John (Zhen-Xiang) Lu, Ph.D.

Image John Lu
Research Scientist

Dr. Lu’s research program is mainly focused on the improvement of crop nutritional composition and food quality to develop novel and value-added bioproducts.

Current research and/or projects

  • Enhancement of protein and resistant starch contents in field pea to promote its uses in functional food application

  • Development of genetically improved field pea varieties and evaluation of flavor, physicochemical and functional characteristics in high-protein pea lines

  • Novel extraction of oil from canola seeds and evaluation of antioxidants on the quality and shelf life of canola oil for potato deep frying

Research and/or project statements


  • Bioproducts and Bioprocessing
  • Starch and Dietary Fibre in Crops
  • Proteins and Amino Acids in Crops

  • Recent Publications

    Liyanagea, D.W.K., Yevtushenko, D.P., Konschuh, M., Bizimungu, B., Lu, Z.X. 2020. Processing strategies to decrease acrylamide formation, reducing sugars and free asparagine content in potato chips from three commercial cultivars. Food Control 119.

    Li, X., Shi, J., Scanlon, M., Xue, S.J., Lu, Z.X. 2020. Effects of pretreatments on physicochemical and structural properties of proteins isolated from canola seeds after oil extraction by supercritical-CO2 process. LWT - Food Science and Technology 110415. doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2020.110415.

    Lu, Z.X., He, J.F., Zhang, Y.C., Bing, D.J. 2019. Composition, physicochemical properties of pea protein and its application in functional foods. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2019.1651248.

    Xiong, M., Zhao, M.L., Lu, Z.X., Balasubramanian, P. 2019. Genotypic variation for phenolic compounds in developing and whole seeds, and storage conditions influence visual seed quality of yellow dry bean genotypes. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 100: 284-295.

    He, J.F., Fang, Y.Y. Lu, Z.X., Wang, L.W., Zhao, X.Q., Fu, X.F., Zhao, J., Liu, H.K. 2019. Identification of differentially expressed genes of Haloxylon ammodendron in response to salinity stress. Biologia Plantarum 63: 610-617. doi: 10.32615/bp.2019.066.

    Zhang, Y.C., Kahl, D.H.W, Bizimungu, B., Lu, Z.X. 2018. Effects of blanching treatments on acrylamide, asparagine, reducing sugars and colour in potato chips. Journal of Food Science and Technology 55: 4028-4041.

    Zhou, Y.J., Yang, Q., Zhong, X.J., Tang, H.P., Deng, M., Ma, J., Qi, P.F., Wang, J.R., Chen, G.Y., Liu, Y.X., Lu, Z.X., Li, W., Lan, X.J., Wei, Y.M., Zheng, Y.L., Jiang, Q.T. 2017. Alternative splicing results in a lack of starch synthase IIa-D in Chinese wheat landrace. Genome 61: 201-208. doi: 10.1139/gen-2017-0246.

    Zhang, X.W., Li, S.Y., Zhang, L.L., Yang, Q., Jiang, Q.T., Lu, Z.X., Liu, C.J., Wei, Y.M., Zheng, Y.L. 2016. Structure and expression analysis of genes encoding ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase large subunit in wheat and its relatives. Genome 59: 501-507.

    Shen, S.A., Hou, H.W., Ding, C.B., Bing, D.J., Lu, Z.X. 2016. Protein content correlates with starch morphology, composition and physicochemical properties in field peas. Can. J. Plant Sci. 96: 404-412.

    Zheng, K., Jiang, Q.T., Wei, L., Zhang, X., Ma, J., Chen, G.Y., Wei, Y.M., Jennifer, M.F., Lu, Z.X., Zheng, Y.L. 2015. Characterization of starch morphology, composition, physicochemical properties and gene expressions in oat. Journal of Integrative Agriculture 14: 20-28.

    Zheng, K., Jiang, Q.T., Zhang, X., Lan, X.J., Dai, S.F., Wei, Y.M., Laroche, A., Lu, Z.X., Zheng, Y.L. 2015. Differences in starch composition and physiochemical properties are influenced by granule types in wheat and its relatives. Pakistan Journal of Botany 46: 2239-2248.


Education and awards

Ph.D. Genetics, Clemson University, U.S.A. 1997.                                           

M.Sc. Plant Genetics & Breeding, Nanjing Agricultural University, P.R.China. 1989.

B.Sc. Horticuture, Nanjing Agricultural University, P.R.China. 1982.                 


Key publications

  1. Diedhiou, C., Gaudet, D., Liang, Y., Sun, J., Lu, Z.X., Eudes, F., Laroche, A. (2012). Carbohydrate profiling in seeds and seedlings of transgenic triticale modified in the expression of sucrose:sucrose-1-fructosyltransferase (1-SST) and sucrose:fructan-6-fructosyltransferase (6-SFT), 114(4), 371-378.

    2012 - View publication details

  2. Jiang, Q.T., Ma, J., Zhao, S., Zhao, Q.Z., Lan, X.J., Dai, S.F., Lu, Z.X., Zheng, Y.L., Wei, Y.M. (2012). Characterization of HMW-GSs and their gene inaction in tetraploid wheat. Genetica, [online] 140(7-9), 325-335.

    2012 - View publication details

  3. Li, C.Y., Li, C., Lu, Z.X., Li, W.H., Cao, L.P. (2012). Morphological changes of starch granules during grain filling and seed germination in wheat. Starch, [online] 64(2), 166-170.

    2012 - View publication details

  4. Jiang, Q.T., Liu, T., Ma, J., Wei, Y.M., Lu, Z.X., Lan, X.J., Dai, S.F., Zheng, Y.L. (2011). Characterization of barley Prp1 gene and its expression during seed development and under abiotic stress. Genetica, [online] 139(10), 1283-1292.

    2011 - View publication details

  5. Li, C.Y., Li, W.H., Lee, B., Laroche, A., Cao, L.P., Lu, Z.X. (2011). Morphological characterization of triticale starch granules during endosperm development and seed germination. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, [online] 91(1), 57-67.

    2011 - View publication details

  6. Jiang, Q.-T., Wei, Y.-M., Andre, L., Lu, Z.-X., Pu, Z.-E., Peng, Y.-Y., and Zheng, Y.-L. (2010). "Characterization of ω-secalin genes from rye, triticale, and a wheat 1BL/1RS translocation line.", Journal of Applied Genetics, 51(4), pp. 403-411.

    2010 - View publication details

  7. Gaudet, D.A., Wang, Y., Penniket, C., Lu, Z.X., Bakkeren, G., Laroche, A. (2010). Morphological and molecular analyses of host and nonhost interactions involving barley and wheat and the covered smut Pathogen Ustilago hordei. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, [online] 23(12), 1619-1634.

    2010 - View publication details

  8. Li, C.Y., Li, W.H., Li, C., Gaudet, D.A., Laroche, A., Cao, L.P., Lu, Z.X. (2010). Starch Synthesis and Programmed Cell Death during Endosperm Development in Triticale (×Triticosecale Wittmack). Journal of Integrative Plant Biology (JIPB), [online] 52(7), 602-615.

    2010 - View publication details

  9. Jiang, Q.T., Wei, Y.M., Lu, Z.X., Pu, Z.E., Lan, X.J., Zheng, Y.L. (2010). Structural variation and evolutionary relationship of novel HMW glutenin subunits from Elymus glaucus. Hereditas, [online] 147(3), 136-141.

    2010 - View publication details

  10. Jiang, Q.T., Wei, Y.M., Lu, Z.X., Liu, T., Wang, J.R., Pu, Z.E., Lan, X.J., Zhen, Y.L. (2010). Characterization of a novel variant HMW-glutenin gene from Elymus canadensis. Genes and Genomics, [online] 32(4), 361-367.

    2010 - View publication details

  11. Xu, J., Frick, M., Laroche, A., Ni, Z.F., Li, B.Y., Lu, Z.X. (2009). Isolation and characterization of the rye Waxy gene. Genome, [online] 52(7), 658-664.

    2009 - View publication details

  12. Beres, B.L., Eudes, F., Graf, R.J., Spaner, D.M., Clarke, J.M., Salmon, D.F., Clarke, F.R., Singh, R.P., Knox, R.E., McLeod, G.J., Frick, M., Dion, Y., Lu, Z.-X., Randhawa, H.S., Laroche, A., Gaudet, D.A., McCallum, B.D., Cuthbert, R.D., Irvine, R.B., Voldeng, H.D., Martin, R.A., Pageau, D., Comeau, A., Pozniak, C.J., DePauw, R.M. (2008). "A Pan-Canadian ethanol feedstock study to benchmark the relative performance of triticale.", Plants and Soils: Montreal '08: Joint meeting of the CSHS, CSA and Northeastern Branch ASA-CSSA-SSSA, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada, July 13-16, 2008. (Poster)

    2008 - View publication details

  13. Gaudet, D.A., Penniket, C., Lu, Z.-X., Leggett, F.L., Frick, M., Puchalski, B., Bakkeren, G., and Laroche, A. (2008). "Transcriptional analysis of host- and non-host interactions between wheat and barley and the barley smut pathogen Ustilago hordei.", 16th Biennial Meeting on the Smuts and Bunts, Beltsville, MD, USA, June 9-12, 2008.

    2008 - View publication details

  14. Gaudet, D.A., Penniket, C., Lu, Z.-X., Leggett, F.L., Frick, M., Puchalski, B., Bakkeren, G., and Laroche, A. (2008). "Cytological aspects of host and non-host interactions involving Ustilago hordei on barley and wheat coleoptiles.", 16th Biennial Meeting on the Smuts and Bunts, Beltsville, MD, USA, June 9-12, 2008.

    2008 - View publication details

  15. Sun, J.Y., Gaudet, D.A., Lu, Z.X., Frick, M., Puchalski, B., Laroche, A. (2008). Characterization and antifungal properties of wheat nonspecific lipid transfer proteins. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, [online] 21(3), 346-360.

    2008 - View publication details

  16. Mallard, S., Nègre, S., Pouya, S., Gaudet, D., Lu, Z.X., Dedryver, F. (2008). Adult plant resistance-related gene expression in 'Camp Remy' wheat inoculated with Puccinia striiformis. Molecular Plant Pathology, [online] 9(2), 213-225.

    2008 - View publication details

  17. Gaudet, D.A., Penniket, C., Lu, Z.-X., Leggett, F.L., Puchalski, B., Bakkeren, G., and Laroche, A. (2007). "Histological observations on host- and non-host interactions between wheat and barley and the smut pathogens Tilletia tritici and Ustilago hordei.", 28th Annual Meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta, Lethbridge, AB, Canada, November 5-7, 2007. (Poster)

    2007 - View publication details

  18. Gaudet, D.A., Lu, Z.X., Leggett, F., Puchalski, B., Laroche, A. (2007). Compatible and incompatible interactions in wheat involving the Bt-10 gene for resistance to Tilletia tritici, the common bunt pathogen. Phytopathology, [online] 97(11), 1397-1405.

    2007 - View publication details

  19. Lu, Z.X., Gaudet, D., Puchalski, B., Despins, T., Frick, M., Laroche, A. (2006). Inducers of resistance reduce common bunt infection in wheat seedlings while differentially regulating defence-gene expression. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, [online] 67(3-5), 138-148.

    2006 - View publication details

  20. Lu, Z.X., Laroche, A., and Huang, H.-C. (2005). "Isolation and characterization of chitinases from Verticillium lecanii.", Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 51(12), pp. 1045-1055.

    2005 - View publication details

Research facility

5403 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1




Research Scientist at Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, AAFC, Alberta, Canada

Adjunct Professor at University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada