Wissenschaftlicher Werdegang

2007-2011 PhD (Doctor of Sciences), ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2004-2007 MSc in Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
2000-2004 Bachelor, China Agricultural University, China


Since 2018 Professor for plant evolutionary ecology, University of Münster, Germany
2017-2018 ACE fellowship, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2011-2017 Project group leader, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany
2011-2011 Postdoc, University of Zurich, Switzerland


2017 ACE fellowship, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
2013 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, European Commission
2012 Prospective Researchers Fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

• Evolutionary genomics and genetics
• Plant-environmental interactions
• Bioinformatics and statistics
• Chemical ecology
• Computational biology

Ausgewählte Projekte
1. Adataption-in-action to pesticides
2. Evolutionary genetics of plant defenses
3. Genetic basis and evolution of floral traits
4. Duckweed genomics
5. Plant-inset-microbe interactions
6. Chemical Ecology
See details here: https://www.uni-muenster.de/Evolution/plantadapt/research/Research.shtml


  • Zhou W, Kugler A, McGale E, Haverkamp A, Knaden M, Guo H, Beran F, Yon F, Li R, Lackus N, Kollner TG, Bing J, Schuman MC, Hansson BS, Kessler D, Baldwin IT, Xu S. . ‘Tissue-specific emission of (E)-alpha-bergamotene helps resolve the dilemma when pollinators are also herbivores.’ Current Biology 27, No. 9: 1336-1341. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.017.
  • Machado RAR, Zhou W, Ferrieri AP, Arce CCM, Baldwin IT, Xu S, Erb M. . ‘Species-specific regulation of herbivory-induced defoliation tolerance is associated with jasmonate inducibility.’ Ecology and Evolution 7, No. 11: 3703-3712. doi: 10.1002/ece3.2953.
  • Durrant M, Boyer J, Zhou W, Baldwin IT, Xu S. . ‘Evidence of an evolutionary hourglass pattern in herbivory-induced transcriptomic responses.’ New Phytologist 215, No. 3: 1264-1273. doi: 10.1111/nph.14644.
  • Schäfer M, Brütting C, Xu S, Ling Z, Steppuhn A, Baldwin IT, Schuman MC. . ‘NaMYB8 regulates distinct, optimally distributed herbivore defense traits.’ Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 59, No. 12: 844-850. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12593.
  • Wang M, Schoettner M, Xu S, Paetz C, Wilde J, Baldwin IT, Groten K. . ‘Catechol, a major component of smoke, influences primary root growth and root hair elongation through reactive oxygen species-mediated redox signaling.’ New Phytologist 213, No. 4: 1755-1770. doi: 10.1111/nph.14317.
  • Luu VT, Weinhold A, Ullah C, Dressel S, Schoettner M, Gase K, Gaquerel E, Xu S, Baldwin IT. . ‘O-Acyl sugars protect a wild tobacco from both native fungal pathogens and a specialist herbivore.’ Plant Physiology 174, No. 1: 370-386. doi: 10.1104/pp.16.01904.
  • Rogers SM, Xu S, Schluter PM. . ‘Introduction: integrative molecular ecology is rapidly advancing the study of adaptation and speciation.’ Molecular Ecology 26, No. 1: 1-6. doi: 10.1111/mec.13947.
  • Xu S, Brockmoller T, Navarro-Quezada A, Kuhl H, Gase K, Ling Z, Zhou W, Kreitzer C, Stanke M, Tang H, Lyons E, Pandey P, Pandey SP, Timmermann B, Gaquerel E, Baldwin IT. . ‘Wild tobacco genomes reveal the evolution of nicotine biosynthesis.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, No. 23: 6133-6138. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1700073114.
  • Brockmoller T, Ling Z, Li D, Gaquerel E, Baldwin IT, Xu S. . ‘Nicotiana attenuata Data Hub (NaDH): an integrative platform for exploring genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic data in wild tobacco.’ BMC genomics 18, No. 1: 79. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-3465-9.
  • Byers KJ, Xu S, Schluter PM. . ‘Molecular mechanisms of adaptation and speciation: why do we need an integrative approach?Molecular Ecology 26, No. 1: 277-290. doi: 10.1111/mec.13678.
  • Machado RA, Robert CA, Arce CC, Ferrieri AP, Xu S, Jimenez-Aleman GH, Baldwin IT, Erb M. . ‘Auxin is rapidly induced by herbivore attack and regulates a subset of systemic, jasmonate-dependent defenses.’ Plant Physiology 172, No. 1: 521-32. doi: 10.1104/pp.16.00940.
  • Zhou W, Brockmoller T, Ling Z, Omdahl A, Baldwin IT, Xu S. . ‘Evolution of herbivore-induced early defense signaling was shaped by genome-wide duplications in Nicotiana.’ eLife 5. doi: 10.7554/eLife.19531.
  • Xu S, Zhou W, Baldwin IT. . ‘The rapidly evolving associations among herbivore associated elicitor-induced phytohormones in Nicotiana.’ Plant Signal and Behaviour 10, No. 7: e1035850. doi: 10.1080/15592324.2015.1035850.
  • Groten K, Pahari NT, Xu S, Miloradovi vDM, Baldwin IT. . ‘Virus-induced gene silencing using tobacco rattle virus as a tool to study the interaction between Nicotiana attenuata and Rhizophagus irregularis.’ PLoS One 10, No. 8: e0136234. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136234.
  • Ling Z, Zhou W, Baldwin IT, Xu S. . ‘Insect herbivory elicits genome-wide alternative splicing responses in Nicotiana attenuata.’ Plant Journal 84, No. 1: 228-43. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12997.
  • Xu S, Schluter PM. . ‘Modeling the two-locus architecture of divergent pollinator adaptation: how variation in SAD paralogs affects fitness and evolutionary divergence in sexually deceptive orchids.’ Ecology and Evolution 5, No. 2: 493-502. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1378.
  • Xu S, Zhou W, Pottinger S, Baldwin IT. . ‘Herbivore associated elicitor-induced defences are highly specific among closely related Nicotiana species.’ BMC Plant Biology 15: 2. doi: 10.1186/s12870-014-0406-0.
  • Breitkopf H, Schluter PM, Xu S, Schiestl FP, Cozzolino S, Scopece G. . ‘Pollinator shifts between Ophrys sphegodes populations: might adaptation to different pollinators drive population divergence?Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26, No. 10: 2197-208. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12216.
  • Sedeek KE, Qi W, Schauer MA, Gupta AK, Poveda L, Xu S, Liu ZJ, Grossniklaus U, Schiestl FP, Schluter PM. . ‘Transcriptome and proteome data reveal candidate genes for pollinator attraction in sexually deceptive orchids.’ PLoS One 8, No. 5: e64621. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064621.
  • Xu S, Schluter PM, Grossniklaus U, Schiestl FP. . ‘The genetic basis of pollinator adaptation in a sexually deceptive orchid.’ PLoS Genetics 8, No. 8: e1002889. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002889.
  • Schluter PM, Xu S, Gagliardini V, Whittle E, Shanklin J, Grossniklaus U, Schiestl FP. . ‘Stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturases are associated with floral isolation in sexually deceptive orchids.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108, No. 14: 5696-701. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1013313108.
  • Xu S, Schluter PM, Scopece G, Breitkopf H, Gross K, Cozzolino S, Schiestl FP. . ‘Floral isolation is the main reproductive barrier among closely related sexually deceptive orchids.’ Evolution 65, No. 9: 2606-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01323.x.
  • Xu S, Schlüter PM, Schiestl FP. . ‘Pollinator-driven speciation in sexually deceptive orchids.’ International Journal of Ecology 2012. doi: https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/285081.
  • Xu S, Clark T, Zheng H, Vang S, Li R, Wong GK, Wang J, Zheng X. . ‘Gene conversion in the rice genome.’ BMC genomics 9: 93. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-9-93.
  • Wang W, Wang C, Xu S, Chen C, Tong X, Liang Y, Dong X, Lei Y, Zheng X, Yu J, Wang J. . ‘Detection of HPV-2 and identification of novel mutations by whole genome sequencing from biopsies of two patients with multiple cutaneous horns.’ Journal of Clinic Virology 39, No. 1: 34-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2007.01.002.
  • Xu S, Luosang J, Hua S, He J, Ciren A, Wang W, Tong X, Liang Y, Wang J, Zheng X. . ‘High altitude adaptation and phylogenetic analysis of Tibetan horse based on the mitochondrial genome.’ Journal of Genetics and Genomics 34, No. 8: 720-9. doi: 10.1016/S1673-8527(07)60081-2.
  • Tong XM, Liang Y, Wang W, Xu SQ, Zheng XG, Wang J, Yu J. . ‘Complete sequence and gene organization of the Tibetan chicken mitochondrial genome.’ Yi Chuan 28, No. 7: 769-77.
  • Xu SQ, Yang YZ, Zhou J, Jing GE, Chen YT, Wang J, Yang HM, Wang J, Yu J, Zheng XG, Ge RL. . ‘A mitochondrial genome sequence of the Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii).’ Genomics Proteomics and Bioinformatics 3, No. 1: 5-17.