Xin Wang

Xin Wang

Assistant Professor of Micro­biology

52 Pearson Hall
(513) 529-5427


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

Research Interests:

Microbial carbon metabolism:

Terpenes are the largest family of secondary metabolites produced by plants, and have diverse industrial applications. Terpene molecules 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 primary carbon metabolism. By identifying key regulation points, the carbon metabolism could be rewired to both sustain cell growth and fulfill engineering purposes.

Synthetic and Systems Biology:

Another direction in my lab is to apply genetic engineering principle to create bugs to suit various applications in medicine, energy production, and environment protection. We are building better system so that engineered gut microbes can perform drug delivery and inflammation detection functions. In addition, we are also looking into various microbes as biosensors for environmental protection 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.