Dr. Dechang Cao, PI of the seed molecular ecology (SeedME) research group.

Research Areas

My lab focuses on seed adaptation to environments, especially to those extreme or unpredictable environments, such as wilde fires and saline deserts. 

Currently, most of our effort have been devoted to exploring seed responses to smoke and mechanisms underlying seed dimorphism.

Positions Available

Welcome to join our lab.

Various positions are open for application, including post-docs and research assistants.

Recent Activities

We are actively working on seed adaptation to extreme environments. Any kind of co-work is welcome.

Paper Invitation

We are currently organizing a special issue in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. The topic is about seed adaptation to extreme environments. You are welcome to contribute your recent work to us. For more details, please visit our topic website.


1.        Cao Dechang, Schöttner Matthias, Halitschke Rayko, Li Dapeng, Baldwin Gundega, Rocha Catarina, Baldwin Ian T. * (2021) Syringaldehyde is a novel smoke-derived germination cue for the native fire-chasing tobacco, Nicotiana attenuataSeed Science Research, 31: 292-299.

2.        Cao Dechang*, Baskin Carol C., Baskin Jerry M. (2020) Dormancy class: Another fire seasonality effect on plants. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 35: 1055-1057.

3.        Cao Dechang, Xu Huimin, Zhao Yuanyuan, Deng Xin, Liu Yongxiu, Soppe Wim, Lin Jinxing* (2016) Transcriptome and degradome sequencing reveals dormancy mechanisms of Cunninghamia lanceolata seeds. Plant Physiology, 172: 2347-2362.

4.        Cao Dechang, Baskin Carol C., Baskin Jerry M., Yang Fan, Huang Zhenying* (2014) Dormancy cycling and persistence of seeds in soil of a cold desert halophyte shrub. Annals of Botany, 113: 171-179.

5.        Cao Dechang, Li Jingwen, Huang Zhenying*, Baskin Carol C., Baskin Jerry M., Hao Peng, Zhou Weilei, Li Junqing (2012) Reproductive characteristics of a Populus euphratica population and prospects for its restoration in China. PLoS ONE, 7: e39121.

6.        Cao Dechang, Baskin Carol C., Baskin Jerry M., Yang Fan, Huang Zhenying* (2012) Comparison of germination and seed bank dynamics of dimorphic seeds of the cold desert halophyte Suaeda corniculata subsp. mongolicaAnnals of Botany, 110: 1545-1558.

7.        Cao Dechang, Li Jingwen*, Chen Weiqiang, Peng Cheng, Li Junqing (2009) Development and growth of root suckers of Populus euphratica in different forest gaps in Ejina Oasis. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 29: 1954-1961.

8.        Cao Dechang, Li Jingwen*, Chen Weiqiang, Li Junqing (2009) Temporal heterogeneity of Populus euphratica seed rain in Ejina Oasis, China. Eurasian Journal of Forest Research, 12: 1-8.

9.         曹德昌李景文*陈维强彭程李俊清 (2009) 额济纳绿洲不同林隙胡杨根蘖的发生特征生态学报, 29: 1954-1961.


Conference Presentation (Oral)

1.      A novel smoke-derived seed germination cue for the post-fire annual Nicotiana attenuata. ISSS 2021: Seed Innovation System for the 21st Century. August, 2021. London, UK.

2.      Dormancy cycling and soil seed bank dynamics of two halophytes inhabiting a saline desert in north China. The 4th International Society for Seed Science Meeting on Seeds and the Environment. June, 2013. Shenyang, China.

Conference Presentation (Poster)

1.      2017. Another germination cue in smoke. XIX International Botanical Congress. Shenzhen, China.