Yandu Lu

Yandu Lu

Ph. D, Professor

Group leader of Single-cell BioEngineering

State Key Laboratory of Marine Resource Utilization in South China Sea



E-MAIL: ydlu[at]hainanu.edu.cn


Research Interests

Functional genomics and trait optimization of microalgae have been the underlying theme throughout my research career. I work on microalgae but the general concepts and many of the mechanisms are common to all parts of the tree of life. To begin with I focused on individual genes but advanced technology and computing now allows analysis of complex gene networks. We can now begin to address the question of emergent properties in which cells and organisms are more than the simple sum of their parts so that molecular biology is truly ‘biology’. My group has become interested in synthetic biology - the application of genome editing to explain nature and improve nature. Over the years the context of my interest in gene regulation, trait optimization, and value-added compound production has involved biosynthetic pathway, photosynthesis, industrial-scale cultivation, and now artificial photosynthetic cells.


Honors, Services and Fellowships

President Scholarship of CAS, 2010 (the highest honor for Ph. D students of CAS)

Pollyanna Chu Award for Outstanding Doctors of CAS, 2009

Serve as an Associated Editor of Tropic Plants, Review Editor of Frontier in Microbiology and a guest Associate Editor of Frontier in Plant Biotechnology and Frontier in Bioenergy and Biofuels, and a review for a variety of journals including Nature Communications, Trends in Biotechnology, Biotechnology Advance, Environmental Science & Technology, Algal Research, Journal of Applied Phycology, Journal of Phycology, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Plant Physiology, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, iScienceThe Plant Pathology Journal, Journal of Genetics and Genomics, Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, and Journal of Plant Growth Regulation.

Selected publications (#equal contributor; *correspondence)

  1. N Ashraf, F Ahmad, Y Lu* (2022) Synergy between microalgae and microbiome in polluted waters. Trends in Microbiology 10.1016/j.tim.2022.06.004
  2. W Zhou, X Zhang, A Wang, L Yang, Q Gan, L Yi, R.E. Summons, J.K. Volkman, Y Lu* (2022) A widespread sterol methyltransferase participates in the biosynthesis of both C4α- and C4β-methyl sterols. Journal of the American Chemical Society 10.1021/jacs.2c01401
  3. Y Lu*, Q Gan, M Iwai, A Alboresi, A Burlacot, O Dautermann, H Takahashi, T Crisanto, G Peltier, T Morosinotto, A Melis, K Niyogi*(2021) Role of an ancient light-harvesting protein of PSI in light absorption and photoprotection. Nature Communications 10.1038/s41467-021-20967-1
  4. Y Lu*, X Zhang, X Gu, H Lin, A Melis*. (2021) Microalgal engineering: the transition from empirical design to programmable cells. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology 10.1080/07388551.2021.1917507
  5. X Lu#, Y Cui#, Y Chen#, Y Xiao, X Song, F Gao, Y Xiang, C Hou, X Zheng, Y Lu*. (2021) Sustainable development of microalgal biotechnology in coastal zone for aquaculture and food. Science of the Total Environment 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146369


Selected grant

  1. PI, 2021-2024, the Intergovernmental Project of National Key Research and Development Program of China (2021YFE0110100)
  2. PI, 2021-2026, the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2021YFA0909600)
  3. PI, 2024-2027, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32370380)
  4. PI, 2021-2025, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32060061)
  5. PI, 2021-2026, the Key Research and Development Program of Hainan Province (ZDYF2022XDNY140)
  6. PI, 2019-2020, the Project of China National Intellectual Property Administration (2019-2021-1-14)
  7. PI, 2017-2020, the Project of Innovation & Development of Marine Economy, Ministry of Natural Resources of China (HHCL201803)