The research paper “Diversity Analysis of Bacterial Alkane Hydroxylase Based on Genome Data Mining” submitted by Yong Nie was awarded “Jian Hao-Ran Environmental Microbiology Fund” Excellent Paper, the highest honor conferred by the Society of Environmental Microbiology, in the 15th National Environmental Microbiology Symposium recently held in Dalian.
Nie is a research fellow in Microbial Ecology and Biotechnology Laboratory, directed by Professor Xiaolei Wu in the Department of Energy and Resources Engineering. Nie’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of microbial degradation of crude oil. In his recent work, he studied the diversity of alkane hydroxylases, based on a genome mining method. Alkane hydroxylases are the key enzymes in the alkane degrading pathways. Although several families of alkane hydroxylases have identified in many oil degrading bacteria, the origin and evolution style are still unclear. The distribution of alkane hydroxylase genes in microbes also needs to be clarified, which may indicate the putative oil degrading bacteria, which is important for biostimulation or bioaugmentation in bioremediation and MEOR applications. Nie’s work shows an overview distribution of alkane hydroxylase gene in microbes and the evolution of alkane hydroxylase genes. Putative lateral gene transferring events are also analyzed to explain the microbial behaviors in the environments. The paper is a summary of his recent work.
The 15th National Environmental Microbiology Symposium sponsored by the Environmental Microbiology Committee of the China Society for Microbiology, having participants of over 400, received 209 conference papers and abstracts this year. It was an annual meeting representing the highest academic level of Environmental Microbiology discipline in China.
Besides Nie, six team members of Wu’s group attended the conference, highlighting the recent progress of the College of Engineering in the field of oil microbiology. Wu delivered a plenary lecture on “Basic Research of Characterization and Regulation of Petroleum Microbial Community Structure”. Dr. Guoli Lai and student Jieyu Zhao made presentations about "Evolution of Functional Genes in Domesticated Petroleum Endogenous Microbial Communities “and "The Isolation and Identification of Oilfield Environmental Microbes”, respectively.
The Jian Hao-Ran Fund aims to advance the cultivation of young professionals in the field of Environmental Microbiology in China, and to promote academic exchanges and development of the discipline. It is named after famous Microbiologist, Founder of the Environmental Microbiology discipline in China, Professor Jian Hao-Ran for commemoration.