Professor Yong-Ling Ruan

Honorary Group Leader
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Plant Cell And Molecular Biology 310803
  • Plant Developmental And Reproductive Biology 310804
  • Plant Physiology 310806

Research interests

  • Carbon allocation for developemnt, yield and eco-health.
  • Roles of sugar signalling in plant growth and stress responses.
  • Molecular network underpinning resoruce allocation during evolution.


Professor Yong-Ling Ruan aims to discover genes and processes that control carbon (C) nutrient and energy allocation between and wthin plant organs for improving yield, resilience and biodiversity.

He aims to:

  • Elucidate how sugar metabolism, transport & signalling regulate development & stress responses;
  • Identify regulatory genes controlling C nutrient distribution and
  • Dissect molecular networks underpinning resource partitioning during evolution & domestication.

He and his team have:

  1. Identified bottlenecks limiting C nutrient input into sink organs and established a “Ready-Set- Grow” model for seed and fruit set;
  2. Discovered critical roles of sugar metabolic enzymes, their interacting proteins, sugar transporters & plasmodesmata in growth, yield formation & stress responses and
  3. Provided evolutionary & functional insights into sugar signalling across cell wall, cytosol & vacuoles.

Prof Ruan has led his team to a sustained success with findings and insights published in top journals such as Plant Cell, Nature Plants, Molecular Plant, Plant Physiology, Plant Journal, New Phytologist, JBC, PNAS & Nature Genetics.

The quality and impact of Prof Ruan's research has been internationally recognized as evidenced by, for example, having written multiple invited articles for world renowned Annual Review of Plant Biology and Trends in Plant Science, ranked first and second, respectively, among 230+ Plant Biology journals.

Prof Ruan has served on ARC College of Experts, editorial boards of Molecular Plant, Journal of Plant Physiology and Frontiers in Plant Physiology. He has given invited talks worldwide and received several prestigious awards and recognition, such as Peter Goldacre Medal from ASPS and Chair Professorship from Zhejiang University and Northwest A & F University.

Researcher's projects

  • Sustaining plant reproductive success under heat stress- A sweet approach (ARC Discovery Project).
  • Improving grain set and filling under drought and heat (GRDC).

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Updated:  11 December 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers