Molecular Biology of Haloarchaea and Genome Editing

Principal Investigator:
Dr. Prof. Hua Xiang

Director of SKLMR;
Deputy Director-General of IMCAS


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Research Area:
Archaea Genetics, CRISPR-Cas system, Genome Editing, Bioplastic Production, Environmental Microbiome.

Research Interests:

Haloarchaea are a distinct evolutionary branch of the Archaea (the third domain of life on Earth). They require high salt concentrations for optimal growth, and thrive in salt lakes, sea salterns and many other hypersaline environments. The research in our laboratory has focused on genetics and metabolism of haloarchaea for more than 15 years. Currently, the researches in our laboratory include but not limited to the halophilic archaea, we are particularly interested in:

  • Environmental microbiome of soda lakes for novel microbial resources;
  • Genome replication and gene regulation of halophilic archaea for understanding the life in the third domain;
  • Bioplastic production by haloarchaea and its optimization for high-value utilization;
  • CRISPR-Cas system and other microbial anti-virus systems for innovation of genome editing tools.

For the two haloarchaeal model strains, Haloarcula hispanica and Haloferax mediterranei, we have already determined their complete genome sequences (JB 2011, JB 2012), and have also established efficient genetic manipulation systems (JGG 2011). Especially for H. hispanica, a much more efficient genome editing pipeline based on its native CRISPR was recently developed (JGG 2017).

In the research of haloarchaeal metabolism, we have identified and characterized for the first time the key enzymes and pathways involved in biosynthesis of the bioplastic PHA in halophilic archaea, including characterization of the haloarchaeal PHA synthases (AEM 2007, JB 2008a, AEM 2010), PHA-specific β-Ketothiolases (AEM 2013a) and acetoacetyl-CoA reductases (AEM 2009), and the PHA granule-associated proteins (AEM 2012, AEM 2015) that are involved in regulation of PHA granule formation in haloarchaea. Multiple propionyl-CoA supplying pathways for poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid-co-3-hydroxyvaleric acid) (PHBV) production (AEM 2013b) and the relationship between PHBV biosynthesis and central metabolism (JPR 2013, AMB 2013) have also been demonstrated. Recently, PHBV mobilization (AEM 2015a, Sci Rep 2016) and its linkage to haloarchaeal-specific acetyl-CoA and propionyl-CoA assimilation (ISME J 2016, AEM 2015b) were also illuminated. In addition, we showed that tailor-made haloarchaea-produced PHBV exhibited unique material properties and had extremely low endotoxin concentration (Biomacromolecules 2015). These bioplastic polymers possessed superior biocompatibility (Biomaterials 2017) and accelerated wound healing process when decorated with antimicrobial peptides (Biomaterials 2018). These progresses may provide novel insights for future economical production of industry-scale bioplastic PHAs or tailor-made PHAs by haloarchaea.

For genetics research of haloarchaea, we have characterized the multiple replication origins of the haloarchaeal replicons and their potential control mechanisms (NAR 2014a, BMC Genomics 2012, FM 2014, GBE 2014). We have reported for the first time the activation of a dormant origin in haloarchaeal chromosome (NC 2015), and have also identified the conserved double-strand origins (DSO) for haloarchaeal RCR plasmids (JB 2008b). We have also reported a new paradigm for archaeal gene regulation directed by general transcription factors (NAR 2008), and investigated the transcriptional as well as post-transcriptional mechanisms involved in the PTS regulation in haloarchaea (AEM 2014).

Using haloarchaeal CRISPR systems, a series of critical general issues about the mysterious adaptation pathway were successively addressed, including the importance role of the priming mechanism (NAR 2014b), the self vs. non-self discrimination strategy (NAR 2014c), the DNA motifs that determine accurate repeat duplication (NAR 2016), and the sequence factors deciding the spacer size (NAR 2017). A CRISPR–independent Cas6-cleavage-mediated provirus inhibition (JB 2013) was also revealed. Furthermore, we developed the first highly efficient CRISPR-based genome editing pipeline for the polyploid haloarchaeal species (JGG 2017). In summary, these studies will not only provide novel insights into the CRISPR-virus interactions and the haloarchaeal genome stability, but also promote the development of new genetic tools.

Currently, although our researches are still focused on the molecular biology of haloarchaea and related microbial resources, some of our projects have started to shift from single strain to microbiome, from CRISPR mechanism to genome editing system innovation, from bioplastic synthesis to biodegradation of synthetic plastics, etc. which was expected to promote the transformation from basic research to biotechnological application.

These projects were funded by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Science & Technology of China, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Group Members:

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Hua Xiang

Prof. of Molecular Microbiology,
Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.1 West Beichen Road, Chaoyang District,
Beijing 100101, P. R. China

Tel/ Fax: 86-10-64807472

Major and Specialty
Molecular Microbiology; Genetics, Physiology and Biotechnology of Archaea

Professor and Director of State Key Laboratory of Microbial Resources (SKLMR), Director-General of Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS)

B.S. 1991  Biology, Beijing Normal University
M.S. 1994  Genetics, Beijing Normal University
Ph.D 1997  Biochemistry & Molecular biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College (CAMS&PUMC)

Postdoctoral Fellow Training
1997-1999  Dr. H. Tan’s Lab., Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China;
1999-2001  Dr. David WC Li’s Lab., University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), New Jersy, U.S. A.

Professional Appointments
2001-2003       Principal Investigator and Associate Professor, IMCAS
2009 Awardee of the National Distinguished Young Scholar Program, China.
2003.12-present Principal Investigator, Professor and Ph.D Advisor, IMCAS

Editorial Board
Journal of Genetics and Genomics (2014- ongoing, Associate editor)
Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2013- ongoing, Board member)
Frontiers in Microbial Physiology and Metabolism (2012- ongoing, Review editor)
Acta Microbiologica Sinica (2007- ongoing, Board member)
Aquatic Biosystems (2012-2015, Section Editor)
Saline Systems (2007-2011, Board Member)

Permanent Staffs



Jian Zhou
Senior Technician

Research interest: Fermentation

Jing Han
Ph.D Associate Professor

Research interest: Metabolism

Ming Li 
Ph.D Associate Professor

Research Interest: Genetics

Dahe Zhao 
Ph.D Assistant Professor

Research Interest:Biotechnology 


Postdoctoral Fellows

Sumit Kumar, 2016- 2018 (Supported by CAS President's International Fellowship Initiative for postdoctoral fellows)
Shaoxing Chen, 2014-2016
Shiqiong Chen, 2004-2006

Graduate Students
Zhenqiang Zuo (Ph. D student)
Junyu Chen (Ph. D student)
Luyao Gong (Ph. D student)
Qiong Xue (Ph.D student)
Feiyue Cheng (Ph. D student)
Shengjie Zhang (Ph. D student)
Kaixin Du (Ph. D student)
Ruchira Mitra (Ph. D student)
Lin Lin (M. Sc student)
Jing Guo (M. Sc student)
Manqi Zhang (M. Sc student)

Zhuowen Li (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Former Graduate Students
Feiyue Cheng (2018 M. Sc)
Haibo Yang (2017 Ph. Sc)
Xiongjian Jiang (2017 M. Sc)
Rui Wang (2016 Ph. D)
Xiaobin Liu (2016 M. Sc)
Guiming Liu (2016 Ph. D)
Jing Hou (2015 Ph. D)
Shuangfeng Cai (2015 Ph.D)
Ming Li (2014 Ph.D)
Zhenfang Wu (2014 Ph. D)
Lei Cai (2014 Ph. D)
Jinhua Wu (2014 M.Sc)
Xiaoqing Liu (2013 Ph.D)
Hailong Liu (2012, Ph.D)
Dahe Zhao (2012, M.Sc, 2017 Ph. Sc)
Jie Li (2010, Ph.D)
Bo Feng (2010, M.Sc. )
Jingfang Liu (2009, Ph.D)
Di Miao (2009, M.Sc.)
Qiuhe Lu (2009, Ph.D)
Ligang Zhou (2008, Ph.D)
Shuangshuang Mei (2008, Ph.D)
Jing Han (2008, Ph.D)
Huadong Pei (2007, Ph.D)
Chaomin Sun (2006, Ph.D)
Meixian Zhou (2005, Ph.D)
Yun Li (2004, Ph.D)
Yuanyuan Ren (2004, M.Sc.)
Jian Zhang (2003, M.Sc.)

Former Staff
Zhihong Xie(2005)
Fan Zhang (2009-2011)
Lei Wang(2012-2015)
Jingfang Liu(2001-2018)

Postdoctoral Position:
Positions for Postdoctoral scholars and Ph.D students are available. For application, please contact Prof. Dr. Hua Xiang at

Representative Pictures

Three steps and the delicate molecular specificities during primed CRISPR adaptation.
(Nucleic Acids Res. 2014, 42(4): 2483-92; Nucleic Acids Res. 2014, 42(11): 7226-35;
Nucleic Acids Res. 2016, 44(9): 4266–77; Nucleic Acids Res. 2017, 45(8): 4642-54)

Activation of dormant replication origins in haloarchaea.
(Nature Communications, 2015, 6:8321)

Biosynthesis of tailor-made PHBHV by Haloarchaea and its superior biocompatibility.
(Biomaterials, 2017,139:172-186)

Identification of the four pathways for propionyl-CoA synthesis in H. mediterranei.
(Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2013, 79(9): 2922-31)

Regulation of the PHBV accumulation and granule formation by PhaR and PhaP in H. mediterranei
( Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2012, 78(6):1946-1952;
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2015, 81(1):373-85)

Recent Publications


Guo Z, Li P, Chen G, Li C, Cao Z, Zhang Y, Ren J, Xiang H, Lin S, Ju J, Chen Y.2019. Design and biosynthesis of dimeric alboflavusins with biaryl linkages via regiospecific C-C bond coupling. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 140(51):18009-18015.


Zuo Z, Xue Q, Zhou J, Zhao D, Han J* and Xiang H*. 2018. Engineering Haloferax mediterranei as an efficient platform for high level production of lycopene. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9:2893.
Xue Q, Liu X, Lao YH, Wu L, Wang D, Zuo Z, Chen J, Hou J, Bei Y, Wu X, Leong WK, Xiang H, Han J*. 2018. Anti-infective biomaterials with surface-decorated tachyplesin I.  Biomaterials, 178: 351-362.
You L, Ma J, Wang J, Artamonova D, Wang M, Liu L, Xiang H, Severinov K, Zhang X*, Wang Y*. 2018. Structure studies of the CRISPR-Csm complex reveal mechanism of co-transcriptional interference. Cell, 176: 239-253.e16


Cheng F, Gong L, Zhao D, Yang H, Zhou J, Li M*, Xiang H*. 2017. Harnessing the native type I-B CRISPR-Cas for genome editing in a polyploid archaeon. J Genet Genomics. 44(11):541-548.
Zhao D, Yang H, Chen J, Cheng F, Kumar S, Han J, Li M, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2017. Development of the first gene expression system for Salinicoccus strains with potential application in bioremediation of hypersaline wastewaters. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 101(19):7249-7258.
Zhao D, Kumar S, Zhou J, Wang R, Li M, Xiang H*. 2017. Isolation and complete genome sequence of Halorientalis hydrocarbonoclasticus sp. nov., a hydrocarbon-degrading haloarchaeon. Extremophiles. 21(6):1081-1090.
Liu J, Wang Q, Jiang X, Yang H, Zhao D, Han J, Luo Y, Xiang H*. 2017. Systematic analysis of Lysine acetylation in the halophilic archaeon Haloferax mediterraneiJ Proteome Res. 16(9):3229-3241.
Han J, Wu L, Liu X, Hou J, Zhao L, Chen J, Zhao D, Xiang H*. 2017. Biodegradation and biocompatibility of haloarchaea-produced poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3 -hydroxyvalerate) copolymers. Biomaterials. 139, 172-186.
Li M, Gong L., Zhao D, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2017. The spacer size of I-B CRISPR is modulated by the terminal sequence of the protospacer. Nucleic Acids Research. 45, 4642-4654.
Borjian F, Han J, Hou J, Xiang H, Zarzycki J, Berg IA. 2017. Malate synthase and beta-methylmalyl coenzyme a lyase reactions in the methylaspartate cycle in Haloarcula hispanicaJ Bacteriol. 199, pii: e00657-16. doi: 10.1128/JB.00657-16.


Wang R, Li M, Gong L, Hu S, Xiang H*. 2016. DNA motifs determining the accuracy of repeat duplication during CRISPR adaptation in Haloarcula hispanica. Nucleic Acids Research, 44(9):4266-77
Liu G, Cai S, Hou J, Zhao D, Han J, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2016. Enoyl-CoA hydratase mediates polyhydroxyalkanoate mobilization in Haloferax mediterranei. Scientific Reports. 6, 24015 
Borjian F, Han J, Hou J, Xiang H, Berg IA. 2016. The methylaspartate cycle in haloarchaea and its possible role in carbon metabolism. ISME Journal, 10(3):546-57 
Liu X, Wu L, Hou J, Chen J, Han J*, Xiang H*. 2016. Environmental biodegradation of haloarchaea-produced poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) in activated sludge. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology ,100(15):6893-6902
Chen S, Liu HC, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2016. Haloparvum sedimenti gen. nov., sp. nov., a new member of the family Haloferacaceae. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 66(6):2327-34.
Chen S, Liu HC, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2016. Halorubrum pallidum sp. nov., a novel extremely halophilic archaeon isolated from a subterranean rock salt. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 66(8):2980-6 Chen S, Wang C, Xiang H. 2016. Sequence analysis and minimal replicon determination of a new haloarchaeal plasmid pHF2 isolated from Haloferax sp. strain Q22. Plasmid. 83:1-7.
Xiang H*. 2016. PHBHV Biosynthesis by Haloferax mediterranei: from Genetics, Metabolism, and Engineering to Economical Production. Recent Advances in Biotechnology (Martin Koller Ed. Bentham Science Publishers)2016, 348-379 


Yang H, Wu Z, Liu J, Liu X, Wang L, Cai S, Xiang H*, 2015, Activation of a dormant replication origin is essential for Haloferax mediterranei lacking the primary origins. Nature Communications, 6:8321.
Liu G, Hou J, Cai S, Zhao D, Cai L, Han J, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2015. A patatin-like protein associated with the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) granules of Haloferax mediterranei acts as an efficient depolymerase in degradation of native PHA. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81(9):3029-38.
Han J, Wu LP, Hou J, Zhao D, Xiang H*. 2015. Biosynthesis, characterization and hemostasis potential of tailor-made poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3- hydroxyvalerate) produced by Haloferax mediterranei. Biomacromolecules, 16: 578-588.
Hou J, Xiang H*, Han J*. 2015. Propionyl-CoA Carboxylase in Haloferax mediterranei: Indispensability for Propionyl-CoA Assimilation and Impacts on Global Metabolism. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81(2):794-804
Cai S, Cai L, Zhao D, Liu G, Han J, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2015. A novel DNA-binding protein, PhaR, plays a central role in the regulation of polyhydroxyalkanoate accumulation and granule formation in the haloarchaeon Haloferax mediterranei. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81(1):373-385
Chen S, Liu HC, Zhao D, Yang J, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2015. Halorubrum yunnanense sp. nov., isolated from a subterranean salt mine. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 65(12):4526-32.
Lu H, Lü Y, Ren J, Wang Z, Wang Q, Luo Y, Han J, Xiang H, Du Y, Jin C. 2015. Identification of the S-layer glycoproteins and their covalently linked glycans in the halophilic archaeon Haloarcula hispanica. Glycobiology. 2015 25(11):1150-62.


Wu Z, Yang H, Liu J, Wang L, Xiang H*. 2014. Association between the Dynamics of Multiple Replication Origins and the Evolution of Multireplicon Genome Architecture in Haloarchaea. Genome Biology and Evolution, 26(10):2799-810.
Li M, Wang R, Xiang H*. 2014. Haloarcula hispanica CRISPR authenticates PAM of a target sequence to prime discriminative adaptation. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(11):7226-35
Cai L, Cai S, Zhao D, Wu J, Wang L, Liu X, Li M, Hou J, Zhou J, Liu J, Han J, Xiang H*. 2014. Analysis of the transcriptional regulator GlpR, promoter elements, and posttranscriptional processing involved in fructose-induced activation of the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent sugar phosphotransferase system in Haloferax mediterranei. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 80(4):1430-40. 
Wu Z, Liu J, Yang H, Liu H, Xiang H*.2014. Multiple replication origins with diverse control mechanisms in Haloarcula hispanica. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(4): 2282-2294.
Li M, Wang R, Zhao D, Xiang H*. 2014. Adaptation of the Haloarcula hispanica CRISPR-Cas system to a purified virus strictly requires a priming process. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(4): 2483-2492.
Wu Z, Liu J, Yang H, Xiang H*.2014. DNA replication origins in archaea. Frontiers in Microbiology, 5:179.
Hou J, Han J, Cai L, Zhou J, LüY, Jin C, Liu J, Xiang H*. 2014. Characterization of genes for chitin catabolism in Haloferax mediterranei. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 98(3): 1185-1194


Hou J, Feng B, Han J, Liu H, Zhao D, Zhou J, Xiang  H*. 2013. Haloarchaeal Type β-Ketothiolases Involved in Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate)  Synthesis in Haloferax mediterranei Applied and  Environmental Microbiology, 79(17):5104-11. 
Han J, Hou J, Zhang F, Ai G, Li M, Cai S, Liu H, Wang L, Wang Z, Zhang S, Cai L, Zhao D, Zhou J, Xiang H*.2013.Multiple Propionyl-CoA Supplying  Pathways for Production of Bioplastic Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) in Haloferax mediterranei. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 79(9): 2922-31.   
Liu X, Wang L, Liu J, Cai L, Xiang H*. 2013. Genome-wide  analysis of gene expression in stationary phase and genetic characterization of  stationary-phase-dependent halocin gene expression in the haloarchaeon Haloferax mediterranei. Journal of Genetics and Genomics, 40: 441-444. 
Liu H, Luo Y, Han J, Wu J, Wu Z, Feng D, Cai S,  Li M, Liu J, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2013. Proteome reference map of Haloarcula hispanica and comparative proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of polyhydroxyalkanoate biosynthesis under genetic and environmental perturbations. Journal of Proteome Research, 12(3):1300-15. 
Li M, Liu H, Han J, Liu J, Wang R, Zhao D, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2013.  Characterization of CRISPR RNA biogenesis and Cas6-cleavage mediated inhibition of a provirus in the haloarchaeon Haloferax  mediterranei. Journal of Bacteriology, 195(4):867-75.
Liu X, Miao D, Zhang F, Wu Z, Liu J, Xiang H*. 2013. Characterization of the minimal replicon of pHM300 and independent copy number control of major and minor chromosomes of Haloferax mediterranei. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 339(1):66-74. 
Zhao D, Cai L, Wu J, Li  M, Liu H, Han J, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2013. Improving polyhydroxyalkanoate production by knocking out the genes involved in exopolysaccharide biosynthesis in Haloferax mediterranei. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 97(7):3027-36. 



Wu Z, Liu H, Liu J, Liu X, Xiang H*. 2012. Diversity and evolution of multiple orc/cdc6-adjacent replication origins in haloarchaea, BMC Genomics.13: 478.
Liu J, Li J, Wu Z, Pei H, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2012. Identification and Characterization of the Cognate Anti-Sigma Factor and Specific Promoter Elements of a T. tengcongensis ECF Sigma Factor. PLoS ONE 7(7): e40885. 
Han J, Zhang F, Hou J, Liu X, Li M, Liu H, Cai L, Zhang B, Chen Y, Zhou J, Hu S, Xiang H*. 2012. Complete genome sequence of the metabolically versatile halophilic archaeon Haloferax mediterranei, a poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) producer. Journal of Bacteriology, 194 (16): 4463–4464. 
Cai L, Zhao D, Hou J, Wu J, Cai S, DasSarma P, Xiang H*. 2012. Cellular and organellar membrane-associated proteins in haloarchaea: perspectives on physiological significance and biotechnological application. Science China Life Science, 55: 404–414. 
Cai S, Cai L, Liu H, Liu X, Han J, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2012. Identification of the haloarchaeal type phasin (PhaP) that functions in polyhydroxyalkanoate accumulation and granule formation in Haloferax mediterranei.Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 78(6):1946-1952. 



Liu H, Wu Z, Li M, Zhang F, Zheng H, Han J, Liu J, Zhou J, Wang S, Xiang H*. 2011. Complete genome sequence of Haloarcula hispanica, a model haloarchaeon for studying genetics, metabolism, and virus-host interaction. Journal of Bacteriology, 193(21):6086-7. 
Liu H, Han J, Liu X, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2011. Development of pyrF-based gene knockout systems for genome-wide manipulation of the archaea Haloferax mediterranei and Haloarcula hispanica. J Genet Genomics, 38(6):261-9. 
Li J, Liu J, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2011. Functional evaluation of four putative DNA-binding regions in Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis reverse gyrase. Extremophiles. 15(2):281-91. 



Han J, Hou J, Liu H, Cai S, Feng B, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2010. Wide distribution among halophilic archaea of a novel polyhydroxyalkanoate synthase subtype with homology to bacterial type III synthases. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76(23): 7811-7819. 
Han J, Li M, Hou J, Wu L, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2010. Comparison of four phaC genes from Haloferax mediterranei and their function in different PHBV copolymer biosyntheses in Haloarcula hispanica. Saline Systems, 2010, 6:9. 
Li J, Liu J, Zhou L, Pei H, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2010. Two Distantly Homologous DnaG Primases from Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis Exhibit Distinct Initiation Specificities and Priming Activities. Journal of Bacteriology, 192(11):2670-81.



James A. Coker, Priya DasSarma, Melinda Capes, Tammitia Wallace, Karen McGarrity, Rachael Gessler, Jingfang Liu, Hua Xiang, Roman Tatusov,Brian R. Berquist, and Shiladitya DasSarma. 2009. Multiple Replication Origins of Halobacterium sp. Strain NRC-1: Properties of the Conserved orc7-Dependent oriC1. Journal of Bacteriology, 191(16): 5253–5261. 
Han J, Lu Q, Zhou L, Liu H, Xiang H*. 2009. Identification of the Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-Specific Acetoacetyl Coenzyme A Reductase among Multiple FabG Paralogs in Haloarcula hispanica and Reconstruction of the PHA Biosynthetic Pathway in Haloferax volcanii. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75(19): 6168–6175. 



Lu Q, Han J, Zhou L, Coker JA, DasSarma P, DasSarma S, Xiang H*. 2008. Dissection of the regulatory mechanism of a heat-shock responsive promoter in haloarchaea: a new paradigm for general transcription factor directed archaeal gene regulation. Nucleic Acids Research, 36(9):3031–3042. 
Mei S, Sun C, Liu X, Lu Q, Cai L, Li Y, Xiang H*. 2008. The helix-loop-helix motif at the N-terminal of HalI is responsible for its immunity function against halocin C8. Journal of Bacteriology, 190(19):6501-6508. 
Zhou L, Zhou M, Sun C, Han J, Lu Q, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2008. Precise determination, cross-recognition and functional analysis of the double-strand origins of the rolling circle replication plasmids in haloarchaea. Journal of Bacteriology, 190(16): 5710-5719. 
Lu Q, Han J, Zhou L, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2008. Genetic and biochemical characterization of the poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) synthase in Haloferax mediterranei. Journal of Bacteriology, 190 (12): 4173–4180. 
Liu J, Pei H, Mei S, Li J, Zhou L, Xiang H*. 2008. Replication initiator DnaA interacts with an anti-terminator NusG in T. tengcongensis. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 371(3): 573–577. 



Pei H, Liu J, Li J, Guo A, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2007. Mechanism for the TtDnaA-Tt-oriC cooperative interaction at high temperature and duplex opening at an unusual AT-rich region in Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis. Nucleic Acids Research, 35(9): 3087-3099.
Han J, Lu Q, Zhou L, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2007. Molecular characterization of the phaECHm genes required for biosynthesis of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) in the extremely halophilic archaeon Haloarcula marismortui. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 73(19): 6058-6065. 
Zhou L, Zhou M, Sun C, Xiang H*, Tan H. 2007. Genetic analysis of a novel plasmid pZMX101 from Halorubrum saccharovorum: determination of the minimal replicon and comparison with the related haloarchaeal plasmid pSCM201. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 270(1):104-8. 
Chen S, Liu J, Pei H, Li J, Zhou J, Xiang H*. 2007. Molecular investigation of a novel thermostable glucan phosphorylase from Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis. Enzyme and Microbial Technology , 41(3): 390-396. 



Sun C, Zhou M, Li Y, Xiang H*. 2006. Molecular Characterization of the Minimal Replicon and the Unidirectional Theta Replication of pSCM201 in Extremely Halophilic Archaea. Journal of Bacteriology, 188(23): 8136–8144. 



Pei H, Liu J, Cheng Y, Sun C, Wang C, Lu Y, Ding J, Zhou J, Xiang H* . 2005. Expression of SARS-coronavirus nucleocapsid protein in Escherichia coli and Lactococcus lactis for serodiagnosis and mucosal vaccination. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 68(2): 220–227. 
Ren Y, Dai X, Zhou J, Liu J, Pei H, Xiang H*. 2005. Gene expression and molecular characterization of thermostable trehalose phosphorylase in Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis. Science in China Series C: Life Sciences, 48(3): 221-227. 
Sun C, Li Y, Mei S, Lu Q, Zhou L, Xiang H*. 2005. A single gene directs both production and immunity of halocin C8 in a haloarchaeal strain AS7092. Molecular Microbiology,57 (2):537–549.

* Corresponding author