Yonghui Zeng

Yonghui Zeng


I've been fascinated by photosynthetic bacteria throughout my career. These tiny colourful microorganisms are present everywhere on the surface Earth for more than 3 billion years. We're just starting to understand their extremely versatile metabolisms and untapped biotechnological potentials thanks to modern molecular tools. I'm eager to unravel their next magical as-yet-unknown function. Currently, I want to understand how the genomes of photosynthetic bacteria are evolving driven by mobilome and how they adapt to the harsh environment of plant phylloshpere.

Bacterial 16S rRNA gene "tree" showing known phototrophic phyla (colored) (Zeng and Koblizek 2017).


The discovery of the phototrophic microorganism Gemmatimonas phototrophica in the rare bacterial phylum Gemmatimonadetes (Zeng et al. PNAS 2014) was written into the classical microbiology textbook – Brock Biology of Microorganisms (one paragraph at page 500, Pearson ltd. 2019, global edition).

Få Brock Biology of Microorganisms, Global Edition af Michael T. Madigan  som Paperback bog på engelsk - 9781292235103


Le bruit | Agence régionale de santé Corse

We are looking for visiting scholars and master/bachelor students to join our exciting journey of discovery. see flyer here.



  • Molecular Microbial Ecology of Environmental Phototrophic Bacteria;
  • Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics of Photoheterotrophic Bacteria;
  • Biotechnology of Anoxygenic Phototrophs.


Aktuel forskning

  • Link phototrophy and methanotrophy in bacteria
  • Unknown bacterial evolutionary processess in wheat phyllosphere


Udvalgte publikationer

  1. Gemmatimonas groenlandica sp. nov. Is an Aerobic Anoxygenic Phototroph in the Phylum Gemmatimonadetes

    Zeng, Yonghui, Nupur, Wu, N., Madsen, A. M., Chen, X., Gardiner, A. T. & Koblížek, M., 2021, I : Frontiers in Microbiology. 11, 19 s., 606612.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  2. Udgivet

    Potential Rhodopsin- and Bacteriochlorophyll-Based Dual Phototrophy in a High Arctic Glacier

    Zeng, Yonghui, Chen, X., Madsen, A. M., Zervas, A., Nielsen, Tue Kjærgaard, Andrei, A., Lund-Hansen, L. C., Liu, Y. & Hansen, Lars Hestbjerg, 2020, I : mBio. 11, 6, 22 s., e02641-20.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  3. Simultaneous presence of bacteriochlorophyll and xanthorhodopsin genes in a freshwater bacterium

    Kopejtka, K., Tomasch, J., Zeng, Yonghui, Selyanin, V., Dachev, M., Piwosz, K., Tichý, M., Bína, D., Gardian, Z., Bunk, B., Brinkmann, H., Geffers, R., Sommaruga, R. & Koblížek, M., 2020, I : mSystems. e01044-20.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  4. Udgivet

    Genomics of Aerobic Photoheterotrophs in Wheat Phyllosphere Reveals Divergent Evolutionary Patterns of Photosynthetic Genes in Methylobacterium spp

    Zervas, A., Zeng, Yonghui, Madsen, A. M. & Hansen, Lars Hestbjerg, 1 okt. 2019, I : Genome Biology and Evolution. 11, 10, s. 2895-2908

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  5. Aerobic Anoxygenic Photosynthesis Is Commonly Present within the Genus Limnohabitans

    Kasalický, V., Zeng, Yonghui, Piwosz, K., Šimek, K., Kratochvilová, H. & Koblížek, M., 2018, I : Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 84, 1

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  6. Aerobic Anoxygenic Phototrophic Bacteria Promote the Development of Biological Soil Crusts

    Tang, K., Jia, L., Yuan, B., Yang, S., Li, H., Meng, J., Zeng, Yonghui & Feng, F., 2018, I : Frontiers in Microbiology. 9, s. 2715

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  7. Phototrophic gemmatimonadetes: A new "Purple" branch on the bacterial tree of life

    Zeng, Yonghui & Koblížek, M., 2017, Modern Topics in the Phototrophic Prokaryotes: Environmental and Applied Aspects. Springer, s. 163-192 30 s.

    Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningfagfællebedømt

  8. Metagenomic evidence for the presence of phototrophic Gemmatimonadetes bacteria in diverse environments

    Zeng, Yonghui, Baumbach, J., Barbosa, E. G. V., Azevedo, V., Zhang, C. & Koblížek, M., 2016, I : Environmental Microbiology Reports. 8, 1, s. 139-49 11 s.

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  9. Characterization of the microaerophilic, bacteriochlorophyll a-containing bacterium Gemmatimonas phototrophica sp. nov., and emended descriptions of the genus Gemmatimonas and Gemmatimonas aurantiaca

    Zeng, Yonghui, Selyanin, V., Lukeš, M., Dean, J., Kaftan, D., Feng, F. & Koblížek, M., 2015, I : International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 65, 8, s. 2410-2419 10 s.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  10. Functional type 2 photosynthetic reaction centers found in the rare bacterial phylum Gemmatimonadetes

    Zeng, Yonghui, Feng, F., Medová, H., Dean, J. & Koblížek, M., 2014, I : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111, 21, s. 7795-800 6 s.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

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