Associate Professor Department of Biology

Dr Ancheng Huang obtained his Ph.D. degree in natural product chemistry at The University of Adelaide in Australia in December 2014, receiving the 'Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence'. After a short post-doc stay with Professor Zhi-hong Jiang (PVC) at the State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine in Macau University of Science and Technology, Dr Huang moved to the John Innes Centre in UK working on natural product biosynthesis under the supervision of Professor Anne Osbourn (FRS) in 2015 with the support of a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship. He returned to China and joined the Department of Biology in SUSTech as an Assistant Professor in August 2019. Dr Huang’s research is centered on the interface of plant chemistry and biology, with a particular focus on natural product biosynthesis. His team employs multi-disciplinary approaches ranging from chemistry and genetics to bioinformatics to address fundamental questions concerning how and why natural products are made in nature and mechanisms underpinning enzyme catalysis. We translate the knowledge we learned from natural product biosynthesis into developing production platforms for high-value natural products using synthetic biology.

Personal Profile


◆ Plant specialized metabolism

◆ Natural product biosynthesis-pathway discovery and elucidation

◆ Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering

◆ Mechanisms concerning enzyme-mediated catalysis and protein engineering

◆ Metabolomics

Publications Read More

Selected Publication:

[16] Bai, Y; Calvo, P. F.; Ritter, A.; Huang, A.C.; Herrera, S.M.; Bicalho, K.U.; Karady, M.; Pauwels, L.; Buyst, D.; Njo, M.; Ljung, K.; Martins, J.C.; Vanneste, S.; Beeckman, T.; Osbourn, A.; Goossens, A.; Pollier, J. Modulation of Arabidopsis root growth by specialized triterpenes. New Phytologist, 2020, doi:10.1111/nph.17144

[15] Zhou, Q.; Huang, A.C*. Recent progress on modulation of microbiota by plant root metabolites. Plant Physiology Journal. 2020, 56(11):2288-2295. [(In Chinese) 周倩,黄安诚*. 植物根系化合物调控微生物菌群研究进展.植物生理学报.2020, 56(11):2288-2295]

[14] Huang, A.C.#; Chen,C.Y.#; Wang, J.Y.; Jiang, Z.H. Three new C21 steroidal glycosides from Tylophora atrofolliculata. Phytochemistry Letters, 2020, 36, 111-114 (# Co-first author)

[13] Huang, A.C.#; Jiang, T.#; Liu, Y.X.; Bai, Y.C.; Reed, J.; Qu, B; Goossens, A.; Nutzmann, H.-W.; Bai, Y.; Osbourn, A. A specialized metabolic network selectively modulates Arabidopsis root microbiota. Science, 2019, 364(6440): eaau6389. (# Co-first author)

[12] Huang, A.C., Osbourn, A. Plant terpenes that mediate below‐ground interactions: prospects for bioengineering terpenoids for plant protection. Pest Management Science, 2019, 75(9), 2368-2377.

[11] Huang, A.C.; Hong, Y. J.; Bond, A. D.; Tantillo, D. J.; Osbourn, A. Diverged terpene synthases reroute the carbocation cyclization path towards the formation of unprecedented 6/11/5 and 6/6/7/5 sesterterpene scaffolds. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2018, 57(5), 1291-1295.

[10] Xue Z.; Tan Z.; Huang A.; Zhou Y.; Sun J.; Wang X.; Thimmappa R. B.; Stephenson M. J.; Osbourn A.; Qi X. Identification of key amino acid residues determining product specificity of 2,3-oxidosqualene cyclase in Oryza species. New Phytologist. 2018, 218(3):1076-1088.

[9] Huang, A.C.; Kautsar S. A..; Hong, Y. J.; Bond, A. D.; Madema M. H.; Tantillo, D. J.; Osbourn, A. Unearthing a sesterterpene biosynthetic repertoire in the Brassicaceae through genome mining reveal convergent evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, U.S.A., 2017, 114(29), E6005-6014.

[8] Owen C.; Patron N. J.; Huang A.; Osbourn A. Harnessing plant metabolic diversity. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 2017, 40, 24-30.

[7] Nützmann H.-W.; Huang A.; Osbourn A. Plant metabolic clusters-from genetics to genomics. New Phytologist. 2016, 211(3), 711-789.

[6] Huang, A.-C.; Sefton, M. A.; Sumby, C. J.; Tiekink, E. R.T.; Taylor, D. K. Mechanistic studies on the autoxidation of a-guaiene: The structural diversity of the sesquiterpenoid downstream products. Journal of Natural Products, 2015, 78, 131-145.

[5] Davies, C; Böttcher, C; Nicholson, E. L.; Burbidge, C. A.; Bastian, S; Harvey, K. E.; Huang, A.-C.; Taylor, D. K.; Boss, P. K. Shiraz wines made from grape berries (Vitis vinifera) delayed in ripening by plant growth regulator treatment have elevated rotundone levels and ‘pepper’ flavor and aroma. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2015, 63(8), 2137-2144.

[4] Huang, A.-C.; Sefton, M. A.; Taylor, D. K. Comparison of the formation of peppery and woody sesquiterpenes derived from aguaiene and a-bulnesene under aerial oxidative conditions. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2015, 63(8), 2137-2144

[3 Huang, A.-C.; Sumby, C. J.; Tiekink, E. R.T.; Taylor, D. K. Synthesis of guaia-4(5)-en-11-ol, guaia-5(6)-en-11-ol, aciphyllene, 1-epi-melicodenone C and E and other guaiane-type sesquiterpenoids via the diastereoselective epoxidation of guaiol. Journal of Natural Products, 2014, 77(11), 2522-2536.

[2] Huang, A.-C.; Burrett, S.; Sefton, M. A.; Taylor, D. K. Production of the pepper aroma compound, (-)-rotundone by aerial oxidation of α-guaiene. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2014, 62 (44), 10809–10815.

[1] Huang, A.-C.; Wilde, A.; Ebmeyer, J.; Skouroumounis, G. K.; Taylor, D. K. Examination of the phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of the leaves of the Australian native plant Smilax glyciphylla. Journal of Natural Products, 2013, 76 (10), 1930-1936.

Authored Books

 [1] Huang, A.C.*; Nützmann, H.-W*. Chromatin Analysis of Metabolic Gene Clusters in 

 Plants. Method in Molecular Biology, 2020, 2093, 129-146. (*Co-corresponding author)

News More

  • 2019 Undergraduate Commencement for SUSTech College of Life and Health Sciences

  • SUSTech Annual Research Symposium 2019 comes to a successful close

  • SUSTech approved for four new post-doctoral research stations


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