Yu-Zhong Zhang graduated from Shandong Normal University with a Bachelor degree in Biology in 1989, Master degree in Plant Physiology from Nanjing Agriculture University in 1992 and Doctor degree in Marine Biology from Qingdao Oceanic Institute, Science Academy of China in 1995. Currently, he is a Professor of Shandong University. He has published more than 50 papers in international journals on microbial degradation of oceanic organic matter. He is a member of Chinese Society of Microbiology, Chinese Society of Algae, Chinese Society of Vacuum Science and Technology, American Society of Microbiology, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and an Editor in board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.


Marine organic matter degradation is essential for marine ecosystem. It is also an important step of global biogeochemical cycle. Marine microorganisms play key roles in marine organic matter degradation. The aim is to investigate the microorganisms and enzymes involved in marine organic matter degradation and to reveal the involved mechanisms. Progresses includes: the diversities of bacteria and proteases involved in the degradation of sedimentary high molecular weight organic nitrogen (HMW ON) were investigated, and a series of new bacterial species and proteases with new structure or function were found and studied; the degradation process and molecular mechanisms of bacterial proteases on deep-sea HMW ON, especially for collagen and elastin, were revealed molecular mechanism for dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production from dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) cleavage by a bacterial lyase DddQ is proposed on the basis of structural and biochemical analyses. Our results provide a better understanding of marine nitrogen cycle and sulfur cycle.