Texas Tech University

Son Phan Lam Tran, Ph. D., Professor

Personal Information

Lam-Son Phan Tran is an expert in Biological Sciences and Biotechnology. He obtained his M.Sc in Biotechnology in 1994 and Ph.D in Biological Sciences in 1997, from Szent Istvan University (formerly Godollo University of Agricultural Sciences), Hungary. After doing his postdoctoral research on Bacillus subtilis at the National Food Research Institute (1999-2000) and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology of Japan (2001), in October 2001, he joined the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) as a JIRCAS fellow to work on the functional analyses of transcription factors and osmosensors in Arabidopsis plants under environmental stresses. In August 2007, he moved to the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA as a Senior Research Scientist working on gene discovery for development of drought-tolerant soybean plants. In January 2009, he joined RIKEN Plant Science Center (currently RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science), Japan as Unit Leader of the Signaling Pathway Research Unit (currently Stress Adaptation Research Unit) studying (i) roles of plant growth regulators and their interactions in environmental stress responses, and (ii) translational genomics of legume crops aiming to enhance their performance under normal growth and environmental stress conditions. From September 2020, he joined Texas Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources newest scientific team - the Institute of Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance, as a Professor with Texas Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science.

Research Interests

Dr. Tran's research programs broadly focus on regulatory networks and crosstalk among signaling molecules in plant responses to environmental stresses, as well as translational genomics for improvement of crop productivity in the era of global climate change. His basic and applied research programs will contribute to some of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, which include maintaining sustainable production of crops for food, biomass and industrial uses.

Selected Publications

  1. Mostofa MG, Rahman MM, Siddiqui MN, Fujita M, Tran LP (2020).Salicylic acid antagonizes selenium phytotoxicity in rice: selenium homeostasis, oxidative stress metabolism and methylglyoxal detoxification. J Hazard Mater 394:122572.
  2. Li W, Nguyen KH, Chu HD, Watanabe W, Osakabe Y, Sato M, Toyooka K, Seo M, Tian L, Tian C, Yamaguchi S, Tanaka M, Seki M, Tran LP (2020). Comparative functional analyses of DWARF14 and KARRIKIN INSENSITIVE2 in drought adaptation of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J103:111-27.
  3. Nguyen KH, Mostofa MG, Watanabe Y, Tran CD, Rahman MM, Tran LS (2019). Overexpression of GmNAC085 enhances drought tolerance in Arabidopsis by regulating glutathione biosynthesis, redox balance and glutathione-dependent detoxification of reactive oxygen species and methylglyoxal. Environ Exp Bot161:242-54.
  4. Nguyen KH, Mostofa MG, Li W, Ha CV, Watanabe Y, Le DT, Thao NP, Tran LS (2018). The soybean transcription factor GmNAC085 enhances drought tolerance in Arabidopsis. Environ Exp Bot151:12-20.
  5. Li W, Nguyen KH, Chu HD, Ha CV, Watanabe Y, Osakabe Y, Leyva-González MA, Sato M, Toyooka K, Voges L, Tanaka M, Mostofa MG, Seki M, Seo M, Yamaguchi S, Nelson DC, Herrera-Estrella L, Tran LS (2017). The karrikin receptor KAI2 promotes drought resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS Genet13:e1007076 [highlighted in “Multifactorial response to drought”, Science, 2017, 358:1267 by Pamela J. Hines].
  6. Nasr Esfahani M, Kusano M, Nguyen KH, Watanabe Y, Ha CV, Saito K, Sulieman S, Herrera-Estrella L, Tran LS(2016). Adaptation of the symbiotic Mesorhizobium–chickpea relationship to phosphate deficiency relies on reprogramming of whole plant metabolism. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA113:E4610-9.
  7. Nguyen KH, Ha CV, Nishiyama R, Watanabe Y, Leyva-González MA, Fujita Y, Tran UT, Tanaka M, Li W, Seki M, Schaller GE, Herrera-Estrella L, Tran LS(2016). Arabidopsis type B cytokinin response regulators ARR1, ARR10, and ARR12 negatively regulate plant responses to drought. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA113:3090-5.
  8. Nasr Esfahani M, Sulieman S, Schulze J, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K, Shinozaki K, Tran LS (2014). Mechanisms of physiological adjustment of N2 fixation in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) during early stages of water deficit: single or multi-factor controls. Plant J 79:964-80.
  9. Ha CV, Leyva-Gonzalez MA, Osakabe Y, Tran TU, Nishiyama R, Watanabe Y, Tanaka M, Seki M,Yamaguchi S, Dong NV, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K, Shinozaki K, Herrera-Esterella L,Tran LS(2014).Positive regulatory role of strigolactone in plant responses to drought and salt stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA111:851-6.
  10. Esfahani MN, Sulieman S, Schulze J, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K, Shinozaki K, Tran LS (2014). Approaches for enhancement of N2 fixation efficiency of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) under limiting nitrogen conditions. Plant Biotech J 12:387-97.
  11. Nishiyama R, Watanabe Y, Leyva-Gonzalez MA, Ha CV, Fujita Y, Tanaka M, Seki M, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K, Shinozaki K, Herrera-Estrella L, Tran LS(2013). Arabidopsis AHP2, AHP3 and AHP5 histidine phosphotransfer proteins function as redundant negative regulators of drought stress response. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA110:4840-5.
  12. Nishiyama R, Watanabe Y, Fujita Y, Le DT, Kojima M, Werner T, Vankova R, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K, Shinozaki K, Kakimoto T, Sakakibara H, Schmülling T, Tran LS(2011). Analysis of cytokinin mutants and regulation of cytokinin metabolic genes reveals important regulatory roles of cytokinins in drought, salt and ABA responses, and ABA biosynthesis. Plant Cell23:2169-83.
  13. Tran LS,Urao T, Qin F, Maruyama K, Kakimoto T, Shinozaki K, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K (2007). Functional analysis of AHK1/ATHK1 and cytokinin receptor histidine kinases in response to ABA, drought and high salinity stresses in Arabidopsis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:20623-8.
  14. Tran LS, Nakashima K, Sakuma Y, Osakabe Y, Qin F, Simpson SD, Maruyama K, Fujita Y, Shinozaki K, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K (2006). Co-expression of the stress-inducible zinc finger homeodomain ZFHD1 and NAC transcription factors enhances expression of the ERD1 gene in Arabidopsis. Plant J 49:46-63.
  15. Tran LS, Nakashima K, Sakuma Y, Simpson SD, Fujita Y, Maruyama K, Fujita M, Seki M, Shinozaki K, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K (2004). Isolation and functional analysis of Arabidopsis stress-inducible NAC transcription factors that bind to a drought-responsive cis-element in the early responsive to dehydration stress 1 promoter. Plant Cell16:2481-98.

Leadership and Awards

  • Elected Fellow of TheWorld Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the advancement of science in developing countries (effective 01-January-2020)
  • Highly Cited Researcher 2019 (Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics)
  • Highly Cited Researcher 2018 (Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics)
  • Highly Cited Researcher 2016 (Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics)