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Name: LI Yin
Title: Professor
Dept.: Laboratory of Microbial Molecular Physiology and Metabolic Engineering, CAS Key Laboratory of Microbial Physiological and Metabolic Engineering
Tel: +86-10-64807485
E-mail: yli@im.ac.cn
Add.: NO.1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, P.R.China

Prof. Yin Li received his PhD in Fermentation Engineering at Jiangnan University in China in 2000. He then worked in Wagening Centre for Food Science (the Netherlands) and University College Cork (Ireland) as postdoctoral researchers. In 2006 he was appointed as Professor by the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2013 he was appointed as Visiting Professor by Cornell University.


He is a member of the International Advisory Council of Global Bioeconomy Summit, Chair/Co-chair of Metabolic Engineering Summit, and serving as editor or editorial board member of Microbiology, Microbial Cell Factories, Biotechnology Journal, Industrial Biotechnology, and Food Bioscience. He and his colleagues have published more than 130 papers that have been cited more than 3800 times (current H index 36), and he is inventor of more than 30 patents.




Academic staff:

Prof. ZHANG Yanping, PhD in Biochemical Engineering, Tsinghua University (2006), Member of the Youth Innovation Promotion Association, CAS. E-mail:  zhangyp@im.ac.cn

Associate Prof. ZHOU Jie, PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Peking University (2002). E-mail: jiezhouw@im.ac.cn

Associate Prof. CAI Zhen, PhD in Biochemical Engineering, Tsinghua University (2009). Member of the Youth Innovation Promotion Association, CAS. E-mail: caiz@im.ac.cn

Associate Prof. ZHU Taicheng, PhD in Biochemical Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology (2009). E-mail: zhutc@im.ac.cn

Research interests:

Our group is interested in understanding the physiology of industrial fermentation from the molecular level and improving the performance of industrial microorganisms using synthetic biology and metabolic engineering approach. Presently we are addressing two questions: (1) how to efficiently convert inorganic carbon (e.g. in the form of CO2) into organic carbon; (2) how to efficiently convert organic carbon (e.g. in the form of glucose) into useful chemicals.


Over years, with the financial support from Ministry of Science and Technology of China, National Science Foundation of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and industrial partners (Shell, DSM, Nestlé), we developed Genome Replication Engineering Assisted Continuous Evolution (GREACE) method that allows us rapidly evolve the physiological traits of microbes. We developed the first chromosomally engineered Escherichia coli capable of efficiently producing butanol, and a mixtrophic E. coli capable of assimilating CO2 through the partial Calvin Cycle. Moreover, we developed the most efficient and longevous biophotovoltaics. We also developed a series of engineered cyanobacteria capable of converting CO2 into a variety of chemicals.
Awards & Honors:

Selected Publications and Books:


Gong F, Li Y*. Fixing carbon, unnaturally. Science, 2016, 354(6314): 830-831.


Zhou J, Li Y*. SNPs deciding the rapid growth of cyanobacteria are alterable. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2019, doi:10.1073/pnas.1900210116.


Zhang Y, Li Y*. Engineering the antioxidative properties of lactic acid bacteria for improving its robustness. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol., 2013, 24(2): 142-147.


Zhu L, Zhu Y, Zhang Y, Li Y*. Engineering the robustness of industrial microbes through synthetic biology. Trends Microbiol., 2012, 20(2): 94-101.


Zhang Y, Zhu Y, Zhu Y, Li Y*. The importance of engineering physiological functionality into microbes. Trends Biotechnol., 2009, 27(12): 664-672.


Hu G#, Zhou J#, Chen X, Qian Y, Gao C, Guo L, Xu P, Chen W, Chen J, Li Y, Liu L*. Engineering synergetic CO2-fixing pathways for malate production. Metab. Eng., 2018, 47:496-504.


Zhou J, Zhang F-L, Meng H-K, Zhang Y, Li Y*. Introducing extra NADPH consumption ability significantly increases the photosynthetic efficiency and biomass production of cyanobacteria. Metab. Eng., 2016, 38:217-227.


Zhou J, Zhang H, Zhang Y, Li Y*, Ma Y. Designing and creating a modularized synthetic pathway in cyanobacterium Synechocystis enables production of acetone from carbon dioxide. Metab. Eng., 2012, 14(4): 394-400.


Dong H, Zhao C, Zhang T, Zhu H, Lin Z, Tao W, Zhang Y, Li Y*. A systematically chromosomally engineered Escherichia coli efficiently produces butanol. Metab. Eng., 2017, 44(2): 284-292


Dong H#, Tao W#, Zhang Y, Li Y*. Development of an anhydrotetracycline- inducible gene expression system for solvent-producing Clostridium acetobutylicum: A useful tool for strain engineering. Metab. Eng., 2012, 14(1): 59-67.


Zhu L, Dong H, Zhang Y*, Li Y*. Engineering the robustness of Clostridium acetobutylicum by introducing glutathione biosynthetic capability. Metab. Eng., 2011, 13(4): 426-434.


Zhang Y, Huang Z, Du C, Li Y*, Cao Z*. Introduction of an NADH regeneration system into Klebsiella oxytoca leads to an enhanced oxidative and reductive metabolism of glycerol. Metab. Eng., 2009, 11(2): 101-106


Zhang Y, Li Y, Du C, Liu M, Cao Z*. Inactivation of aldehyde dehydrogenase: a key factor for engineering 1,3-propanediol production by Klebsiella pneumoniae. Metab. Eng., 2006, 8(6): 578-586.


Fu R-Y, Bongers BS, van Swam II, Chen J, Molenaar D, Kleerebezem M, Hugenholtz J, Li Y*. Introducing glutathione biosynthetic capability into Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris NZ9000 improves the oxidative-stress resistance of the host. Metab. Eng., 2006, 8(6): 662-671.


Gong F, Liu G, Zhai X, Zhou J, Cai Z*, Li Y*. Quantitative analysis of an engineered CO2-fixing Escherichia coli reveals great potential of heterotrophic CO2 fixation. Biotechnol. Biofuels, 2015, 8: 86.


Luan G, Cai Z*, Li Y*, Ma Y. Genome replication engineering assisted continuous evolution (GREACE) to improve microbial tolerance for biofuels production. Biotechnol. Biofuels, 2013, 6: 137.


Dai Z, Dong H, Zhu Y, Zhang Y, Li Y*, Ma Y. Introducing a single secondary alcohol dehydrogenase into butanol-tolerant Clostridium acetobutylicum Rh8 switches ABE fermentation to high level IBE fermentation. Biotechnol. Biofuels, 2012, 5: 44.


Zhao C, Lin Z, Dong H*, Zhang Y, Li Y*. Reexamination of the physiological role of PykA in Escherichia coli revealed that it negatively regulates the intracellular ATP levels under anaerobic conditions. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2017, 83(11): e00316-17


Zhu Y#, Li D#, Bao G, Wang S, Mao S, Song J, Li Y, Zhang Y*. Metabolic changes of Klebsiella oxytoca in response to low oxidoreduction potential revealed by comparative proteomic profiling integrated with flux balance analysis. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2014, 80(9): 2833-2841.


Ge S, Zhu T*, Li Y. Expressing bacterial GshF in Pichia pastoris for glutathione production. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2012, 78(15): 5435-5439.


Wang S, Zhang Y, Dong H, Mao S, Zhu Y, Wang R, Luan G, Li Y*. Formic acid triggers the “acid crash” of acetone-butanol-ethanol fermentation of Clostridium acetobutylicum. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2011, 77(5): 1674-1680.


Du C, Zhang Y, Li Y, Cao Z*. A novel redox-potential-based screening strategy for rapid isolation of Klebsiella pneumoniae mutants with enhanced 1,3-propanediol producing capability. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2007, 73(14): 4515-4521


Zhang Y#, Zhang Y#, Zhu Y, Mao S, Li Y*. Proteomic analyses to reveal the protective role of glutathione in stress resistance of Lactococcus lactis. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2010, 76(10): 3177-3186. (cover article)


Zhang J, Du GC, Zhang Y, Liao XY, Wang M, Li Y*, Chen J*. Glutathione protects Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis against freeze-thawing, freeze-drying, and cold treatment. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2010, 76(9): 2989-2996.


Zhang J, Fu R-Y, Hugenholtz J, Li Y*, Chen J*. Glutathione protects Lactococcus lactis against acid stress. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2007, 73(16): 5268-5275.


Fu R-Y, Chen J, Li Y*. Heterologous production of transglutaminase in Lactococcus lactis significantly enhances the growth performance of the host. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2005, 71(12): 8911-8919.


Li Y, Hugenholtz J, Abee J, Molenaar D*. Glutathione protects Lactococcus lactis against oxidative stress. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2003, 69(10): 5739-5745.


Li Y, Canchaya C, Fang F, Raftis E, Ryan KA, van Pijkeren J-P, van Sinderen D, O’Toole PW*. Distribution of megaplasmids in Lactobacillus salivarius and other lactobacilli. J. Bacteriol., 2007, 189(17): 6128-6139.


Corr SC, Li Y, Riedel CU, O’Toole PW, Hill C*, Gahan CGM. Bacteriocin production as a mechanism for the anti-infective activity of Lactobacillus salivarius UCC118. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2007, 104(18): 7617-7621. (cover article)


Claesson MJ#, Li Y#, Leahy S, Canchaya C, van Pijkeren JP, Cerde?o-Tárragad AM, Parkhill J, Flynn S, Collins JK, Higgins D, Shanahan F, Fitzgerald GF, van Sinderen D, O'Toole PW*. Multi-replicon genome architecture of Lactobacillus salivarius. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2006, 103(17): 6718-6723. (cover article)

Institute Of Microbiology Chinese Academy of Sciences
NO.1 West Beichen Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China Phone: 0086-10-64807462 Fax: 0086-10-64807468 Email: office@im.ac.cn