September 13, 2020

Hello from the Sonoran Desert! In today’s digest, you’ll find quite a few exciting reads! In particular, Stepanauskas and collaborators looked at horizontal gene transfer in marine bacterial genomes in a fascinating preprint. They show that marine microorganisms form “gene exchange networks” within which organisms are able to exchange both flexible and core genes, including genes from the rRNA operon! The authors suggest a new definition of microbial species, broader than the current accepted delineation.

Today’s digest also includes few new papers and proceedings presenting novel bioinformatic tools and methods. Among them, Podlevsky and collaborators presents CasCollect, a novel computational tool allowing the assembly and annotation of Cas genes and CRISPR arrays from metagenomic datasets.

Finally, today’s non-biology piece is a very interesting review on the challenge of Big Data in biology: how modern computational frameworks can enable the storage, transfer, access, and analysis of both unstructured and structured massive biological datasets?

Have a great Sunday!

Human vaginal microbiome

Altered vaginal microbiome and relative co-abundance network in pregnant women with penicillin allergy – Li et al. – Allergy , Asthma & Clinical Immunology

Human gut microbiome

Review: Mechanisms underpinning the efficacy of faecal microbiota transplantation in treating gastrointestinal disease – Segal et al. – Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology

Animal microbiome

Preprint: Deep-sea mussels from a hybrid zone on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge host genetically indistinguishable symbionts – Uecker et al. – BioRxiV

Metagenomic analysis of viral communities in Baikal sponges – Butina and Bukin – Limnology and Freshwater Biology

Microbial community associated with Baicalian crustacea near gas-oil deepwater discharges – Khalzov et al. – Limnology and freshwater biology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Preprint: Investigating the role of root exudates in recruiting Streptomyces bacteria to the Arabidopsis thaliana root microbiome – Worsley et al. – BioRxiV

Water and extremophile microbiome (sea, rivers, lakes, glaciers, permafrost, high-salt)

Preprint: Gene exchange networks define species-like units in marine prokaryotes – Stepanauskas et al. – BioRxiV

Preprint: The effects of seasonal anoxia on the microbial community structure in demosponges in a marine lake (Lough Hyne, Ireland) – Schuster et al. – BioRxiV

Food microbiology

Preprint: Diversity and dynamics of fungi during spontaneous fermentations and association with unique aroma profiles in wine – Liu et al. – BioRxiV

Phages and viruses

Depicting the RNA Virome of Hematophagous Arthropods from Belgrade, Serbia – Stanojevic et al. – Viruses

Preprint: An Unconventional Flavivirus and other RNA Viruses in the Sea Cucumber (Holothuroidea; Echinodermata) Virome – Hewson et al. – preprints


Review: Challenges in gene-oriented approaches for pangenome content discovery – Bonnici et al. – Briefings in Bioinformatics

Conference proceedings: A Data Driven Binning Method to Recover More Nucleotide Sequences of Species in a Metagenome – Vimukti et al. – IEEE

CasCollect: targeted assembly of CRISPR-associated operons from high-throughput sequencing data – Podlevsky et al – NAR Genomics and bioinformatics


book: Metagenomics: Techniques, Applications, Challenges and Opportunities – Singh et al – Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

My non-microbiology pick

Review: Big data in biology: The hope and present-day challenges in it Pal et al. – Gene reports

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