Mingguang Lei is a Principal Investigator at the Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology (PSC), CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences (CEMPS), Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The research in the group of Dr. Lei at the PSC focuses on deciphering the molecular and biochemical regulatory mechanisms underlying plant responses to phosphate (Pi) starvation. They are especially interested in understanding how plants sense intracellular and environmental fluctuations of Pi and further along regulate Pi uptake and distribution at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level. The long-term goals are to elucidate the mechanisms by which plants maintain Pi homeostasis, and to develop crops with improved phosphorus use efficiency. Recently, his group has identified the inositol pyrophosphate InsP8 as an intracellular Pi signal molecule serving as the ligand of the Pi sensor protein SPX1 for controlling Pi homeostasis in plants.