Faculty list

Dr. Yin-Ru Chiang

Assistant Research Fellow
PhD – University of Freiburg, Germany, 2007
Research Fields
Microbial metabolic diversity, microbial ecology, biodegradation and bioremediation
Major Research Achievements (2013-2017)
  • Microbial degradation of steroids: Steroids are ubiquitous and abundant in nature. Microbial steroid degradation is relevant to elemental cycles. In addition, these compounds play important roles in the physiology and development of animals as well as microbe-host interactions. For instance, Mycobacterium tuberculosis relies on host cholesterol for its survival. In previous studies, we have identified biochemical mechanisms and enzymes involved in anaerobic biodegradation of cholesterol and testosterone. These anaerobic pathways involve numerous unprecedented biochemical reactions. Currently, we are studying aerobic and anaerobic estrogen biodegradation. Natural and synthetic estrogens are discharged into environments through human activities, livestock, and pharmaceutical industry. Exposure to estrogens (sub-ng/L) may cause adverse effects on the reproductive systems of wildlife and human. Using bacterial strains isolated from wastewater treatment plants as model organisms, we attempt to investigate biochemical mechanisms involved in microbial estrogen degradation. The catabolic genes and signature metabolites may be used as biomarkers for environmental survey. Our studies of steroid biodegradation have significance and potential applications in microbiology, biogeochemistry, bioremediation, and pharmaceutical biotechnology.
  • Physiological adaptation mechanisms of themoacidiophilic red algae under extreme environmental conditions: Thermoacidiophilic red algae (Cyanidiophycaea) are unique eukaryotic microbes that grow at high temperatures (up to 55°C) in acidic hot springs. These extremophilic unicellular algae display an extraordinary metabolic versatility and can grow photoautotrophically, chemoheterotrophically, or mixotrophically. Red algae can produce abundant carotenoids and phycocyanin with antioxidative properties, and offer great potential for biotechnology industries. Thermoacidiophilic red algae show remarkable adaptability for alternative energy sources, yet our knowledge of the physiological adaptation mechanisms to light intensities and exogenous carbon sources is limited. Using multi-omics approaches to determine the photosynthetic apparatus characters and lipidomic profiles of red algae under different cultivation conditions, we attempt to identify the biomarkers for differentiating photoautotrophic, heterotrophic, and mixotrophic states, which may serve as an important criterion for identifying physiological traits of red algae in the environment.
Research Interests
  • Discovery of novel microbial metabolic pathways
  • Physiology and metabolism of extremophilic microorganisms
  • Biodiversity of bacteria and algae
    Ongoing projects
    • Anaerobic steroid catabolism by the denitrifying bacteria (MOST grant)
    • The roles of steroids in the microbe-host interactions
    • Physiological adaptation mechanisms of themoacidiophilic red algae under extreme environmental conditions
    • Long-term investigation of algal community structures and cyanotoxins in Feitsui Water Reservoir (Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration)
      Publications (2009-2017)
      1. Yi-Lung Chen, Chang-Ping Yu, Tzong-Huei Lee, King-Siang Goh, Kung-Hui Chu, Po-Hsiang Wang, Wael Ismail, Chao-Jen Shih, and Yin-Ru Chiang*, 2017, “Biochemical Mechanisms and Catabolic Enzymes Involved in Bacterial Estrogen Degradation Pathways”, Cell chemical biology, 24(6), 712-724. (SCI)
      2. Yi-Lung Chen, Chia-Hsiang Wang, Fu-Chun Yang, Wael Ismail, Po-Hsiang Wang, Chao-Jen Shih, Yu-Ching Wu, and Yin-Ru Chiang*, 2016, “Identification of Comamonas testosteroni as an androgen degrader in sewage.”, Scientific Reports, 6, 35386. (SCI) (IF: 5.228; SCI ranking: 11.1%)
      3. Fu-Chun Yang, Yi-Lung Chen, Sen-Lin Tang, Chang-Ping Yu, Po-Hsiang Wang, Wael Ismail, Chia-Hsiang Wang, Jiun-Yan Ding, Cheng-Yu Yang, Chia-Ying Yang, and Yin-Ru Chiang*, 2016, “Integrated multi-omics analyses reveal the biochemical mechanisms and phylogenetic relevance of anaerobic androgen biodegradation in the environment”, ISME Journal, 10, 1967-1983. (SCI) (IF: 9.328; SCI ranking: 2.7%,6.5%)
      4. Jiun-Yan Ding,Jia-Ho Shiu,Wen-Ming Chen, Yin-Ru Chiang, and Sen-Lin Tang, 2016, “Genomic insight into the host-endosymbiont relationship of Endozoicomonas montiporae CL-33 with its coral host.”, Frontiers in Microbiology, 7, 251. (SCI) (IF: 4.165; SCI ranking: 18.7%)
      5. Lin, C. W., Wang, P. H., Ismail, W., Tsai Y. W., El Nayal, A., Yang, C. Y., Yang, F. C., Wang, C.-H., and *Chiang, Y. R., 2015, “Substrate uptake and subcellular compartmentation of anoxic cholesterol catabolism in Sterolibacterium denitrificans.”, JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, 290, 1155-1169. (SCI) (IF: 4.258; SCI ranking: 24.6%)
      6. Wang, P. H., Yu, C. P., Lin, C. W., Ismail, W., Wey, S. P., Kuo, A. T., and *Chiang, Y. R., 2014, “Anoxic androgen degradation by denitrifying Sterolibacterium denitrificans via the 2,3-seco-pathway.”, APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 80(11), 3442-3452. (SCI) (IF: 3.823; SCI ranking: 25.2%,20.5%)
      7. Chang, Y. C., Lu, C. K., Chiang, Y. R., Wang, G. J., Ju, Y. M., Kuo, Y. H., and *Lee, T. H., 2014, “Diterpene glycosides and polyketides from Xylotumulus gibbisporus.”, JOURNAL OF NATURAL PRODUCTS, 77, 751-757. (SCI) (IF: 3.662; SCI ranking: 22.4%,12%,13.6%)
      8. *Ismail, W., Alhamad, N. A., El-Sayed, W. S., El Nayal, A. M., Chiang, Y. R., and Hamzah, R. Y., 2013, “Bacterial degradation of the saturate fraction of Arabian light crude oil: biosurfactant production and the effect of ZnO nanoparticles.”, Journal of Petroleum and Environmental Biotechnology, 4, 163. (new Journal)
      9. Yin-Ru Chiang, Ann Li, Yann-Lii Leu, Jia-You Fang and Yin-Ku Lin*, 2013, “An in vitro Study of the Antimicrobial Effects of Indigo Naturalis Prepared from Strobilanthes formosanus Moore”, MOLECULES, 18(11), 14381-14396. (SCI) (IF: 2.465; SCI ranking: 40.7%)
      10. Wang, P. H., Lee, T. H., Ismail, W., Tsai, C. Y, Lin, C. W., Tsai, Y. W., and *Chiang, Y. R., 2013, “An oxygenase-independent cholesterol catabolic pathway operates under oxic conditions.”, PLoS One, 8(6), e66675. (SCI) (IF: 3.057; SCI ranking: 17.5%)
      11. Wang, P. H., Leu, Y. L., Ismail, W., Tang, S. L., Tsai, C. Y., Chen, H. J., Kao, A. T., and *Chiang, Y. R., 2013, “The anaerobic and aerobic cleavage of the steroid core ring structure by Steroidobacter denitrificans. ”, JOURNAL OF LIPID RESEARCH, 54, 1493-1504. (SCI) (IF: 4.368; SCI ranking: 23.2%)
      12. †Tsai, Y. L., †Chiang, Y. R., Wu, C. F., Narberhaus, F, and *Lai, E. M., 2012, “One out of four: HspL but no other small heat shock protein of Agrobacterium tumefaciens acts as efficient virulence-promoting VirB8 chaperone.”, PLoS One, 7(11), e49685. (SCI) (IF: 3.057; SCI ranking: 17.5%)
      13. Leu, Y. L., Wang, P. H., Shiao, M. S., Ismail, W., and *Chiang, Y. R.., 2011, “A novel testosterone catabolic pathway in bacteria.”, JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY, 193, 4447-4455. (SCI) (IF: 3.198; SCI ranking: 35.8%)
      14. Ismail, W., and *Chiang, Y. R. , 2011, “Oxic and Anoxic Metabolism of Steroids by Bacteria.”, Journal of Bioremediation and Biodegradation, S1:001. doi:10.4172/2155-6199. S1-001.. (Others)
      15. *Chiang, Y. R., Fang, J. Y., Ismail, W., and Wang, P. H., 2010, “Initial steps in anoxic testosterone degradation by Steroidobacter denitrificans.”, MICROBIOLOGY-SGM, 156, 2253-2259. (SCI) (IF: 2.268; SCI ranking: 59.3%)