Alan H L Wong

Alan H L Wong
Institute of Hydrobiology CAS · Biology Centre CAS

PhD
EMBO Postdoctoral Fellow examining phage-host systems and dynamics in European freshwater lakes

About

25
Publications
14,030
Reads
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405
Citations
Introduction
Metagenomics and metatranscriptomics of microbial mats and freshwater lakes
Additional affiliations
October 2020 - January 2023
UNSW Sydney
Position
  • Fellow
October 2020 - present
Institute of Hydrobiology CAS
Position
  • PostDoc Position
April 2019 - December 2019
UNSW Sydney
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
March 2015 - April 2019
UNSW Sydney
Field of study
  • Microbial Ecology
March 2014 - November 2014
UNSW Sydney
Field of study
  • Microbial Ecology

Publications

Publications (25)
Article
Full-text available
The genus Acaryochloris is unique among phototrophic organisms due to the dominance of chlorophyll d in its photosynthetic reaction centres and light-harvesting proteins. This allows Acaryochloris to capture light energy for photosynthesis over an extended spectrum of up to ~760 nm in the near infra-red (NIR) spectrum. Acaryochloris sp. has been re...
Article
The present study describes for the first time the community composition and functional potential of the microbial mats found in the supratidal, gypsum-rich, and hypersaline region of Blue Holes, Shark Bay. This was achieved via high throughput metagenomic sequencing of total mat community DNA and complementary analyses using hyperspectral confocal...
Article
One of the most significant events in the evolution of life is the origin of the eukaryotic cell, an increase in cellular complexity that occurred approximately 2 billion years ago. Ground-breaking research has centered around unraveling the characteristics of the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA) and the nuanced archaeal and bacterial contrib...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cold desert soil microbiomes thrive despite severe moisture and nutrient limitations. In Eastern Antarctic soils, hydrogen oxidising bacteria support primary production through a novel carbon fixation process reliant on the chemoautotrophy-associated RuBisCO form IE. Here, biochemical assays show that atmospheric chemosynthesis occurs globally for...
Article
Full-text available
Candidatus phylum Eremiobacterota (formerly WPS-2) is an as-yet-uncultured bacterial clade that takes its name from Ca. Eremiobacter, an Antarctic soil aerobe proposed to be capable of a novel form of chemolithoautotrophy termed atmospheric chemosynthesis, that uses the energy derived from atmospheric H2-oxidation to fix CO2 through the Calvin-Bens...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial mat communities possess extensive taxonomic and functional diversity, which drive high metabolic rates and rapid cycling of major elements. Modern microbial mats occurring in hypersaline environments are considered as analogs to extinct geobiological formations dating back to ∼ 3.5 Gyr ago. Despite efforts to understand the diversity and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Microbial mat ecosystems vary in complexity and structure depending on the environmental constraints placed by nature. Here, we describe in detail for the first time the community composition and functional potential of the microbial mats found in the supratidal, gypsum-rich, and hypersaline region of Blue Holes, Shark Bay. This was achieved via hi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Shark Bay, Australia, harbours one of the most extensive and diverse systems of living microbial mats that are proposed to be analogs of some of the earliest ecosystems on Earth. These ecosystems have been shown to possess a substantial abundance of uncultivable microorganisms. These enigmatic microbes, jointly coined as 'microbial dar...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial mats are geobiological multilayered ecosystems that have significant evolutionary value in understanding the evolution of early life on Earth. Shark Bay, Australia has some of the best examples of modern microbial mats thriving under harsh conditions of high temperatures, salinity, desiccation, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Microorganis...
Preprint
Full-text available
Shark Bay, Australia, harbours one of the most extensive and diverse systems of living microbial mats, that are proposed to be analogs of some of the earliest ecosystems on Earth. These ecosystems have been shown to possess a substantial abundance of uncultivable microorganisms. These enigmatic groups - microbial dark matter (MDM) - are hypothesise...
Article
Full-text available
The potential impact of climate change on eukaryotes, including humans, has been relatively well described. In contrast, the contribution and susceptibility of microorganisms to a changing climate have, until recently, received relatively less attention. In this review, the importance of microorganisms in the climate change discourse is highlighted...
Article
Full-text available
Quorum sensing is a potent system of genetic control allowing phenotypes to be coordinated across localized communities. In this study, quorum sensing systems in Shark Bay microbial mats were delineated using a targeted approach analyzing whole mat extractions as well as the creation of an isolate library. A library of 165 isolates from different m...
Article
Full-text available
Microorganisms in the environment can produce a diverse range of secondary metabolites (SM), which are also known as natural products. Bioactive SMs have been crucial in the development of antibiotics and can also act as useful compounds in the biotechnology industry. These natural products are encoded by an extensive range of biosynthetic gene clu...
Article
Full-text available
Elucidating the diversity of the Archaea has many important ecological and evolutionary implications. The Asgard superphylum of the archaea, described recently from metagenomic data, has reignited the decades-old debate surrounding the topology of the tree of life. This review synthesizes recent findings through publicly available genomes and liter...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial mats and stromatolites are widespread in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, however the phototrophic capacity of these systems is unknown. This study has determined the optical properties and light-harvesting potential of these mats with light microsensors. These characteristics were linked via a combination of 16S rDNA sequencing, pigment analyses...
Data
Coloured figures for the paper: Disentangling the drivers of functional complexity at the metagenomic level in Shark Bay microbial mat microbiomes
Article
Full-text available
The functional metagenomic potential of Shark Bay microbial mats was examined for the first time at a millimeter scale, employing shotgun sequencing of communities via the Illumina NextSeq 500 platform in conjunction with defined chemical analyses. A detailed functional metagenomic profile has elucidated key pathways and facilitated inference of cr...
Article
Full-text available
Single stranded DNA viruses have been previously shown to populate the oceans on a global scale, and are endemic in microbialites of both marine and freshwater systems. We undertook for the first time direct viral metagenomic shotgun sequencing to explore the diversity of viruses in the modern stromatolites of Shark Bay Australia. The data indicate...
Article
Full-text available
The role of archaea in microbial mats is poorly understood. Delineating the spatial distribution of archaea with mat depth will enable resolution of putative niches in these systems. In the present study, high throughput amplicon sequencing was undertaken in conjunction with analysis of key biogeochemical properties of two mats (smooth and pustular...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial mats are unique geobiological ecosystems that form as a result of complex communities of microorganisms interacting with each other and their physical environment. Both the microorganisms present and the network of metabolic interactions govern ecosystem function therein. These systems are often found in a range of extreme environments, a...
Article
Full-text available
Modern microbial mats can provide key insights into early Earth ecosystems, and Shark Bay, Australia, holds one of the best examples of these systems. Identifying the spatial distribution of microorganisms with mat depth facilitates a greater understanding of specific niches and potentially novel microbial interactions. High throughput sequencing c...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Hi all,
I have a metagenomic sequence from a microbial community from Illumina NextSeq (2 x 150). I have used FastQC and trimmomatic for quality control, then used IDBA-UD for assembly.
My command line is:
idba_ud -r S1.fasta --mink 20 --maxk 100 --num_threads 24 -o assem/
It generated a range of files (contig.fa, scaffold.fa, contig-20.fa....contig-100.fa).
I am planning to do some functional annotation and binning. So what files should I use?
Cheers and many thanks
Alan

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Freshwater habitats are critical for all terrestrial life, yet the vast majority of their microbial inhabitants (pro- and eukaryotes) remain enigmatic, outside the bounds of cultivation. The recent development of novel cultivation methods, coupled with advances in sequencing now provides an opportunity to finally unravel freshwater microbial diversity. The PELAGICS project plans a coordinated pan-European sampling campaign (70 lakes) with 24 collaborating scientists from 16 European countries. With novel media mimicking natural conditions and semiautomated high-throughput isolation we aim for stable cultivation and whole-genome sequencing of 500 prokaryotes and 50 unicellular eukaryotes. Moreover, terabyte scale deepmetagenomic sequencing (ca. 18 TB) will allow recovery of thousands of metagenomeassembled genomes for pro-, eukaryotes and viruses. This large-scale effort will finally uncover the microbial diversity (pro- and eukaryotes), their natural interactions and ecological roles in aquatic food webs. A Pan-European microbial ecology network is proposed to sample 70 lakes towards the goal of stable cultivation, whole-genome sequencing (500 pro- and 50 unicellular eukaryotes) and terabyte-scale deep-metagenomic sequencing to obtain 1000s of genomes of freshwater pro-, eukaryotes and viruses.
Project
To understand functional genes and putative microbial interactions in microbial mats