Yongqin Jiao

Contact information

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Avenue, L-452
Livermore, CA 94550
email: jiao1@llnl.gov
phone: 925 422 4482


Ph.D., Geobiology, California Institute of Technology (2007)


I do research at the interface of environmental microbiology, bioengineering, and biogeochemistry.  I combine expertise in microbiology, geobiology, and synthetic biology to address basic research questions about the roles that microbes play in shaping the environment in both natural and disturbed systems, and the arsenal that microbes use to survive and thrive, especially under adverse conditions. Current research projects include:

  • Investigating the mechanisms of uranium tolerance, sensing, and biomineralization by Caulobacter crescentus. This project is funded by a Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Award for studying uranium resistance and regulation by Caulobacter.
  • Biomining of critical and precious metals.  Supported by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE’s) Critical Material Institute (CMI) and Geothermal Office (GTO), my group focuses on developing a novel rare earth element (REE) extraction technology that works efficiently with low-grade feedstocks (patent pending).  There is an ever-increasing demand for REEs in renewable energy, consumer products, and many defense and national security applications. To overcome the current domestic REE shortage, my group has developed an adsorption technology that relies on environmentally safe microorganisms, and combines native microbial cell surface features with advanced synthetic biology to increase REE extraction capabilities and microbe resilience.


Transposon Sequencing Strategy for Studying Microbial Metal Resistance.  Insertion mutants that are able to survive in the presence of selected heavy metals were pooled to generate a saturated Tn5 mutant library. Subsequent parallel amplification of individual transposon junctions yield DNA fragments reading out of transposon elements into adjacent genomic DNA sequences. DNA fragments carrying terminal adapters compatible with the Illumina flow-cell were sequenced by standard paired-end sequencing.



D. M. Park, K. W. Overton, M. J. Liou, Y. Jiao (2017) Identification of a U/Zn/Cu responsive global regulatory two-component system in Caulobacter crescentus. Molecular Microbiology 104(1), 46-64. 

C. Joseph, J. Mibus, P. Trepte, C. Müller, V. Brendler, D. M. Park, Y. Jiao, A. B. Kersting, M. Zavarin (2017) Long-term diffusion of U(VI) in bentonite: Dependence on density. Sci. Total Environ. 575, 207-218. 

Reed, D.W., Y. Fujita, D.L. Daubaras, D.F. Bruhn, J.H. Reiss, V.S. Thompson and Y. Jiao (2016) Microbially Mediated Leaching of Rare Earth Elements from Recyclable Materials. Proceedings of the XXVIII International Mineral Processing Congress (IMPC 2016), ISBN: 978-1-926872-29-2, September 11-15, 2016, Québec City, Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. 

K. W. Overton, D. Park, M. Yung, A. Dohnalkova, J. Smit, Y. Jiao (2016) Two outer membrane proteins contribute to Caulobacter crescentus cellular fitness by preventing intracellular S-layer protein accumulation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 82, 6961–6972.

Reed, D. W.; Fujita, Y.; Daubaras, D. L.; Jiao, Y.; Thompson, V. S. (2016) Bioleaching of Rare Earth Elements from Waste Phosphors and Cracking Catalysts. Hydrometallurgy 166, 34–40. DOI: 10.1016/j.hydromet.2016.08.006

Joseph, C., Mibus, J., Trepte, P., Müller, C., Brendler, V., Park, D. M., Jiao, Y., Kersting, A. B. and Zavarin, M. (2016) Long-term diffusion of U(VI) in bentonite: Dependence on density. Sci. Total Environ. 575, 207-218.

D. M. Park, D. W. Reed, M. C. Yung, A. Eslamimanesh, M. M. Lencka, A. Anderko, Y. Fujita, R. E. Riman, A. Navrotsky, Y. Jiao (2016) Bioadsorption of Rare Earth Elements through Cell Surface Display of Lanthanide Binding Tags. Environ Sci Technol. 50(5), 2735–2742.

Boggs, M. A. Jiao, Y., Dai, Z., Zavarin, M., Kersting, A. B. (2016). "Interactions of Plutonium with Pseudomonas sp. Strain EPS-1W and Its Extracellular Polymeric Substances." Appl Environ Microbiol 82(24): 7093-7101

Yung, M. C., Park, D. M., Overton, K. W., Blow, M. J., Hoover, C. A., Smit, J., Murray, S. R., Ricci, D. P., Christen, B., Bowman, G. R., & Jiao, Y. (2015) Transposon mutagenesis paired with deep sequencing of Caulobacter crescentus under uranium stress reveals genes essential for detoxification and stress tolerance. J. Bacteriol. 197, 3160-72.

Park, D. M. and Y. Jiao (2014). "Modulation of medium pH by Caulobacter crescentus facilitates recovery from uranium-induced growth arrest." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80(18): 5680-5688. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01294-14.

Jiao Y., A. Navid, B.J. Stewart, J.B. McKinlay, M. Thelen and J. Pett-Ridge. “Syntrophic metabolism of a co-culture containing Clostridium cellulolyticum with Rhodopseudomonas palustris on cellulose”.  International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 37: 11719-726 (2012). Doi 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2012.05.100

Jiao, Y., F. Qian, Y. Li, G. Wang, C.W. Saltikov, J.A. Granick, “Deciphering the electron transport pathway for graphene oxide reduction by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1”, Journal of Bacteriology, 193(14): 3662-3665 (2011). doi: 10.1128/​JB.00201-11

Jiao, Y., P. D'haeseleer, B.D. Dill, M. Shah, N.C. Verberkmoes, R.L. Hettich, J.F. Banfield, M.P. Thelen, “Identification of biofilm matrix-associated proteins from an acid mine drainage microbial community.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77(15): 5230-5237 (2011). doi: 10.1128/​AEM.03005-10

Wang, G., F. Qian, C.W. Saltikov, Y. Jiao, Y. Li, “Microbial reduction of graphene oxide by Shewanella”, Nano Research, pp. 1-8, (2011). doi: 10.1007/s12274-011-0112-2

Wheeler, K.E., A. Zemla, Y. Jiao, D.S. Goltsman, S.W. Singer, J.F. Banfield and M.P. Thelen “Functional insights from Computational Modeling of Orphan Proteins Expressed in a Microbial Community.” Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics, 3: 266-274 (2010).  doi:10.4172/jpb.1000150

Jiao, Y., G.D. Cody, A.K. Harding, P. Wilmes, M. Schrenk, K.E. Wheeler, J.F. Banfield, M.P. Thelen, “Characterization of extracellular polymeric substances from acidophilic microbial biofilms.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76: 2916-2922 (2010). doi: 10.1128/​AEM.02289-09

Jiao, Y.*, L.R. Croal*, A. Kappler, D.K. Newman, “Phototrophic Fe(II) oxidation in an atmosphere of H2: implications for Archean banded iron formations”, *co-first authors. Geobiology, 7 (1): 21-4 (2009). doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4669.2008.00185.x

Jiao, Y., D.K. Newman “The pio operon is essential for phototrophic Fe(II) oxidation in Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1”, Journal of Bacteriology, 189 (5): 1765-1773 (2006). doi: 10.1128/​JB.00776-06  

Croal, L.R., Y. Jiao, D.K. Newman, “The fox Operon from Rhodobacter Strain SW2 Promotes Phototrophic Fe(II) Oxidation in Rhodobacter capsulatus SB1003”, Journal of Bacteriology, 189 (5): 1774-1782 (2006). doi: 10.1128/JB.01395-06

Jiao, Y., A.K. Kappler, L.R. Croal, D.K. Newman, “Isolation and Characterization of a Genetically Tractable Photoautotrophic Fe(II)-Oxidizing Bacterium, Rhodopseudomonas palustris Strain TIE-1.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology 71: 4487-4496 (2005). doi: 10.1128/​AEM.71.8.4487-4496.2005