The researches in Metabolomics Group include several related and collaborated directions:

  1. Metabolic analysis: We perform metabolomics and metabolic flux analysis of energy microbes, especially lignocelluloses-degrading bacteria and oil-producing microalgae, to analyze the metabolism networks. The key nodes in metabolism regulation network and the bottlenecks of the pathway are expected to be revealed, which provides theoretical directions for the further metabolic engineering.

  2. Protein structure and protein engineering: We study the structures and functional mechanisms of key enzymes, protein complexes (such as cellulosome), and regulation factors in energy microorganisms by structure determination and interaction analysis. Based on the structure and functional information, we engineer the key proteins by rational design and directed evolution to provide the materials and solution for metabolic engineering.

  3. Metabolic engineering: We are developing new methods to genetically manipulate non-model energy microorganisms, including new DNA transformation tools, plasmid system constructions, and DNA functional module and element screen and optimization. Using these methods, we will rewired the metabolic networks and their regulation networks to construct new gene-engineered species which have optimized efficiency and/or stress resistance.

  4. Fermentation and process optimization: We design and optimize new CBP strategy, including fermentation condition and production process optimization for the industrial production of specific products of energy microorganisms, and high efficient techniques to separate and refine products. Our goal is to maximize the economical competence of the products through the systematical and differential utilization of raw materials and primary products.

Qingdao Institute of BioEnergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences