July 1, 2020

Greetings Everyone,
I want to began the month of July on a note that diversity is the basis for life. I can’t think of anything better to teach us about diversity, co-existence, and evolution than the fascinating Microbiome.
The microbiome affects us right from our birth till the end affecting our mental as well as physical health. The microbiome exhibits all sorts of differences in shape, size, color, metabolic functions in order to sustain life.
Much to learn from these tiny beings!!!!
Today’s Digest comprises of some interesting studies about effect of microbiome on chemotherapy and studies on tumor microbiome. It also includes articles exploring genetics of gut microbiome and the role of microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease. Additionally has a news article about taking microbiome therapies to clinical trials.
Hope you enjoy reading today’s digest!!
“Life on earth is such a good story you cannot afford to miss the beginning… Beneath our superficial differences we are all of us walking communities of bacteria. The world shimmers, a pointillist landscape made of tiny living beings”. – Lynn Margulis

General microbiome
Human Microbiota and Effectiveness of Cancer Chemotherapy – Shvets et al – Experimental Oncology

Immunity to commensal skin fungi promotes psoriasiform skin inflammation – Hurabielle et al – PNAS

Human Tumor microbiome
*Perspective: Probing the tumor micro(b)environment – Atreya et al – Science

Human Eye microbiome
Review: Current Knowledge on the Human Eye Microbiome: A Systematic Review of Available Amplicon and Metagenomic Sequencing Data – Delbeke et al – Acta Ophthalmologica

Human nearly-sterile sites (blood, organs, brain)
Blood Bacterial Profiles Associated with HIV Infection and Immune Recovery – Serranno-Villar et al – The Journal of Infectious Diseases

Human gut microbiome
*Genetics of human gut microbiome composition – Kurilshikov et al – bioRxiv

Review: The microbiome in inflammatory bowel diseases: from pathogenesis to therapy – Liu et al – Protein&Cell

Built environment
Vertical Stratification in Urban Green Space Aerobiomes – Robinson et al – bioRxiv

Food microbiology
Food and mood: how do diet and nutrition affect mental wellbeing? – Firth et al – BMJ

DRAM for distilling microbial metabolism to automate the curation of microbiome function – Shaffer et al – bioRxiv

MetaRibo-Seq measures translation in microbiomes – Fremin et al – Nature Communications

Microbes on the market
Enterome Secures €46M to Take Microbiome Therapies to Clinical Trials – Helen Albert – Labiotech.eu

Human Microbiome Therapeutics Market Research: Global Status & Forecast by Geography, Type & Application (2016-2026)

June 17, 2020

Hello and welcome to Wednesday’s Digest! Today’s selection includes two separate but complementary papers from Cell Host & Microbe. The first, from Brett Finlay’s lab, investigates what drives the loss of Immunoglobulin A recognition by beneficial bacteria in the gut of undernourished children. The second, from Jeffrey Gordon’s lab, examines the impact of prebiotic and microbial interventions on oral vaccination responses in a mouse model of childhood undernutrition. These papers both highlight the important relationship between nutrition, the microbiota, and host mucosal immunity.

There are also a few fungi-focused papers today as well as some interesting animal microbiome research. Tan et al. compare the microbiome of pigs and their farmers and Andrade-Oliveira et al. found that antimicrobial resistance genes from a feline oral commensal can be transferred to a human-associated staphylococci. I also want to call attention to the techniques section, especially a paper by Song and Xie in which they used CRISPR/Cas9 to deplete host contamination in 16S rRNA gene amplicon samples.

Happy reading, y’all!

Pregnancy and Early-life
Analysis of Immune, Microbiota and Metabolome Maturation in Infants in a Clinical Trial of Lactobacillus Paracasei CBA L74-fermented Formula. Roggero, P. et al. Nature Communications.

Ecological Succession in the Vaginal Microbiota During Pregnancy and Birth. Rasmussen, M.A. et al. The ISME Journal.

Neonatal Diet Alters Fecal Microbiota and Metabolome Profiles at Different Ages in Infants Fed Breast Milk or Formula. Brink, L.R. et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Human Milk Fungi: Environmental Determinants and Inter-Kingdom Associations With Milk Bacteria in the CHILD Cohort Study. Moossavi, S. et al. BMC Microbiology.

Profiles of Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Their Relations to the Milk Microbiota of Breastfeeding Mothers in Dubai. Ayoub, C. et al. Nutrients.

Human Milk Microbiota Development During Lactation and Its Relation to Maternal Geographic Location and Gestational Hypertensive Status. Wan, Y. et al. Gut Microbes.

Skin Microbiome
Skin Microbiota Analysis-Inspired Development of Novel Anti-Infectives. Liu, Y. et al. Microbiome.

Review: Skin Microbiome Analysis for Forensic Human Identification: What Do We Know So Far? Tozzo, P. et al. Microorganisms.

Review: Protecting the Outside: Biological Tools to Manipulate the Skin Microbiota. O’Sullivan, J.N. et al. FEMS Microbiology and Ecology.

Vaginal Microbiome
Recovery of Vaginal Microbiota After Standard Treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis Infection: An Observational Study. Lehtoranta, L. et al. Microorganisms.

Alterations in Vaginal Microbiota and Associated Metabolome in Women With Recurrent Implantation Failure. Fu, M. et al. mBio.

Gut Microbiome
Alterations of the Gut Microbiota in Patients With COVID-19 or H1N1 Influenza. Gu, S. et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Alterations in the Gut Microbiome and Suppression of Histone Deacetylases by Resveratrol Are Associated with Attenuation of Colonic Inflammation and Protection Against Colorectal Cancer. Alrafas, H.R. et al. Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Long-term Dietary Intervention Reveals Resilience of the Gut Microbiota Despite Changes in Diet and Weight. Fragiadakis, G.K. et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Oral Microbiome
Intraoral Microbial Metabolism and Association With Host Taste Perception. Gardner, A. et al. Journal of Dental Research.

Animal Experiments
Combined Prebiotic and Microbial Intervention Improves Oral Cholera Vaccination Responses in a Mouse Model of Childhood Undernutrition. Di Luccia, B. et al. Cell Host & Microbe.

Commensal Bacteria Modulate Immunoglobulin A Binding in Response to Host Nutrition. Huus, K.E. et al. Cell Host & Microbe.

The interplay between the gut microbiota and NLRP3 activation affects the severity of acute pancreatitis in mice. Xueyang, L. et al. Gut Microbes.

Structural and functional changes of gut microbiota in ovariectomized rats and their correlations with altered bone mass. Ma, S. et al. Aging (Albany NY).

Animal Microbiome
Comparative assessment of faecal microbial composition and metabonome of swine, farmers and human control. Tan, S.C. et al. Scientific Reports.

Staphylococcus nepalensis, a Commensal of the Oral Microbiota of Domestic Cats, Is a Reservoir of Transferrable Antimicrobial Resistance. Andrade-Oliveira, A.L. et al. Microbiology.

Increasing the Hindgut Carbohydrate/Protein Ratio by Cecal Infusion of Corn Starch or Casein Hydrolysate Drives Gut Microbiota-Related Bile Acid Metabolism To Stimulate Colonic Barrier Function. Pi, Y. mSystems.

The Microbial Biogeography of the Gastrointestinal Tract of Preterm and Term Lambs. Chong, C.Y.L. et al. Scientific Reports.

Microbial Ecology of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo Salar) Hatcheries: Impacts of the Built Environment on Fish Mucosal Microbiota. Minich, J.J. et al. Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Dysbiosis in the Gut Microbiota of Soil Fauna Explains the Toxicity of Tire Tread Particles. Ding, J. et al. Environmental Science and Technology.

Insect Microbiome
Dietary Adaptation of Microbiota in Drosophila Requires NF-κB-Dependent Control of the Translational Regulator 4E-BP. Vandehoef, C. et al. Cell Reports.

Responses of soil and earthworm gut bacterial communities to heavy metal contamination. Liu, P. et al. Environmental Pollution.

Effect of Life Stage and Pesticide Exposure on the Gut Microbiota of Aedes Albopictus and Culex Pipiens L. Juma, E.O. et al. Scientific Reports.

Caterpillar Gut and Host Plant Phylloplane Mycobiomes Differ: A New Perspective on Fungal Involvement in Insect Guts. Višňovská, D. et al. FEMS Microbiology Ecology.

Plant, Root, and Soil Microbiome
The Response of Soil and Phyllosphere Microbial Communities to Repeated Application of the Fungicide Iprodione: Accelerated Biodegradation or Toxicity? Katsoula, A. et al. FEMS Microbiology Ecology.

Host Genotype Explains Rhizospheric Microbial Community Composition: The Case of Wild Cotton Metapopulations (Gossypium Hirsutum L.) in Mexico. Hernández-Terán, A. et al. FEMS Microbiology Ecology.

Review: Microbiome Approaches Provide the Key to Biologically Control Postharvest Pathogens and Storability of Fruits and Vegetables. Kusstatscher, P. et al FEMS Microbiology and Ecology.

Review: The Plant Microbiome: From Ecology to Reductionism and Beyond. Fitzpatrick, C.R. et al. Annual Review of Microbiology.

Water Microbiome
Persistence of Wastewater Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and Their Genes in Human Fecal Material. Scaccia, N. et al. FEMS Microbiolgy Ecology.

Review: Microorganisms Populating the Water-Related Indoor Biome. Babič, M.N. et al. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Introducing Lu-1, a Novel Lactobacillus Jensenii Phage Abundant in the Urogenital Tract. Miller-Ensminger, T. et al. PLoS ONE.

Review: Bacteriophage-mediated Manipulation of the Gut Microbiome – Promises and Presents Limitations. Rasmussen, T.S. et al. FEMS Microbiology Reviews.

gutMEGA: A Database of the Human Gut MEtaGenome Atlas. Zhang, Q. et al. Briefings in Bioinformatics.

Engineering CRISPR/Cas9 to mitigate abundant host contamination for 16S rRNA gene-based amplicon sequencing. Song, L. and Xie, K. Microbiome.

Optimization and Standardization of the Culturomics Technique for Human Microbiome Exploration. Diakite, A. et al. Scientific Reports

Direct detection of mRNA expression in microbial cells by fluorescence in situ hybridization using RNase H-assisted rolling circle amplification. Takahashi, H. et al. Scientific Reports.

June 08, 2020

Today, we present a broad spectrum of new studies covering among others the mycobiome of human milk, gut microbes and their association with brain development and cognitive function, and a catalogue of previously unseen microbial genomes. Of particular interest is a study that integrates different sources of data to model a personalized gut microbiome. Last but not least we selected a pre-print on the design and characterization of multiepitopes vaccine for SARS-CoV.

General microbiome

Cultivation-independent and cultivation-dependent metagenomes reveal genetic and enzymatic potential of microbial community involved in the degradation of a complex microbial polymer – Costa et al. – Microbiome

REVIEW: Conceptualizing the vertebrate sterolbiome – Ridlon – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Human milk mycobiome

Human milk fungi: environmental determinants and inter-kingdom associations with milk bacteria in the CHILD Cohort Study – Moossavi et al. – BMC Microbiology

Human skin microbiome

Skin microbiota analysis-inspired development of novel anti-infectives – Liu et al. – Microbiome

Human vaginal microbiome

PREPRINT: Vaginal microbiota of adolescents and their mothers: A preliminary study of vertical transmission and persistence – Bassis – bioRxiv

Human gut microbiome

Personalized whole‐body models integrate metabolism, physiology, and the gut microbiome – Thiele et al. – Mol Syst Biol

REVIEW: The gut microbiota profile of adults with kidney disease and kidney stones: a systematic review of the literature – Stanford et al. – BMC Nephrology

PREPRINT: Gut microbes and their genes are associated with brain development and cognitive function in healthy children – Bonham et al. – bioRxiv

Animal microbiome (for animals in the wild)

Microbial environment shapes immune function and cloacal microbiota dynamics in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata – van Veelen et al. – Animal Microbiome

PREPRINT: Large scale metagenome assembly reveals novel animal-associated microbial genomes, biosynthetic gene clusters, and other genetic diversity – Youngblut – bioRxiv

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

Novel insights into the Thaumarchaeota in the deepest oceans: their metabolism and potential adaptation mechanisms – Zhong et al. – Microbiome

The role of metal contamination in shaping microbial communities in heavily polluted marine sediments – Di Cesare et al. – Environmental Pollution


Engineering CRISPR/Cas9 to mitigate abundant host contamination for 16S rRNA gene-based amplicon sequencing – Song & Xie – Microbiome


PREPRINT: In silico design and characterization of multiepitopes vaccine for SARS-CoV from its Spike proteins – Kathwate – bioRxiv

May 27, 2020

Good morning everybody. It was a bit calm during the last days. Today’s Microbiome Digest tries to give a nice summary of a broad range of latest microbiome related research. Enjoy it!

General microbiome

A microbiological survey of handwashing sinks in the hospital built environment reveals differences in patient room and healthcare personnel sinks – Franco et al – Scientific Reports

Multi-site human microbiome

REVIEW: Interaction between microbiota and immunity in health and disease – Zheng, Liwinski and Elinav – Cell Research

REVIEW: A Comprehensive Review on Natural Bioactive Compounds and Probiotics as Potential Therapeutics in Food Allergy Treatment – Pratap et al. – Front. Immunol.

Editorial: The intestinal microbiota in health and disease – Day, Keenan and Tannock – Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand

Human oral microbiome

Longitudinal Study of Oral Microbiome Variation in Twins – Freire et al. – Scientific Reports

Human skin microbiome

Skin Microbiome in Atopic Dermatitis – Edslev, Agner and Andersen – Acta Dermato-venereologica

Human gut microbiome and virome

Preprint: Gut microbiome diversity is an independent predictor of survival in cervical cancer patients receiving chemoradiation – Sims et al. – medRxiv

The intestinal virome in children with cystic fibrosis differs from healthy controls – Coffey et al. – PLOS One

The human gut microbiota and depression: widely reviewed, yet poorly understood – Simpson, Schwartz and Simmons – Journal of Affective Disorders

The Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes Ratio: A Relevant Marker of Gut Dysbiosis in Obese Patients? – Magne et al. – Nutrients

Book Chapter: Who Inhabits Our Gut? Introducing the Human Gut Microbiota – Flint – Why Gut Microbes Matter

Book Chapter: Variability and Stability of the Human Gut Microbiome – Flint – Why Gut Microbes Matter

Book Chapter: How to Analyse Microbial Communities? – Flint – Why Gut Microbes Matter

Book Chapter: Treating the Gut Microbiome as a System – Flint – Why Gut Microbes Matter


REVIEW: Application of metabolomics to the study of irritable bowel syndrome – Bennet et al. – Neurogastroenterology & Motility

Animal experiments (mouse/rat experiments, chickens/pigs on different diets)

Distinct actions of the fermented beverage kefir on host behaviour, immunity and microbiome gut-brain modules in the mouse – van de Wouw et al. – Microbiology

Preprint: Physical activity shapes the intestinal microbiome and immunity of healthy mice but has no protective effects against colitis in MUC2-/- mice – Estaki et al. – bioRxiv

Synergetic responses of intestinal microbiota and epithelium to dietary inulin supplementation in pigs – He et al. – European Journal of Nutrition

Animal microbiome (for animals in the wild)

No correlation between microbiota composition and blood parameters in nesting flatback turtles (Natator depressus) – Scheelings et al. – Scientific Reports

Linking perturbations to temporal changes in diversity, stability, and compositions of neonatal calf gut microbiota: prediction of diarrhea – Ma et al. – The ISME Journal

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

The microbiome as a biosensor: functional profiles elucidate hidden stress in hosts – Zolti et al. – Microbiology

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

16S rRNA Gene Diversity in the Salt Crust of Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, the World’s Largest Salt Flat – Pecher et al. – Microbiol Resour Announc

Built environment (subways, indoor surfaces)

Fungal diversity and its contribution to the biodeterioration of mural paintings in two 1700-year-old tombs of China – Ma et al. – International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation

Characterizing Microbial Signatures on Sculptures and Paintings of Similar Provenance – Torralba et al. – Microbial Ecology

Food microbiology

Proteomic and Metabolomic Correlates of Healthy Dietary Patterns: The Framingham Heart Study – Walker et al. – Nutrients


ARTS 2.0: feature updates and expansion of the Antibiotic Resistant Target Seeker for comparative genome mining – Mungan et al. – Nucleic Acid Research

Draft Genome Sequence of a Novel Species of Halococcus (Strain IIIV-5B), an Endophytic Archaeon Isolated from the Leaf Tissue of Avicennia germinans – Zayas-Rivera et al. – Microbiol Resour Announc

Precise phylogenetic analysis of microbial isolates and genomes from metagenomes using PhyloPhlAn 3.0 – Asnicar et al. – Nature Communications

May 18, 2020

God morgon!

Good morning from Sweden. It’s Monday and the beginning of another week. I am quite excited to write today’s digest because there is a super impressive paper that concerns my area of research. Research efforts in Shigella infections have always suffered from the lack of a mouse model of infection. This notorious bacterium causes enteric infections only in humans and all the infection models, that have been in use so far,  are not physiologically that relevant. It was extremely thrilling to read the development of a mouse model that replicates the typical features of human infections. Talking about infection models, there is another interesting development. A group of researchers has reported an African green monkey model for CoViD-19. This is an important development for clinical assessment of potential vaccine and drug candidates against nCoV-19.

Speaking of vaccines, another group has reported a Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane vesicle (OMV) based vaccine that provides cross-species protection against Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This report assumes great importance when you consider the fact that no Neisseria gonorrhoeae vaccine has entered clinical testing for the past 30 years! In addition to this, there is a structural study of budding in Cryptococcus neoformans that has some really beautiful pictures like this one:

Screenshot 2020-05-18 at 14.57.43

Elsewhere in the digest are some interesting reports on the virulence of a root pathogen, Fusarium; metagenomic identification of diverse viruses; a potent mycobacteriophage; and commentary on Coronaviruses as pathogens responsible for pandemics.

Hope you enjoy today’s selection and have a great week!


Preprint: Establishment of an African green monkey model for COVID-19 – Courtney B. Woolsey, et al.

Preprint: Coronavirus, as a source of pandemic pathogens – Tomokazu Konishi

Bacteria Hysteria

Preprint: NAIP-NLRC4-deficient mice are susceptible to shigellosis – Patrick S Mitchell, et al.

Preprint: The serogroup B meningococcal outer membrane vesicle-based vaccine 4CMenB induces cross-species protection against Neisseria gonorrhoeae – Isabelle Leduc, et al.

Preprint: Antimycobacterial potential of Mycobacteriophage under pathophysiological conditions – Yeswanth C Kalapala, et al.

Preprint: A Division of Labor in the Recruitment and Topological Organization of a Bacterial Morphogenic Complex – Paul D Caccamo, et al.

Preprint: Comparative genomics of ocular Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains from keratitis patients with different clinical outcomes – Kathirvel Kandasamy, et al.

Human gut

Preprint: Higher prevalence of Bacteroides fragilis in Crohn’s disease exacerbations and strain-dependent increase of epithelial resistance – Heike E.F. Becker, et al.


Preprint: Let it bud: an ultrastructural study of Cryptococcus neoformans surface during budding events – Glauber R. de S. Araujo, et al.


Construction of habitat-specific training sets to achieve species-level assignment in 16S rRNA gene datasets – Isabel F. Escapa, et al. – Microbiome

A powerful microbial group association test based on the higher criticism analysis for sparse microbial association signals – Hyunwook Koh and Ni Zhao – Microbiome


Preprint: Metagenomic identification of diverse animal hepaciviruses and pegiviruses– Ashleigh F. Porter, et al.


Preprint: Transcriptome analysis reveals infection strategies employed by Fusarium graminearum as a root pathogen – Yi Ding, et al.

Microbes in the News

Living on The Space Station Leaves a Microbial ‘Fingerprint’ on Astronauts – Science Alert

What are the best foods to increase happiness? – Eastern Daily Press

April 24, 2020


Virtual Podium 2020 – Session 5 (Microbiome) – April 24, 2020

Scientific career and work-life balance – April 24, 2020

World Malaria Day – April 25, 2020 – Draws attention to the impact of the disease and (re)urges us to find a way to overcome it once and for all.
Join the #talkingmalaria tweetchat on April 24, 2020 at 12 noon BST.


GRAND CHALLENGE: A billion molecules against COVID-19 – Joint European Disruptive Initiative

General microbiome

Reversibility of propionic acid inhibition to anaerobic digestion: Inhibition kinetics and microbial mechanism – Youl Han – Chemosphere

Responses of microbial structures, functions, metabolic pathways and community interactions to different C/N ratios in aerobic nitrification – Hongwei Sun – Bioresource Technology

PERSPECTIVE: Cultivating fungal research – Heidi H. Kong – Science

Human microbiome

REVIEW: Microbiota–immune interactions in asthma pathogenesis and phenotype – Nicholas W.Lukacs – Current Opinion in Immunology

CANCER IN TRANSLATION: Microbiome genomics for cancer prediction – Lorenz Adlung – Nature Cancer

Human skin microbiome

BOOK CHAPTER: The wound microbiome – Aayushi Uberoi – In: Wound Healing, Tissue Repair, and Regeneration in Diabetes.

Human gut microbiome

BOOK CHAPTER: Dietary Fiber and Gut Microbiota – Carolina Senés-Guerrero – In: Science and Technology of Fibers in Food Systems

Animal experiments

Effect of in feed administration of different butyrate formulations on Salmonella Enteritidis colonization and cecal microbiota in broilers – Lonneke Onrust – Veterinary Research

Stochasticity constrained by deterministic effects of diet and age drive rumen microbiome assembly dynamics – Ori Furman – Nature Communications

Sequence variant analysis reveals poor correlations in microbial taxonomic abundance between humans and mice after gnotobiotic transfer – Farnaz Fouladi – ISME Journal

Temporal changes in microbial communities attached to forages with different lignocellulosic compositions in the cattle rumen – Javad Gharechahi – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Animal microbiome

Host-microbiota interaction helps to explain the bottom-up effects of climate change on a small rodent species – Guoliang Li – ISME Journal

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Tapping into the maize root microbiome to identify bacteria that promote growth under chilling conditions – Stien Beirinckx – Microbiome

Regulatory relationship between quality variation and environment of Cistanche deserticola in three ecotypes based on soil microbiome analysis – Xiao Sun – Scientific Reports

Effects of biodegradable plastic film mulching on soil microbial communities in two agroecosystems – Sreejata Bandopadhyay – PeerJ

Water microbiome

Total Microbial Activity and Sulfur Cycling Microbe Changes in Response to the Development of Hypoxia in a Shallow Estuary – Yunjung Park – Ocean Science Journal

Built environment

Associations Between Respiratory Infections and Bacterial Microbiome in Student Dormitories in Northern China – Xi Fu – Indoor Air

Bacterial community analysis of floor dust and HEPA filters in air purifiers used in office rooms in ILAS, Beijing – Jianguo Guo – Scientific Reports

Microbes in space

The influence of spaceflight on the astronaut salivary microbiome and the search for a microbiome biomarker for viral reactivation – Camilla Urbaniak – Microbiome

Food microbiology

Insights into the Microbiological Safety of Wooden Cutting Boards Used for Meat Processing in Hong Kong’s Wet Markets: A Focus on Food-Contact Surfaces, Cross-Contamination and the Efficacy of Traditional Hygiene Practices – Patrick T. Sekoai – Microorganisms


MicrobioLink: An integrated computational pipeline to infer functional effects of microbiome-host interactions – Tahila Andrighetti – bioRxiv

Repeatability and reproducibility assessment in a large-scale population-based microbiota study: case study on human milk microbiota – Shirin Moossavi – bioRxiv

Mendelian randomization analysis revealed causal effects from gut microbiota to abdominal obesity – Qian Xu – bioRxiv

A quantitative measure of functional redundancy in microbial ecosystems – Taylor M Royalty – bioRxiv

Host association induces genome changes in Candida albicans which alters its virulence – Amanda C Smith – bioRxiv

Shirin’s non-microbiology picks

CAREER FEATURE: Safely conducting essential research in the face of COVID-19 – Virginia Gewin – Nature

Reaching a Large Urban Undergraduate Population through Microbial Ecology Course-Based Research Experiences – Samantha Parks – Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

POLICY FORUM: Against pandemic research exceptionalism – Alex John London – Science

WORLD VIEW: On the 50th Earth Day, take collective action for the planet – Emma Marris – Nature

BEHIND THE PAPER: Annotating the unknown: Functional Gene Annotation using Untargeted Metabolomics – Robert Jansen – Nature Microbiology Community

April 21, 2020

Hello all from another new Microbiome Digest volunteer! This post is coming to you straight from the heart of New York City – being surrounded everywhere by COVID-19 (and related research!), it’s been good to get back into the microbiome world 🙂 I love all things microbiology but am partial to bacteria, especially multidrug-resistant pathogens and communities involved in biological nutrient removal/recovery from waste.

Today’s roundup is heavy on the soil and environmental microbiomes and some interesting preprints, with some unique finds – indigenous yeasts in winemaking, gut microbiomes after dietary interventions in adult dogs, and much more!

Human gut microbiome

Characterization of Gut Microbiota in Hospitalized Patients with Clostridioides difficile Infection – Bahareh Vakili – Current Microbiology

Animal experiments
Genetic and metabolic links between the murine microbiome and memory – Jian-Hua Mao – Microbiome

A human-origin probiotic cocktail ameliorates aging-related leaky gut and inflammation via modulating microbiota-taurine-tight junction axis
Shokouh Ahmadi – JCI Insight

Animal microbiome

Preprint: CoproID predicts the source of coprolites and paleofeces using microbiome composition and host DNA content – Maxime Borry – bioRxiv

Phylogenetic analysis of intestinal microbiota reveals novel Mycoplasma phylotypes in salmonid species – Brenda Mora-Sánchez – Microbial Pathogenesis

Rapid Reconstitution of the Faecal Microbiome after Extended Diet-Induced Changes Indicate a Stable Gut Microbiome in Healthy Adult Dogs – David Allaway – Applied and Environmental Microbiome

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Review: Harnessing rhizosphere microbiomes for drought-resilient crop production – Franciska T. de Vries – Science

Book Chapter: Endophytic Actinomycetes-Mediated Modulation of Defense and Systemic Resistance Confers Host Plant Fitness Under Biotic Stress Conditions – Waquar Akhter Ansari – Microbial Versatility in Varied Environments

Elevated CO2 mitigates the negative effect of CeO2 and Cr2O3 nanoparticles on soil bacterial communities by alteration of microbial carbon use – Jipeng Luo – Environmental Pollution

Periodic waterlogging consistently shapes agricultural soil microbiomes by promoting specific taxa – Florian Gschwend – Applied Soil Ecology

Food microbiology

Review:Indigenous yeasts: Emerging Trends and Challenges in winemaking – Iliada K. Lappa – Current Opinion in Food

Ecology of lactobacilli present in Italian cheeses produced from raw milk
Christian Milani – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Probiotics / prebiotics
Probiotic supplementation improves cognitive function and mood with changes in gut microbiota in community-dwelling elderly: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial – Chong-Su Kim – The Journals of Gerontology

Phages and viruses
Intestinal microbiome‐macrophage crosstalk contributes to cholestatic liver disease by promoting intestinal permeability – Anna Isaacs-Ten – Hepatology

Preprint: hogwash: Three Methods for Genome-Wide Association Studies in Bacteria – Katie Saund – bioRxiv


Preprint: Mycobiome analysis in fungal Infected formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues for identification of pathogenic fungi: A pilot study – Taebum Lee – bioRxiv

Host-Pathogen Interactions
Preprint: Human GBP1 differentially targets Salmonella and Toxoplasma to license recognition of microbial ligands and caspase-mediated death – Daniel Fisch – bioRxiv

Preprint: Mechanical competition triggered by innate immune signaling drives the collective extrusion of bacterially-infected epithelial cells – Effie E. Bastounis – bioRxiv

Microbes on the market

Genome & Company receives FDA IND clearance for GEN-001, its first anti-cancer microbiome therapeutic (Press Release, BioSpace)

April 19, 2020

Hello from the Sonoran Desert! It is a lovely morning here in Tucson, Az. I am excited to send my first contribution to Microbiome Digest! There is a lot of diversity in today’s digest, but if microbes thriving in all kinds of strange, extreme conditions are your area of interest, you’ll be interested in the book compiling the latest studies on extremophiles. Each chapter focuses on a particular environment, ranging from deserts to deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and explores the mechanisms allowing microbes to survive these incredible conditions.

If like me, you are a computational biology enthusiast and a machine learning addict, you should enjoy reading the last entry, a short perspective paper examining how machine learning algorithms can help predict antibiotic resistance!

Have a great Sunday!

General microbiology

Preprint: Interspecies interactions in bacterial colonies are determined by physiological traits and the environment – Booth – BioRxiv

Human gut and mouth microbiome

Bacterial colonization reprograms the neonatal gut metabolome – Bittinger – Nature microbiology

Salivary Factors that Maintain the Normal Oral Commensal Microflora – Carpenter – Journal of dental research

Preprint: Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing of Rectal Swabs for the Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistant Organisms on the Illumina Miseq and Oxford MinION Platforms – Yee – bioRxiv

Animal microbiome

Preprint: Mortality of native and invasive ladybirds co-infected by ectoparasitic and entomopathogenic fungi – Haelewaters – bioRxiv

Built environment

Preprint: The Microbes Found in the Honey of New York City Beehives – Weiss – BioRxiv

Correlation between autochthonous microbial communities and key odorants during the fermentation of red pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) – Xu – Food Microbiology

Water and extremophile microbiome

Book: Microbial Versatility in Varied Environments: Microbes in Sensitive Environments – collective – Springer Nature

The seasonal variation of microbial communities in drinking water sources in Shanghai – Guo – Journal of Cleaner Production

Plant, root and soil microbiome

LDPE microplastics significantly alter the temporal turnover of soil microbial communities –  Wang – Science of the total environment

High abundance of Ralstonia solanacearum changed tomato rhizosphere microbiome and metabolome – Wen – BMC Plant Biology

Phages and viruses

Preprint : First evidence of virus-like particles in the bacterial symbionts of Bryozoa – Vishnyakov – BioRxiv

Microbial community development on model particles in the deep sulfidic waters of the Black Sea – Suominen – Environmental microbiology

The stepwise assembly of the neonatal virome is modulated by breastfeeding – Liang – Nature


Preprint: Bayesian classification, anomaly detection, and survival analysis using network inputs with application to the microbiome – Josephs – arXiv


Preprint: Expanding the diversity of bacterioplankton isolates and modeling isolation efficacy with large scale dilution-to-extinction cultivation – Henson – bioRxiv

Catalyzing rapid discovery of gold-precipitating bacterial lineages with university students – Riley – PeerJ

COVID-19 and career

Science-ing from home – Powell – Nature

My non-microbiology pick

Perspective: Lean, mean, learning machines – Wheeler – Nature review microbiology

April 11, 2020

Happy Saturday morning, y’all! I’m excited for my first contribution to the digest, and hope you enjoy my picks over a luxurious weekend meal. Today’s digest starts with some preprints about COVID including research on a drug that may inhibit viral replication. Other research highlights include an examination of the relationship between the vaginal microbiome and pre-term birth, a preprint on the oral microbiome in space, and a potential new technique for low cost, high-throughput metagenome profiling. Scroll all the way to the end for information about a fun project by a University of Wyoming student called The Microbestiary.

Preprint: Genomic determinants of pathogenicity in SARS-CoV-2 and other human coronaviruses. Auslander, N. et al.

Preprint: Nelfinavir inhibits replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in vitro. Yamamoto, N. et al.

Preprint: Understanding the B and T cells epitopes of spike protein of severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2: A computational way to predict the immunogens. Vashi, Y. et al.

General Microbiome
Preprint: From iron to antibiotics: Identification of conserved bacterial-fungal interactions across diverse partners. Pierce, EC. et al.

Human Gut Microbiome
Review: Unraveling Host-Gut Microbiota Dialogue and Its Impact on Cholesterol Levels. Villette R. et al. Frontiers in Pharmacology.

Metagenomics analysis reveals features unique to Indian distal gut microbiota. Kaur, K. et al. PLOS ONE.

Gut Microbiota Modulate CD8 T Cell Responses to Influence Colitis-Associated Tumorigenesis. Yu, A.I. et al. Cell Reports.

Human Oral Microbiome
Preprint: Characterization of the oral microbiome of medically controlled type-2 diabetes patients. Santos, A. et al.

Human Vaginal Microbiome
Cervicovaginal microbiome and natural history of HPV in a longitudinal study. Usyk, M. et al. PLOS Pathogens.

Meta-Analysis of Vaginal Microbiome Data Provides New Insights Into Preterm Birth. Kosti, I. et al. Frontiers in Microbiology.

Water and Extremophile Microbiome
Microbiota characterization of Exaiptasia diaphana from the Great Barrier Reef. Hartman, L.M. et al. Animal Microbiome.

Microbial Diversity and Metabolic Potential in the Stratified Sansha Yongle Blue Hole in the South China Sea. He, P. et al. Scientific Reports.

Metabolic versatility of freshwater sedimentary archaea feeding on different organic carbon sources. Compte-Port, S. et al. PLOS ONE.

Animal Experiments and Animal Microbiome
The skin microbiome facilitates adaptive tetrodotoxin production in poisonous newts. Vaelli, P.M. et al. eLife.

Metatranscriptomic virome assessment of Rhipicephalus microplus from Colombia. Gomez, G.F. et al. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases.

Preprint: Metabolic differences between symbiont subpopulations in the deep-sea tubeworm Riftia pachyptila. Hinzke, T. et al.

Preprint: Similar gut bacterial microbiota in two fruit-feeding moth pests collected from different host species and locations. Gong, Q et al.

Plant, Root, and Soil Microbiome
The preceding root system drives the composition and function of the rhizosphere microbiome. Zhou, Y. et al. Genome Biology.

Microbial Co-Occurrence in Floral Nectar Affects Metabolites and Attractiveness to a Generalist Pollinator. Rering, C.C. et al. Journal of Chemical Ecology.

Impact of phages on soil bacterial communities and nitrogen availability under different assembly scenarios. Braga, L.P.P. et al. Microbiome.

A predatory myxobacterium controls cucumber Fusarium wilt by regulating the soil microbial community. Ye, X. et al. Microbiome.

A plant genetic network for preventing dysbiosis in the phyllosphere. Chen, T. et al. Nature.

Fungal communities differentially respond to warming and drought in tropical grassland soil. de Oliveira, T.B. et al. Molecular Ecology.

Built Environment
An in-depth survey of the microbial landscape of the walls of a neonatal operating room. Derilus, D. et al. PLOS ONE.

Microbes in Space
Preprint: Defining the resilience of the human salivary microbiota by a 520 days longitudinal study in confined environment: the Mars500 mission. Bacci, G. et al.

Phages and Viruses
Phage cocktail containing Podoviridae and Myoviridae bacteriophages inhibits the growth of Pectobacterium spp. under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Zaczek-Moczydłowska, M.A. et al. PLOS ONE.

Dynamic genome evolution and complex virocell metabolism of globally-distributed giant viruses. Moniruzzaman M., et al. Nature Communications.

Preprint: Infection with novel Bacteroides phage BV01 alters host transcriptome and bile acid metabolism in a common human gut microbe. Campbell, D.E. et al.

Preprint: Integrative and Conjugative Elements (ICE) and Associated Cargo Genes within and across Hundreds of Bacterial Genera. Kaufman, J. et al.

A restriction enzyme reduced representation sequencing approach for low-cost, high-throughput metagenome profiling. Hess, M.K. et al. PLOS ONE.

Industrial Microbiome
Open microbiome dominated by Clostridium and Eubacterium converts methanol into i-butyrate and n-butyrate. Huang, S. et al. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Fun with Microbes
University of Wyoming masters student Erin Bentley was selected for an Arctic Circle Expedition in 2021 where she will characterize microbes and share her discoveries on The Microbestiary.
“The Microbestiary strives to show the public, in welcoming and memorable ways, that the microbial world is populated by strange and beautiful characters,” says Bentley in an article published on the UW website.

April 9, 2020

Good morning! There’s a diverse set of microbiome papers to share today, ranging from the human microbiome in Lynch Syndrome to the microbes that flavor wine and degrade paintings in art galleries. You may also want to check out the recent news that popular video game Borderlands 3 is introducing a new mini-game that prompts players to help “map” the human gut microbiome—technical details are hard to come by, but it appears to be alignment related. There is also a study that found more than 20 percent of recently published metagenomes are not accessible.

In addition, Microbiome Data Congress 2020 will be held online on May 6 and is offering free registration through tomorrow (Friday, April 10). Speakers include human microbiome researcher Dr. Nikos Kyrpides of the (U.S.) DOE Joint Genome Institute and soil microbiologist Dr. Kari Dunfield of the University of Guelph.

Human gut microbiome

Structure of the Mucosal and Stool Microbiome in Lynch Syndrome, Yan Yan et al., Cell Host & Microbe

Effects of sex and chronic cigarette smoke exposure on the mouse cecal microbiome, Tam and Filho et al., PLOS ONE

The gut microbiome but not the resistome is associated with urogenital schistosomiasis in preschool-aged children, Derick N. M. Osakunor et al., Communications Biology

Perspective: Developing a new class of engineered live bacterial therapeutics to treat human diseases, Mark R. Charbonneau et al., Nature Communications

Review: The gut mycobiome: The overlooked constituent of clinical outcomes and treatment complications in patients with cancer and other immunosuppressive conditions, Galloway-Peña and Kontoyiannis, PLOS Pathogens

Intestinal enteroids recapitulate the effects of short-chain fatty acids on the intestinal epithelium, Sarah C. Pearce et al., PLOS ONE

Animal experiments

A combination of monosodium glutamate and high-fat and high-fructose diets increases the risk of kidney injury, gut dysbiosis and host-microbial co-metabolism, Thatsanapong Pongking et al., PLOS ONE

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Preprint: Vineyard ecosystems are structured and distinguished by fungal communities impacting the flavour and quality of wine, Di Liu et al., bioRxiv

Bacterial community composition of vermicompost-treated tomato rhizospheres, Juana Munoz-Ucros et al., PLOS ONE

Field Performance of Mixtures of Pseudomonas and Bacillus spp. in Managing Papaya Ringspot Virus Disease and their Effect on Plant Defense Enzyme Activity, Ranasinghe and De Costa, Tropical Agricultural Research

Built environment

Detection of potential biodeterioration risks for tempera painting in 16th century exhibits from State Tretyakov Gallery, Alexander Zhgun et al., PLOS ONE

Microbiome and antibiotic resistome in household dust from Beijing, China, Long-Jun Ding et al., Environment International

Preprint: Microbial dark matter driven degradation of carbon fiber polymer composites, Adam M. Breister et al., bioRxiv

Phages and viruses

Preprint: Primate phageomes are structured by superhost phylogeny and environment, Jan-Frederik Gogarten et al., bioRxiv


PIA: More Accurate Taxonomic Assignment of Metagenomic Data Demonstrated on sedaDNA From the North Sea, Becky Cribdon et al., Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution


A restriction enzyme reduced representation sequencing approach for low-cost, high-throughput metagenome profiling, Melanie K. Hess et al., PLOS ONE

Science, publishing, and career

Every fifth published metagenome is not available to science, Eckert, Di Cesare and Fontaneto et al., PLOS Biology