Center for Algal Biology and Applied Research

Research Group of Algal Biology of Particular Environment




PI: Prof. HU Chunxiang, PhD

Members: Shubin Lan, Si Shen 

Contact Us:  

Tel: 86-27-68780866 


General Introduction:  

The Research Group of Algal Biology of Particular Environment is the first scientific research team engaged in the research of biological soil crusts in China. It has systematically studied the species composition, ecological distribution, environmental adaptation of soil (especially dryland) cyanobacteria and algae, and particularly their cementation roles in the formation of biological soil crusts.  

The research team has established a standard method for determining the sand-fixing capacity of desert cyanobacteria, and initiated their comprehensive utilization for the restoration of degraded soil ecosystems.  

This group has undertaken projects supported by the Science and Technology Special Basic Work Project, National 863 program, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Special Fund for Forest Scientific Research in the Public Welfare, and Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The obtained achievements include nine national authorized invention patents, one provincial Natural Science Award, two provincial Scientific and Technological Progress Awards, and more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers.  

Main research Interests:  

* Diversity and environmental adaptability of cyanobacteria/microalgae in special habitats. Based on some special habitats such as deserts, hot springs, saline alkali lands and eutrophic water bodies, they are interested in the composition and diversity of cyanobacteria/microalgae in these habitats. They use traditional morphological observation and molecular biological techniques, combined with lab and field physiological and ecological experiments, to reveal the environmental adaptation mechanism of cyanobacteria/microalgae in various habitats. 

* Screening and application of cyanobacteria/microalgae resources in special habitats. Based on the special habitats, they aim to screen and cultivate the excellent cyanobacteria/microalgae, in order to accumulate the target compounds (such as lipids EPA DHA and polysaccharides), and explore their resource allocation patterns and metabolic mechanism.  

* Formation mechanism and application of induced biological soil crusts. They are interested in investigating the adaptive mechanism and action principle of desert cyanobacteria in formation, development and succession of induced biological soil crusts, and explore its application in the restoration of degraded soil ecosystems. 

Recent Publications

Zhou XP, Xia L, Zhang DL, Hu CX*.Effect of outdoor conditions on the biomass and lipid accumulation of six green algae. Energy Sources Part A-Recovery Utilization and Environmental Effects, 2012, accepted.  

Zhou XP, Ge HM, Xia L, Zhang DL, Hu CX*. Evaluation of oil-producing algae as potential biodiesel feedstock. Bioresource Technology, 2013, 134: 24-29. 

Lan SB,Wu L, Zhang DL, Hu CX*. Assessing level of development and successional stages in biological soil crusts with biological indicators. Microbial Ecology, Doi 10.1007/ s00248 -013-0191-6, online, 2013.  

Wu L, Lan SB, Zhang DL, Hu CX*. Functional reactivation of photosystem II in lichen soil crusts after long-term desiccation. Plant and Soil, Doi. 10.1007/s11104-012-1563-2, online, 2013.  

Wu L, Lan SB, Zhang DL, Hu CX*. Recovery of chlorophyll fluorescence and CO2 exchange in lichen soil crusts after rehydration. European Journal of Soil Biology, 55: 77-82, 2013.  

Lan SB, Wu L, Zhang DL, Hu CX*. Composition of photosynthetic organisms and diurnal changes of photosynthetic efficiency in algae and moss crusts. Plant and Soil. 2012, 351(1): 325-336. 

Lan S.B., Wu L., Zhang D.L., Hu CX*. Successional stages of biological soil crusts and their microstructure variability in Shapotou region (China). Environ. Earth Sci., 2012, 65: 77-88 

Wu PP, Rao BQ, Hao ZJ, Liu YD, Hu CX, Li DH, Shen YW. Physiological and ultrastructural characteristics of Scytonema javanicum under high temperature. Acta Hydrobiol Sin. 2012, 36(4):735-743.(in Chinese)  

Zhang DL, Hu CX, et al. Zebrafish neurotoxicity from aphantoxins-cyanobacterial paralytic shellfish poisons (PSPs) from Aphanizomenon flos-aquae DC-1. Environ Toxicol, Doi 10. 1002 /tox.20714. 

Zhang Y, Li XY, Ge HM, Wu L, Xia L, Wang GH, Hu CX*, Liu YD. Influence of clinorotation on celllular structure, photosynthetic activity, carbohydrate and astaxanthin metabolism of Haematococcus pluvialis. Fresen Environ Bull, 2012, 21(8): 2017-2026  

Zhang Y, Li XY, Wang GH, Hu CX*, Liu YD. Physiological responses of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 under clinorotation. Microgravity Sci Technol, 2012, 24 (4): 281-286. 

Lan SB, Wu L, Zhang DL, Hu CX*, Liu YD. Ethanol outperforms multiple solvents in the extraction of chlorophyll-a from biological soil crusts. Soil Biol Biochem, 2011, 43:857-861. 

Wu L, Lan SB, Zhang DL, Hu CX*. Small-scale vertical distribution of algae and structure of lichen soil crusts. Microb Ecol, 2011, 62:715-724. 

Zhang Y, Hu CX, Zhang CG, Gan L. Expression analysis of Rsk in Branssica napus induced by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Acta Cloning Physiol Plant. Acta Physiol Plant. 2011, 33: 1277-1283. 

Zhang DL, Hu CX, Wang GH, Liu YD, Li DH, Li GB, Shen YW. Response of apoptotic genes to aphantoxin-paralytic shellfish poison in freshwater extracted from the Aphanizomenon flos-aquae DC-1 in cells of brain on zebrafish (danio rerio). Acta Hydrobiol Sin, 2011, 35 (2): 238-245. 

Lan SB, Wu L, Zhang DL, Hu CX*. On terrestrialization situation and its driving factors in Nansi Lake. J.Lake Sci, 2011, 23(4): 643-648  

Zhang DL, Liu YD, Hu CX*. On ecoregional frame and indices system based on lacustrine nutrients in China. J. Lake Sci, 2011,23 (6): 821-827. 

Zhang H, Yu ZL, Huang Q, Xiao X, Wang X, Zhang FY, Wang XQ, Liu YD, Hu CX. Isolation, identification and characterization of phytoplankton-lytic bacterium CH-22 against Microcystis aeruginosa. Limnologica, 2011, 41(1): 70-77. 

Hao ZJ, Li DH, LiGB, Wang GH, Liu YD, Hu CX. Nostoc sphaeroides Kutzing, an excellent candidate producer.  Adv. Space Res., 2011, 48 (10): 1565-1571 

Hu MM, Wang YC, Li YH, Wang Z, Hu CX, Shen YW, Liu YD, Li GB, Li DH. The ecological distribution of bacterioplankton and its influencing factors in the Yunnan plateau lakes. J Hydroecol, 2011, 32(3): 21-25. 

Xu JJ, Zhang DL, Wu GQ, Wang GH, Liu YD, Hu CX*. Effect of wind stress on photosynthetic activity of Microcoleus vaginatus crusts, Acta Hydrobiol Sin, 2010, 34(3): 575-581. 

Lan SB, Hu CX*, Rao BQ, Wu L, Zhang DL, Liu YD. Non-rainfall water sources in the topsoil and their changes during formation of man-made algal crusts at the eastern edge of Qubqi Desert, Inner Mongolia. Sci China Ser C, 2010, 53 (9): 1131-1141. 

Lan SB, Wu L, Zhang DL, Hu CX*, Liu YD. Effects of drought and salt stresses on man-made cyanobacterial crusts. Eur J Soil Biol, 2010, 46: 381-386. 

Wang GH, Hao ZJ, Huang ZB, Li XY, Hu CX, Liu YD. Raman Spectroscopic analysis of a desert cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. in response to UV-B radiation. Astrobiology 2010, 10(8): 783-788 

Wang WB, Liu YD, Li DH, Hu CX, Rao BQ. Feasibility of cyanobacterial inoculation for biological soil crusts formation in desert area. Soil Biol Biochem, 2009, 41: 926-929. 

Rao BQ, Liu YD, Wang WB, Hu CX, Li DH, Lan SB. Influence of dew on biomass and photosystem II activity of cyanobacterial crusts in the Hopq Desert, northwest China.Soil Biol Biochem,2009, 41(12): 2387-2393 

Rao BQ, Liu YD, Hu CX, Li DH, Shen YW, Wang WB. The technology of man-made algal crust and its applications in control of desertification. Acta Hydrobiol Sin, 2009, 33(4): 223-228. 

Rao BQ, Wang WB, Lan SB, Li DH, Hu CX, Liu YD. Development characteristics and distribution of microorganism within 3-year-old artifical algal crusts in Hopq Desert. Acta Hydrobiol Sin, 2009, 33(5): 193-200. 

Zhang H, Ma HY, Zhang DL, Lv Y, Wang GH, Chen K, Liu YD, Hu CX*. On apoptosis of human epidermoid carcinoma A431 cells induced by the extracellular polymeric substances of Scytonema javanicum. Acta Hydrobiol Sin, 2008, 32(6): 89-95. 

Liu YD, Cockell CS, Wang GH, Hu CX, Chen L Z, De Philippis R. Control of lunar and martian dust-experimental insights from artificial and natural cyanobacterial and algal crusts in the desert of Inner Mongolia, China. Astrobiology, 2008, 8 (1): 75-86 

Wang GH, Chen K, Chen LZ, Hu CX, Zhang DL, Liu YD. The involvement of the antioxidant system in protection of desert cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. against UV-B radiation and the effects of exogenous antioxidants. Ecotox Environ Safe, 2008, 69:150-157  

Wang GH, Liu YD, Li GB, Hu CX, Zhang DL, Li XY. A simple closed aquatic ecosystem (CAES) for space, Adv. Space Res. 2008, 41 (5): 684-690.  

Xie ZM, Liu YD, Chen LZ, Hu CX, Li DH, Shen YW. The effects of different cultivation conditions on the biomass and expolysaccharide production by Microcoleu vaginatus Gom. Acta Hydrobiol Sin, 2008,32(2): 272-275. 

Yan QY, Yu YH, Feng WS, Liu YD, Hu CX, Tang HY, Peng L, Qiu ZJ. DNA Fingerprinting and Species Composition of the Plankton Communities in the Songhua jiang River, China. Chin. J. Appl. Environ. Biol, 2008, 14(1): 59-63. 

Tang D, Shi S, Li D, Hu C, Liu Y. Physiological and biochemical responses of Scytonema javanicum (cyanobacterium) to salt stress, J Arid Environ, 2007, 71: 312–320. 

Xie ZM, Liu YD, Hu CX, Chen LZ. and Li DH. Relationships between the biomass of algal crusts in fields and their compressive strength. Soil Biol Biochem, 2007, 39: 567-572.  

Wang GH, Hu CX, Li DH, et al. The response of antioxidant systems in Nostoc sphaeroides against UV-B radiation and the protective effects of exogenous antioxidants. Adv. Space Res. 2007, 39(6): 1034-1042. 

Wang WB,Yang CY, Tang DS, Li DH, Liu YD, Hu CX. Effects of sand burial on biomass, chlorophyll fluorescence and extracellular polysaccharides of man-made cyanobacterial crusts under experimental conditions. Sci China ser C, 2007, 50 (4): 530-534. 

Xie ZM, Chen LZ, Li DH, Shen YW, Hu CX, Liu YD. The research on the function of soil filamentous cyanobacteria in desertification control. Acta Hydrobiol Sin, 2007, 31(6):886-890. 

Tang DS, Wang WB, Li DH, Hu CX, Liu YD. Effrects of artifical algal crust on soil enzyme activities of Hobq Desert, China. Acta Hydrobiol Sin, 2007, 31(3):339-344 

Chen L, Xie Z, Hu C, Li D, Wang G, Liu Y. Man-made desert algal crusts as affected by environmental factors in Inner Mongolia, China, Journal of Arid Environments, 2006, 67:521–527. 

Wang G.H., Chen HF, Li GB, Chen LZ, Li DH, Hu CX, Chen K, Liu YD. Population growth and physiological characteristics of microalgae in a miniaturized bioreactor during space flight. Acta Astronautica, 2006, 58: 264-269.  

Chen LZ, Li DH, Song LR, Hu CX, Wang GH, Liu YD. Effects of Salt Stress on Carbohydrate Metabolism in Desert Soil Alga Microcoleus vaginatus. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. 2006, 48 (8): 1?5. 

Wang GH, Chen LZ, Li GB, Li DH, Hu CX, Chen HF, Liu YD, Song LR. Improving   photosynthesis of microalgae by changing the ratio of light-harvesting pigments. Chinese   Science Bulletin, 2005, 50(15): 1622-1626.  

Hu CX, Zhang DL, Liu YD. Research progresses on algae of the microbial crusts in arid and semiarid regions. Progress in Natural Science. 2004, 14 (4): 289-295.  

Wang G-H, Li G-B, Hu C-X, Liu Y-D, et al. Performance of a simple closed aquatic ecosystem (CAES) in space. Adv. Space Res. 2004, 34 (6); 1455-1460 

Hu CX, Liu YD, Paulsen BS, Petersen D, Klaveness D. Extracellular carbohydrate polymers from five species soil algae with different cohesion in the stabilization of fine sand grains. Carbohydrate Polymers, 2003, 54 (1): 33-42.  

Hu CX, Zhang DL, Huang ZB, Liu YD. The vertical microdistribution of cyanobacteria and green algae within desert crusts and the development of the algal crusts. Plant and Soil. 2003, 257: 97-111. 

Hu CX, Liu YD. Primary succession on algal community structure in desert soil. Acta Bot. Sin., 2003, 45 (8): 917-924.  

Hokputsa S, Hu CX, Paulsen BS, Harding SE. A physico-chemical comparative study on extracellular carbohydrate polymers from five desert algae.Carbohydrate Polymers, 2003, 54 (1): 27-32.  

Hu CX, Liu YD, Song LR, Zhang DL. Effect of desert soil algae on the stabilization of fine sands. J. Applied Phycol. 2002,14 (4): 281-292.  

Hu CX, Liu YD., Zhang DL. Huang ZB, Paulsen BS. Cementing mechanism of algal crusts from desert area. Chinese Science Bulletin. 2002, 47(16): 1361-1368.  


Hu CX*, Gao KS, Whitton BA. Semi-arid Regions and Deserts. In: Ecology of Cyanobacteria II:Their Diversity in Space and Time (Whitton BA ed.). Doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-3855-3_12, Springer Science + Business Media Dordrecht, 2012. p.345-369 

Liu YD (chief editor), Hu CX (subeditor), Zhang WJ (subeditor). Environmental biology of desert cyanobacteria and engineering technology on fixing-sand using artificial biological crusts. 2011, Science Press, Beijing. pp: 496. ISBN: 978-7-03-030232-8.  

Liu YD (editor in chief). Regional control desertification by Algal-grass-shrub(-arbor) integration and sustainable development engineering. 2011, Science Press, Beijing. pp: 164. ISBN: 978-7-03 -030246-5. 

Liu YD, Song LR, Shen YW, Li DH, Hu CX, et al. Potentiaal of terrestrial microalgae and cyanobacteria in environmental technology. In: Photosynthetic microorganisms in environmental biotechnology. Kojima H and Lee Y K (ed.). Hong Kong: Springer-Verlag Hong Kong Ltd., 2001. p: 195-216.