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Wei Qin, PhD

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Wei Qin, PhD

Assistant Professor of Microbiology

150 George Lynn Cross Hall
770 Van Vleet Oval
Norman, OK 73019
Qin Lab

B.S., Environmental Science, Beijing Normal University, 2010
Ph.D., Environmental Microbiology, University of Washington, 2016
Simons Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington, 2017-2020


Research Areas:

Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Microbial Physiology and Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Genomics, Nitrogen-cycling Microorganisms.

Research interests:

My research interests focus on gaining a better understanding of the biogeochemical role of globally significant microorganisms that shape marine and terrestrial nutrient transformations, the ecological principles and environmental controls that govern their distribution, activity, and interaction in natural and engineered ecosystems, and the molecular and metabolic mechanisms that underpin their adaptations and stress responses to anthropogenic perturbations and global climate change processes.  I apply physiological methods, Next-Generation Sequencing approaches, MS-based proteomics and metabolomics techniques, and bioinformatics tools to comprehensively evaluate the activity, regulation, and interaction of microorganisms in complex environments.  My current model microorganisms are nitrifying prokaryotes (i.e. nitrifiers), including Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (AOA), Ammonia-oxidizing Bacteria (AOB), Complete Ammonia oxidizer (Comammox), and Nitrite-oxidizing Bacteria (NOB), which collectively drive the oxidation of reduced forms of nitrogen to nitrate and provide essential links in the nitrogen cycle of natural and engineered systems.  Nitrifiers are one of the most abundant and ubiquitous organisms in the global biosphere, and they make a significant contribution to global carbon fixation through chemosynthetic pathways, the production of greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, and the provision of the often-limiting cofactor cobalamin (vitamin B12) in marine and terrestrial ecosystems.  My lab aims to combine culture-based lab work and meta-omics-based field study to characterize the novel physiological and metabolic adaptive features that support the ecological success of these globally abundant nitrifiers, the metabolic and signaling interaction between nitrifiers and other associated biota, and the impact of anthropogenic perturbation and global climate-related changes on nitrifying microbial community dynamics and nutrient cycling in various ecosystems.    

Relevant Publications:

Qin, W.*#, Wei, S.P.#, Zheng, Y. #, Choi, E.#, Li, X., Johnston, J., Wan, X., Abrahamson, B., Flinkstrom, Z., Wang, B., Li, H., Hou, L., Tao, Q., Chlouber, W.W., Sun, X., Wells, M., Ngo, L., Hunt, K.A., Urakawa, H., Tao, X., Wang, D., Yan, X., Wang, D., Pan, C., Weber, P.K., Jiang, J., Zhou, J., Zhang, Y., Stahl, D.A., Ward, B.B., Mayali, X., Martens-Habbena, W.*, Winkler, M.H*. (2024) Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea exhibit differential nitrogen source preferences. Nature Microbiology (*Corresponding author)

Zheng, Y., Wang, B., Gao, P., Yang, Y., Su, X., Ning, D., Zhao, F., Wang, D., Zhang, Y., Li, M., Winkler, M.K.H., Ingalls, A.E., Zhou, J., Zhang, C., Stahl, D.A., Jiang, J.*, Martens-Habbena, W.*, Qin, W.*. (2024) Novel order-level lineage of ammonia-oxidizing archaea widespread in marine and terrestrial environments. ISME Journal (*Corresponding author)

Wan, S., Hou, L., Kao, S., Zhang, Y., Sheng, H., Shen, H., Tong, S., Qin, W., Ward, B.B. (2023) Pathways of N2O production by marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea determined from dual-isotope labeling. PNAS 120: e2220697120.

Martens-Habbena, W., Qin, W. (2022). Archaeal nitrification without oxygen. Science 375: 27-28.

Qin, W.*, Zheng, Y., Wang, Y., Urakawa, H., Martens-Habbena, W., Liu, H., Huang, X., Zhang, X., Nakagawa, T., Mende, D.R., Bollmann, A., Wang, B., Zhang, Y., Amin, S.A., Nielsen, J.L., Mori, K., Takahashi, R., Armbrust., E.V., Winkler, M.H., DeLong, E.F., Li, M., Lee, P., Zhou, J., Zhang, C., Zhang, T., Stahl, D.A., Ingalls, A.E. (2020) Alternative strategies of nutrient acquisition and energy conservation map to the biogeography of marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea. ISME Journal. *Corresponding author

Zhang, Y., Qin, W., Hou, L., Zakem, E.J., Wan, X., Zhao, Z., Liu, L., Hunt, K., Jiao, N., Kao, S., Tang, K., Xie, X., Shen, J., Li, Y., Chen, M., Dai, X., Liu, C., Deng, W., Dai, M., Ingalls, A.E., Stahl, D.A., Herndl, G.J. (2020) Nitrifier adaptation to low energy flux controls inventory of reduced nitrogen in the dark ocean. PNAS.

Wang, B., Qin, W., Ren, Y, Zhou, X., Jung, M.Y., Han, P., Eloe-Fadrosh, E.A., Li, M., Zheng, Y., Lu, L., Yan, X., Ji, J., Liu, Y., Liu, L., Heiner, C., Hall, R., Martens-Habbena, W., Herbold, C.W., Rhee, S., Bartlett, D.H., Huang, L., Ingall, A.E., Wagner, M., Stahl, D.A., Jia, Z. (2019) Expansion of Thaumarchaeota habitat range is correlated with horizontal transfer of ATPase operons. ISME Journal. Joint first author

Qin, W., Amin, S.A., Lundeen, R.A., Heal, K.R., Martens-Habbena, W., Turkarslan, S., Urakawa, H., Coata, K.C., Hendrickson, E.L., Wang, T., Beck, D.AC., Tiquia-Arashiro, S.M., Taub, F., Holmes, A.D., Vajrala, N., Berube, P.M., Lowe, T.M., Moffett, J.W., Devol, A.H., Baliga, N.S., Arp, D.J., Sayavedra-Soto, L.A., Hackett, M., Armbrust, E.V., Ingalls, A.E., Stahl, D.A. (2018) Stress response of a marine ammonia-oxidizing archaeon informs physiological status of environmental populations. ISME Journal.

Horak, R.E.A., Qin, W., Bertagnolli, A.D., Nelson, A., Heal, K.R., Han, H., Heller, M., Schauer, A., Jeffrey. W.H., Armbrust, E.V., Moffett, J.W., Ingalls, A.E., Stahl, D.A., Devol, A.H. (2017) Relative impacts of light, temperature, and reactive oxygen on thaumarchaeal ammonia oxidation in the North Pacific Ocean. Limnology and Oceanography.

Heal, K.R., Qin, W., Ribalet, F., Bertagnolli, A.D., Coyote-Maestas, W., Hmelo, L.R., Moffett, J.W., Devol, A.H., Armbrust, E.V., Stahl, D.A., Ingalls, A.E. (2017) Two distinct pools of B12 analogs reveal community interdependencies in the ocean. PNAS 114: 364-369.

Qin, W., Carlson, L.T., Armbrust, E.V., Devol, A.H., Moffett, J.W., Stahl, D.A., and Ingalls, A.E. (2015) Confounding effects of oxygen and temperature on the TEX86 signature of marine Thaumarchaeota. PNAS 112: 10979-10984.

Martens-Habbena, W., Qin, W., Horak, R.E.A., Urakawa, H., Schauer, A.J., Moffett, J.W. Armbrust, E.V., Ingalls, A.E., Devol, A.H., Stahl, D.A. (2015) The production of nitric oxide by marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea and inhibition of archaeal ammonia oxidation by a nitric oxide scavenger. Environmental Microbiology. 17: 2261-2274. Joint first author

Qin, W., Amin, S.A., Martens-Habbena, W., Walker, C.B., Urakawa, H., Devol, A.H., Ingalls, A.E., Moffett, J.W., Armbrust, E.V., Stahl, D.A. (2014) Marine ammonia-oxidizing archaeal isolates display obligate mixotrophy and wide ecotypic variation. PNAS 111: 12504-12509.

Horak, R.E.A., Qin, W., Schauer, A.J., Armbrust, E.V., Ingalls, A.E., Moffett, J.W., Stahl, D.A., Devol, A.H. (2013) Ammonia oxidation kinetics and temperature sensitivity of a natural marine community dominated by Archaea. ISME Journal 7: 2023-2033.