Welcome to the Wang Laboratory of Fungal Genomics and Evolution

We are part of the Department of Biological Sciences (Scarborough) and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (St. George) at the University of Toronto. The ongoing research in our lab focuses on the genomic evolution of microbial fungi and their intimate interactions with eukaryotic hosts. We seek to understand the genetic make-up of fungal symbionts and how they have adapted to their host environments over evolutionary timescales. We primarily use fungi and insects to study adaptation, evolution, host-microbe interactions, and host specificity by integrating modern genomic approaches with traditional phylogenetic methods.

Current research projects include:
1) Biodiversity of aquatic insect-associated fungi in Rouge National Urban Park
2) Assembling high-quality fungal genomes using long-read sequencing data
3) Developing phylogenomic markers for molecular systematics of early-diverging fungi
4) Investigating population genomic structure of insect-associated fungi

The Wang Lab is always seeking students and postdocs who are motivated to use fungi to understand evolution and symbiosis of life. Interested applicants should send your most recent CV and a statement of your research interests to yanxw.wang@utoronto.ca.


Lab News:

  • May 2024- To celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity, Dr. Wang has been invited to contribute a blog to SDGs@UofT Institutional Strategic Initiative, titled "Preserving Fungal Diversity: A Key Strategy in Mitigating Disease Transmission".
  • April 2024- Our laboratory and research program have been featured at the ANAEROBIC FUNGI NETWORK.
  • April 2024- We have a new lab logo! Kudos to our talented gradaute research assistant Wendy Zhang. The new logo incorporates our broad research interests in fungal ecology, evolution, and fungus-host interactions in this exciting genomic era!
  • March 2024- Dr. Wang was invited to give a Biology Seminar on fungus-related horizontal gene transfers at McMaster University.
  • Feb 2024- Happy Spring Festival and Chinese New Year! We look forward to another prosperous term in the Year of the Dragon!
  • December 2023- Huimei successfully passed her PhD appraisal exam! Congratulations! 🎉🎉
  • November 2023- Dr. Wang was visiting Lakehead University and presented an invited Biology Seminar on fungal symbioses and horizontal gene transfers.
  • October 2023- Dr. Wang was invited to give a Biology Seminar at University of Toronto-Mississauga on aquatic fungi and insect-fungus interactions. The following is a generous gift from the department and graduate students 😀
  • September 2023- Jessica Cho-Ah-Ying joined the lab and started her MSc study on fungal evolution and horizontal gene transfers. Welcome Jess!
  • September 2023- Paige Van Rooy successfully defended her M.Sc. thesis on fungus-mosquito interactions. Congratulations, Paige! A job well done 🎉
  • April 2023- Congrats to Shal and Yibing for their CIGAF paper being accepted for publication at Database! Bravo to all contributors for the huge amount of work behind the paper/database assisted by multiple lab volunteers and our awesome collaborator Dr. Doug Strongman as a group effort to digitalize the 100-year trichomycetes collection across the globe!!
  • April 2023- Congratulations to Sumhithaa for being awarded the 2023 TD Undergraduate Research Opportunity Fellowship to continue her research in our lab for Harpellales fungi research at Rouge National Urban Park!
  • Jan 2023- Congratulations to Shal for a successful M.Sc. thesis defence on insect-trichomycetes network analyses.🎉😀
  • July 2022- Congrats to lab undergrad Haider Alsafar to be selected to receive the CERA award for a Fourth-year Advanced Undergraduate Scholarly Project on single-cell genomics of Harpellales fungi. Also celebrate our lab for receiving the 2022 CERA Research Enhancement award for the fungal inventory project in Rouge National Urban Park! Students interested in aquatic fungal collection and identification should contact the PI for more details of the project and how to get involved.
  • June 2022- Dr. Wang has been selected to receive a 2021-22 Connaught New Researcher Award, which will support a lab project entitled "Demystify the mosquito-fungus interactions using comparative multi-Omics approaches".
  • June 2022- Lynn Li joined the lab as a Summer Undergraduate Data Sciences student to work on fungal ubiquitin project. Welcome Lynn!
  • May 2022- Maija Lehn starts her 2022 TD Undergraduate Research Opportunity Fellowship in our lab for a fungal inventory project at Rouge National Urban Park. Welcome Maija!

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