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  Location: Home >> TIB PI

 ZHANG Dawei,Ph.D

 Investigator, TIB, Tianjin, China

 Tel: 022-24828749

 Fax: 022-24828749

 E-mail: zhang_dw(AT)




2004-2007  Beijing University of Chemical Technology. Ph.D. 

2007-2008  University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Postdoc.

2008-2012  California Institute of Technology. Postdoc.

Professional Experience

2012- present  Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, CAS. Professor

Research Interest

Gram-positive Bacillus species have become most popular due to their fast growth rate, excellent large scale fermentation properties, high product yields and the complete lack of toxic by-products. In industrial biotechnology, they are among the bacterial champions in secreted enzyme production, and widely used for the production of vitamins and other valuable metabolic products.

We integrate genetic engineering, synthetic biology and systematic biology tools to (1) optimize the protein secretion pathway in Bacillus species for industrial enzyme production; (2) construct Bacillus species cell factory to produce vitamin and other valuable natural products.

Selected Publications

1.      Wu JLiu YZhao SSun JJin Z*, Zhang D*. Application of the Dynamic Regulation to Increase L-Phenylalanine Production in Escherichia coli. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2019 May 27. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1901.01058  

2.      Jiadi Li#, Xinli Li#, Yuanming Gai, Yumei Sun*, Dawei Zhang*. Evolution of E. coli Phytase for Increased Thermostability Guided by Rational Parameters. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2019 DOI:10.4014/jmb.1811.11017

3.      Bai D, Ding D, Li J, Cong L*Zhang D*. Pinpointing the L-phenylalanine binding sites of TyrR using biosensors and computer-aided simulation. Biotechnol Lett. 2019 Jan 24.  

4.      Fu GLiu JLi JZhu BWZhang D*. Systematic screening of optimal signal peptides for secretory production of heterologous proteins in Bacillus subtilis. J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Nov 22. 

5.      Dandan Li#, Gang Fu#, Ran Tu, Zhaoxia Jin* and Dawei Zhang*. High-efficiency expression and secretion of human FGF21 in Bacillus subtilis by intercalation of a mini-cistron cassette and combinatorial optimization of cell regulatory components. Microb Cell Fact (2019) 18:17

6.      Huan Fang, Dong Li, Jie Kang, Pingtao Jiang, Jibin Sun, Dawei Zhang*. Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for de novo biosynthesis of vitamin B12. Nature Communications. (2018) volume 9, Article number: 4917 (Breakthrough)

7.      Cai Y , Xia M, Dong H, Qian Y, Zhang T, Zhu B, Wu J, Zhang D*. Engineering a vitamin B12 high-throughput screening system by riboswitch sensor in Sinorhizobium meliloti. BMC Biotechnol. 2018 May 11;18(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s12896-018-0441-2.

8.      Yuanming Gai, Jingqi Chen, Shibin Zhang, Beiwei Zhu and Dawei Zhang*. Property Improvement of α-Amylase from Bacillus stearothermophilus by Deletion of Amino Acid Residues Arginine 179 and Glycine 180. Food Technology & Biotechnology. 2018. January 22, doi: 10.17113/ftb.   

9.      Yuanye Chen, Yongfei Liu, Dongqin Ding, Lina Cong*, Dawei Zhang*. Rational design and analysis of an Escherichia coli strain for highefficiency tryptophan production. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology. 2018. February 4 /s10295 -018-2020-x. 

10.   Liu Y?, Xu Y?, Ding D, Wen J, Zhu B, Zhang D*. Genetic engineering of Escherichia coli to improve L-phenylalanine production. BMC Biotechnol. 2018 Jan 30;18(1):5. doi: 10.1186/ s12896-018-0418-1. 

11.   Yiran Xu?, Yongfei Liu,?, Feiran Li, Guoqiang Cao, Ping Zheng, Jibin Sun, Jianping Wen and Dawei Zhang*. Identification of a new gene yecC involved in threonine export in Escherichia coli. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 2017 Sep 15;364(17). doi: 10.1093/femsle/fnx174

12.   Jie Yue, Gang Fu, Dawei Zhang*, Jianping Wen. A new maltose-inducible high-performance heterologous expression system in Bacillus Subtilis. Biotechnol Lett. 2017 Aug;39(8): 1237-1244. doi: 10.1007/s10529-017-2357-7.     

13.   Song, Yafeng; Fu, Gang; Dong, Huina; Li, Jianjun*; Du, Yuguang ; Zhang, Dawei*. High-efficiency secretion of β-mannanase in Bacillus subtilis through protein synthesis and secretion optimization. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2017 Mar 29;65(12): 2540-2548, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b05528.

14.   Liu, Yongfei; Zhuang, Yinyin; Ding, Dongqin; Xu, Yiran; Sun, Jibin; Zhang, Dawei*. Biosensor-based evolution and elucidation of a biosynthetic pathway in Escherichia coli. ACS Synthetic Biology. 2017 May 19;6(5):837-848. doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.6b00328.

15.   Jingqi Chen; Zhaoxia Jin; Yuanming Gai; Jibin Sun; Dawei Zhang*. A food-grade expression system for D-psicose 3-epimerase production in Bacillus subtilis using an alanine racemase- encoding selection marker. Bioresources and Bioprocessing. 2017;4(1):9. DOI: 10.1186/s40643-017-0139-7.  

16.   Zhao L#, Chen J#, Sun J, Zhang D*, Multimer recognition and secretion by the non-classical secretion pathway in Bacillus subtilis. Scientific Reports. 2017 Mar 9; 7:44023. doi: 10.1038/srep44023.

17.   Huan Fang; Jie Kang; Dawei Zhang*. Microbial production of vitamin B12: A review and future perspectives. Microbial Cell Factories. 2017 Jan 30;16(1):15. doi: 10.1186/ s12934- 017-0631-y. (Highly accessed)

18.   Ding DLiu YXu YZheng PLi HZhang D*, Sun J. Improving the Production of L-Phenylalanine by Identifying Key Enzymes Through Multi-Enzyme Reaction System in Vitro. Scientific Reports. 2016 Aug 25;6:32208. doi: 10.1038/srep32208

19.   Chen JZhu YFu GSong YJin Z, Sun Y*, Zhang D*. High-level intra- and extra-cellular production of D-psicose 3-epimerase via a modified xylose-inducible expression system in Bacillus subtilis. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016 Nov;43(11):1577-1591

20.   Song Y?, Nikoloff JM?, Fu G, Chen J, Li Q, Xie N, Zheng P, Sun J, Zhang D*. Promoter Screening from Bacillus subtilis in Various Conditions Hunting for Synthetic Biology and Industrial Applications. PLoS One. 2016 Jul 5;11(7):e0158447. doi: 10.1371/journal. pone.0158447

21.   Jingqi Chen#, Liuqun Zhao#, Gang Fu, Wenjuan Zhou, Yuanxia Sun, Ping Zheng, Jibin Sun and Dawei Zhang*. A novel strategy for protein production using non-classical secretion pathway in Bacillus subtilis. Microbial Cell Factories. 2016 Apr 28;15:69. DOI: 10.1186/s12934-016 -0469-8.

22.   Huina Dong, Sha Li, Huan Fang, Miaomiao Xia, Ping Zheng*, Dawei Zhang*, Jibin Sun. A Newly Isolated and Identified Vitamin B12 Producing Strain—Sinorhizobium meliloti 320. Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering. 2016 Oct;39(10):1527-37. DOI10.1007/s00449-016-1628-3.

23.   Huan Fang, Huina Dong, Tao Cai, Ping Zheng, Haixing Li, Dawei Zhang* and Jibin Sun. In vitro optimization of enzymes involved in precorrin-2 synthesis using response surface methodology. PloS One. 2016 DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0151149.

24.   Jingqi Chen, Gang Fu, Yuanming Gai, Ping Zheng, Dawei Zhang* and Jianping Wen. Combinatorial Sec pathway analysis for improved heterologous protein secretion in Bacillus subtilis: identification of bottlenecks by systematic gene overexpression. Microbial Cell Factories. 2015, 14:92. (Highly accessed)

25.   Ya’nan Liu, Qinggang Li, Ping Zheng*, Zhidan Zhang, Yongfei Liu, Cunmin Sun, Guoqiang Cao, Wenjuan Zhou, Xiaowei Wang, Dawei Zhang, Tongcun Zhang, Jibin Sun* and Yanhe Ma. Developing a high-throughput screening method for threonine overproduction based on an artificial promoter Microbial Cell Factories. 2015, (2015) 14:121

26.   Yanfei Zhang, Qinglong Meng, Hongwu Ma*, Yongfei Liu, Guoqiang Cao, Xiaoran Zhang, Ping_Zheng, Jibin Sun, Dawei Zhang, Wenxia Jiang, Yanhe Ma. Determination of key enzymes for threonine synthesis through in vitro metabolic pathway analysis, Microbial Cell Factories. 2015. 14:92 .

27.   Jingqi ChenYuanming GaiGang FuWenjuan ZhouDawei Zhang*, Jianping Wen. Enhanced extracellular production of α-amylase in Bacillus subtilis by optimization of regulatory elements and over-expression of PrsA lipoprotein. Biotechnol Lett. 2015 Apr;37(4):899-906. doi: 10.1007/s10529-014-1755-3

28.   Yafeng Song, Jonas M. Nikoloff, Dawei Zhang*. Improving Protein Production on the Level of Regulation both of Expression and Secretion Pathways in Bacillus subtilis. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2015. 25(7): 963~977. 

29.   Huina Dong, Yongfei Liu, Xin Zu, Ning Li, Feiran Li, Dawei Zhang*.An enzymatic assay for high-throughput screening of cytidine-producing microbial strains. PLOS One.  2015 Mar 27;10(3):e0121612. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121612  

30.   Huina Dong, Xin Zu, Ping Zheng, Dawei Zhang*. A rapid enzymatic assay for high-throughput screening of adenosine-producing strains. Microbial Biotechnology. 2015 Mar;8(2):230-8. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.12189. 

31.   Yongfei Liu, Feiran LiXiaoran ZhangGuoqiang CaoWenxia JiangYuxiu SunPing ZhengDawei Zhang*. A fast and sensitive coupled enzyme assay for the measurement of L-threonine and application to high-throughput screening of threonine-overproducing strains. Enzyme and Microbial Technology. 2014 Dec;67:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.enzmictec.2014.08.008.

32.   Haifeng Zhang#, Gang Fu#, Dawei Zhang*. Cloning, characterization and production of a novel lysozyme by different expression hosts. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol.2014; 24(10): 1405~1412.

33.   Huina Dong, and Dawei Zhang*. Current development in genetic engineering strategies of Bacillus species, Microb Cell Fact, 2014, 13: 63. (Highly accessed)




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