September 22, 2022

Happy almost Friday! Today’s digest includes a time series tracking changes after fecal transplant, biofilm-formation analysis from isolations from swine slaughterhouses as well as techniques to improve computational notebooks, rapid genotyping, and more.


Human gut microbiome

Time series strain tracking analysis post fecal transplantation identifies individual specific patterns of fecal dominant donor, recipient, and unrelated microbial strains – Koo & Morrow – PLOS One

Animal experiments

Microbiome complexity shapes metabolism – Litichevskiy & Thaiss – PLOS Biology

Minimal overall divergence of the gut microbiome in an adaptive radiation of Cyprinodon pupfishes despite potential adaptive enrichment for scale-eating – Heras & Martin – PLOS One

Molecular characterization and biofilm-formation analysis of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., and Escherichia coli isolated from Brazilian swine slaughterhouses – Santos et al. – PLOS One

Animal microbiome

Ecology and distribution of Leptospira spp., reservoir hosts and environmental interaction in Sri Lanka, with identification of a new strain – Sluydts et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases


A simple kit to use computational notebooks for more openness, reproducibility, and productivity in research – Figueiredo et al. – PLOS Computational Biology

Bacterial concentration and Campylobacter spp. quantification differ when fresh or ultra-frozen samples are analysed over time using molecular biology and culture-based methods – Khattak et al. – Plos One

Robust inference of population size histories from genomic sequencing data – Upadhya & Steinrücken – PLOS Computational Biology

Rapid genotyping of targeted viral samples using Illumina short-read sequencing data – Váradi et al. – PLOS One

Improved assessments of bulk milk microbiota composition via sample preparation and DNA extraction methods – Xue & Marco – PLOS ONE

August 5, 2022

Today’s digest is brief and includes research examining the association between the gut microbiota and Gulf War illness, determining the distribution of psychrophilic microorganisms in a beef slaughterhouse, measuring the quality of DNA sequences via degradation, and more.

Happy Friday!

General microbiome

Measuring quality of DNA sequence data via degradation – Karr et al. – PLOS One

Atypical integrative element with strand-biased circularization activity assists interspecies antimicrobial resistance gene transfer from Vibrio alfacsensis – Nonaka et al. – PLOS One

Human vaginal microbiome

Association of key species of vaginal bacteria of recurrent bacterial vaginosis patients before and after oral metronidazole therapy with short- and long-term clinical outcomes – Mollin et al. – PLOS One

Human gut microbiome

Examining the association between the gastrointestinal microbiota and Gulf War illness: A prospective cohort study – Kates et al. – PLOS One

Food microbiology

Distribution of psychrophilic microorganisms in a beef slaughterhouse in Japan after cleaning – Nakamura et al. – PLOS One

Science, publishing, and career

Ten simple rules for leveraging virtual interaction to build higher-level learning into bioinformatics short courses – Bacon et al. – PLOS Computational Biology

June 8, 2022

Happy Friday! Today’s digest includes articles about Gardnerella vaginalis clades in pregnancy, how a Japanese herbal medicine may alleviate a leaky gut, and a feasibility study of the impact of oral activated charcoal on healthy volunteers.

General microbiome

Clinical Burkholderia pseudomallei isolates from north Queensland carry diverse bimABm genes that are associated with central nervous system disease and are phylogenomically distinct from other Australian strains – Burnard et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Preprint: The energy requirements of ion homeostasis determine the lifespan of starving bacteria – Schink et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: A novel bacterial speciation process observed in a symbiotic marine population – Wang et al. – bioRxiv

Human vaginal microbiome

Gardnerella vaginalis clades in pregnancy: New insights into the interactions with the vaginal microbiome – Severgnini et al. – PLOS One

Human gut microbiome

Saireito, a Japanese herbal medicine, alleviates leaky gut associated with antibiotic-induced dysbiosis in mice – Ozaka et al. – PLOS One

A dose-finding safety and feasibility study of oral activated charcoal and its effects on the gut microbiota in healthy volunteers not receiving antibiotics – Rashidi et al. – PLOS One

Water and extremophile microbiome

The microbial community and functional potential in the Midland Basin reveal a community dominated by both thiosulfate and sulfate-reducing microorganisms – Tinker et al. – Microbiology Spectrum


Performance of the TaqMan COVID-19 Pooling Kit for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in asymptomatic and symptomatic populations – Ganz et al.- PLOS One

June 4, 2022


Review: Translating Microbiome Research From and To the Clinic – Zhenrun J Zhang – Annual Review of Microbiology → An exploration of different experimental studies associating the gut microbiota with certain human diseases, highlighting translational advances 

High-throughput, single-microbe genomics with strain resolution, applied to a human gut microbiome – Wenshan Zheng – Science → A powerful technique to obtain single amplified genomes (SAG) from human microbiome samples 

Human and General Microbiome

Review: Gut microbiota and atopic dermatitis in children: a scoping review – Yue Liu – BMC Pediatrics

Review: Gut microbiome and autoimmune disorders – Walaa Abdelaty Shaheen – Clinical and Experimental Immunology

Altered Vaginal Microbiota Composition Correlates With Human Papillomavirus and Mucosal Immune Responses in Women With Symptomatic Cervical Ectopy – Mariana López-Filloy – Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology

Profile of the Nasopharyngeal Microbiota Affecting the Clinical Course in COVID-19 Patients – Ornella la Fortune Tchoupou Saha – Frontiers in Microbiology

Machine learning aided construction of the quorum sensing communication network for human gut microbiota – Shengbo Wu – Nature Communications

Metagenomic assembled plasmids of the human microbiome vary across disease cohorts – S R Stockdale – Scientific Reports

Gut microbial metabolites in Parkinson’s disease: Association with lifestyle, disease characteristics, and treatment status – Robin M Voigt – Neurobiology of Disease

Mechanistic insights into accelerated α-synuclein aggregation mediated by human microbiome-associated functional amyloids – Sujeet S Bhoite – The Journal of Biological Chemistry

Gut bacterial isoamylamine promotes age-related cognitive dysfunction by promoting microglial cell death – Yun Teng – Cell Host & Microbe

Beneficial Microbes and Compounds

Review: A Review: Cereals on Modulating the Microbiota/Metabolome for Metabolic Health – Jayani Kulathunga – Current Nutrition Reports

Anti-Diabetic Potential of Chlorella pyrenoidosa-Based Mixture and its Regulation of Gut Microbiota – Wenyu Xiong – Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

Exploring the Ecological Effects of Naturally Antibiotic-Insensitive Bifidobacteria in the Recovery of the Resilience of the Gut Microbiota during and after Antibiotic Treatment – Chiara Argentini – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Animal Microbiome

Synchrony and idiosyncrasy in the gut microbiome of wild baboons – Johannes R Björk – Nature Ecology & Evolution

Environmental Microbiome

A synergistic bacterial pool decomposes tebuthiuron in soil – Edivaldo Wilson de Lima – Scientific Reports

The microbiome of cryospheric ecosystems – Massimo Bourquin – Nature Communications


Bacterial diversity and community structure in the rhizosphere of the halophyte Halocnemum strobilaceum in an Algerian arid saline soil – Sabrina Behairi – Extremophiles

Bioinformatics and Microbiome Analysis

Multiscale analysis of count data through topic alignment – Julia Fukuyama – Biostatistics

SAMBA: A Multicolor Digital Melting PCR Platform for Rapid Microbiome Profiling – Yongqiang Luo – Small Methods

June 3, 2022

Happy Friday!

Today’s digest has articles on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, a new R package to extract network backbones, and a class of novel antibiotics that targets a Mycobacterium tuberculosis PE-PGRS protein. There also preprints on biofilm winkling in Bacillus subtilis, the dental calculus microbiome, and the relationship between eukaryotic genomes and ocean plankton in a global metagenomic dataset.


Next week is ASM Microbe! I’ll be there, wearing a KN-95 and clutching a box of rapid tests. Feel free to comment or reach out if you’re also attending.


Oro-facial mucocutaneous manifestations of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19): A systematic review – Fakhruddin et al. – PLOS ONE

Preprint: The salivary and nasopharyngeal microbiomes are associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease severity – Kim et al. – bioRxiv

Determinants of the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy spectrum – Piltch-Loeb et al. – PLOS ONE

General microbiome

Preprint: Fatty acid synthesis knockdown promotes biofilm wrinkling and inhibits sporulation in Bacillus subtilis – Arjes et al. – bioRxiv

Association of Strongyloides stercoralis infection and type 2 diabetes mellitus in northeastern Thailand: Impact on diabetic complication-related renal biochemical parameters – Yingklang et al. – PLOS ONE

Analysis of secondary metabolite gene clusters and chitin biosynthesis pathways of Monascus purpureus with high production of pigment and citrinin based on whole-genome sequencing – Zhang et al. – PLOS ONE

Human respiratory microbiome

A novel class of antimicrobial drugs selectively targets a Mycobacterium tuberculosis PE-PGRS protein – Seo et al. – PLOS Biology

Human oral microbiome

Preprint: Assessing the influence of the Mediterranean diet on dental calculus microbiome composition: a pilot study – Innocenti et al. – bioRxiv

Human gut microbiome

Lactobacillus plantarum improves LPS-induced Caco2 cell line intestinal barrier damage via cyclic AMP-PKA signaling – Wei et al. – PLOS ONE

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

Preprint: Eukaryotic genomes from a global metagenomic dataset illuminate trophic modes and biogeography of ocean plankton – Alexander et al. – bioRxiv


backbone: An R package to extract network backbones – Neal – PLOS ONE

May 6, 2022

Happy Friday! Today’s microbiome digest is a grab bag of articles on topics such as antibiotic cycling and bacterial contamination in surgery, phage isolated from diseased seafood, and microbial communities in snuff. I was particularly interested to see the article focused on degradation genes found in steel industrial soil communities. Finally, I enjoyed checking out two preprints on oral microbiota in Agta, a group of hunter-gatherers from the Philippines.

General microbiome

Preprint: The making of the oral microbiome in Agta hunter-gatherers – Dobon et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Microbial population dynamics decouple nutrient affinity from environmental concentration – Fink et al. – bioRxiv

Beneath the surface: Amino acid variation underlying two decades of dengue virus antigenic dynamics in Bangkok, Thailand – Huang et al. – PLOS Pathogens

Preprint: Hunter-gatherer oral microbiomes are shaped by contact network structure – Muscitto et al. – bioRxiv

Which vaccine attributes foster vaccine uptake? A cross-country conjoint experiment – Stöckli et al. – PLOS ONE

Associations between microbial communities and key chemical constituents in U.S. domestic moist snuff – Tyxobert et al. – PLOS ONE

Multi-site human microbiome

Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, immune activation, and risk of HIV acquisition – Bender Ignacio et al. – PLOS ONE

The effects of antibiotic cycling and mixing on acquisition of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the ICU: A post-hoc individual patient analysis of a prospective cluster-randomized crossover study – van Duijin et al. – PLOS ONE

Human gut microbiome

Efficacy of laparotomy sponges to reduce bacterial contamination using an in vitro gastrointestinal surgery model – Bezhentseva et al. – PLOS ONE

Animal experiments

Virulence and antimicrobial resistance gene profiles of Staphylococcus aureus associated with clinical mastitis in cattle – Neelam et al. – PLOS ONE

Preexisting Trichinella spiralis infection attenuates the severity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced pneumonia – Rong Long et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Metagenomic analysis for taxonomic and functional potential of Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) degrading bacterial communities in steel industrial soil – Sandhu et al. – PLOS ONE

Water and extremophile microbiome

Transcriptomic analysis of chloride tolerance in Leptospirillum ferriphilum DSM 14647 adapted to NaCl – Rivera-Araya et al. – PLOS ONE

Food microbiology

Sole and combined effect of foliar zinc and arbuscular mycorrhizae inoculation on basmati rice growth, productivity and grains nutrient – Mehmood et al. – PLOS ONE

Characterization and complete genome sequence analysis of a newly isolated phage against Vibrio parahaemolyticus from sick shrimp in Qingdao, China – Tian et al. – PLOS ONE


Financial incentives to increase stool collection rates for microbiome studies in adult bone marrow transplant patients – Thompson et al. – PLOS ONE

April 8, 2022

Good morning! Today’s microbiome digest is brought to you by mild insomnia induced by a mid-afternoon coffee. It includes two food related studies, one on pathogenic E. coli found in ready-to-eat foods and the other focused on a antifungal lipopeptide produced by B. velezensis isolated from honey, and an an article focused on a new approach for processing frozen lung and lavage samples for use in microbiome studies. Also included are several articles focused on the gut microbiome, and several preprints focused on soil microbiome studies. Finally, I want to highlight a piece that details the positive outcomes associated with the National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP). Registration for this year’s program is still open until April 15th, and the organizers are looking for both mentors, mentees, and donors!

Pregnancy and early life

Group B Streptococcus colonization at delivery is associated with maternal peripartum infection – Brigtsen et al. – PLOS ONE

Human gut microbiome

Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and microbiome profile of patients in a referral gastrointestinal diseases centre in the Sudan – Elmagzoub et al. – PLOS ONE

Animal experiments

Vertical transmission of attaching and invasive E. coli from the dam to neonatal mice predisposes to more severe colitis following exposure to a colitic insult later in life – Brand et al. – PLOS ONE

Sex differences in the fecal microbiome and hippocampal glial morphology following diet and antibiotic treatment – Saxena et al. – PLOS ONE

Animal microbiome

Preprint: Anthropogenic disturbance impacts gut microbiome homeostasis in a Malagasy primate – Wasimuddin et al. – bioRxiv

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Preprint: Microclimate is a strong predictor of the native and invasive plant-associated soil microbiota on San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos archipelago – Schoenborn et al. bioRxiv

Preprint: The activity and functions of soil microbial communities in the Finnish sub-Arctic vary across vegetation types – Vitamaki et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Tracing carbon metabolism with stable isotope metabolomics reveals the legacy of diverse carbon sources in soil – Wilhelm et al. – bioRxiv

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

Preprint: Culexarchaeia, a novel archaeal class of anaerobic generalists inhabiting geothermal environments – Kohtz et al. – bioRxiv

Food microbiology

Processed ready-to-eat (RTE) foods sold in Yenagoa Nigeria were colonized by diarrheagenic Escherichia coli which constitute a probable hazard to human health – Beshiru et al. – PLOS ONE

Purification and characterization of antifungal lipopeptide produced by Bacillus velezensis isolated from raw honey – Ziong et al. – PLOS ONE


An optimized approach for processing of frozen lung and lavage samples for microbiome studies – Wiscovitch-Russo et al. – PLOS ONE

Science, publishing, and career

***National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP): A Virtual Research Experience to Deliver REAL (Retention, Equity, Access, and Life-Changing) Outcomes for Underrepresented Minorities in STEM – Johnson & Knox – JMBE

March 25, 2022

Human gut microbiome

In Vitro and In Silico Based Approaches to Identify Potential Novel Bacteriocins from the Athlete Gut Microbiome of an Elite Athlete Cohort – Wosinska et al. Microorganisms

Cancer pharmacomicrobiomics: targeting microbiota to optimise cancer therapy outcomes – Ting et al. Gut

Human respiratory microbiome

Inhibition of lung microbiota-derived proapoptotic peptides ameliorates acute exacerbation of pulmonary fibrosis – D’Alessandro-Gabazza et al. Nature Communications


Gut microbiota and fermentation-derived branched chain hydroxy acids mediate health benefits of yogurt consumption in obese mice – Daniel et al. Nature Communications

Animal experiments

Gut microbiota determines the social behavior of mice and induces metabolic and inflammatory changes in their adipose tissue – Agranyoni et al. npj biofilms and microbiomes

The microbiota restrains neurodegenerative microglia in a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – Cox et al. Microbiome

Water & Extremophile microbiome

Spatial organization of the kelp microbiome at micron scales – Ramirez-Puebla et al. Microbiome

Metagenomics reveals global-scale contrasts in nitrogen cycling and cyanobacterial light-harvesting mechanisms in glacier cryoconite – Murakami et al. Microbiome.


Phages and their satellites encode hotspots of antiviral systems – Rousset et al. Cell Host & Microbe


Fungal sensing enhances neutrophil metabolic fitness by regulating antifungal Glut1 activity – Li et al. Cell Host & Microbe

The primate gut mycobiome-bacteriome interface is impacted by environmental and subsistence factors – Sharma et al. npj Biofilms and microbiomes


Swapping Metagenomics Preprocessing Pipeline Components Offers Speed and Sensitivity Increases – Armstrong et al. mSystems

February 9, 2022

Today’s digest includes a Nature Medicine news feature on the role of preprints in the COVID-19 pandemic. Also included are an article about unsupervised clustering methods for microbiome data, the response of anammox consortia to nutrient starvation, and a handful of interesting preprints.

Animal experiments

Preprint: Phylogenetic diversity analysis of shotgun metagenomic reads describes gut microbiome development and treatment effects in the post-weaned pig – Gaio et al. – bioRxiv

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Preprint: Ecological insights into soil health according to the life-history traits and environment-wide associations of bacteria in agricultural soils – Wilhelm et al. – bioRxiv

Water and extremophile microbiome

Response and resilience of anammox consortia to nutrient starvation – Wang et al. – Microbiome


Preprint: Model-free prediction of microbiome compositions – Asher & Bashan – bioRxiv

Preprint: Predicting the re-distribution of antibiotic molecules caused by inter-species interactions in microbial communities – Reding – bioRxiv

Performance determinants of unsupervised clustering methods for microbiome data – Shi et al. – Microbiome

Science, publishing, and career

Rise of the preprint: how rapid data sharing during COVID-19 has changed science forever – Watson – Nature Medicine

February 2, 2022

General microbiome

Genomic structure predicts metabolite dynamics in microbial communities – Gowda et al. – Cell 

Inhalable antibiotic resistomes emitted from hospitals: metagenomic insights into bacterial hosts, clinical relevance, and environmental risks – Wu et al. – Microbiome

Long-read metagenomic sequencing reveals shifts in associations of antibiotic resistance genes with mobile genetic elements from sewage to activated sludge – Dai et al. – Microbiome

Understanding microbiome alterations in autism – Nature Medicine

Human gut microbiome

3β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase expressed by gut microbes degrades testosterone and is linked to depression in males – Li et al. – Cell Host & Microbe

Pregnancy and early life

Early-life viral infections are associated with disadvantageous immune and microbiota profiles and recurrent respiratory infections – Piters et al. – Nature Microbiology

Meconium Microbiome of Very Preterm Infants across Germany – Klopp et al. – mSphere

Water and extremophile microbiome

Comparative metabolomic analysis reveals shared and unique chemical interactions in sponge holobionts – Zhang et al. – Microbiome

A multi-omics approach unravels metagenomic and metabolic alterations of a probiotic and synbiotic additive in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) – Rasmussen et al. – Microbiome


MUON: multimodal omics analysis framework – Bredikhin et al. – Genome Biology

Non Microbiome Picks

A Toast to All the Rejects – The Atlantic. An insightful article on celebrating your rejections in academia.