Bo Liu

image of Bo Liu



Plant Biology

Offices and Labs

2167 Life Sciences
(530) 754-8138
2203 Life Sciences
(530) 754-8139


1995 PhD Botany University of Georgia
1988 MS Cell Biology Peking University
1985 BS Cell Biology and Genetics Peking University

Research Interests

Cybernetics of intracellular motility and cell division

We are cell biologists devoted to advancing our knowledge on the cytoskeleton and intracellular motility in plant and fungal cells. Our ongoing investigations include: the dynamics of microtubules and actin microfilaments during plant cell division and cell growth; Functions of kinesin motor proteins in mitosis and cytokinesis; Molecular mechanisms of cytoskeleton-mediated hyphal growth in filamentous fungi. Experiments are carried out in oganisms like Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa (rice), and Gossypium hirsutum (cotton) which are used as reference systems for plant studies, and Aspergillus nidulans as a model for fungal studies.

Department and Center Affiliations

UC Davis Cancer Center
Department of Plant Biology


American Society of Plant Biologists
American Society for Cell Biology
Genetics Society of America

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Plant Biology
Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Specialties / Focus

Plant Biology
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Cell Division and the Cytoskeleton

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS



2203 Life Sciences website
  • Dr. Julie Lee, Research Scientist
  • Dr. Huiying Miao, Postdotoral fellow
  • Mr. Xingguang Deng, Graduate Student
  • Ms. Felicia Peng, Junior specialist

Teaching Interests

General botany and biology. Plant cell biology at the graduate level.
Cell biology. Biochemistry laboratory.


MCB 120L Biochemistry Laboratory (Fall)
BIS 104 Regulation of Cell Function (Cell Biology) (Fall)


7/31/2017 3:51:38 PM
  • Lee, Y.-R. J., Y. Hiwatashi, T. Hotta, T. Xie, J. Doonan, and B. Liu. 2017. The mitotic function of augmin is dependent on its microtubule-associated protein subunit EDE1 in Arabidopsis thaliana. Current Biology, Volume 27, Issue 24, 18 December 2017, Pages 3891–3897.e4. PMID: 29225022; DOI:

  • Lv*, S., H. Miao*, M. Luo, Y. Li, Q. Wang, Y.-R. J. Lee, and B. Liu. 2017. CAPPI: a Cytoskeleton-based localization Assay reports Protein-Protein Interaction in living cells by fluorescence microscopy. Molecular Plant 10 (11), 1473–1476.  PMID: 28939449; DOI: 10.1016/j.molp.2017.09.006(Try CAPPI as it tells you unambiguously whether two proteins interact with each other or not inside the cell!) 

  • Li*, H., B. Sun*, M. Sasabe, X. Deng, Y. Machida, H. Lin, Y.-R.J. Lee, and B. Liu. 2017. Arabidopsis MAP65-4 plays a role in phragmoplast microtubule organization and marks the cortical cell division site.  New Phytologist 215(1):187-201. PMID: 28370001 DOI: 10.1111/nph.14532.

  • Citovsky, V., and B. Liu. 2017. Myosin-driven transport network in plants is functionally robust and distinctive. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Feb 8. pii: 201700184. PMID: 28179563; PMCID: PMC5338398; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1700184114.

  • Lee, Y.-R. J., and B. Liu. Cytokinesis. 2016. In Plant Cell Biology, S. Assmann, B. Liu (eds.). Springer, New York. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-7881-2_9-1

  • Zhang, B., G. Yang, Y. Chen, Y. Zhao, P. Gao, B. Liu, H. Wang, and Z.-L. Zheng. 2016. C-terminal domain (CTD) phosphatase links Rho GTPase signaling to Pol II CTD phosphorylation in Arabidopsis and yeast. Proc. Natl. Aca. Sci. USA. 113(50):E8197-E8206. PMID: 27911772 PMCID: PMC5167197

  • Lee, Y.-R.J., W. Qiu, and B. Liu. 2015. Kinesin motors in plants: from subcellular dynamics to motility regulation. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 28:120-126. PMID: 26556761

  • Kong, Z., M. Ioki, S. Braybrook, S. Li, R. Zhong, Z. Ye, Y.-R.J. Lee, T. Hotta, A. Chang, J. Tian, G. Wang, and B. Liu. 2015. Kinesin-4 functions in vesicular transport on cortical microtubules and regulates cell wall mechanics during cell elongation in plants. Molecular Plant. 8(7):1011-1023. PMID: 25600279

  • Liu, T., J. Tian, G. Wang, Y. Yu, C. Wang, Y. Ma, X. Zhang, G. Xia, B. Liu, Z. Kong. 2014. Augmin triggers microtubule-dependent microtubule nucleation in interphase plant cells. Current Biology. 24:2708-2713.

  • Zeng, C.T., H.R. Kim, I. Vargus Arispuro, J.-M. Kim, A.-C. Huang, and B. Liu. 2014. Contributions of microtubule plus end-tracking proteins to robust microtubule dynamics and sustained directional extension of hyphae in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Molecular Microbiology. 94:506-521.

  • Lee, Y.-R.J. and B. Liu. 2013. The rise and fall of the phragmoplast microtubule array. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 16:757–763.
  • Liu, B. 2013. Microtubule disassembly: when a sleeper is activated. Current Biology. 23: R932-933.
  • Hotta, T., Z. Kong, C.M.K. Ho, C.J.T. Zeng, T. Horio, S. Fong, T. Vuong, Y.R.J. Lee, and B. Liu. 2012. Characterization of the Arabidopsis augmin complex uncovers its critical function in the assembly of the acentrosomal spindle and phragmoplast microtubule arrays. Plant Cell 24:1494-1509.
  • Ho, C.-M.K., Y.R.J. Lee, L.D. Kiyama, S.P. Dinesh-Kumar, and B. Liu. 2012. The Arabidopsis microtubule-associated protein MAP65-3 cross-links anti-parallel microtubules toward their plus ends in the phragmoplast via its distinct C-terminal microtubule-binding domain. Plant Cell 24:2071-2085.
  • Liu, B., T. Hotta, C.-M.K. Ho, and Y.-R.J. Lee. 2011. Microtubule organization in the phragmoplast. In The Plant Cytoskeleton, Advances in Plant Biology 2, B. Liu (ed.). Springer, New York. Pp 207-225.
  • Ho, C.-M.K., T. Hotta, F. Guo, R. Roberson, Y.-R.J. Lee, and B. Liu. 2011. Interaction of anti-parallel microtubules in the phragmoplast is mediated by the microtubule-associated protein MAP65-3 in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 23:2909-2923.
  • Ho, C.-M.K., T. Hotta, Z. Kong, C.T. Zeng, J. Sun, Y.-R.J. Lee, and B. Liu. 2011. Augmin plays a critical role in organizing the spindle and phragmoplast microtubule arrays in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 23:2606–2618.

  • Liu, B., C.-M. K. Ho, and Y.-R.J. Lee. 2011. Microtubule reorganization during mitosis and cytokinesis: lessons learned from developing microgametophytes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Front. Plant Sci. 2:27. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2011.00027.
  • Kong, Z., T. Hotta, Y.-R.J. Lee, T. Horio, and B. Liu. 2010. The γ-tubulin complex protein GCP4 is required for organizing functional microtubule arrays in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Cell. 22:191–204.
  • Guo, L., C.-M. Ho, Z. Kong, Y.-R.J. Lee, Q. Qian, and B. Liu. 2009. Evaluating the microtubule cytoskeleton and its interacting proteins in monocots by mining the rice genome. Annals Bot. 103:387–402.

  • Kim, J.-M., C.T. Zeng, T. Nayak, R. Shao, A. Huang, B.R. Oakley, and B. Liu. 2009. Timely septation requires SNAD-dependent spindle pole body localization of the septation initiation network components in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Mol. Biol. Cell. 20:2874–2884.