CV / Scientific Career
Research interestsMy research focuses on the microbial ecology of anaerobic systems, particularly engineered ecosystems such as anaerobic reactors. My passion with microbial ecology is the potential to predict and further control microbial communities. An ultimate dream is using ecological principles to develop microbiome-based biotechnological processes that are environmentally friendly.
I am also enthusiastic about isolating pure cultures, in particular of anaerobes.
Current research topic
My current topic is exploring how to shape the reactor microbiota in a newly developed platform - carboxylate platform, which recovers carbon from wastes or plant biomass with anaerobic fermenters in the form of medium-chain carboxylic acids (e.g., caproic acid and caprylic acid). Including these parts:
1. Acclimating chain-elongating reactor microbiota with defined carbon sources (xylan and lactate)
During long-term reactor operation under constant conditions, we found chain-elongating bacteria were outcompeted by butyrate-producing bacteria, leading to the increase of n-butyrate yield at the cost of medium-chain carboxylate yields in a closed model system. (Published in Frontiers in Microbiology)
2. Shaping reactor microbiota in chain elongation system
3. Isolating novel chain-elongating species
We aimed to obtain novel bacterial strains that can produce medium-chain carboxylic acids from lactic acid.
Publications1. Liu, B., Kleinsteuber, S., Centler, F., Harms, H. and Sträuber, H. (2020). Competition between butyrate fermenters and chain-elongating bacteria limits the efficiency of medium-chain carboxylate production. Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol. 11, No. 336.
2. Lian, S., Nikolausz, M., Nijenhuis, I., da Rocha, U. N., Liu, B., Corrêa, F.B., Saraiva, J.P. and Richnow, H.H. (2020). Biotransformation of hexachlorocyclohexanes contaminated biomass for energetic utilization demonstrated in continuous anaerobic digestion system. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol. 384, No. 121448.
3. Meng, X. #, Liu, B. #, Zhang, H., Wu, J., Yuan, X. and Cui Z. (2019). Co-composting of the biogas residues and spent mushroom substrate: physicochemical properties and maturity assessment. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 276, pp. 281–287. (# these authors contributed equally to the work)
4. Meng, X., Liu, B., Chen X., Luo, X., Yuan, X., Wang, X., Zhu, W., Wang, H. and Cui, Z. (2018). Effect of pig manure on the chemical composition and microbial diversity during co-composting with spent mushroom substrate and rice husks. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 251, pp. 22-30.
5. Yu, J., Zhao, Y., Liu, B., Zhao, Y., Wu, J., Yuan, X., Zhu, W. and Cui, Z. (2016). Accelerated acidification by inoculation with a microbial consortia in a complex open environment. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 216, pp. 294–301.
6. Hua, B., Dai, J., Liu, B., Zhang, H., Yuan, X., Wang, X.and Cui. Z. (2016). Pretreatment of non-sterile, rotted silage maize straw by the microbial community MC1 increases biogas production. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 216, pp. 699–705.
7. Liu, B., Han, Y., Yuan, X., Zhu, W., Wang, X. and Cui. Z. (2016). Effects of five fungal chaff pretreatment methods on substrate properties and growth of rice seedlings. Scientia Agricultura Sinica, Vol. 49, No. 16, pp. 3098-3107. (in Chinese with an English abstract)