Xin Wang

Assistant Professor of Microbiology

Office: 50 Pearson Hall
Phone: (513) 529-5427


Ph.D., University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2013

Research Interests

Synthetic and Systems Biology

The lab applies metabolic engineering principle to create bugs to suit various applications in medicine, energy production, and environment protection. We further look into problems associate with gut microbiome. The main theme is to investigate cell metabolism in both pure culture, and the microbial community when microbes interact with each other.

Currently, we are working on direct CO2 fixation to terpenes in cyanobacteria. Terpenes are the largest family of secondary metabolites produced by plants, and have diverse industrial applications. They are generated from two C5 precursor molecules, IPP and DMAPP. In cyanobacteria, IPP/DMAPP are derived from the MEP pathway, which condenses two C3 molecules, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (G3P) and pyruvate. As a secondary metabolic pathway, the carbon flux into the MEP pathway is low and highly regulated. Many metabolic regulation to the MEP pathway is still unknown, and posts as a major challenge for the study of the MEP pathway, and metabolic engineering efforts. Our research expands from an engineered cyanobacteria that can produce a monoterpene, limonene, in high yield. By applying various omics (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and fluxomics) tools, we intend to better understand the carbon flux distribution between terpene pathway and the central metabolism. The goal is to rewire central metabolism to both sustain cell growth and fulfill engineering purposes.

Selected publications

  • Wang Z*, Kurra Y*, Wang X*, Zeng Y, Lee YJ, Sharma V, Lin H, Dai SY, and Liu WR. 2017. A versatile approach to site-specifically install lysine acylations in proteins. Angew. Chem. 129: 1665.
  • Wang X, Liu W, Xin C, Zheng Y, Cheng Y, Sun S, Li R, Zhu XG, Dai SY, Rentzepis PM, and Yuan JS. 2016. Enhanced limonene production in cyanobacteria reveals photosynthesis limitations. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 113(50): 14225.
  • Li R, Chen J, Cesario TC, Wang X, Yuan JS & Rentzepis PM. (2016) Synergistic reaction of silver nitrate, silver nanoparticles, and methylene blue against bacteria. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 113(48):13612.
  • Wang X, Ort DR, and Yuan JS. 2015. Photosynthetic terpene hydrocarbon production for fuels and chemicals. Plant Biotechnol. J. 13(2): 137.
  • Wang X, Singh P, Gao Z, Zhang X, Johnson ZI & Wang G. 2014. Distribution and diversity of planktonic fungi in the west Pacific warm pool. PLoS ONE 9(7): e101523.
  • Wang X, Liu X, Kono S, and Wang G. (2013) The ecological perspective of microbial communities in two pairs of competitive Hawaiian native and invasive macroalgae. Microbial Ecology 65: 361.
  • Wang X, Liu X & Wang G. (2011) Two-stage hydrolysis of invasive algal feedstock for ethanol fermentation. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53: 246.
  • Ruan L, Bian X, Wang X, Yan X, Li F, and Xu X. 2008. Molecular characteristics of the tubeworm, Ridgeia piscesae, from the deep-sea hydrothermal vent. Extremophiles 12: 735.