Frederick C Leung

The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Publications (75)323.99 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Miniaturized microbial fuel cells (MFC) having high SAV of 4000 m−1 with three types of CNT-based electrode materials are presented, exhibiting a high volumetric power densities of 3320 W m−3.
    Journal of Power Sources 01/2015; 273:823-830. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is an endangered species well-known for ingesting bamboo as a major part of their diet despite the fact that it belongs to order Carnivora. However, the giant panda's draft genome shows no direct evidence of enzymatic genes responsible for cellulose digestion. To explore this phenomenon, we study the giant panda's gut microbiota using genomic approaches in order to better understand their physiological processes as well as any potential microbial cellulose digestion processes. A complete genome of isolated Klebsiella oxytoca HKOPL1 of 5.9Mb has been successfully sequenced, closed and comprehensively annotated against various databases. Genome comparisons within the Klebsiella genus and K. oxytoca species have also been performed. A total of 5,772 genes were predicted, and among them, 211 potential virulence genes, 35 pathogenicity island-like regions, 1,615 potential horizontal transferring genes, 23 potential antibiotics resistant genes, a potential prophage integrated region, 8 genes in 2,3-Butanediol production pathway and 3 genes in the cellulose degradation pathway could be identified and discussed based on the comparative genomic studies between the complete genome sequence of K. oxytoca HKOPL1 and other Klebsiella strains. A functional study shows that K. oxytoca HKOPL1 can degrade cellulose within 72 hours. Phylogenomic studies indicate that K. oxytoca HKOPL1 is clustered with K. oxytoca strains 1686 and E718. K. oxytoca HKOPL1 is a gram-negative bacterium able to degrade cellulose. We report here the first complete genome sequence of K. oxytoca isolated from giant panda feces. These studies have provided further insight into the role of gut microbiota in giant panda digestive physiology. In addition, K. oxytoca HKOPL1 has the potential for biofuel application in terms of cellulose degradation and potential for the production of 2,3-Butanediol (an important industrial raw material).
    BMC Research Notes 11/2014; 7(1):827.
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    ABSTRACT: Antibacterial activity of nanomaterials is strongly dependent on their properties, and their stability and toxicity can be varied using surface coatings. We investigated the effect of different surface modifying molecules on the antibacterial properties of two ZnO nanoparticle samples. We found that the starting surface properties of the nanoparticles have significant effects on the attachment of the surface modifying molecules and consequent antibacterial activity. Two out of five investigated surface modifying molecules not only had a significant difference in the magnitude of their effect on different nanoparticles, but also resulted in the opposite effects on two ZnO nanoparticle samples (an enhancement of antibacterial activity for one and a reduction of antibacterial activity for the other ZnO sample). This indicates that no general rule on the effect of a specific molecule on the toxicity of a metal oxide nanoparticle can be derived without knowing the nanoparticle properties, due to the fact that surface modifier attachment onto the surface is affected by the initial surface properties.
    Nanoscale 07/2014; · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is the causative agent of animal erysipelas and, to a fewer occurrences, human erysipeloid. It is ubiquitous in nature and commensal in diverse species of animals, wild or domestic, from mammals and birds to reptiles and fish. Mechanisms of its virulence and pathogenicity are poorly understood.
    BMC Microbiology 07/2014; 14(1):176. · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The oral spirochete bacterium Treponema putidum inhabits human periodontal niches. The complete genome sequence of the OMZ 758(T) (ATCC 700334(T)) strain of this species was determined, revealing a 2,796,913-bp chromosome, with a G+C content of 37.30% and a single plasmid (pTPu1; 3,649 bp) identical to pTS1 from Treponema denticola.
    Genome announcements. 01/2014; 2(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Avian pathogenic E. coli and human extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli serotypes O1, O2 and O18 strains isolated from different hosts are generally located in phylogroup B2 and ST complex 95, and they share similar genetic characteristics and pathogenicity, with no or minimal host specificity. They are popular objects for the study of ExPEC genetic characteristics and pathogenesis in recent years. Here, we investigated the evolution and genetic blueprint of APEC pathotype by performing phylogenetic and comparative genome analysis of avian pathogenic E. coli strain IMT5155 (O2:K1:H5; ST complex 95, ST140) with other E. coli pathotypes. Phylogeny analyses indicated that IMT5155 has closest evolutionary relationship with APEC O1, IHE3034, and UTI89. Comparative genomic analysis showed that IMT5155 and APEC O1 shared significant genetic overlap/similarities with human ExPEC dominant O18:K1 strains (IHE3034 and UTI89). Furthermore, the unique PAI I5155 (GI-12) was identified and found to be conserved in APEC O2 serotype isolates. GI-7 and GI-16 encoding two typical T6SSs in IMT5155 might be useful markers for the identification of ExPEC dominant serotypes (O1, O2, and O18) strains. IMT5155 contained a ColV plasmid p1ColV5155, which defined the APEC pathotype. The distribution analysis of 10 sequenced ExPEC pan-genome virulence factors among 47 sequenced E. coli strains provided meaningful information for B2 APEC/ExPEC-specific virulence factors, including several adhesins, invasins, toxins, iron acquisition systems, and so on. The pathogenicity tests of IMT5155 and other APEC O1:K1 and O2:K1 serotypes strains (isolated in China) through four animal models showed that they were highly virulent for avian colisepticemia and able to cause septicemia and meningitis in neonatal rats, suggesting zoonotic potential of these APEC O1:K1 and O2:K1 isolates.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(11):e112048. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously identified and presented the draft genome of a Xanthomonadaceae bacterial strain Dyella japonica A8 which shows quorum-quenching activity. Here, we report the complete, closed genome sequence of this bacterium. This complete genome may help to further investigate the comparative quorum-quenching activity among D. japonica strains.
    Genome announcements. 01/2014; 2(6).
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    ABSTRACT: High power densities have been obtained from MFC reactors having a purple color characteristic of Rhodopseudomonas. We investigated the microbial community structure and population in developed purple MFC medium (DPMM) and MFC effluent (DPME) using 16S rRNA pyrosequencing. In DPMM, dominant bacteria were Comamonas (44.6%), Rhodopseudomonas (19.5%) and Pseudomonas (17.2%). The bacterial community of DPME mainly consisted of bacteria related to Rhodopseudomonas (72.2%). Hydrogen oxidizing bacteria were identified in both purple-colored samples: Hydrogenophaga and Sphaerochaeta in the DPMM, and Arcobacter, unclassified Ignavibacteriaceae, Acinetobacter, Desulfovibrio and Wolinella in the DPME. The methanogenic community of both purple-colored samples was dominated by hydrogenotrophic methanogens including Methanobacterium, Methanobrevibacter and Methanocorpusculum with significantly lower numbers of Methanosarcina. These results suggeste that hydrogen is actively produced by Rhodopseudomonas that leads to the dominance of hydrogen consuming microorganisms in both purple-colored samples. The syntrophic relationship between Rhodopseudomonas and hydrogenotrophic microbes might be important for producing high power density in the acetate-fed MFC under light conditions.
    AMB Express. 01/2014; 4:22.
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    ABSTRACT: The toxicity of metal oxide nanomaterials and their antimicrobial activity is attracting increasing attention. Among these materials, MgO is particularly interesting as a low cost, environmentally-friendly material. The toxicity of MgO, similar to other metal oxide nanomaterials, is commonly attributed to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We investigated the toxicity of three different MgO nanoparticle samples, and clearly demonstrated robust toxicity towards Escherichia coli bacterial cells in the absence of ROS production for two MgO nanoparticle samples. Proteomics data also clearly demonstrate the absence of oxidative stress and indicate that the primary mechanism of cell death is related to the cell membrane damage, which does not appear to be due to lipid peroxidation.
    Small 12/2013; · 7.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type 2 Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) was first detected in Europe in 1996 co-incident with the introduction of a live attenuated vaccine. Since then, only limited ORF5 and ORF7 sequences of Type 2 PRRS viruses have been reported throughout Europe. In the present study, the genetic and antigenic diversity of 11 complete genomes and 49 ORF5 and 55 ORF7 nucleotide sequences obtained from 57 viruses in Denmark from 2003 to 2012 were examined. The genetic identity of the 11 complete genomes to the vaccine strain (Ingelvac PRRS MLV) ranged between 93.6 and 99.6% while the 49 ORF5 sequences examined were 94.0-99.8% identical to the vaccine strain. Among the Danish sequences, the pairwise nucleotide identity was 90.9-100% and 93.0-100.0% for ORF5 and ORF7, respectively. Analysis of the genetic region encoding NSP2 revealed high diversity among the Danish viruses with an 86.6-98.9% range in similarity. Furthermore, several of the sequenced viruses harbored deletions in the NSP2 coding region. Phylogenetic analysis in a global Type 2 PRRSV framework classified all Danish isolates to a single cluster (sub-lineage 5.1) which comprised strains closely-related to the Type 2 prototype isolate VR2332.
    Veterinary Microbiology 09/2013; · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    Nano Studies. 09/2013; 8:165-165.
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    ABSTRACT: The microbial component of outdoor aerosols was assessed along a gradient of urban development from inner-city to rural in the seasonal-tropical metropolis of Hong Kong. Sampling over a continuous one-year period was conducted, with molecular analyses to characterize bacterial and eukaryal microbial populations, immuno-assays to detect microbially-derived allergens and extensive environmental and meteorological observations. The data revealed bio-aerosol populations were not significantly impacted by the level of urban development as measured by anthropogenic pollutants and human population levels, but instead exhibited a strong seasonal trend related to general climatic variables. We applied back-trajectory analysis to establish sources of air masses and this allowed further explanation of urban bio-aerosols largely in terms of summer-marine and winter-continental origins. We also evaluated bio-aerosols for the potential to detect human health threats. Many samples supported bacterial and fungal phylotypes indicative of known pathogenic taxa, together with common indicators of human presence. The occurrence of allergenic endotoxins and beta-glucans generally tracked trends in microbial populations, with levels known to induce symptoms detected during summer months when microbial loading was higher. This strengthens calls for bio-aerosols to be considered in future risk assessments and surveillance of air quality, along with existing chemical and particulate indices.
    Atmospheric Environment 09/2013; 2013:291-300. · 3.11 Impact Factor
  • Thin Solid Films 09/2013; · 1.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae), large flightless ratites native to Australia, are farmed for their fat and meat. They are omnivorous and feed on a wide variety of plants and insects. Despite having a relatively simple gastrointestinal tract and a short digesta retention time, emus are able to digest a significant portion of the ingested dietary neutral detergent fibre. However, nothing is known about the microbial diversity in their gastrointestinal tract. In this study, we evaluated the phylogenetic diversity of the cecal microbiota of four emus (2 males, 2 females) that were fed a barley-alfalfa-canola based diet, using 454 pyrosequencing after amplification for V3-V5 region of bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Emus were slaughtered in early November, just prior to the onset of their breeding season, but after the seasonal decline in their feed intake had begun. A total of 822 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) (335.3±70.5OTUs/sample) belonging to 9 bacterial phyla were identified. The most predominant bacterial phyla were Bacteroidetes (∼57% of total classified diversity), Proteobacteria (∼24%), Fusobacteria (∼11.3%), and Firmicutes (∼7%). Our results indicate that the emus' ceca may have a higher microbial richness (Chao1: 624±170OTUs, and ACE: 586±161OTUs) than other species of birds, but they have a lower microbial diversity (Shannon diversity index: 3.4±0.2, Simpson index: 0.79±0.02), possibly reflecting their decrease feed intake. This is the first study to characterize the microbial community of the gastrointestinal tract of a ratite using pyrosequencing, providing a baseline for further study.
    Veterinary Microbiology 06/2013; · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We studied antibacterial and photocatalytic activity of anatase TiO2 and ZnO in phosphate buffer and saline solution. We found that the different anions in the suspension medium (chloride and phosphate) significantly affected the following suspension properties: the stability of nanoparticle suspension, the release of metal ions from the nanoparticles, and the production of the reactive oxygen species by the nanoparticles. As a result, antibacterial activity and photocatalytic dye degradation were also affected. However, the effect of the suspension medium was different for ZnO and TiO2. Obtained results are discussed.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 05/2013; · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Understanding the effects of pretreatment on anaerobic digestion of sludge waste from wastewater treatment plants is becoming increasingly important, as impetus moves towards the utilization of sludge for renewable energy production. Although the field of sludge pretreatment has progressed significantly over the past decade, critical questions concerning the underlying microbial interactions remain unanswered. In this study, a metagenomic approach was adopted to investigate the microbial composition and gene content contributing to enhanced biogas production from sludge subjected to a novel pretreatment method (maintaining pH at 10 for 8 days) compared to other documented methods (ultrasonic, thermal and thermal-alkaline). Results Our results showed that pretreated sludge attained a maximum methane yield approximately 4-fold higher than that of the blank un-pretreated sludge set-up at day 17. Both the microbial and metabolic consortium shifted extensively towards enhanced biodegradation subsequent to pretreatment, providing insight for the enhanced methane yield. The prevalence of Methanosaeta thermophila and Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus, together with the functional affiliation of enzymes-encoding genes suggested an acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis pathway. Additionally, an alternative enzymology in Methanosaeta was observed. Conclusions This study is the first to provide a microbiological understanding of improved biogas production subsequent to a novel waste sludge pretreatment method. The knowledge garnered will assist the design of more efficient pretreatment methods for biogas production in the future.
    Biotechnology for Biofuels 03/2013; 6(38). · 5.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, gene structure, tissue expression, and promoter usage of prolactin receptor (PRLR) and its interaction with prolactin (PRL) and the newly identified prolactin-like protein (PRL-L) were investigated in chickens. The results showed that 1) PRLR gene was found to consist of at least 25 exons by 5'-RACE and RT-PCR assays; 2) multiple PRLR 5'-UTR sequences different in exon composition were isolated from chicken liver or intestine by 5'-RACE and could be subdivided into type I and type II transcripts according to the first exon used (exon 1G or exon 1A); 3) PRLR Type I transcripts with exon 1G were detected to be predominantly expressed in adult kidney and small intestine by RT-PCR, implying their expression is likely controlled by a tissue-specific promoter (P1). By contrast, PRLR type II transcripts containing exon 1A are widely expressed in adult and embryonic tissues examined and their expression is controlled by a generic promoter (P2) near exon 1A, which was demonstrated to display promoter activities in cultured DF-1, HEK293 and LoVo cells by the dual-luciferase reporter assay; 4) Using a 5×STAT5-luciferase reporter system, cPRLR expressed in HepG2 cells was shown to be activated by recombinant cPRL and cPRL-L via interaction with PRLR membrane-proximal ligand-binding domain, suggesting that like cPRL, cPRL-L is also a functional ligand of cPRLR. Collectively, characterization of cPRLR gene helps to elucidate the roles of PRLR and its ligands in birds and provides insights into the regulatory mechanisms of PRLR expression conserved in birds and mammals.
    Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 03/2013; · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Haemophilus parasuis is the etiological agent of Glässer's disease in pigs and 15 standard serovars were identified. The widespread disease causes great economic loss in the swine industry worldwide. Aiming to investigate the differences in genome composition and functions among various strains, a highly virulent strain ZJ0906 of H. parasuis serovar 12 from China was analyzed and compared with serovar 5 SH0165. Strain ZJ0906 genome is 2,324,740 base pairs with 40.06% genomic GC content. It contains 2,484 open reading frames (ORF) predicted by Glimmer 3.02, of which 2,352 (∼94.7%) were annotated by NCBI nr blast, 1,745 by COG database and 1,829 by KEGG database. 109 potential virulence factors were annotated in strain ZJ0906 and 3 of which are potentially related to antibiotic resistance. Strain ZJ0906 genome is ∼55 kilobases longer than SH0165 genome, with an extra 211 predicted ORFs. VFDB, ARDB, and PAIDB blast searches showed that ZJ0906 and SH0165 shared a nearly identical panel of potential virulence factors, drug resistant genes and four PAI-like regions which showed high homology to Enterococcus, Escherichia and Salmonella. Synteny analysis showed that gene rearrangements are frequent between the two strains, which may lead to variations in pathogenicity and cross-protection among serovars. KEGG pathway analyses showed strain ZJ0906 shared similar metabolic pathways to strain SH0165. Molecular identification of these genomic elements and potential virulence factors pave the way to the better understanding of mechanisms underlying metabolic capabilities and pathogenicity of H. parasuis and prospective vaccine targets besides the widely used method of inactivated bacteria.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e68350. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) are farmed for their oil for pharmaceutical and cosmetic uses. This emu pituitary expressed sequence tag study was undertaken to identify novel transcripts in the emu pituitary to propel their identification and functional studies. By mapping reads derived from the Roche 454 GS Junior pyrosequencer to 8 reference species (human, mouse, chicken, zebra finch, fruit fly, turkey, round worm, and Carolina anole lizard) from the UniGene database, a total of 81,788 reads (53,312 mapped reads) were obtained and assembled with Reference Sequence (RefSeq). We annotated 6,676 potential emu genes by referencing 7 species (excluding lizard) and identified 1,232 potential genes common among 3 species (human, mouse, and chicken) with complete available reference genomes. Gene Ontology analysis revealed 376 Gene Ontology terms showing, with the highest counts, their involvements in biological processes, metabolism, and cellular components. These potential genes were detected to associate with 20 pathways including mitogen-activated protein kinase, insulin, neurotrophin signaling pathways, and carbohydrate digestion and absorption pathway. We also revealed a panel of tissue-specific genes including regulator of G-protein signaling protein (RGS), glucagon-like peptide receptor (GLPR), and growth hormone-inducible transmembrane protein (GHITM). Additionally, fatty acid binding protein (FABP), fatty acid desaturase (FAS), and stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase (SCD), key enzyme genes in fat metabolism, were found to be also expressed in emu pituitary. This expressed sequence tag study represents the first step in functional characterization of emu pituitary gene expression and SNP identification for the improvement of fat production in the emu.
    Poultry Science 01/2013; 92(1):90-6. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In various practical applications, nanomaterials typically have functionalized surfaces. Yet, the studies of toxicity and antibacterial activity of functionalized nanoparticles are scarce. We investigated the effect of surface modifications on antibacterial activity of ZnO under ambient illumination, and we found that nanoparticles coated with different surface modifying reagents could exhibit higher or lower toxicity compared to bare ZnO, depending on the surface modifying reagent used. Different surface modifying reagent molecules resulted in differences in the release of Zn(2+) ions and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, the antibacterial activity did not correlate with the ROS levels or the Zn(2+) ion release. One of the surface-modified ZnO samples exhibited significantly lower Zn(2+) ion release while at the same time exhibiting improved antibacterial activity. In all cases, damage of the cell wall membranes and/or changes in the membrane permeability have been observed, together with the changes in ATR-FTIR spectra indicating differences in protein conformation. Mechanisms of antibacterial activity are discussed.
    Nanotechnology 10/2012; 23(47):475703. · 3.84 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

607 Citations
323.99 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2014
    • The University of Hong Kong
      • School of Biological Sciences
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2011–2012
    • Sichuan University
      • College of Life Sciences
      Chengdu, Sichuan Sheng, China
  • 2007
    • Lands Department of The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2006
    • University of Auckland
      • Department of Computer Science
      Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
    • China Agricultural University
      • College of Veterinary Medicine
      Beijing, Beijing Shi, China