Center for Water Environment Engineering

Research Group of Environmental Biochemistry and Microbiology



PI:  Prof./Dr. CAO Xiuyun 

Members:  Prof./Dr. ZHOU Yiyong, Prof./Dr. QIU Dongru, Assoc.Prof./Dr. SONG Chunlei, post-doctors/Dr. WAN Lingling, Dr. LI Xiaowen, and Dr. YUAN Siliang   

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General Introduction:   

Mainly from the perspective of biochemistry and microbiology, the Research Group of Environmental Biochemistry and Microbiology focuses on the aquatic environment issues to describe the water pollution patterns, reveal the mechanisms underlying the stress processes, and finally provide technical supports for water pollution control. The main research areas of the group include environmental science, microbial ecology, molecular microbiology, environmental microbiology, algal ecology, environmental engineering and restoration ecology, etc. Recent research focuses include: 

[1]      Aiming at the subject of lake and ocean eutrophication and its remediation technology, including the cycling of C, N, S and P mediated by functional microbes, nutrients scavenging strategies by phytoplankton and the role in the bloom and community succession. Basing on the above scientific results, they developed sediment nutrient pollution control technology, lakeside pollution interception and ecological restoration technology, cyanobacterial bloom prevention and control technology, etc.  

[2]      Aiming at the development of environmental microbial and molecular technology research, including bacterial molecular genetics and synthetic biology, activated sludge microbiome and biodiversity, microbial nitrogen metabolism and cycling, aquatic animal gut microbes and bio-floc technology, chemical wastewater and waste leachate treatment, black and stinky water treatment and ecological restoration, cyanobacterial bloom control and reuse, etc.  

[3]      Aiming at the development of low-pollution water treatment technology, including the artificial wetland treatment technology, land treatment technology, biological filtration system technology, as well as the development of above- mentioned products and devices, etc. 

Recent decades, they undertook many national and international projects, e.g. the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment in "the 11th five-year plan", "the 12th five-year plan" and "the 13th five-year plan", National Key Research & Development Program of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, important and cross projects of knowledge innovation project of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and inter-governmental science and technology cooperation projects (including Sino-Ukraine, Sino-Russia, Sino-Poland, Sino-Italy, Sino-Bulgaria, Sino- Denmark, Sino-Czech, Sino-Hungary, Sino-Slovenia, Sino-South Korea, etc.). More than 100 papers have been published and many of them appeared in the high-profile journals, such as "Environmental Microbiology", "Water Research", "Environmental Science & Technology", "Applied and Environmental Microbiology", "Bioresource Technology" and "Science of the Total Environment".  

Recent Publications:   


[1]      Gao, N., Dai, J.C., Liu, Y.Q., Li, S.Y., Wang, J., Lu, W.X. and Qiu, D.R.* 2022. Cellulose-mediated floc formation by the activated sludge bacterium Shinella zoogloeoides ATCC 19623. BMC Microbiol 22(1). 

[2]      Liu, X.H., Chen, J., Liu, Y., Wan, Z.F., Guo X.C.*, Lu S.Y., Qiu D.R.*. 2022. Sulfamethoxazole degradation by Pseudomonas silesiensis F6a isolated from bioelectrochemical technology-integrated constructed wetlands. Ecotox Environ Safe 240: 113698.  

[3]      Liu, Y.Q., Li, S.Y., Lin, J., Liu, S.Y., Wei, H.H., Dai, J.C., Qiu, D.R.*. Pseudaquidulcibacter sacchrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel member of family Caulobacteraceae, isolated from the outlet of a water purification equipment with starch as a carbon source. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 72(2).  

[4]      Gao, J.K.1, Liu, G.L.1, Li, X.W., Tang, M.J., Cao, X.Y., Zhou, Y.Y. and Song, C.L.* 2022. Organic carbon quantity and composition jointly modulate the differentiation of nitrate reduction pathways in sediments of the Chinese eutrophic lake, Lake Chaohu. Water Res 220.  

[5]      Lin, L.L., Li, Z.W., Zhang, B., Zhang, Q.Q., Qiu, D.R., Herzberg, M., Wu, Z.B. and Xiao, E.R.* 2022. Degradation and utilization of EPS from excessive activated sludge by interaction of electrogenesis and light stimulation. J Environ Chem Eng 10(3).  

[6]      Song, X.Y., Zhang, Z.H., Dai, Y.R., Cun, D.S., Cui, B.H., Wang, Y.W., Fan, Y.C., Tang, H.B., Qiu, L., Wang, F.H., Qiu, D.R.* and Liang, W.* 2022. Biodegradation of phthalate acid esters by a versatile PAE-degrading strain Rhodococcus sp. LW-XY12 and associated genomic analysis. Int Biodeter Biodegr 170.  

[7]      Yu, H., Yan, X.Z., Weng, W.L., Xu, S.H., Xu, G.Z., Gu, T.Y., Guan, X.T., Liu, S.W., Chen, P.B., Wu, Y.J., Xiao, F.S., Wang, C., Shu, L.F., Wu, B., Qiu, D.R., He, Z.L. and Yan, Q.Y.* 2022. Extracellular proteins of Desulfovibrio vulgaris as adsorbents and redox shuttles promote biomineralization of antimony. J Hazard Mater 426.  


[8]      Liu, S.Y., Dai, J.C., Wei, H.H., Li, S.Y., Wang, P., Zhu, T.B., Zhou, J.Z. and Qiu, D.R.* 2021. Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) and denitrification pathways are leveraged by cyclic amp receptor protein (CRP) paralogues based on electron donor/acceptor limitation in Shewanella loihica PV-4. Appl Environ Microb 87(2). 

[9]      Chai, X.J., Li, X.W., Hii, K.S., Zhang, Q., Deng, Q.H., Wan, L.L., Zheng, L.L., Lim, P.T., Tan, S.N., Mohd-Din, M., Song, C.L., Song, L.R., Zhou, Y.Y. and Cao, X.Y.* 2021. Blooms of diatom and dinoflagellate associated with nutrient imbalance driven by cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus in anaerobic sediments in Johor Strait (Malaysia). Mar Environ Res 169.  

[10]   Hossain, M.S., Dai, J.C. and Qiu, D.R.* 2021. Dysbiosis of the shrimp (Penaeus monodon) gut microbiome with AHPND outbreaks revealed by 16S rRNA metagenomics analysis. Aquac Res 52(7), 3336-3349.  

[11]   Hossain, M.S., Dai, J.C. and Qiu, D.R.* 2021. European eel (Anguilla anguilla) GI tract conserves a unique metagenomics profile in the recirculation aquaculture system (RAS). Aquacult Int 29(4), 1529-1544. 

[12]   Kim, D.D.1, Wan, L.L.1, Cao, X.Y., Klisarova, D., Gerdzhikov, D., Zhou, Y.Y., Song, C.L.* and Yoon, S.* 2021. Metagenomic insights into co-proliferation of Vibrio spp. and dinoflagellates Prorocentrum during a spring algal bloom in the coastal East China Sea. Water Res 204.  

[13]   Li, H., Song, C.L.*, Yang, L., Qin, H.D., Cao, X.Y. and Zhou, Y.Y. 2021. Phosphorus supply pathways and mechanisms in shallow lakes with different regime. Water Res 193.  

[14]   Li, H., Song, C.L. *, Yang, L., Qin, H.D., Cao, X.Y. and Zhou, Y.Y. 2021. Nutrients regeneration pathway, release potential, transformation pattern and algal utilization strategies jointly drove cyanobacterial growth and their succession. J Environ Sci 103, 255-267.  

[15]   Mubashar, M., Ahmad, Z.L., Li, C., Zhang, H.Y., Xu, C., Wang, G.H., Qiu, D.R., Song, L.R. and Zhang, X.Z.* 2021. Carbon-negative and high-rate nutrient removal using mixotrophic microalgae. Bioresource Technol 340.  

[16]   Song, Y., Mhuantong, W., Liu, S.Y., Pisutpaisal, N., Wongwilaiwalin, S., Kanokratana, P., Wang, A.J., Jiang, C.Y., Champreda, V., Qiu, D.R. and Liu, S.J.* 2021. Tropical and temperate wastewater treatment plants assemble different and diverse microbiomes. Appl Microbiol Biot 105(2), 853-867.  

[17]   Sun, F., Deng, Q.H., Li, X.W., Tang, M.J., Ma, X.F., Cao, X.Y., Zhou, Y.Y. and Song, C.L.* 2021. Organic carbon quantity and quality jointly triggered the switch between dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) and denitrification in biofilters. Chemosphere 280.   

[18]   Tan, Q.Y., Chen, J.M., Chu, Y.F., Liu, W., Yang, L.L., Ma, L., Zhang, Y., Qiu, D.R., Wu, Z.B. and He, F.* 2021. Triclosan weakens the nitrification process of activated sludge and increases the risk of the spread of antibiotic resistance genes. J Hazard Mater 416.  

[19]   Tang, M.J., Deng, Q.H., Cao, X.Y., Zhou, Y.Y., Sun, Q.Y. and Song, C.L.* 2021. Mechanisms and risks of joint control of nitrogen and phosphorus through sediment capping technology in a pilot-scale study. J Soil Sediment 21(10), 3427-3437.  

[20]   Yang, L.1, Cao, X.Y.1, Chen, X.Y., Deng, Q.H., Wan, L.L., Li, X.W., Zhou, Y.Y. and Song, C.L.* 2021. Community composition and functional genes explain different ecological roles of heterotrophic bacteria attached to two bloom-forming cyanobacterial genera. Sci Total Environ 758. 

[21]   Zhang, M.Z., Xu, D.*, Bai, G.L., Cao, T.T., Liu, W., Hu, Z., Chen, D.S., Qiu, D.R. and Wu, Z.N. 2021. Changes of microbial community structure during the initial stage of biological clogging in horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands. Bioresource Technol 337.  

[22]   Zhang, Z.M., Deng, Q.H., Wan, L.L., Cao, X.Y., Zhou, Y.Y. and Song, C.L.* 2021. Bacterial communities and enzymatic activities in sediments of long-term fish and crab aquaculture ponds. Microorganisms 9(3).  

[23]   Zhang, Z.M., Deng, Q.H., Cao, X.Y., Zhou, Y.Y. and Song, C.L.* 2021. Patterns of sediment fungal community dependent on farming practices in aquaculture ponds. Front Microbiol 12.  


[24]   Chen, X.Y., Dolinova, I., Sevcu, A., Jurczak, T., Frankiewicz, P., Wojtal-Frankiewicz, A., Wan, L.L., Deng, Q.H., Song, C.L., Zhou, Y.Y. and Cao, X.Y.* 2020. Strategies adopted by Aphanizomenon flos-aquae in response to phosphorus deficiency and their role on growth. Environ Sci Eur 32(1).  

[25]   Dai, J.C., Dong, A.J.*, Xiong, G.X., Liu, Y.Q., Hossain, M.S., Liu, S.Y., Gao, N., Li, S.Y., Wang, J., Qiu, D.R.*. 2020. Production of highly active extracellular amylase and cellulase from Bacillus subtilis ZIM3 and a recombinant strain with a potential application in tobacco fermentation. Front Microbiol 11:1539. 

[26]   Deng, Q.H., Wan, L.L., Li, X.W., Cao, X.Y., Zhou, Y.Y. and Song, C.L.* 2020. Metagenomic evidence reveals denitrifying community diversity rather than abundance drives nitrate removal in stormwater biofilters amended with different organic and inorganic electron donors. Chemosphere 257.  

[27]   Han, F., Zhang, Y.*, Liu, Z.S., Wang, C., Luo, J., Liu, B.Y., Qiu, D.R., He, F. and Wu, Z.B.  2020.  Effects of maifanite on growth, physiological and phytochemical process of submerged macrophytes Vallisneria spiralis. Ecotox Environ Safe 189.  

[28]   Li, S.Y., Zhao, L., Han, J.Y., Liu, S.Y., Dai, J.C., Fu, G.P. and Qiu, D.R.* 2020. Azoarcus halotolerans sp. nov., a novel member of Rhodocyclaceae isolated from activated sludge collected in Hong Kong. Int J Syst Evol Micr 70(11), 5799-5805. 

[29]   Li, X.W., Chai, X.J., Zheng, L.L., Deng, Q.H., Chen, X.Y., Zhang, Q., Wan, L.L., Song, C.L., Song, L.R., Zhou, Y.Y. and Cao, X.Y.* 2020. Coupling between benthic nutrient cycling and pelagic phytoplankton community in Taiwan Strait in spring 2018. J Mar Sci Eng 8(10). 

[30]   Lu, Z., Dai, J.C., Zheng, L.L., Teng, Z.R., Zhang, Q., Qiu, D.R., Song, L.R.* 2020. Disodium 2-oxoglutarate promotes carbon flux into astaxanthin and fatty acid biosynthesis pathways in Haematococcus. Bioresource Technol 299:122612.  

[31]   Rasulov, B.A.*, Dai, J.C., Pattaeva, M.A., Liu, Y.H., Yili, A., Aisa, H.A., Qiu, D.R. and Li, W.J.  2020.  Gene expression abundance dictated exopolysaccharide modification in Rhizobium radiobacter SZ4S7S14 as the cell's response to salt stress. Int J Biol Macromol 164, 4339-4347.  

[32]   Tang, M.J., Deng, Q.H., Li, X.W., Cao, X.Y., Zhang, Z.M., Zhou, Y.Y., Sun, Q.Y. and Song, C.L.* 2020. The effect of natural materials used as sediment remediation on phosphorus and nitrogen control in a mesocosm. Environ Sci Eur 32(1). 

[33]   Cao, X.Y., Li, H., Zhou, Y.Y. and Song, C.L.* 2020. The shift of mutualistic relationships among algae, free-living and attached bacteria through different nutrient addition mode: a mesocosm study. J Freshwater Ecol 35(1), 535-548. 


[34]   Dai, J.C., Liu, Y.Q., Liu, S.Y., Li, S.Y., Gao, N., Wang, J., Zhou, J.Z. and Qiu, D.R.* 2019. Differential gene content and gene expression for bacterial evolution and speciation of Shewanella in terms of biosynthesis of heme and heme-requiring proteins. BMC Microbiol 19.  

[35]   Cao, X.Y., Chen, X.Y., Song, C.L.* and Zhou, Y.Y. 2019. Comparison of phosphorus sorption characteristics in the soils of riparian buffer strips with different land use patterns and distances from the shoreline around Lake Chaohu. J Soil Sediment 19(5), 2322-2329.  

[36]   Song, C.L., Cao, X.Y., Zhou, Y.Y., Azzaro, M., Monticelli, L.S., Maimone, G., Azzaro, F., La Ferla, R. and Caruso, G.* 2019. Nutrient regeneration mediated by extracellular enzymes in water column and interstitial water through a microcosm experiment. Sci Total Environ 670, 982-992. 

[37]   Wan, L.L., Chen, X.Y., Deng, Q.H., Yang, L., Li, X.W., Zhang, J.Y., Song, C.L., Zhou, Y.Y. and Cao, X.Y.* 2019. Phosphorus strategy in bloom-forming cyanobacteria (Dolichospermum and Microcystis) and its role in their succession. Harmful Algae 84, 46-55.  

[38]   Wan L.L., Cao, L., Cao, X.Y., Wang, Z.C., Zhou, Y.Y. and Song. C.L.* 2019. The optimized key parameters and their mechanisms for simultaneous nitrogen and phosphorus removal in stormwater biofilters: A pilot study. Environ Eng Sci 36(3): 372-383.   

[39]   Zhang, Y., Song, C.L.*, Zhou, Z.J., Cao, X.Y. and Zhou, Y.Y. 2019. Coupling between nitrification and denitrification as well as its effect on phosphorus release in sediments of Chinese shallow lakes. Water-Sui 11(9). 



[40]   Gao, N., Xia, M., Dai, J.C., Yu, D.Z., An, W.X., Li, S.Y., Liu, S.Y., He, P.H., Zhang, L.P., Wu, Z.B., Bi, X.Z., Chen, S.W., Haft, D.H. and Qiu, D.R.* 2018. Both widespread PEP-CTERM proteins and exopolysaccharides are required for floc formation of Zoogloea resiniphila and other activated sludge bacteria. Environ Microbiol 20(5), 1677-1692.  

[41]   Cao, X.Y., Song, C.L.*, Xiao, J. and Zhou Y.Y. 2018. The optimal width and mechanism of riparian buffers for storm water nutrient removal in the Chinese eutrophic Lake Chaohu watershed. Water 1489:1-11.  

[42]   Cao, X.Y., Wan, L.L., Xiao, J., Chen, X.Y., Zhou, Y.Y., Wang, Z.C. and Song, C.L.* 2018.  Environmental effects by introducing Potamogeton crispus to recover a eutrophic Lake. Sci Total Environ 621, 360-367.  

[43]   Song, C.L., Cao, X.Y., Zhou, Y.Y., Azzaro, M., Monticelli, L.S., Leonardi, M., La Ferla, R. and Caruso, G.* 2018. Different pathways of nitrogen and phosphorus regeneration mediated by extracellular enzymes in temperate lakes under various trophic state. Environ Sci Pollut R 25(31), 31603-31615. 

[44]   Song, C.L., S?ndergaard, M., Cao, X.Y. and Zhou, Y.Y.* 2018. Nutrient utilization strategies of algae and bacteria after the termination of nutrient amendment with different phosphorus dosage: A mesocosm case. Geomicrobiol J 35(4), 294-299.  

[45]   Wang, S.Y., Xiao, J., Wan, L.L., Zhou, Z.J., Wang, Z.C., Song, C.L., Zhou, Y.Y. and Cao, X.Y.* 2018. Mutual dependence of nitrogen and phosphorus as key nutrient elements: One facilitates Dolichospermum flos-aquae to overcome the limitations of the other. Environ Sci Technol 52(10), 5653-5661.  

[46]   Xiao, J., Wang, S.Y., Zhou, Z.J., Zhang, Y., Song, C.L.*, Zhou, Y.Y.* and Cao, X.Y.* 2018. An enzymatic mechanism for balancing the stoichiometry of nitrogen and phosphorus in a shallow Chinese eutrophic lake. Sci Total Environ 630, 1071-1077.  

[47]   Zhang, Y., Song, C.L., Ji, L., Liu, Y.Q., Xiao, J., Cao, X.Y.* and Zhou, Y.Y. * 2018. Cause and effect of N/P ratio decline with eutrophication aggravation in shallow lakes. Sci Total Environ 627, 1294-1302.