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Profile Detail

Xiaozhen Mou

Assistant Professor and MA Coordinator

  • Ph.D. Marine Microbiology and Microbial Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • M.S. Marine Chemistry, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao China
  • B.S. Chemistry, Qingdao University, Qingdao China
Courses Taught

  • Microbial Ecology

Course Summary: The course covers a numbergeneral aspects of microbial ecology, including analytical methods,biogeochemical cycling of C, N, P and other essential elements,  microbialcommunities and their roles in the marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments.

  • Marine Biology

Course Summary: To learn general knowledgeabout marine environments and organisms that live there. At the end of thecourse students are expected to be (1) familiar with marine organisms and theecological interactions occur within major types of marine environments, (2)gain experience in interpretation and synthesis through participation in thediscussion of scientific papers and the writing of research paper summaries,(3) have awareness of the importance of world's oceans, including as homes fornumerous lives, sources of food, major suppliers of oxygen and regulator ofglobal climate.

  • ST: Ecological Genomics

CourseSummary: This course aims to provide advanced undergraduate andgraduate material on ecological genomics of soil and aquatic microbes andemphasizes on integration of genomics concepts into microbial ecology andbiogeochemistry. At the end of the course students are expected to be (1)familiar with principles and concepts in ecological genomics and (2) gainexperience in analyzing and interpreting genomic, metagenomic andmetatranscriptomic data.

  • General Microbiology

CourseSummary: This course serves as a major's level introductory course for studentsto obtain necessary background to support their further education inmicrobiology and other related fields, such as environmental science andmedicine. At the end of the course, students are expected to (1)gain an understanding of the broad diversity ofmicroorganisms, (2)To understand how microbial cells function, (3) understandhow microorganisms interact with their environment (4) understand the role ofmicroorganisms in human society including benefits and disease, and (5) develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.

  • Individual Investigation

Course Summary: Undergraduates of biology can perform individual investigation in projects related to microbial ecology and environmental microbiology under the advising of Dr. Mou. Students should contact their Dr. Mou for information and discuss potential research projects. Students may then enroll in BSCI 20196 (Introduction to Individual Investigation) or 40196 (Individual Investigation)

Current Research

Research in Mou lab focuses on linking bacterial phylogeny with their metabolic functions in natural aquatic environments. This direct linkage is important to understand fundamental questions in an ecological/environmental context, such as the role of bacteria in biogeochemical cycling of essential nutrients, e.g., carbon, nitrogen and sulfur. Experimental matagenomics and metatranscriptomics coupled with bioinformatics are employed as the core approach to simultaneously identify the taxonomic diversity, genetic capability, and metabolic activity of selected taxonomic and functional groups of aquatic bacteria. Other advanced molecular biology techniques, such as T-RFLP, DGGE, qPCR, RT-PCR, CARD-FISH, and flow cytometry (FACS), and cultivation-based studies, such as whole genome micorarray,, are also regularly employed..Specific research interests and ongoing projects in Mou Lab include:

  • Bacterial transformation of dissolved organic nitrogen (polyamines) in marine and freshwater environments.
  • Bacterially mediated N removal (denitrification and anammox) in marine and fresheater environments.
  • Role of heterotrohpic bacteria in detoxifying cyanotoxins synthesized during cyanobacterial harmful Algal Blooms (CyanoHABs) in Lake Erie and other inland freshwater lakes.
  • Ecological genomics of individual bacterial taxa in marine systems.
  • Linkage of biogeochemical cycling of organic carbon and nitrogen between terriestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Culturing aquatic actinobacteria and screening their functions in toxin degradation and potential medical uses.


Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications


Mou X, Lu X, Jacob J Sun S and Heath R. 2013. Metagenomic identification of bacterioplankton taxa and pathways involved in microcystin degradation in Lake Erie. PLos One 8: e61890.

Mou X, Jacob J, Robbins S, Lu X, Robbins S, Sun S and Ortiz J. 2013. Diversity and distribution of free-living and particle associated bacterioplankton community in Sandusky Bay and Adjacent Waters of Lake Erie Western Basin. Journal of Great Lakes Research 39: 352-357.

Mou X, Vila-Costa M, Sun S, Zhao W, Sharma S and Moran MA. 2011. Metatranscriptomic signature of exogenous polyamine utilization by coastal bacterioplankton. Environmental Microbiology Reports3:798-806.

Robbins S, Jacob J, Lu X, Moran MA and Mou X. 2011. Bromodeoxyuridine (Brdu) labeling and subsequent fluorescence activated cell sorting for culture-independent identification of dissolved organic carbon-degrading bacterioplankton. Journal of Visualized Experiments DOI: 10.3791/2855.

Zhao W, Song Z, Jiang H, Li W, Mou X, Romanek CS, Wiegel J, Dong H and Zhang C-L. 2011. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea in Kamchatka hot springs. Geomicrobiology Journal 28: 149-159.

Fernandez-Guerra A, Buchan A, Mou X, Casamayor E O and Gonzalez J M. 2010. T-RFPred: a nucleotide sequence size prediction tool for microbial community description based on Terminal-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism chromatograms. BMC Microbiology 10:262.

Roresky, RS, Sun S, Mou X and Moran MA. 2009. Metatranscriptomics of bacteria over a diel cycle and during transformation of algal- and plant-derived dissolved organic carbon in a coastal ecosystem. Enviornmental Microbioalogy 12: 616-627.

Mou X, Sun S, Rayapati P, Moran MA. Microarray-based analysis of polyamine transport and metabolism in the model marine Bbacterium Silicibacter pomeroyi. Aquatic Microbial Ecology. 58:311-321.

Edmonds JW, Westonl NB, Joye SB, Mou X, Moran MA. 2009 Microbial Community Response to Seawater Amendment in Low-Salinity Tidal Sediments. Microbial Ecology 58:558-568.

Mou X, Sun SL, Edwards R, Hodson RE and Moran MA. 2008. Generalist species dominate bacterial carbon processing in the coastal ocean. Nature 451:708-711.doi:10.1038/nature06513

Mou X, Hodson RE and Moran MA. 2007. Bacterioplankton assemblages transforming dissolved organic compounds in coastal seawater. Environmental Microbiology. 9: 2025- 2037. doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2007.01318.x.

Mou X, Moran MA, Stepanauskas R, Gonzales JM and Hodson RE. 2005. Culture-independent identification of bacterioplankton involved in DMSP transformations by flow cytometric cell sorting and subsequent molecular analysis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 71:1405-1416.


Research Areas
  • Ecological roles of microbial organisms in the global cycling of essential nutrients
  • Phylogenetic and metabolic diversity of bacterial communities in aquatic ecosystems
  • Metagenomics and metatranscriptomics in aquatic ecosystems
Xiaozhen Mou
Department of Biological Sciences
Center for Ecology and Natural Resources Sustainability
Phone: 330-672-3625
Fax: 330-672-3713
Spring 2014
  • BSCI 30171 - 001 General Microbiology
  • BSCI 40196 - 007 Individual Investigation
  • BSCI 60198 - 006 Research
  • BSCI 60199 - 004 Thesis I
  • BSCI 80199 - 005 Dissertation I
  • BSCI 80299 - 015 Dissertation Ii
Summer 2014
  • BSCI 40195 - 043 St : Ecological Genomics
  • BSCI 50195 - 043 St : Ecological Genomics
  • BSCI 60198 - 009 Research
  • BSCI 60199 - 004 Thesis I
  • BSCI 60299 - 007 Thesis Ii
  • BSCI 70195 - 043 St : Ecological Genomics
  • BSCI 80299 - 029 Dissertation Ii
Fall 2014
  • BSCI 40160 - 001 Marine Biology
  • BSCI 40600 - 021 Writing In Biological Sciences