Kan Wang

Email: kanwang@iastate.edu

Professor,Iowa State University

Dr. Kan Wang is a professor in the Department of Agronomy, the Director of the Center for Plant Transformation and Leader of the BioPharmaceuticals/BioIndustrials Initiative of Plant Science Institute. She also serves as the chair of a graduate program, the Interdepartmental Plant Biology Major.  

Professor Wang graduated with her B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. She was sponsored first by the Chinese government then by the Rockefeller Foundation to conduct graduate study under the supervision of Drs. Marc Van Montagu and Jeff Schell in Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Her Ph.D. study and postdoctoral research were focused on the molecular mechanisms of the T-DNA transfer from Agrobacterium tumefaciens to plant cells. Dr. Wang spent 7 years in ICI seeds (now Syngenta) as a project leader in genetic transformation of corn and soybean.  

Dr. Wang’s research interests include 1) improvement of genetic transformation technology for corn, rice, soybean and sorghum and provide services for academic researchers; 2) development of a production system for corn-based pharmaceutical and industrial products; and 3) functional analysis of nodulation signaling pathway genes in legume and non-legume crops. Her previous work also included the study of abiotic stress tolerance mechanism in maize (funded by NSF) and involved in the generation of transgenic maize with enhanced provitamin A content (Harvest Plus project).  

Dr. Wang has extensive international research collaboration and training experiences. The Plant Transformation Facility directed by Dr. Wang provides crop genetic transformation services to public researchers around the world. She also trains graduate students and visiting scientists on recombinant DNA technology, plant molecular biology, plant cell biology, and maize and soybean transformation.  

Curriculum Vitae


Name: Prof. Kan Wang

Country of birth:


Position Title: Professor

Institution: Iowa State University

Contact Address:

Iowa State University G405 Agronomy Hall Ames, IA 50011-1010

Email: kanwang@iastate.edu

Tel: +001 515-294-4429

Fax: +001 515-294-2299

Specialty Area:

-          Genetics



1982   B.Sc., Biochemistry, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

1987   Ph.D., University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium.


Positions held (since terminal degree):




-          gene regulation

-          plant genetic transformation



Honors and Awards (since terminal degree):



A selection of major research accomplishments: Discoveries and first reports




A Selection of refereed journal publications (2002-present)


Sangtong V., Moran D.L., Chikwamba R., Wang K., Woodman-Clikeman W., Long M.J., Lee M., Scott M.P. 2002. Expression and inheritance of the wheat Glu-1Dx5 gene in transgenic maize. Theor. Appl. Genet., 10:937-945.


Frame B.R., Shou H., Chikwamba R., Zhang Z., Xiang C, Fonger T., Pegg S-E., Li B., Nettleton D., Pei P., Wang K. 2002. Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of maize embryos using a standard binary vector system. Plant Physiology, 129:13-22.


Chikwamba R., Cunnick J., Hathaway D., Mcmurray J., Kirk D., Mason H., Wang K. 2002. A functional antigen in a practical crop: Corn derived LT-B protects mice against Escherichia coli heat labile enterotoxin (LT) and the cholera toxin (CT). Transgenic Research, 11:479-493.


Chikwamba R., Mcmurray J., Shou H., Frame B., Pegg S.E., Scott P., Mason H., Wang K. 2002. Expression of a synthetic E. coli heat-labile enterotoxin B sub-unit (LT-B) in maize. Mol Breeding, 10: 253-265.


Shou H., Palmer R., Wang K. 2002. Irreproducibility of the soybean pollen-tube pathway transformation procedure. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, 20(4): 325-334.


Chikwamba R.K., Scot, M.P., Meji, L.B., Maso H.S., Wang K. 2003. Localization of a bacterial protein in starch granules of transgenic maize kernels. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 100: 11127-11132.


Shou H., Frame B., Whitham S., Wang K. 2004. Assessment of transgenic maize events produced by particle bombardment or Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Mol Breeding 13: 201-208.


Paz M., Shou H., Guo Z., Zhang Z., Banerjee A., Wang K. 2004. Assessment of conditions affecting Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation using the cotyledonary node explant. Euphytica, 136: 167-179.


Shou H., Bordallo Fan J., Yeakley J. M., Bibikova M., Wang K. 2004. Expression of an active tobacco MAP kinase kinase kinase enhances freezing tolerance in transgenic maize. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA), 101: 3298-3303.


Shou H., Bordallo P., Wang K. 2004. Expression of the Nicotiana protein kinase (NPK1) enhanced drought tolerance in transgenic maize. J. Exp. Botany, 55: 1013-1019.


Karaman S., Cunnick J., Wang K. 2006. Analysis of Immune Response in Young and Aged Mice Vaccinated with Corn-derived Antigen against E. coli Heat Labile Enterotoxin. Molecular Biotechnology, 32: 31-42.


Paz M., Martinez J. C., Kalvig A. Fonger T., Wang K. 2006. Improved cotyledonary node method using an alternative explant derived from mature seed for efficient Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation. Plant Cell Reports, 25: 206-213.


Che P., Love T.M., Frame B., Wang K., Carriquiry A.L, Howel, S.H. 2006. Gene expression patterns during somatic embryo development and germination in maize Hi II callus cultures. Plant Molecular Biology, 62: 1-14.


Frame B.R., McMurray J.M., Fonger T.M., Main M.L., Taylor K.W., Torney F.J., Paz M.M., Wang K. 2006. Improved Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of three maize inbred lines using MS salts. Plant Cell Rep, 25: 1024-1034.


Wolt J. D., Wang K., Peterson R. K. D. 2006. Assessing risk of unintended antigen occurrence in food: a case instance for maize-expressed LT-B. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 12 (5): 856-870.


Krakowsky M. D., Lee M., Garay L., Woodman-Clikeman W., Long M. J., Sharopova N., Frame B., Wang K. 2006. Quantitative trait loci for callus initiation and totipotency in maize (Zea mays L.) Theor Appl Genet, 113 (5): 821-830.


Beyer A., Wang K., Umble A., Wolt J., Cunnick J. E. 2007. Low dose exposure and immunogenicity of transgenic maize expressing the Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin B subunit. Environmental Health Perspectives, 115(3):354-360.


Torney F., Trewyn B. G., Lin V. S.-Y. and Wang K. 2007. Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles deliver DNA and chemicals into plants. Nature Nanotechnology, 2: 295-300.


Torney F., Moeller L., Scarpa A. and Wang K. 2007. Genetic engineering approaches to improve bioethanol production from maize. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 18: 193-199.


Lee L-Y, Kononov M. E., Bassuner B., Frame B. R., Wang K., Gelvin S.B. 2007. Novel Plant Transformation Vectors Containing the Super-promoter. Plant Physiology, 145:1294-1300.


Champagne C. E. M., Goliber T. E., Wojciechowski M. F., Mei R. W., Townsley B. T., Wang K., Paz M. M., Geeta R., Sinha N. R. 2007. Compound leaf development and evolution in the legumes. The Plant Cell, 19: 3369-3378.


Kosaki H., Coats J. R., Wang K., Wolt J. D. 2008. Persistence and degradation of maize-expressed vaccine protein, Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin subunit B, in Soil and Water. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 27: 1227-1237.


Moeller L., Wang K. 2008. Engineering with Precision: tools for new generation of biotech crops. BioScience, 58: 391-411.


Martinez JC, Wang K. 2009. A sterilization protocol for field-harvested maize mature seed used for in vitro culture and genetic transformation. Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter, 83, online publication: http://www.agron.missouri.edu/mnl/83/pdf files/01Martinez.pdf.


Mathieu M., Winters E. K., Kong F., Wan J., Wang S., Eckert H., Luth D., Paz M., Donovan C., Zhang Z., Somers D., Wang K., Nguyen H., Shoemaker R. C., Stacey G., Clemente T. 2009. Establishment of a soybean (Glycine max Merr. L) transposon-based mutagenesis repository. Planta, 229: 279-289.


Moeller L., Gan Qinglei, Wang K. 2009. A bacterial signal peptide is functional in plants and directs proteins to the secretory pathway. Journal of Experimental Botany, 60: 3337-3352.


Wang K., Frame B., Xu X., Moeller L., Lamkey K., Wise R. 2009. Strategies for the production of maize-derived pharmaceuticals using cytoplasm male sterile lines: in vitro tissue culture/transformation and field breeding approaches. Maydica, 54: 199-210.


Oltmanns H., Frame B., Lee L-Y., Johnson S., Li B., Wang K., Gelvin S.B. 2010. Generation of "backbone" free, low transgene copy plants by launching T-DNA from the Agrobacterium chromosome. Plant Physiology, 152: 1158-1166.



Book chapters:

Wang K., Frame B., Marcell L. 2003. Maize Genetic Transformation. In: Plant Genetic Engineering Vol 2: Improvement of Major Food Crops. P. K. Jaiwal and R. P. Singh (eds). Sci-Tech Publication, Houston, Texas, USA. pp175-217.

Wang K., Chikwamba R., Cunnick J. 2004. Plant-based oral vaccine. In Novel Vaccination Strategies. S. H. E. Kaufman (ed). Wiley-VCH Publishing, Weinheim, pp. 385-410.

Torney F., Frame B., Wang K. Maize. 2007. In Tropical Crop Biotechnology. E.C. Pua and M. Davey (eds.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, Germany, pp 73-105.

Wang K., Frame B., Ishida Y., Komari T. 2009. Maize Genetic Transformation. In Handbook of Maize Genetics and Genomics. Jeff Bennetzen and Sarah Hake (eds), Springer, New York, NY. pp 609-640 (2009).

Wang K., Frame B. 2009. Biolistic gun mediated maize transformation. In Transgenic Maize. M. Paul Scott (ed), Springer, New York, NY. In press.



Invited presentations at major international conferences (2002-present-Maximum 8)


Research Grants (2004 – present):

Funding source

Grant Title (Principal investigators)

Amount US$




This database is supported with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation