1995, Ph.D., Department of Plant Biology, Ohio State University

1995-96, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

1996-2011, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor, Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University

2011-Present, Professor, Dirctor, The Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences


Tel: 86-10-62836446

Research Focus:

Sang’s research interest focuses on understanding the mechanisms and processes of plant evolution and crop domestication. Through cloning and analysis of genes critical to rice domestication, he has investigated the molecular and population genetic basis of cereal domestication. With the analysis of China’s bioenergy potential, he has been working on the development of the theoretical and methodological framework for the domestication of second-generation energy crops. He attempts to establish that bioenergy development should take advantage of China’s rich plant resources and vast area of marginal and degraded land so that renewable energy production and ecological restoration can be accomplished in one effort.


Liu, W., Yan, J., Li, J. and T. Sang. 2012. Yield potential of Miscanthus energy crops in the Loess Plateau of China. GCB Bioenergy, . doi: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01157.x

Ge S., T. Sang. 2011. Inappropriate model rejects independent domestications of indica and japonica rice. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, USA. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1111601108.

Sang T. 2011. Toward the domestication of lignocellulosic energy crops: Leaning from food crop domestication. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 53: 96-104.

Yan J., W. Chen, F. Luo, H. Ma, A. Meng, X. Li, M. Xhu, S. L., H., Zhou, W. Zhu, B. Han, J., Li, T. Sang. 2011. Variability and adaptability of Miscanthus species evaluated for energy crop domestication. Global Change Biology Bioenergy Doi: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01108.x

Sang T. and W.-X. Zhu 2011. China‘s bioenergy potential. Global Change Biology Bioenergy 3:79-90.

Zhu B., L. Si, Z. Wang, Y. Zhou, J. Zhu, Y. Shangguan, D. Lv, D. Fan, C. Li, H. Lin, Q. Qian, T. Sang, B. Zhou, Y. Minobe, B. Han.2011. Genetic control of a transition from black to straw-white seed hull in rice domestication. Plant Physiology 155: 1301-1311.

Wang L., A. Wang, X. Huang, Q. Zhao, G. Dong, Q. Qian, T. Sang, B. Han. 2011. Mapping 49 quantitative trait loci at high resolution through sequencing-based genotyping of rice recombinant inbred lines. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 122: 327-340.

Huang X., X. Wei, T. Sang, Q. Zhao, Q. Feng, Y. Zhao, C. Li, C. Zhu, T. Lu, Z. Zhang, M. Li, D. Fan, Y. Guo, A. Wang, L. Wang, L. Deng, W. Li, Y. Lu, Q. Weng, K. Liu, T. Huang, T. Zhou, Y. Jing, W. Li, Z. Lin, E. S. Buckler, Q. Qian, Q.-F. Zhang, J. Li, B. Han. 2010 Genome-wide association studies of 14 agronomic traits in rice landraces. Nat Genet, 42, 961-967. 2010. Genome-wide association studies of 14 agronomic traits in rice landraces. Nature Genetics 42: 961-967.

Zhang L.-B., Q. Zhu, Z.-Q.Wu, J. Ross-Ibarra, B.S. Gaut, S. Ge, T. Sang. 2009. Selection on grain shattering genes and rates of rice domestication. New Phytologist 184: 708-720.

Huang X., Q. Feng, Q. Qian, Q. Zhao, L. Wang, A. Wang, J. Guan, D. Fan, Q. Weng, T. Huang, G. Dong, T. Sang, B. Han. 2009. High-throughput genotyping by whole-genome resequencing. Genome Research 19: 1068-1076.

Sang T. Genes and mutations underlying domestication transitions in grasses. 2009. Plant Physiology 149: 63-70.

Grillo M.A, C. Li, A.M. Fowlkes, T.M. Briggeman, A. Zhou, D.W. Schemske, T. Sang. 2009. Genetic architecture for the adaptive origin of annual wild rice, Oryza nivara. Evolution 63: 870-883.

Yan J., H.-J. Chu, H.-C. Wang, J.-Q. Li, T. Sang. 2009. Population genetic structure of two Medicago species shaped by distinct life form, mating system and seed dispersal. Annals of Botany 103: 825-834.

Lorts C.M., T., Briggeman, T. Sang. 2008. Evolution of angiosperm fruit type and seed dispersal: A phylogenetic and ecological snapshot. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 46: 396-404.

Zou X.-H., F.-M. Zhang, J.-G. Zhang, L.-L. Zang, L. Tang, J. Wang, T. Sang, S. Ge. 2008. Analysis of 142 genes resolves the rapid diversification of the rice genus. Genome Biology 9: R49.

Sang T., S. Ge. 2007. Genetics and phylogenetics of rice domestication. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development 17: 533-538.

Sang T., S. Ge. 2007. The puzzle of rice domestication. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 49: 760-768.

Li C. B., A. L. Zhou, T. Sang. 2006. Rice domestication by reducing shattering. Science 311: 1936-1939.

Li C. B., A. L. Zhou, T. Sang. 2006. Genetic analysis of rice domestication syndrome with the wild annual species, Oryza nivara. New Phytologist 170: 185-194.

Sang T., J. Pan, D. Zhang, D.M. Ferguson, C. Wang, K. Pan, D. Hong. 2004. Origins of polyploids: an example from Paeonia and a model for angiosperms. Biological Journal of Linnean Society 82: 561-571.

Li J., H, Huang, T. Sang. 2002. Molecular phylogeny and infrageneric classification of Actinidia. Systematic Botany 27: 408-415.

Sang T. 2002. Utility of low-copy nuclear gene sequences in plant phylogenetics. Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 37: 121-147.

Ferguson D. M. T. Sang. 2001. Speciation through homoploid hybridization between allotetraploids in peonies (Paeonia). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 98: 3915-3919.

Lu B.-R., G. Song, T. Sang, J.-K. Chen, D.-Y. Hong. 2001. The current taxonomy and perplexity of the genus Oryza (Poaceae). Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica, 39: 373-388.

Ge S., T. Sang, B.-R. Lu, D-Y. Hong. 2001.Rapid and reliable identification of rice genomes by RFLP analysis of PCR-amplified Adh genes. Genome 44:1136-1142.

Tank, D. C., T. Sang. 2001. Phylogentic utility of the glycerol-3-physphate acyltransferase gene: Evolution and implications in Paeonia (Paeoniaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 19: 421-429.

Sang T., Y. Zhong. 2000. Testing hybridization hypotheses based on incongruent gene trees. Systematic Biology 49: 422-434.

Wang X.-Q., D. C. Tank, T. Sang. 2000. Phylogeny and divergence times in the pine family: Evidence from three genomes. Molecular Biology and Evolution 17: 773-781.

Ge S., T. Sang, B.-R. Lu, D.-Y. Hong. 1999. Phylogeny of rice genomes with emphasis on origins of allotetraploid species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 96: 14400-14405.

Sang T., D. Zhang. 1999. Reconstructing hybrid speciation using sequences of low copy nuclear genes: hybrid origins of five Paeonia species based on Adh gene phylogenies. Systematic Botany 24: 148-163.

Zhang D., T. Sang. 1999. Physical mapping of ribosomal RNA genes in peonies (Paeonia, Paeoniaceae) by fluorescent in situ hybridization: Implications for phylogeny and concerted evolution. American Journal of Botany 86: 735-740.

Zhang D., T. Sang. 1998. Chromosomal structural rearrangement of Paeonia brownii and P. californica revealed by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Genome 41: 848-853.

Sang T., D. J. Crawford, T. F. Stuessy. 1997. Chloroplast DNA phylogeny, reticulate evolution, and biogeography of Paeonia (Paeoniaceae). American Journal of Botany 84: 1120-1136.

Sang T., M. J. Donoghue, D. Zhang. 1997. Evolution of alcohol dehydrogenase genes in peonies (Paeonia): phylogenetic relationships of putative non-hybrid species. Molecular Biology and Evolution 14: 994-1007.

Lee N. S., T. Sang, D. J. Crawford, S. H. Yeau, S.-C Kim. 1996. Molecular divergence between disjunct taxa in eastern Asia and North America. American Journal of Botany 83: 1373-1378.

Sang T., P.-S Hue. 1996. A review of current theories and methods in cladistics and a cladistic study of twelve Lindera (Lauraceae) species in eastern China. Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica, 34: 12-28.

Sang T. 1995. New measurements of distribution of homoplasy and reliability of parsimonious cladograms. Taxon 44: 77-82.

Sang T., D. J. Crawford, T. F. Stuessy. 1995. Documentation of reticulate evolution in peonies (Paeonia) using internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA: Implications for biogeography and concerted evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 92: 6813-6817.

Sang T., D. J. Crawford, T. F. Stuessy, M. S. Silva O. 1995. ITS sequences and the origin and evolution of the genus Robinsonia (Asteraceae) on the Juan Fernandez Island. Systematic Botany 20: 55-64.

Sang T., D. J. Crawford, S.-C. Kim, T. F. Stuessy. 1994. Radiation of the endemic genus Dendroseris (Asteraceae) on the Juan Fernadez Island: evidence from sequences of the ITS regions of nuclear ribosomal DNA. American Journal of Botany 81: 1494-1501.

Abu-Asab M. S., P. D. Cantino, J. W. Nowiche, T. Sang. 1993. Systematic implications of pollen morphology in Caryopteris (Labiatae). Systematic Botany 18: 502-515