive expression of genes encoding glycine-rich RNA-binding proteins in Camelina sativa L.  Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 68: 44-51
  • Ko, J.-H., Kim, H.-T., Hwang, I., and Han, K.-H. 2012. Tissue-specific whole-genome transcriptome analysis identifies developing xylem-specific promoters in poplar. Plant Biotechnology Journal 10: 587-596.  
  • Ko, J.-H., Kim, W.-C., Kim, J.-Y., Ahan, S.J., and Han, K.-H. 2012. MYB46-mediated transcriptional regulation of secondary wall biosynthesis. Molecular Plant 5(5): 961-963. DOI: 10.1093/mp/sss076
  • Lee, D.-S., Lee, K.-H., Jung, S., Jo, E.-J., Han. K.-H., and Bae, H.-J. 2012. Synergistic effects of 2A-mediated polyproteins on the production of lignocellulose degrading enzymes in tobacco plant. Journal of Experimental Botany, 63(13): 4797-4810. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ers159 . 
  • Park, W., Han, K.-H., and Ahn, S.J. 2012. Differences in root-to-shoot Cd and Zn translocation and by HMA3 and 4 could influence chlorophyll and anthocyanin content in Arabidopsis Ws and Col-0 ecotypes under excess metals. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 58(3): 334-348.DOI:10.1080/00380768.2012.684643
  • Kim, W.-C., Ko, J.-H., and Han, K.-H. 2012. Identification of a cis-acting regulatory motif recognized by MYB46, a master transcriptional regulator of secondary wall biosynthesis. Plant Molecular Biology 78: 489-501. 
  • Ko, J.h., Kim, H.-T., and Han, K.-H. 2011. Biotechnological Improvement of Lignocellulosic Feedstock for Enhanced Biofuel Productivity and Processing. Plant Biotechnology Reports 5: 1-7
  • Ko, J.-H., Prassinos, C., Keathley, D.E., and Han, K.-H. 2011. Novel aspects of transcriptional regulation in the winter survival and maintenance mechanism of perennial woody plants. Tree Physiology 31: 208-225
  • Ko, J.-H., Kim, W.-C., and Han, K.-H. 2009. Ectopic expression of MYB46 identifies transcriptional regulatory genes involved in secondary wall biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. Plant J 60: 649-665 (featured on the cover).
  • Prassinos, C., Ko, J.-H., Lang, G., Iezzoni, A.F., and HanK.-H. 2009. Rootstock induced dwarfing in cherries is caused by differential cessation of terminal meristem growth and is triggered by rootstock specific gene regulation. Tree Physiology 29(7): 927-936.
  • Kumar, M., Thammannagowda, S.,  Bulone, V.,  Chiang, V., Han, K.-H., Joshi, C., Mansfield, S.D., Mellerowicz, E., Sundberg, B., Teeri, T., Brian Ellis, B. 2009. An update on the nomenclature for the cellulose synthase genes in Populus. Trend in Plant Science 15: 248-254.
  • KimY.W., Newton, R., Frampton, J., and Han, K.-H. 2008. Embryogenic tissue initiation and somatic embryogenesis in Fraser fir (Abies fraseri [Pursh] Poir.). In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology 45: 400-406.
  • Park, S.C., Keathley, D.E., and Han, K.-H. 2008. Transcriptional profiles of the annual growth cycle in Populus. Tree Physiology 28: 321-329.
  • Han, K.-H., Ko, J.-H., and Yang, S.H.. 2007. Functional genomics approach to optimizing lignocellulosic feedstock for improved biofuel productivity and processing. BioFPR 1: 135-146.
  • Ko, J.-H., Yang, S., Park, A.H., Lerouxel, O., and Han, K.-H. 2007. ANAC012, a member of the plant-specific NAC transcription factor family, negatively regulates xylary fiber development inArabidopsis thaliana. Plant J 50: 1035-1048 (featured on the cover).
  • Ko, J.-H., Beers, E.P., and Han, K.-H. 2006. Global comparative transcriptome analysis identifies gene network regulating secondary growth in Arabidopsis thaliana. Molecular Genetics and Genomics 276: 517-531
  • Ko, J.-H., Kim, J.H., Jayanty, S.S., Howe, G.A., and Han, K.-H. 2006. Loss of function of COBRA, a determinant of oriented cell expansion, invokes cellular defense responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Experimental Botany 57: 2923-2936
  • Ko, J.-H., Yang, S., and Han, K.-H. 2006. Upregulation of an Arabidopsis RING-H2 Gene, XERICO, Confers Drought Tolerance through Increased ABA Biosynthesis. Plant J 47: 343-355.
  • Ko, J.-H., Prassinos, C., and Han, K.-H. 2006. Developmental and seasonal expression ofPtaHB1, a Populus gene encoding a class III HD-Zip protein, is tightly associated with secondary growth and inversely correlated with the level of microRNA (miR166). New Phytologist 169: 469-478.
  • Prassinos, C., Ko, J.-H., Yang, J., and Han, K.-H. 2005. Transcriptome profiling of vertical stem segments provides insights into the genetic regulation of secondary growth in hybrid aspen trees. Plant Cell Physiology 46(8): 1213-1225.
  • Ko, J.H. and Han, K.-H. 2004. Arabidopsis whole-transcriptome profiling defines the features of coordinated regulations that occur during wood formation. Plant Molecular Biology 55: 433-453
  • Ko, J.H., Han, K.-H., Park, S., and Yang, J. 2004. Plant body weight-induced secondary growth in Arabidopsis and its transcription phenotype revealed by whole-transcriptome profiling. Plant Physiology 135: 1069-1083.
  • Yang, J., Kamdem, D.P., Keathley, D.E., and Han, K.-H. 2004. Seasonal gene expression changes at the sapwood-heartwood transition zone of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) revealed by cDNA microarray analysis. Tree Physiology 24: 461-474.
  • Yang, J. and Han, K.-H. 2004. Functional characterization of allantoinase genes from Arabidopsis and a non-ureide type legume black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.). Plant Physiology 134: 1039-1049.
  • Park, S.C., Oh, S., and Han, K.-H. 2004. Large-scale computational analysis of poplar ESTs reveals the repertoire and unique features of expressed genes in poplar genome. Molecular Breeding 14: 429-440.
  • Ko, J.-H., Chow, K.-S., and Han, K.-H. 2003. Transcriptome analysis offers new insights into the biology of laticifers in Hevea brasiliensis (the Para rubber tree). Plant Molecular Biology 53: 479-492.
  • Oh, S., Park, S., and Han, K.-H. 2003. Transcriptional regulation of secondary growth inArabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Experimental Botany 54: 2709-2922
  • Yang, J., Park, S., Kamdem, D.P., Keathley, D.E., Retzel, E., Paule, C., Kapur, V. and Han, K.-H.2003. Novel gene expression profiles define the metabolic and physiological processes characteristic of wood and its extractive formation in a hardwood tree species, Robinia pseudoacacia. Plant Mol. Biol. 52: 935-956 (featured on the cover).
  • Park, S.C. and Han, K.-H. 2003. An auxin-repressed gene (RpARP) from black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is posttranscriptionally regulated and negatively associated with shoot elongation. Tree Physiology 23: 815-823.
  • Chow, K.-S., Lim, S.M., and Han, K.-H. 2003. Characterization of a family of eIF-5A cDNAs inHevea brasiliensis. Journal of Rubber Research 6(2): 107-120.
  • Oh, S., Kamdem, D.P., Keathley, D.E., and Han, K.-H. 2003. Detection and species identification of wood-decaying fungi by hybridization of immobilized sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes (SSOP) with PCR-amplified fungal ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacers (ITS). Holzforshung, 57: 346-352.
  • Meilan, R., Han, K.-H., Ma, C., DiFazio, S.P., Eaton, J.A., Hoien, E., Stanton, B.J., Crockett, R.P., Taylor, M.L., James, R.R., Skinner, J.S., Pilate, G., and Strauss, S.H. 2002. The CP4 transgene provides high levels of tolerance to Roundup® herbicide in field-grown hybrid poplars. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 32: 967-976. 
  • Kang, H.S., Kang, M.Y., and Han, K.-H. 2000. Identification of natural rubber and characterization of rubber biosynthetic activity in fig tree (Ficus carica). Plant Physiology 123: 1133-1142
  • Oh, S.K., Han, K.-H., Ryu, S.B., and Kang, H. 2000. Molecular cloning, expression, and functional analysis of a plant cis-prenyltransferase from Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Biological Chemistry 275: 18482-18488
  • Han, K.-H., Shin, D.H., Yang, J.M., Oh, S.K., Kim, I.J., and Chow, K.-S. 2000. Genes expressed in the latex of Hevea brasiliensis. Tree Physiology 20: 503-510.
  • Han, K.-H., Meilan, R., Ma, C, and Strauss, S.H. 2000. An Agrobacterium transformation protocol effective on a variety of cottonwood hybrids (genus Populus). Plant Cell Reports 19 (3): 315-320.
  • Oh, S.K., Shin, D.H., Yang, J.M., Kang, H.S., Chow, K.-S., Yeang, H.Y., Wagner, B., Breiteneder, H., and Han, K.-H. 1999. Isolation, characterization, and functional analysis of a novel cDNA clone encoding a small rubber particle protein (SRPP) from Hevea brasiliensis.  Journal of Biological Chemistry 274(4): 17132-17138
  • Wagner, B., Krebitz, M., Buck, D., Niggemann, B., Yeang, H.Y., Han, K.-H., Scheiner, O., and Breiteneder, B. 1999. Cloning, expression and characterization of recombinant Hev b 3, aHevea brasiliensis protein associated with latex allergy in spina bifida patients. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 104: 1084-1092.
  • Yang, J., Lee, H.-J., Shin, D.H., Oh, S.K., Sun, J.H., Paek, K.Y., and Han, K.-H. 1999. Genetic transformation of Cymbidium orchid by particle bombardment. Plant Cell Reports 18: 978-984
  • Han, K.-H., Ma, C, and Strauss, S.H. 1997. Matrix attachment regions (MARs) enhance transgene expression and transformation frequency in poplars. Transgenic Research 6: 415-420
  • Han, K.-H., Fleming, P., Walker, K., Loper, M., Chilton, W.S., Mocek, U., Gordon, M.P., and Floss, H.G. 1994. Genetic transformation of mature Taxus: an approach to genetically control the in vitro production of the anticancer drug, taxol. Plant Science 95: 187-196


  • Han, K.-H., Kim, W.-C., Kim., J.-Y., and Ko, J.-H. 2013. Drought indicuble utility promoters. US Provisional Patent, pending
  • Han, K.-H., Kim, W.-C., Reca, B., and Keegstra, K. 2013. Control of Hemicellulose Biosynthesis. US Provisional Patent, pending
  • Han, K.-H., Ko, J.-H., and Kim, W.-C. 2011. Control of cellulose biosynthesis in plants. US patent, pending
  • Han, K.-H. and Ko, J.-H. 2010. Utility promoters for biomass feedstock biotechnology. US Utility, pending.
  • Han, K.-H. and Ko, J.-H. 2007. DNA Encoding RING Zinc-Finger Protein and the Use of the DNA in Vectors and Bacteria and in Plants. US Patent No. 7,977,535;   Australian Patent AU 2007272993 B2 (Licensed to industry)
  • Kang, H.S. and Han, K.-H. 2001. Natural rubber product from fig tree and production method thereof. US Patent No. 6,235,860
  • Han, K.-H., Kang, H., Oh, S.-K., Shin, D.-H., Yang, J.-M. 2001. Isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase from Hevea brasiliensis and rubber producing method using the same. US Patent No. 6,316,695
  • Han, K.-H., Kang, H.S. Oh, S., Chow, K.S., Yusof, F., and Yeang, H.Y. 1999. Recombinant microorganisms expressing rubber particle-associated protein. European Patent No. EP1050582A2; Korean Patent No. 1003021000000.
  • Kang, H.S., Oh, S.K., Shin, D.H., Yang, J.M., and Han, K.-H. 1999. Natural rubber product from fig tree (Ficus carica). Japan Patent No. 3,085,952
  • Han, K.-H. and Yang, J. 1998. Genetic transformation of orchid species. US Patent No. 6,020,538
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