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.   California Institute of Technology, 2007, Geobiology
B.S.      University of Science and Technology of China, 2001, Geophysics


  • Global Security Gold Award, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2018
  • Laboratory’s Early and Mid-Career Recognition Program, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2017
  • DOE Early Career Research Award, “Systems Level Investigation of Uranium Resistance andRegulation by Caulobacter Crescentus”, 2011
  • Student and Postdoctoral Travel Grants, American Society for Microbiology, 2006.
  • Li Ming Scholarship, California Institute of Technology, 2006.


My research interest lies in the interface of environmental microbiology and geochemistry, focusing on the systems biology-enabled biosystems design of microbes for clean energy and environment.  I joined LLNL as a postdoc in 2007 after completing a PhD in Geobiology from Caltech.  I use systems biology tools to examine how microbes sense, respond and adapt to environmental cues, and discover foundational design rules that govern the complex biological systems behaviors.  I use synthetic biology tools for rational re-design of organisms with desired traits for environmental applications for clean energy and environment.  I am the lead PI on several DOE funded projects focusing on systems and synthetic biology studies of environmental microorganisms for environmental and energy applications.   A few examples include:  

  • Bioengineering of microbial surface display of rare earth binding ligands with environmental microbes to enable biomass-based column purification for rare earth metal recovery from low grade sources.  
  • Bioengineering of cement-curing bacteria and interface design of microbe-material interactions for biomineralization and biocement production
  • Systems biology studies of microbial stress response and metal sensing in Caulobacter for uranium bioremediation

Expertise include Synthetic biology, Systems biology, Biogeochemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Electron microscopy.


  1. Chang E., Brewer A., Park, D.M., Jiao, Y., Lammers L.N. (2020), “Surface complexation model of rare earth element adsorption onto bacterial surfaces with lanthanide binding tags” Applied Chemistry, Vol 112:10448. Doi: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2019.104478
  2. Brewer, A., Dohnalkova A, Shutthanandan V, Kovarik L, Chang E, Sawvel A.M., Mason H.E., Reed D, Ye C., Hynes W.F., Lammers LN, Park D.M., Jiao Y. (2019) “Microbe Encapsulation for Selective Rare-Earth Recovery from Electronic Waste Leachates”. Environ Sci Technol, 53(23): p. 13888-13897. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b04608.
  3. Antonick, P. J.;  Hu, Z. C.;  Fujita, Y.;  Reed, D. W.;  Das, G.;  Wu, L. L.;  Shivaramaiah, R.;  Kim, P.;  Eslamimanesh, A.;  Lencka, M. M.;  Jiao, Y.;  Anderko, A.;  Navrotsky, A.; Riman, R. E., Bio- and mineral acid leaching of rare earth elements from synthetic phosphogypsum Paul. J Chem Thermodyn 2019, 132, 491-496.
  4. Navid A, Jiao Y, Wong SE, Pett-Ridge J., System-level analysis of metabolic trade-offs during anaerobic photoheterotrophic growth in Rhodopseudomonas palustris, BMC Bioinformatics. 2019 May 9;20(1):233. doi: 10.1186/s12859-019-2844-z
  5. Brewer A, Chang E, Park DM, Kou T, Li Y, Lammers LN, Jiao Y., Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Geothermal Fluids through Bacterial Cell Surface Adsorption, Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Jul 2;53(13):7714-7723. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b00301
  6. Park DM, Overton KW, Jiao Y., The UzcRS two-component system in Caulobacter crescentus integrates regulatory input from diverse auxiliary regulators. Mol Microbiol. 2019 Mar;111(3):678-699. doi: 10.1111/mmi.14180
  7. Jin H, Reed DW, Thompson VS, Fujita Y, Jiao Y, Grain-Zamora M, Fisher J, Scalzone K, Griffel M, Hartley D, Sutherland JW. Sustainable Bioleaching of Rare Earth Elements from Industrial Waste Materials Using Agricultural Wastes, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2019, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b02584" target="_blank" title="Document DOI URL">10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b02584
  8. Morrison, K., Jiao, Y., Kersting, A. and Zavarin, M., Reduction of Plutonium(VI) to (V) by Hydroxamate Compounds at Environmentally Relevant pH.  Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (11), pp 6448–6456. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b00164
  9. Thompson, V., Gupta, M., Jin, H., Vahidi, E., Jindra, M., Nguyen, V., Fujita, Y., Sutherland, J., Jiao, Y. and Reed, D. (2018) Techno-Economic and Life Cycle Analysis for Bioleaching Rare Earth Elements from Waste Materials.  ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2018, 6 (2), pp 1602–1609.  DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b02771
  10. Park, D. M., Overton, K. W., Liou, M. and Y. Jiao (2017) Identification of a U/Zn/Cu responsive global regulatory two-component system in Caulobacter crescentusMolecular Microbiology. 104(1), 46–64. doi:10.1111/mmi.13615
  11. Park, D. M.; Brewer, A.; Reed, D. W.; Lammers, L. N.; Jiao, Y.  (2017) Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Low-Grade Feedstock Leachates Using Engineered Bacteria. Environ. Sci. Technol., 51 (22), pp 13471–13480.  DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b02414
  12. Jin, H.; Park, D. M.; Gupta, M.; Brewer, A. W.; Ho, L.; Singer, S. L.; Bourcier, W. L.; Woods, S.; Reed, D. W.; Lammers, L. N.; Sutherland, J. W.; Jiao, Y. (2017) Techno-economic Assessment for Integrating Biosorption into Rare Earth Recovery Process. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2017, 5 (11), pp 10148–10155.  DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b02147
  13. Overton KW, Park DM, Yung MC, Smit J, Jiao Y (2016), Two outer membrane proteins contribute to cellular fitness in Caulobacter crescentus by preventing intracellular S-layer protein accumulation.  Appl Environ Microbiol 82 (23):6961-72. doi:10.1128/AEM.02479-16.
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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. Proc XXVIII Int Min Proc Congr, 2016, ISBN: 978-1-926872-29-2
  17. Park D. M., Reed D. W., Yung M. C., Eslamimanesh A., Lencka M. M., Anderko A., Fujita Y., Riman R. E., Navrotsky A. and Y. Jiao (2016) Bioadsorption of rare earth elements through cell surface display of lanthanide binding tags. Environ. Sci. Technol., 50 (5), pp 2735–2742. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b06129
  18. 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
  19. 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. doi: 10.1128/JB.00382-15
  20. 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.
  21. Yung, M. C. and Y. Jiao (2014). "Biomineralization of uranium by PhoY phosphatase activity aids cell survival in Caulobacter crescentus." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80(16): 4795-4804. DOI:10.1128/AEM.01050-14 
  22. Yung, M.C., Ma, M. R. Salemi, B. S. Phinney, G. R. Bowman, and Y. Jiao. (2014) “Shotgun proteomic analysis unveils survival and detoxification strategies by Caulobacter crescentus during exposure to uranium, chromium, and cadmium”. J Proteome Res. 13(4): 1833-1847. DOI: 10.1021/pr400880s
  23. Wang, H., F. Qian, G. Wang, Y. Jiao, Z. He and Y. Li (2013) “Self-biased solar-microbial device for sustainable hydrogen generation.” ACS Nano 7(10):8728-8735. DOI: 10.1021/nn403082m
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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  
  32. 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
  33. 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