Microbiome digest, October 8, 2014

Blogging from our yearly retreat in Santa Cruz, California: Rethinking Enterotypes, Wolbachia phylogenomics,  hydrothermal vents, and the influence of salamanders on soil microbiome.

Human Microbiome General

Genes & cells: Body microbes make useful molecules: Human microbiome produces thousands of drug candidates – Tina Hesman Saey – Science News

Human Gut Microbiome

Rethinking “Enterotypes” – Dan Knights – Cell Host and Microbe

“However, as discussed here, several different methods of collapsing enterotype variation into a few discrete clusters suggest that enterotype distribution is continuous and can vary widely within an individual.”

Fecal Bacterial Community Changes Associated with Isoflavone Metabolites in Postmenopausal Women after Soy Bar Consumption – Cindy H. Nakatsu – PLOS ONE

“Using DGGE profiles of PCR amplified 16S rRNA genes (V3 region) to compare microbial communities in fecal samples collected one week before and one week during soy supplementation revealed significant differences (ANOSIM p<0.03) before and after soy supplementation in all subjects. “

Insect microbiome

Phylogenomic analyses uncover origin and spread of the Wolbachia pandemic – Michael Gerth  – Nature Communications

“Here we present the first comprehensive phylogenomic analysis of Wolbachia supergroup relationships based on new whole-genome-shotgun data.”

Coral microbiome

Comparing Bacterial Community Composition of Healthy and Dark Spot-Affected Siderastrea siderea in Florida and the Caribbean – Christina A. Kellogg – PLOS ONE

“Microbial-community DNA was extracted from coral samples (mucus, tissue, and skeleton), amplified using bacterial-specific primers, and applied to PhyloChip G3 microarrays to examine the bacterial diversity associated with this coral. “

Soil Microbiome

Summer temperature increase has distinct effects on the ectomycorrhizal fungal communities of moist tussock and dry tundra in Arctic Alaska – Luis N. Morgado – Global Change Biology

“We used Ion Torrent sequencing of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region to compare ECM fungal communities in plots with and without long-term experimental warming in both dry and moist tussock tundra.”

A metagenomics-based approach to the top-down effect on the detritivore food web: a salamanders influence on fungal communities within a deciduous forest – Donald M. Walker – Ecology and Evolution

“From each sample, DNA was extracted, fungal-specific amplification performed, and 454 pyrosequencing was used to sequence the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) region and partial ribosomal large subunit (LSU).”

Water microbiome

Evolutionary Strategies of Viruses, Bacteria and Archaea in Hydrothermal Vent Ecosystems Revealed through Metagenomics – Rika E Anderson – PLOS ONE

“Here, we explore the evolutionary strategies of both microorganisms and viruses in hydrothermal systems through comparative analysis of a cellular and viral metagenome, “

Metabolomics

Discovery and Characterization of Gut Microbiota Decarboxylases that Can Produce the Neurotransmitter Tryptamine – Brianna B. Williams – -Cell Host and Microbe

“Using a combination of genetics, biochemistry, and crystallography, we identify and characterize two phylogenetically distinct enzymes found in the human microbiome that decarboxylate tryptophan to form the β-arylamine neurotransmitter

Techniques

Selective Microbial Genomic DNA Isolation Using Restriction Endonucleases – Helen E. Barnes – PLOS ONE

“Using synthetic genome mixtures, we demonstrate 80% recovery of Escherichia coli genomic DNA even when only femtogram quantities are spiked into 10 µg of human DNA background.”

 More Microbiology

Pseudomonas aeruginosa eradicates Staphylococcus aureus by manipulating the host immunity – Erwan Pernet – Nature Communications

“Our results indicate that a bacterium can eradicate another bacterium by manipulating the host immunity.”

Preparation and evaluation of low-calorie functional ice cream containing inulin, lactulose and Bifidobacterium lactis  – Majid Hashemi- International Journal of Dairy Technology

“This study was aimed to investigate the effects of replacing 5% fat and sugar by inulin and lactulose, respectively, on the survival of Bifidobacterium lactis and physicochemical and sensorial characteristics of the ice cream. “

Microbes in the News

Second Genome, Mayo Clinic team up to explore the microbiome – Stephanie M. Lee – SF Gate

“Second Genome will identify up to eight conditions in which the microbiome potentially plays a role, and the Mayo Clinic will provide human clinical samples for patients with those diseases.”

 Oral health affects overall health – PhillyTrib

“The evidence shows that an infection from periodontitis, or gum disease, can put you at risk for other serious conditions like heart disease, stroke and more.”

Safety Bees: Bacteria From Bees Used To Fight Infections – The Ledger

 “A group of 13 lactic-acid bacteria found in fresh honey from the honey stomach of bees could be the key to bringing an old folk remedy into modern science”

Bik’s Picks  

How dinosaurs divided their meals at the Jurassic dinner table – Science Daily

“How the largest animals to have ever walked on Earth fed, and how this allowed them to live alongside one another in prehistoric ecosystems, is the subject of new research.”

Imitation, Genetic Lineages, and Time Influenced the Morphological Evolution of the Violin – Daniel H. Chitwood – PLOS ONE

“Here, I provide an analysis of morphological evolution in the violin family, sampling the body shapes of over 9,000 instruments over 400 years of history.”

Cat Watch 2014: What’s it like being a cat? – BBC

“Cats are at a crucial point in their evolutionary journey as they transform from solitary hunters to domestic pets, a study by the BBC and the Royal Veterinary College has revealed.”
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