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Kang Ming
Highest Education  
   723# Xinke Rd,Tianhe,Guangzhou,China
Zip Code  
Education and Appointments:

Dr. Kang received his B.S. from Huazhong Agricultural University in 1997 and Ph.D from Wuhan Botanical Garden (WBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2006. He had worked at WBG first as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor for five years (from 2002 to 2007). In the end of 2007, he moved to Guangzhou and joined South China Botanical Garden (SCBG) as a professor. After the finish of Ph.D work, he spent a 1-year postdoctoral research at the University of Queensland and the University of Adelaide. In 2010, he worked as a visiting scholar at Duke University.

Research Interest:

Limestone karsts are typically natural terrestrial islands in exhibiting spatial isolation on restricted land masses. Karst habitat islands in Southeast Asia harbor a highly diverse and unique biota, and have long been regarded as “natural laboratories” for ecological and evolutionary research. The tower karsts and karst caves of southern China represent a classical example of karst terrestrial islands. Organisms within these landforms appear to exhibit particularly strong spatial and ecological isolation. These tower karsts and karst caves possess many unique, endemic species and were, therefore, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In particular, the karst landscape of southern China is a center of plant diversity and speciation, and represents an important natural environment in which to study terrestrial plant evolution and speciation.


My core research seeks to understand the biodiversity and diversification mechanisms of karst-habitat specialized plants. My recent work focuses on the adaptive evolution and speciation of the Primulina, a genus of the African violet family Gesneriaceae. My research involves field work, molecular biology, and common garden experiments. I use approaches of phylogeny, population genetics, quantitative genetics and genomics to understand the evolutionary processes that were involved in generating the species richness and endemism of Primulina species.


Primulina is simultaneously valued for a variety of horticultural and medicinal features. Many species have been introduced for domestication and breeding as ornamental plants. I also have a particular interest in genetic resource collection, conservation and plant breeding of Primulina.


Current research projects on Primulina include: 1) geographical pattern of biodiversity and ex situ conservation; 2) biogeography and phylogeny; 3) genome size evolution; 4) adaptive evolution and speciation; and 5) genome sequencing and gene discovery.
Public Services:

Selected Publication:

Recent publications (*Corresponding author)

Ai Bin, Kang M*. 2015. How many genes are needed to resolve phylogenetic incongruence? Evolutionary Bioinformatics, accepted.

Gao Y, Ai B, Kong H, Kang, M*, Huang H. 2015. Geographical pattern of isolation and diversification in karst habitat islands: a case study in the Primulina eburnea complex. Journal of Biogeography, accepted.

Kang M, Wang J, Huang H*. 2015. Nitrogen limitation as a driver of genome size evolution in a group of karst plants. Scientific Reports, 5, 11636; doi: 10.1038/srep11636.

Wang J, Liu J, Kang M*. 2015. Quantitative testing of the methodology for genome size estimation in plants using flow cytometry: a case study of the Primulina genus. Frontiers in Plant Science, 6, 354.

Tao J, Qi Q, Kang M*, Huang H*. 2015. Adaptive molecular evolution of PHYE in Primulina, a karst cave Plant. PLoS ONE, 10, e0127821.

Ning ZL, Pang B, Kang M*. 2015. Primulina fengkaiensis (Gesneriaceae), a new species from limestone areas in Western Guangdong, China. Phytotaxa, 197, 291-295.

Ai B, Gao Y, Zhang X, Tao J, Kang M*, Huang H. 2015. Comparative transcriptome resources of eleven Primulina species, a group of “stone plants” from a biodiversity hotspot. Molecular Ecology Resources, 15, 619-632.

Hao Z, Kuang YW, Kang M*. 2015. Untangling the influence of phylogeny, soil and climate on leaf element concentrations in a biodiversity hotspot. Functional Ecology, 29, 165-176.

Kang M, Tao J, Wang J, Ren C, Qi Q, Xiang Q, Huang H*. 2014. Adaptive and nonadaptive genome size evolution in Karst endemic flora of China. New Phytologist, 202, 1371-1381.

Ai B, Kang M, Huang HW*. 2014. Assessment of genetic diversity in seed plants based on a uniform π criterion. Molecules, 19, 20113-20127.

Ning ZL, Wang J, Tao JJ, Kang M*. 2014. Primulina lepingensis (Gesneriaceae), a new species from Jiangxi, China. Annales Botanici Fennici, 51, 322-325.

Wang J*, Kang M, Huang H. 2014. Long-distance pollen dispersal ensures genetic connectivity of the low-density tree species, Eurycorymbus cavaleriei, in a fragmented karst forest landscape. Conservation Genetics, 15, 1163-1172. 

Ning ZL, Li GF, Wang J*, Smith JF, Rasolonjatovo H, Kang M. 2013. Primulina huaijiensis (Gesneriaceae), a new species from Guangdong, China. Annales Botanici Fennici, 50, 119-122.

Ning ZL, Wang J, Smith JF, Kang M*. 2013. Primulina qingyuanensis (Gesneriaceae), a new species from limestone areas in Guangdong, China. Phytotaxa, 137, 48-52.

Liu W, Kang M, Tian H, Huang H*. 2013. A range wide geographic pattern of genetic diversity and population structure of Castanea mollissima populations inferred from nuclear and chloroplast microsatellites. Tree Genetics and Genomes, 9, 975-987.


Selected publications (2012 and before)

Wang J, Kang M, Gao P, Huang H*. 2010. Contemporary pollen flow and mating patterns of a subtropical canopy tree Eurycorymbus cavaleriei in a fragmented agricultural landscape. Forest Ecology and Management, 260, 2180-2188. 

Wang J, Gao P, Kang M*, Huang H*. 2009. Refugia within refugia: the case study of a canopy tree Eurycorymbus cavaleriei in subtropical China. Journal of Biogeography, 36(11), 2156-2164. 

Kang* M, Huang H, Jiang M, Lowe A. 2008. Understanding population structure and historical demography in a conservation context: population genetics of an endangered fern. Diversity and Distributions, 14 (5), 799-807. 

Kang M, Wang J, Huang H*. 2008. Demographic bottlenecks and low gene flow in remnant populations of the critically endangered Berchemiella wilsonii var. pubipetiolata (Rhamnaceae) inferred from microsatellite markers. Conservation Genetics, 9. 191-199. 

Kang* M, Buckley Y, Lowe A. 2007. Testing the role of genetic factors across multiple independent invasions of the shrub Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius). Molecular Ecology, 16 (22), 4662-4673. 

Kang* M, Lowe A, Buckley Y. 2007. Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci for the invasive plant Cytisus scoparius. Molecular Ecology Notes, 7, 100-102. 

Kang M, Lowe A, Xu F, Huang H. 2007. Protecting evolutionary significant units for the remnant populations of Berchemiella wilsonii var. pubipetiolata (Rhamnaceae). Conservation Genetics, 8, 465-473.  

Kang M, Pan L, Yao X, Huang H. 2006. Development and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci in endangered fern Adiantum reniforme var. sinense. Conservation Genetics, 7, 807-810. 

Kang M, Zhang J, Wang J, Huang H. 2006. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci in the endangered tree Berchemiella wilsonii var. pubipetiolata and cross-species amplification in closely related taxa. Conservation Genetics, 7, 789-793. 

Kang M, Ye Q, Huang H. 2005. Genetic consequence of restricted habitat and population decline in endangered Isoetes sinensis Palmer (Isoetaceae). Annals of Botany, 96(7), 1265-1274. 

Kang M, Jiang M, Huang H. 2005. Genetic diversity in fragmented populations of Berchemiella wilsonii var. pubipetiolata (Rhamnaceae). Annals of Botany, 95(7), 1145-1151. 

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