October 27, 2020

Greetings from Pittsburgh, PA!

Today’s digest a contains articles focused on the oral microbiome, koala symbionts, soil microbial communities, and more. For those of you who are a bit too tired to digest cutting-edge research, I suggest using the 10 simple steps outlined in the highlighted editorial to colorize your own data visualizations. Finally, if you just need a break, I suggest bookmarking the article on the whale skin microbiome and revisiting the film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Happy reading (or movie watching)!

General microbiome

Taxonomic profiling and functional characterization of the healthy human oral bacterial microbiome from the north Indian urban sub-population – Verma et al. – Archives of Microbiology

Pregnancy and early life

Maternal and cord blood vitamin D level and the infant gut microbiota in a birth cohort study – Kassem et al. – Maternal Health, Neonatology and Perinatology

Human gut microbiome

Review: A review on preventive role of ketogenic diet (KD) in CNS disorders from the gut microbiota perspective – Rawat et al. – Reviews in Neurosciences

Animal experiments

Challenges in microbiological identification of aerobic bacteria isolated from the skin of reptiles – Brockmann et al. – PLOS ONE

Isolation and sequence-based characterization of a koala symbiont: Lonepinella koalarum – Dahlhausen et al. – Peer J

Vertical transmission of zika virus in Aedes albopictus – Lai et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Cultured-dependent and cultured-independent study of bacteria associated with Thai commercial stingless bee Lepidotrigona terminata – Suphaphimol et al. – Journal of Apicultural Research

Animal microbiome

**Skin microbiome of beluga whales: spatial, temporal, and health-related dynamics – Van Cise et al. – Animal Microbiome

Diversity of bacterial symbionts associated with Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Aphidinae) revealed by 16S rRNA Illumina sequencing – Xu et al. – Microbial Ecology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Protists and collembolans alter microbial community composition, C dynamics and soil aggregation in simplified consumer–prey systems – Erktan et al. – Biogeosciences

Responses of soil bacteria and fungi after 36 years fertilizer, straw cover, and irrigation management practices in northwest China – Zhang et al. – Soil Use and Management

Water and extremophile microbiome

Integration of time-series meta-omics data reveals how microbial ecosystems respond to disturbance – Herold et al. – Nature Communications

Islands in the sand: Are all hypolithic microbial communities the same? – Lebre et al. – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Shifts of sediment bacterial community and respiration along a successional gradient in a typical karst plateau lake wetland (China) – Xia et al. – Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

Salinity controls soil microbial community structure and function in coastal estuarine wetlands – Zhang et al. – Environmental Microbiology

Phages and viruses

Association of host proteins with the broad host range filamentous phage NgoΦ6 of Neisseria gonorrhoeae – Piekarowicz et al. – PLOS ONE


**Editorial: Ten simple rules to colorize biological data visualization – Hattab et al. – PLOS Computational Biology

NanoGalaxy: Nanopore long-read sequencing data analysis in Galaxy – de Koning et al. – GigaScience

Predicting antimicrobial resistance using conserved genes – Nguyen et al. – PLOS Computational Biology


Review: Innovations to culturing the uncultured microbial majority – Lewis et al. – Nature Reviews Microbiology

Comparison of the diversity of cultured and total bacterial communities in marine sediment using culture-dependent and sequencing methods – Wang et al. – PeerJ

Science, publishing, and career

Comment: Crowdsourcing virtual summer research opportunities to support minorities in microbiology – Johnson et al. – Nature Microbiology

October 1, 2020

Greetings, friends!

Today’s digest contains a wealth of microbiology articles focused on everything from the dog ear canal microbiome to estuarine methanogen communities. Rather than highlight a specific research article, today I’d like to encourage you to check out this week’s New York Times article profiling the organizers of Black in Micro Week and this commentary published by one of the organizers in mSphere. Black in Micro week began this Monday and programming is scheduled to continue through October 4th. If you missed earlier events, you’re in luck! The organizers have already uploaded videos of all completed events at the Black in Micro youtube channel.



Black in Micro Week is this week (September 28 – October 4th, 2020) on your favorite social media platforms! Check out the Black in Microbiology website for additional information, including a full programming schedule, and follow @BlackinMicro and #BlackinMicro on Twitter and Instagram.

Human respiratory microbiome

Airway microbiota is associated with the severity of non‐CF bronchiectasis – Li et al. – The Clinical Respiratory Journal

Human gut microbiome

Systematic analysis of gut microbiota in pregnant women and its correlations with individual heterogeneity – Yang et al. – npj Biofilms and Microbiomes

Review: Implication of gut microbiota in cardiovascular diseases – Zhou et al. – Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity

Animal experiments

Changes in the ear canal microbiota of dogs with otitis externa – Kasai et al. – Journal of Applied Microbiology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Soil borne Fusarium solani exhibited pathogenic effect on tomato cultivars in Nigeria – Abiala et al. – Archives of Phytopatholgy and Plant Protection

A symbiotic nutrient exchange within the cyanosphere microbiome of the biocrust cyanobacterium, Microcoleus vaginatus – Nelson et al. – The ISME Journal

Successional change of the fungal microbiome pine seedling roots inoculated with Tricholoma matsutake – Park et al. – Frontiers in Microbiology

Review: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: an ecological accelerator of phytoremediation of metal contaminated soils – Tiwari et al. – Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science

Co‐occurrence history increases ecosystem stability and resilience in experimental plant communities – van Moorsel et al. – Ecology

Quantitative estimation of stochastic and deterministic processes for soil prokaryotic community assembly in the Yellow River floodplain – Yu et al. – European Journal of Soil Science

Water and extremophile microbiome

Homogeneous environmental selection dominates microbial community assembly in the oligotrophic South Pacific Gyre – Allen et al. – Molecular Ecology

An unexpectedly broad thermal and salinity-tolerant estuarine methanogen community – Blake et al. – Microorganisms

Microbial communities responded to tetracyclines and Cu(II) in constructed wetlands microcosms with Myriophyllum aquaticum – Guo et al. – Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

Built environment

Microbial community and function in nitrogen transformation of ectopic fermentation bed system for pig manure composting – Chen et al. – Bioresource Technology

Effect of hydrothermal hot-compression method on the antimicrobial performance of green building materials from heterogeneous cellulose wastes – Echeverria et al. – Journal of Cleaner Production

Nitrous oxide emission and microbial community of full-scale anoxic/aerobic membrane bioreactors at low dissolved oxygen setpoints – Wen et al. – Journal of Water Process Engineering

Response of Cyperus involucratus to sulfamethoxazole and ofloxacin-contaminated environments: Growth physiology, transportation, and microbial community – Xu et al. – Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

Microbes in the news

Black microbiologists push for visibility amid a pandemic – Wu – New York Times

Science, publishing, and career

Commentary: mSphere of influence: That’s racist—COVID-19, biological determinism, and the limits of hypotheses – Taylor – mSphere

September 25, 2020

Hello from Lübeck/Germany,
today we cover a broad range of microbiome related studies. Of particular interest is a preprint by the Korem lab about use of antibiotics and increase in aggressive behavior in D. melanogaster. This study got already some attention on Twitter and in the press. Furthermore, one preprint covers the C. difficile species problem, investigating the genetic heterogeneity of this species. Last but not least, I would like to mention a paper investigating responses of megakaryocytes, erythroid cells and plasmablasts as hallmarks of severe COVID-19 trajectories.


[PREPRINT] Longitudinal multi-omics analysis identifies responses of megakaryocytes, erythroid cells and plasmablasts as hallmarks of severe COVID-19 trajectories – Bernardes et al. – medRxiv

General microbiome

[PREPRINT] The Clostridioides difficile species problem: global phylogenomic analysis uncovers three ancient, toxigenic, genomospecies – Knight et al. – bioRxiv

Human respiratory microbiome

Longitudinal Changes in Early Nasal Microbiota and the Risk of Childhood Asthma – Toivonen et al. – Pediatrics

Human gut microbiome

[REVIEW] Host–microbiota maladaptation in colorectal cancer – Janney, Pworie & Mann – Nature

Animal experiments

The maternal microbiome modulates fetal neurodevelopment in mice – Vuong et al. – Nature

[PREPRINT] Antibiotics increase aggression behavior and aggression-related pheromones and receptors in Drosophila melanogaster – Grinberg et al. – bioRxiv

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

[PREPRINT] Viruses carrying genes for microbial extremotolerance are abundant and widely dispersed in the Atacama Desert hyperarid soil – Hwang et al. – bioRxiv

Water and extremophile microbiome

[PREPRINT] Enrichment of novel Verrucomicrobia, Bacteroidetes and Krumholzibacteria in an oxygen-limited, methane- and iron-fed bioreactor inoculated with Bothnian Sea sediments – Martins et al. – bioRxiv

Built environment

[PREPRINT] The rise and the fall of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa epidemic lineage in a hospital – Petitjean et al. – bioRxiv

Metabolic traits

Metabolic trait diversity shapes marine biogeography – Deutsch, Penn & Seibel – Nature


[Preprint] Inferring microbial co-occurrence networks from amplicon data: a systematic evaluation – Kishore et al. – bioRxiv

Microbes in the news

Tiny bacteria impact our health in big ways – Gina Rich – The Washington Post (KidsPost)

Gut microbiome plays important role in sleep regulation – ScienceDaily

September 10, 2020

Good morning from smokey, apocalyptic San Francisco! The world outside my window may be in sepia tones, but the articles I’m highlighting here are helping to brighten my day. Today’s digest has some fascinating insect and environmental microbiome research including a paper about the gut microbiota of a beetle that lives in the mixed forest of northeastern Asia and its capacity to efficiently degrade polystyrene. Additionally, there’s a paper characterizing the community structure and metabolic capacity of a biofilm-like microbial community lining the wall of the Yumugi river cave in a remote part of Western New Guinea. I’ve also included a paper examining availability of microbial community sequencing data which found that much of this data is not available and offers suggestions for improving data archiving practices. Finally, there is a very interesting technique paper about an orally ingestible microdevice that can be used to sample the gut microbiota in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Happy reading!

General Microbiome
Influence of Intratumor Microbiome on Clinical Outcome and Immune Processes in Prostate Cancer. – Ma, J. et al., Cancers

Experimental (co)evolution in a multi-species microbial community results in local maladaptation. – Castledine, M. et al., Ecology Letters

Pregnancy and Early Life
Mothers of Preterm Infants Have Individualized Breast Milk Microbiota that Changes Temporally Based on Maternal Characteristics. – Asbury, M.R et al., Cell Host Microbe

The meconium microbiota shares more features with the amniotic fluid microbiota than the maternal fecal and vaginal microbiota. – He, Q. et al., Gut Microbes

Skin microbiome
Stratum Corneum Lipidomics Analysis Reveals Altered Ceramide Profile in Atopic Dermatitis Patients Across Body Sites With Correlated Changes in Skin Microbiome. – Emmert, H. et al., Experimental Dermatology

Vaginal microbiome
Diverse vaginal microbiome was associated with pro-inflammatory vaginal milieu among pregnant women in Uganda. – Bayigga, L. et al. Human Microbiome Journal

Gut microbiome
Diet Diurnally Regulates Small Intestinal Microbiome-Epithelial-Immune Homeostasis and Enteritis. – Tuganbeav, T. et al., Cell

Microbiota-modulated CART + enteric neurons autonomously regulate blood glucose. – Muller, P.A. et al., Science

Succinate Produced by Intestinal Microbes Promotes Specification of Tuft Cells to Suppress Ileal Inflammation. -Banerjee, A. et al., Gastroenterology

Animal Experiments
Gut microbiome improves postoperative cognitive function by decreasing permeability of the blood-brain barrier in aged mice. – Wen, J. et al., Brain Research Bulletin

Indolepropionic Acid, a Metabolite of the Microbiome, Has Cytostatic Properties in Breast Cancer by Activating AHR and PXR Receptors and Inducing Oxidative Stress. – Sári, Z. et al., Cancers

Angiogenin maintains gut microbe homeostasis by balancing α-Proteobacteria and Lachnospiraceae. – Sun, D. et al., Gut

Gut Microbiota-Associated Activation of TLR5 Induces Apolipoprotein A1 Production in the Liver. – Yiu, J.H.C. et al., Circulation Research

Animal and insect microbiome
Cross-generational effects of climate change on the microbiome of a photosynthetic sponge. – Luter, H.M. et al., Environmental Microbiology

Symbionts shape host innate immunity in honeybees. – Horak, R.D. et al., Proceedings Biological Sciences

Parental Microbiota Modulates Offspring Development, Body Mass and Fecundity in a Polyphagous Fruit Fly. – Nguyen, B. et al. Microorganisms

Fast and Facile Biodegradation of Polystyrene by the Gut Microbial Flora of Plesiophthalmus davidis Larvae. – Woo, S. et al., Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Gut microbiota protects honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) against polystyrene microplastics exposure risks. – Wang, K. et al., Journal of Hazardous Materials

Plant, root, and soil microbiome
Characteristics of microbial community of soil subjected to industrial production of antibiotics. – Borčinová, M. et al., Folia Microbiologica

Host selection shapes crop microbiome assembly and network complexity. -Xiong, C. et al., The New Phytologist

Microbiome of root vegetables-a source of gluten-degrading bacteria. – Kõiv, V. et al., Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Water and extremophile microbiome
Environmental stability impacts the differential sensitivity of marine microbiomes to increases in temperature and acidity. – Wang, Z. et al., ISME Journal

Insights into the Vertical Stratification of Microbial Ecological Roles across the Deepest Seawater Column on Earth. – Xue, C-X et al., Microorganisms

The microbial community of a biofilm lining the wall of a pristine cave in Western New Guinea. – Turrini, P. et al., Microbiological Research

Built environment
Airborne bacteria in outdoor air and air of mechanically ventilated buildings at city-scale in Hong Kong across seasons. – Zhou, Y. et al., Environmental Science and Technology

Phages and viruses
Review: Phages and their potential to modulate the microbiome and immunity. Federici, S. et al., Cellular and Molecular Immunology

Generalized estimating equation modeling on correlated microbiome sequencing data with longitudinal measures. – Chen, B. and Xu, W., PLoS Computational Biology

The Nubeam reference-free approach to analyze metagenomic sequencing reads. – Dai, H. and Guan, Y., Genome Research

The archives are half-empty: an assessment of the availability of microbial community sequencing data. – Jurburg, S.D. et al., Communications Biology

An effective culturomics approach to study the gut microbiota of mammals. – Pereira, A.C. and Cunha, M.V., Research in Microbiology

Activity-based cell sorting reveals responses of uncultured archaea and bacteria to substrate amendment. – Reichart, N.J. et al., ISME Journal

An Ingestible Self-Polymerizing System for Targeted Sampling of Gut Microbiota and Biomarkers. – Chen, L. et al., ACS Nano

September 8, 2020

Greetings, friends!

Today’s digest is a very heavy grab bag of articles! Included are many reviews on everything from the microbiome in forensic science to the gut-lung axis. Also included are original research articles focused on a variety of subjects including microplastics, extremophiles, and the bicycle microbiome! Finally, for those of you looking for practical advice, I’ve highlighted an article focused on best practices for writing genome announcements.

Happy reading!

General microbiome

Manipulating denitrifying sulfide removal of Pseudomonas sp. C27 with nitrite as sole nitrogen source: Shotgun proteomics analysis – Guo et al. – Bioresource Technology

Pseudomonas aeruginosa – Candida interplay: Effect on in vitro antibiotic susceptibility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa when grown in the presence Candida culture – Mcllroy et al. – British Journal of Biomedical Science

Impact of DNA extraction on whole genome sequencing analysis for characterization and relatedness of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolates – Nouws et al. – Scientific Reports

Evolution of diversity explains the impact of pre-adaptation of a focal species on the structure of a natural microbial community – Padfield et al. – The ISME Journal

Biomass-degrading glycoside hydrolases of archaeal origin – Suleiman et al. – Biotechnology for Biofuels

Mining for novel antibiotics in the age of antimicrobial resistance – Udaondo and Matilla – Microbial Biotechology

Multi-site human microbiome

Association between the microbiomes of tonsil and saliva samples isolated from pediatric patients subjected to tonsillectomy for the treatment of tonsillar hyperplasia – Choi et al. – Experimental & Molecular Medicine

Review: The impact of the human microbiome in forensic sciences: A systematic review – García et al. – Applied and Enviornmental Microbiology

Human respiratory microbiome

Review: The evolving role of the lung microbiome in pulmonary fibrosis – Lipinski et al. – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology

Review: Recent advances in understanding the ecology of the lung microbiota and deciphering the gut-lung axis – Willis et al. – Lung Cellcular and Molecular Physiology

Human gut microbiome

Altered gut microbiota correlated with systemic inflammation in children with Kawasaki disease – Chen et al. – Scientific Reports

Review: Gut microbiota in human metabolic health and disease – Fan and Pedersen – Nature Reviews Microbiology

Lactose-reduced infant formula with added corn syrup solids is associated with a distinct gut microbiota in Hispanic infants – Jones et al. – Gut Microbes

Animal experiments

Gut bacterial communities and their contribution to performance of specialist Altica flea beetles – Wei et al. – Microbial Ecology

Dynamic changes of gut microbiota of discus fish (Symphysodon haraldi) at different feeding stages – Zhang et al. – Aquaculture

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Diversity of cultivable microbes from soil of the Fildes Peninsula, Antarctica, and their potential application – Cong et al. – Frontiers in Microbiology

Structural and functional microbial diversity of sandy soil under cropland and grassland – Frąc et al. – PeerJ

Microbiome–environment interactions in antimony-contaminated rice paddies and the correlation of core microbiome with arsenic and antimony contamination – Li et al. – Chemosphere

Review: Implications of endophytic microbiota in Camellia Sinensis: A review on current understanding and future insights – Xie et al. – Bioengineered

Characterizing the nectar microbiome of the non-native tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in an urban environment – Warren et al. – PLOS ONE

Water and extremophile microbiome

Prokaryotic diversity in stream sediments affected by acid mine drainage – Carlier et al. – Extremophiles

Combination of genetic tools to discern Bacillus species isolated from hot springs in South Africa – Jardine and Ubomba-Jaswa – African Journal of Mirobiology Research

Bioleaching of pyritic coal wastes: bioprospecting and efficiency of selected consortia – Joulian et al. – Research in Microbiology

Genotypic and phylogenetic diversity of new isolates of terrestrial Xanthophyceae (Stramenopiles) from maritime sandy habitats – Rybalka et al. – Phycologia

Paucihalobacter ruber gen. nov., sp. nov., isolated from a haloalkaline lake sediment sample – Wu et al. – Microbiology Society

Comparative analysis of bacterial diversity and community structure in the rhizosphere and root endosphere of two halophytes, Salicornia europaea and Glaux maritima, collected from two brackish lakes in Japan – Yamamoto et al. – Microbes and Environments

Fungal diversity in deep-sea sediments from Magellan seamounts environment of the western Pacific revealed by high-throughput Illumina sequencing – Yang et al. – Journal of Microbiology

Effect of Ferrous Iron Addition on Ammonium Nitrogen Removal and Microbial Communities in Horizontal Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands – Zhang et al. – Wetlands

Built environment

Microplastics negatively affect soil fauna but stimulate microbial activity: insights from a field-based microplastic addition experiment – Lin et al. – Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Shared bicycle microbial community: a potential antibiotic-resistant bacteria warehouse – Wu et al. – Folia Microbiologica

Microbial carrying capacity and carbon biomass of plastic marine debris – Zhao et al. – The ISME Journal

Food microbiology

Proteolysis, lipolysis, texture and sensory properties of cheese ripened by Monascus fumeus – Xia et al. – Food Research International


Announcement: Best practices for successfully writing and publishing a genome announcement in microbiology resource announcements – Hotopp et al. – Microbiology Resource Announcements


Flow-through stable isotope probing (Flow-SIP) minimizes cross-feeding in complex microbial communities – Mooshammer et al. – The ISME Journal

August 21, 2020

HAPPENING TODAY: Microbiome sequencing in high-host and low biomass samples. August 21, 2020.

Webinar Series on the Gut-Brain Axis and the Microbiome
August 28, 2020 – September 25, 2020

Functional effects of the human gut microbiome on autism. Biocodex Microbiota Foundation

Human microbiome
Focus on Microbiome in Health and Disease – A special microbiome issue in Cell Host Microbe

REVIEW: The Impact of the Microbiome on Immunity to Vaccination in Humans. Sanne E. de Jong et al. Cell Host & Microbe.

REVIEW: The Gut Microbiota and Unhealthy Aging: Disentangling Cause from Consequence. Erica N. DeJong et al. Cell Host & Microbe.

Helminth coinfection and COVID-19: An alternate hypothesis. Russell Hays et al. PLoS Negleced Tropical Diseases.

Gut microbiome
REVIEW: Mitochondria, the gut microbiome and ROS. and ROS. J. William O.Ballard & Samuel G. Towarnicki. Cellular Signalling.

Stool Microbiome Profiling of Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Receiving Anti–PD-1 Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. Nicholas J. Salgia et al. European Urology.

Programing of an Intravascular Immune Firewall by the Gut Microbiota Protects against Pathogen Dissemination during Infection. Braedon McDonald et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Oral microbiome
Analysis of microbial changes in the tonsillar formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue of Chinese patients with IgA nephropathy. Anchao Zhu. Pathology – Research and Practice

Early life microbiome
Breastmilk Feeding Practices Are Associated with the Co-Occurrence of Bacteria in Mothers’ Milk and the Infant Gut: the CHILD Cohort Study. Kelsey Fehr et al. Cell Host & Microbe.

Animal microbiome
Effects of Urbanization and Landscape on Gut Microbiomes in White-Crowned Sparrows. Mae Berlow. Microbial Ecology

Built environment
Passenger-surface microbiome interactions in the subway of Mexico City. Daniela Vargas-Robles et al. PLoS One.

Plant, root, and soil microbiome
Plant resistance and leaf chemical characteristic jointly shape phyllosphere bacterial community. Tian Xueliang. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology.

The role of land management and elevation in shaping soil microbial communities: Insights from the Central European Alps. Nadine Praega. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.

Composition, predicted functions, and co-occurrence networks of fungal and bacterial communities_ Links to soil organic carbon under long-term fertilization in a rice-wheat cropping system. Jie Chen. European Journal of Soil Biology

Diversity and structure of prokaryotic communities within organic and conventional farming systems in central highlands of Kenya. Edward Nderitu Karanja et al. PLoS One.

Water and wastewater
Turning harmful algal biomass to electricity by microbial fuel cell: A sustainable approach for waste management. Jafar Ali. Environmental Pollution.

Combining physicochemical properties and microbiome data to evaluate the water quality of South African drinking water production plants. Tawanda E. Maguvu et al. PLoS One.

They are what you eat: Shaping of viral populations through nutrition and consequences for virulence. Rebekah Honce & Stacey Schultz-Cherry. PLoS Pathogens.

Assembly methods for nanopore-based metagenomic sequencing: a comparative study. Adriel Latorre-Pérez. Scientific Report.

Completion of draft bacterial genomes by long-read sequencing of synthetic genomic pools. Hooman Derakhshani et al. BMC Genomics.

Modeling microbial cross-feeding at intermediate scale portrays community dynamics and species coexistence. Chen Liao et al. PLoS Computational Biology

Bacterial modification of the host glycosaminoglycan heparan sulfate modulates SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. Cameron Martino et al. bioRxiv

Evaluation of Compatibility of 16S rRNA V3V4 and V4 Amplicon Libraries for Clinical Microbiome Profiling. Po-Yu Liu et al.bioRxiv

Shirin’s non-microbiology picks
MICROBIOME ART: François-Joseph Lapointe, when biology meets art. Jihane Mossalim. Convergence Initiative.

BEHIND THE PAPER: Early-life microbiota diversification facilitates enterocyte proliferation. Michael Dougherty. Nature Microbiology Research Community

JOP OPPURTUNITY: PhD positions in the ecology and evolution of metabolic cross-feeding interactions in soil-living bacterial communities and the gut microbiota in protecting the host against intestinal colonisation by multidrug-resistant organisms

August 19, 2020


Today’s digest is heavy on environmental microbiology with topics ranging from marine microplastics to carbon budgets to kitchen waste. I want to especially highlight a study that examines the phyllosphere of the mānuka. They found that the mānuka, or tea tree, has a stable core microbiome and variation in the non-core taxa is explained by biogeographical patterns.


Events and jobs

Virtual Microbiome Bioinformatics Qiime2 Workshop – October 5-9, 2020

General microbiome

Opinion: Oceanic hitchhikers – Assessing pathogen risks from marine microplastic – Bowley et al. – Trends in Microbiology

Multi-site human microbiome

Analysis of the composition and functions of the microbiome in diabetic foot osteomyelitis based on 16S rRNA and metagenome sequencing technology – Mengchen et al. – Diabetes

Animal experiments

Developmental stage-associated microbiota profile of the peach fruit fly, Bactrocera zonata (Diptera: Tephritidae) and their functional prediction using 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding sequencing – Naaz et al. – 3 Biotech

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

A core phyllosphere microbiome exists across distant populations of a tree species indigenous to New Zealand – Noble et al. – PLOS One

Water and extremophile microbiome

Carbon budgets for soil and plants respond to long-term warming in an Alaskan boreal forest – Alster et al. – Biogeochemistry

First insights to the microbial communities in the plant process water of the multi-metal Kevitsa mine – Bomberg et al. – Research in Microbiology

Halomicroarcula amylolytica sp. nov., a novel halophilic archaeon isolated from a salt mine – Chen et al. – International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology

Spatial patterns of microbial communities across surface waters of the Great Barrier Reef – Frade et al. – Communications Biology

Isolation and characterization of a novel acidophilic zero-valent sulfur- and ferric iron-respiring Firmicute – Holanda and Johnson – Research and Microbiology

Combining physicochemical properties and microbiome data to evaluate the water quality of South African drinking water production plants – Maguvu et al. – PLOS One

Transient dynamics of archaea and bacteria in sediments and brine Across a salinity gradient in a solar saltern of Goa, India – Mani et al. – Frontiers in Microbiology

Diversity and distribution of cultivable fungi present in acid sulphate soils in chronosequence under para-periglacial conditions in King George Island, Antarctica – Porto et al. – Extremophiles

Investigation of the ecological roles of putative keystone taxa during tailing revegetation – Sun et al. – Environmental Science & Technology

Geochemistry and microbiology predict environmental niches with conditions favoring potential microbial activity in the Bakken shale – Tinker et al. – Frontiers in Microbiology

Spatial patterns of selenium and profiling of Se-tolerant Bacillus strains in Shiwalik foot-hills – Tiwana et al. – Geomicrobiology Journal

Bacterial laccase of Anoxybacillus ayderensis SK3-4 from hot springs showing potential for industrial dye decolorization – Wang et al. – Annals of Microbiology

Built environment

Comparison of microbial communities during anaerobic digestion of kitchen waste: Effect of substrate sources and temperatures – Jiang et al. – Bioresource Technology

August 14, 2020

Good morning from Massachusetts! Dr. Elisabeth Bik will be giving a Zoom talk today on research misconduct in biomedical research. You can register at the link under events. Fittingly, today’s digest includes a preprint on the effects of retraction after misconduct on citations. Other highlights today include an entire theme issue on the microbiome and host evolution and a paper on phylogenomic analyses of archaea attempting to elucidate the DPANN lineage. In early life, the placental microbiome debate rages on with a paper demonstrating evidence for contamination rather than an actual placental microbiome. Finally, I have highlighted a paper studying whether soil archives can give us a glimpse into soil microbial communities of the past.

Have a great weekend!


Dr. Bik is discussing “The Dark Side of Science: Misconduct in Biomedical Research” today at 12PM EDT! Register here.

General microbiome

Theme Issue: The role of the microbiome in host evolution – Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B

Pregnancy and early life

Evidence for contamination as the origin for bacteria found in human placenta rather than a microbiota – Rémi Gschwind – PloS One

Human milk microbiome

SARS-CoV-2 in human milk is inactivated by Holder pasteurization but not cold storage – Gregory J. Walker – Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

Human oral microbiome

Review: Oral microbiome geography: Micron-scale habitat and niche – Jessica L. Mark Welch – Cell Host & Microbe

Human gut microbiome

Epidemiology and associated microbiota changes in deployed military personnel at high risk of traveler’s diarrhea – William A. Walters – PloS One

Animal experiments

Differential alteration in gut microbiome profiles during acquisition, extinction, and reinstatement of morphine-induced CPP – Jianbo Zhang – Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry

Modulation of the intestinal microbiota of broilers supplemented with monensin or functional oils in response to challenge by Eimeria spp. – Alexandre Maciel Vieira – PloS One

Herpes simplex virus infection, Acyclovir and IVIG treatment all independently cause gut dysbiosis – Chandran Ramakrishna – PloS One

Animal microbiome

Raw milk and fecal microbiota of commercial Alpine dairy cows varies with herd, fat content and diet – Francesca Albonico – PloS One

Hydrolytic bacteria associated with natural helminth infection in the midgut of Red Sea marbled spinefoot rabbit fish Siganus rivulatus – Ghada Abd-Elmonsef Mahmoud – Microbial Pathogenesis

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Book: Agriculturally Important Fungi for Sustainable Agriculture Vol 2: Functional Annotation for Crop Protection – Eds. Ajar Nath Yadav et al. – Springer

Patient propagules: Do soil archives preserve the legacy of fungal and prokaryotic communities? – Gian Maria Niccolò Benucci – PloS One

Labile carbon limits late winter microbial activity near Arctic treeline – Patrick F. Sullivan – Nature Communications

Enhanced biodegradation of crude oil by constructed bacterial consortium comprising salt-tolerant petroleum degraders and biosurfactant producers – Weiwei Chen – International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation

Plant–archaea relationships: a potential means to improve crop production in arid and semi-arid regions – Elizabeth Temitope Alori – World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

First report of Fusarium equiseti causing crown rot and damping-off on durum wheat in Algeria – Amor Bencheikh – Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection

Soil microbial diversity and composition: Links to soil texture and associated properties – Qing Xia – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Water, air, and extremophile microbiome

Effects of different habitats on the bacterial community composition in the water and sediments of Lake Taihu, China – Wenjie Chang – Environmental Science and Pollution Research

Genomic and enzymatic evidence of acetogenesis by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea – Shanshan Yang – Nature Communications

Undinarchaeota illuminate DPANN phylogeny and the impact of gene transfer on archaeal evolution – Nina Dombrowski – Nature Communications

Preprint: Occurrence, identification and antibiogram signatures of selected Enterobacteriaceae from Tsomo and Tyhume rivers in the Eastern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa – Fadare Temitope Folake — BioRxiv

Built environment

The microbiome of drinking water biofilters is influenced by environmental factors and engineering decisions but has little influence on the microbiome of the filtrate – Ben Ma – Environmental Science & Technology

In-situ remediation of acid mine drainage from abandoned coal mine by filed pilot-scale passive treatment system: Performance and response of microbial communities to low pH and elevated Fe – Haiyan Chen – Bioresource Technology

Bioinformatics and other techniques

De novo sequence assembly requires bioinformatic checking of chimeric sequences – Laila Sara Arroyo – PloS One

Review on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for the rapid screening of microbial species: A promising bioanalytical tool – Suresh Kumar Kailasa – Microchemical Journal

Microbes in the News

Using the infant stool microbiome to predict NEC: New machine learning tool predicts devastating intestinal disease in premature infants – Science Daily

Science Publishing and Career

Preprint: Does retraction after misconduct have an impact on citations? A pre-post study – Cristina Candal-Pedreira – bioRxiv

August 10th, 2020

God morgon!

Good morning from Sweden. Today’s digest is a light one but carries a preprint with some very important findings. The study has suggested that the nCoV can potentially hijack the immune system completely by infecting the lymphocytes. This might lead to impaired antibody and T-cell response, something that could have a serious implication on the success of the much-awaited vaccine. (Unfortunately, for some unknown reasons, the PDF of the preprint is inaccessible to me! Let me know down in the comments if you are able to download it.)

A new paper in BMC microbiome shows a correlation between the indoor dust microbiota and the microbiota of infant airways. A classic example of how our environment impacts our health.  There is another interesting preprint where the authors show that a fungus alters its virulence when it is challenged by predatory amoebae. Perhaps the amoeba challenge selects for the warrior mutants which then carry on their warring ways!

Elsewhere in the digest is a preprint where Plasmodium knowlesi was used as a model to successfully determine new vaccine targets against more dangerous Plasmodium vivax, a paper detailing the effect of polar light cycles on the Antarctic lake microbiome, and identification of haloarchael species in Korean gut microbiota.


Preprint: Infection of human lymphomononuclear cells by SARS-CoV-2 – Marjorie C Pontelli, et al.

General Microbiology

Preprint: Amoeba predation of Cryptococcus neoformans results in pleiotropic changes to traits associated with virulence – Man Shun Fu, et al.

Preprint: Using Plasmodium knowlesi as a model for screening Plasmodium vivax blood-stage malaria vaccine targets reveals new candidates – Duncan N Ndegwa, et al.

General microbiome

Influence of the polar light cycle on seasonal dynamics of an Antarctic lake microbial community – Pratibha Panwar, et al. – Microbiome

Environmental shaping of the bacterial and fungal community in infant bed dust and correlations with the airway microbiota – Shashank Gupta, et al. – Microbiome

Archaea/Gut microbiota

The human gut archaeome: identification of diverse haloarchaea in Korean subjects – Joon Yong Kim, et al. – Microbiome


Preprint: Successful introduction of the Colour Test into inexperienced settings – Kadri Klaos

Zoom Seminar

How a healthy gut microbe affects your whole body? – Karen Ranzi, Holistic Health Coach, Award-Winning Author, Motivational Speaker, Natural Foods Chef, Speech and Feeding Therapist (phew!)

July 31, 2020

Today’s digest features studies on hospital-associated bacterial communities on window components, the effect of urbanization on the vaginal microbiota of Amerindians, nitrate as a potential prebiotic for oral health, and the latest news in bioinformatics. Happy reading!

General microbiome

Microbial species interactions determine community diversity in fluctuating environments – Shota Shibasaki – bioRxiv

Review: The host-associated archaeome – Guillaume Borrel – Nature Reviews Microbiology

Oral microbiome

*Nitrate as a potential prebiotic for the oral microbiome – Bob T. Rosier – Scientific Reports

Skin microbiome

Deep skin dysbiosis in vitiligo patients: link with mitochondrial and immune changes – Hanene Bzioueche – medRxiv

Gut microbiome

Review: The microbiome: An emerging key player in aging and longevity– Minhoo Kim and Bérénice A. Benayoun – Translational Medicine of Aging

Immunoglobulin recognition of fecal bacteria in stunted and non-stunted children: findings from the Afribiota study – Kelsey E. Huus – Microbiome

Vaginal microbiome

*Changes in the vaginal microbiota across a gradient of urbanization – Daniela Vargas-Robles – Scientific Reports

Comparison between a novel molecular tool and conventional methods for diagnostic classification of bacterial vaginosis: is integration of the two approaches necessary for a better evaluation? – Margherita Scapaticci – New Microbiologica

Genome-wide mutagenesis identifies factors involved in Enterococcus faecalis vaginal adherence and persistence – Norhan Alhajjar – bioRxiv

Association between Vaginal Bacterial Microbiota and Vaginal Yeast Colonization – McKenna C Eastment – The Journal of Infectious Diseases

Urinary microbiome

Review: The microbiome in urological diseases – Kwang Woo Lee – Investigive and Clinical Urology

Review: FimH and Anti-Adhesive Therapeutics: A Disarming Strategy Against Uropathogens – Meysam Sarshar – Antibiotics

Characterization of urinary microbiome in patients with bladder cancer: Results from a single-institution, feasibility study – Juan Chipollini – Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations

Animal microbiome

Resistance to change: AMR gene dynamics on a commercial pig farm with high antimicrobial usage – Jolinda Pollock – Scientific Reports

Vaginal Microbiota Changes During Estrous Cycle in Dairy Heifers – Juan J. Quereda – Frontiers in Veterinary Science

Animal experiment

The gut microbiome switches mutant p53 from tumour-suppressive to oncogenic – Eliran Kadosh – Nature

An Enteric Pathogen Subverts Colonization Resistance by Evading Competition for Amino Acids in the Gut – Gustavo Caballero-Flores – Cell Host & Microbe

Consumption of a Western-Style Diet Modulates the Response of the Murine Gut Microbiome to Ciprofloxacin – Damien J. Cabral – mSystems

Water and extremophile microbiome

Determining the primary sources of fecal pollution using microbial source tracking assays combined with land-use information in the Edwards Aquifer – Jessica Hinojosa – Water Research

Diverse Microorganisms in Sediment and Groundwater Are Implicated in Extracellular Redox Processes Based on Genomic Analysis of Bioanode Communities – Tyler J. Arbour – Frontiers in Microbiology

Food microbiome

Discovering microbiota and volatile compounds of surströmming, the traditional Swedish sour herring – Luca Belleggia – Food Microbiology

Built environment

*Viable bacterial communities on hospital window components in patient rooms – Patrick F. Horve – PeerJ

Microbiome and Metagenome Analyses of a Closed Habitat during Human Occupation – Ganesh Babu Malli Mohan – mSystems

Phages and viruses

Viral Metagenomic Content Reflects Seawater Ecological Quality in the Coastal Zone – Anastasia Tsiola – Viruses


Evaluating metagenomics tools for genome binning with real metagenomic datasets and CAMI datasets – Yi Yue – BMC Bioinformatics

Untangling Species-Level Composition of Complex Bacterial Communities through a Novel Metagenomic Approach – Christian Milani – mSystems

Automated prediction and annotation of small proteins in microbial genomes– Matthew G Durrant and Ami S Bhatt – bioRxiv

Accurate and sensitive detection of microbial eukaryotes from metagenomic shotgun sequencing data – Abigail L. Lind – bioRxiv

MicrobeAnnotator: a user-friendly, comprehensive microbial genome annotation pipeline – Carlos A. Ruiz-Perez – bioRxiv

Topological and kernel-based microbial phenotype prediction from MALDI-TOF mass spectra – Caroline Weis – Bioinformatics

NetCoMi: Network Construction and Comparison for Microbiome Data in R – Stefanie Peschel – bioRxiv

Review: Metagenomic approaches in microbial ecology: an update on whole-genome and marker gene sequencing analyses – Ana Elena Pérez-Cobas – Microbial Genomics


Machine learning for drug development with Marinka Zitnik – Jacob Schreiber – The Bioinformatics Chat