July 4, 2020

Greetings from Santiago, Chile! Today in this Digest, we have studies about the influence of alcohol use disorder on the microbiota, several papers about the influence of different compounds (from allicin to DAV132, a colon-targeted antibiotic adsorbent) on the microbiota. Today we have several papers about different models of plant- or soil- associated microbiomes, and a couple of papers from studies with SIV infection models. Have a nice weekend!

Human and General Microbiome

Longitudinal gut microbiome changes in alcohol use disorder are influenced by abstinence and drinking quantity – Nancy Ames et al., Gut Microbes

Comparative evaluation of peptidome and microbiota in different types of saliva samples – Ce Zhu et al.,Annals of Translational Medicine

Preprint: Microbial control over host diet selection – Brian K Trevelline and Kevin D Kohl – BioRxiv

Functional Compounds and the Microbiome

Hemolysin BL from novel Bacillus toyonensis BV-17 induces antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo – Jiajia Chen et al., Gut Microbes

Modeling the effect of DAV132, a novel colon-targeted adsorbent, on fecal concentrations of moxifloxacin and gut microbiota diversity in healthy volunteers – Jinju Guk et al.,Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Allicin-induced host-gut microbe interactions improves energy homeostasisChuanhai Zhang et al., – The FASEB Journal

Evidence of Microbiome-Drug Interactions between the Antimalarial Lumefantrine and Gut Microbiota in Mice – Matthew M. Ippolito et al., The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Contrasting effects of viscous and particulate fibers on colonic fermentation in vitro and in vivo, and their impact on intestinal water studied by MRI in a randomized trial – David Gunn et al., The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Animal Microbiome / Animal Models

A theoretic approach to the mode of gut microbiome translocation in SIV-infected Asian macaques – Wendy Li and Zhanshan (Sam) Ma – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Impact of Initial Feeding and Molting on Tachypleus tridentatus Gut Microbiota – Fengze Miao et al.,Current Microbiology 

Osmotic stress induces gut microbiota community shift in fish – Keng Po Lai et al.,Environmental Microbiology

The Gut-Eye Axis: Lessons Learned from Murine Models – Jason L. Floyd & Maria B. Grant – Ophthalmology and Therapy 

The colonic mucosa-associated microbiome in SIV infection: shift towards Bacteroidetes coincides with mucosal CD4+ T cell depletion and enterocyte damage – Kristina Allers et al., Scientific Reports  

Plant or Soil Microbiomes

Re-Analysis of 16S Amplicon Sequencing Data Reveals Soil Microbial Population Shifts in Rice Fields under Drought Condition – Seok-Won Jang et al,Rice 

Integrated network modeling approach defines key metabolic responses of soil microbiomes to perturbations – Ryan S. McClure et al., Scientific Reports 

Potential microbial bioindicators of phosphorus mining in a temperate deciduous forest – Laura M. Mason et al.,Journal of Applied Microbiology

Phylogenetic signals and predictability in plant-soil feedbacks – Elizabeth M. Wandrag et al.,New Phytologist

Genomics / Bioinformatics

The compact genome of Giardia muris reveals important steps in the evolution of intestinal protozoan parasites – Feifei Xu et al.,Microbial Genomics 

LEMMI: A continuous benchmarking platform for metagenomics classifiers – Mathieu Seppey et al.,Genome Research

Other papers

Preprint: Metagenome-assembled genomes from Monte Cristo Cave (Diamantina, Brazil) reveal prokaryotic lineages as functional models for life on Mars – Amanda G Bendia et al., BioRxiv 

Preprint: Exploring metal resistance genes and mechanisms in copper enriched metal ore metagenome – Esmaeil Forouzan Sr. et al., BioRxiv

SARS-CoV-2 Preprints

Preprint: Alpha-1 antitrypsin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection – Lukas Wettstein et al.,BioRxiv

July 3rd, 2020

General microbiome

Microbiome definition re-visited: old concepts and new challenges – Berg et al. Microbiome

Large-scale metabolic interaction network of the mouse and human gut microbiota. – Lim et al. Scientific Data

Early life microbiome

Very early-life exposure to microbiota-induced TNF drives the maturation of neonatal pre-cDC1 – Kohler et al. Gut.

Human gut microbiome

Arrhythmic Gut Microbiome Signatures Predict Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – Reitmeier et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Ranking microbiome variance in inflammatory bowel disease: a large longitudinal intercontinental study – Clooney et al. Gut

Cholesterol Metabolism by Uncultured Human Gut Bacteria Influences Host Cholesterol Level – Kenny et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Amending microbiota by targeting intestinal inflammation with TNF blockade attenuates development of colorectal cancer – Yang et al. Nature Cancer

Animal microbiome

A Systematic Analysis of Mosquito-Microbiome Biosynthetic Gene Clusters Reveals Antimalarial Siderophores that Reduce Mosquito Reproduction Capacity – Ganley et al. Cell Chemical Biology

Extremophile microbiome

Microbial succession during the transition from active to inactive stages of deep-sea hydrothermal vent sulfide chimneys – Hou et al. BMC Microbiome

Phages and viruses

Phase-variable capsular polysaccharides and lipoproteins modify bacteriophage susceptibility in Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron – Porter et al. Nature Microbiology


ATLAS: a Snakemake workflow for assembly, annotation, and genomic binning of metagenome sequence data – Kieser et al. BMC Bioinformatics


High-Throughput Stool Metaproteomics: Method and Application to Human Specimens – Gonzalez et al. mSystems

Interindividual Variation in Dietary Carbohydrate Metabolism by Gut Bacteria Revealed with Droplet Microfluidic Culture – Villa et al. mSystems

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 30, 2020

Hallo und Guten Morgen from Germany! I hope you are well and have the time and energy to enjoy some microbiome related reading hours. I included a number of interesting reviews, related to mental and general health, soil microbiome and amphibian skin microbiome.
There is also a nice variety of new microbe research, including the influence of temperature changes on the microbiome of lizards and the microbiome’s association with heat tolerance, seasonal cycles of microbial communities in the Baltic Sea and the influence of hydrocarbons pollutants on the human skin microbiome.
Enjoy the reading!


Preprint: Role of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in different cohorts: Can they provide clues for appropriate patient triaging? – Manohar B Mutnal – bioRxiv

General microbiome

Review: Impact of Human Microbiome on Health – Sujata Das – Microbial Diversity, Interventions and Scope

Review: Inflammation in Mental Disorders: Is the Microbiota the Missing Link? – Sophie Ouabbou – Neuroscience Bulletin

Human skin microbiome

Changes of the human skin microbiota upon chronic exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollutants – Marcus H. Y. Leung – Microbiome

Human gut microbiome

Review: Current Limitations for the Assessment of the Role of the Gut Microbiome for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – Andreas Hiergeist – Frontiers in Psychiatry

Animal microbiome

*Lizard gut microbiome changes with temperature and is associated with heat tolerance – Andrew H. Moeller – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Review: The Amphibian Skin Microbiome and Its Protective Role Against Chytridiomycosis – Eria A. Rebollar – Herpetologica

Bacterial diversity associated with the abdomens of naturally Plasmodium-infected and non-infected Nyssorhynchus darlingi – Tatiane Marques Porangaba Oliveira – BMC Microbiology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Review: Deliberate introduction of invisible invaders: A critical appraisal of the impact of microbial inoculants on soil microbial communities – Panji Cahya Mawarda – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Plant microbiota modified by plant domestication – Esperanza Martínez-Romero – Systematic and Applied Microbiology

Water and extremophile microbiome

A genomic view of trophic and metabolic diversity in clade-specific Lamellodysidea sponge microbiomes – Sheila Podell – Microbiome

Functional Associations and Resilience in Microbial Communities – Maria-Luisa Avila-Jimenez – Microorganisms

*Autumn to spring microbial community in the northern Baltic Sea: temporal variability in bacterial, viral and nanoflagellate abundance during the cold-water season – Laura Kaikkonen – Polar Biology

Food microbiology

Reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes in retail raw milk – Jinxin Liu – Microbiome


Correlation-Centric Network (CCN) representation for microbial co-occurrence patterns: new insights for microbial ecology – Pengshuo Yang – NAR Genomics and Bioinformatics

Review: From bag-of-genes to bag-of-genomes: metabolic modelling of communities in the era of metagenome-assembled genomes – Clémence Frioux – Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal

June 22, 2020

General microbiome
Impact of feeding and stirring regimes on the internal stratification of microbial communities in the fermenter of anaerobic digestion plants – Robert Heyera – Bioresource Technology

Human microbiome
REVIEW: Role of the Microbiome in Allergic Disease Development – Andrea C. Aguilera, – Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

Optimization and standardization of the culturomics technique for human microbiome exploration – Ami Diakite – Scientific Reports

Human skin microbiome
The microbiome of diabetic foot ulcers: a comparison of swab and tissue biopsy wound sampling techniques using 16S rRNA gene sequencing – J. Travis – BMC Microbiology

Human gut microbiome
Interpersonal Gut Microbiome Variation Drives Susceptibility and Resistance to Cholera Infection – Salma Alavi – Cell

EDITORIAL: Gut microbes effects on host metabolic alterations in health and disease – Suzana D. Savkovic – Gut Microbes

Revealing links between gut microbiome and its fungal community in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus among Emirati subjects: A pilot study – Mohammad Tahseen Al Bataineh – Scientific Reports

Alterations in the Gut Microbiome in the Progression of Cirrhosis to Hepatocellular Carcinoma – Yelena Lapidot – mSystems

Human respiratory microbiome
Taxonomic diversity of sputum microbiome in lung cancer patients and its relationship with chromosomal aberrations in blood lymphocytes – V. G. Druzhinin – Scientific Reports

Pregnancy and early life
Human milk microbiota development during lactation and its relation to maternal geographic location and gestational hypertensive status – Yi Wan – Gut Microbes

Maternal Microbiota, Cortisol Concentration, and Post-PartumWeight Recovery Are Dependent on Mode of Delivery – Marta Selma-Royo – Nutrients

Human ancient microbiome
Analysis of oral microbiome from fossil human remains revealed the significant differences in virulence factors of modern and ancient Tannerella forsythia – Anna Philips – BMC Genomics

Animal experiments
Zebrafish microbiome studies make waves – Keaton Stagaman – Lab Animal

Animal microbiome
An Insight into Diversity and Functionalities of Gut Microbiota in Insects – Shengchen Wang – Current Microbiology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome
Microbial assimilation dynamics differs but total mineralization from added root and shoot residues is similar in agricultural Alfisols – Yingde Xu – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Effects of increasing concentrations of unamended and gypsum modified bauxite residues on soil microbial community functions and structure – A mesocosm study – Camille Fourrier – Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

Microbiome approaches provide the key to biologically control postharvest pathogens and storability of fruits and vegetables – Peter Kusstatscher – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Variations of rhizospheric soil microbial communities in response to continuous Andrographis paniculata cropping practices – Junren Li – Botanical Studies

Seed Metabolism and Pathogen Resistance Enhancement in Pisum sativum During Colonization of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi: An Integrative Metabolomics-Proteomics Approach – Nima Ranjbar Sistani – Frontiers in Plant Science

Water microbiome
Differential Responses of a Coastal Prokaryotic Community to Phytoplanktonic Organic Matter Derived from Cellular Components and Exudates – Hiroaki Takebe – Microbes and Environments

Built environment
MINI-REVIEW: Microorganisms populating the water-related indoor biome – Monika Novak Babič – Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Shotgun metagenomics reveals signicant gut microbiome features in different grades of acute pancreatitis – Shanshan Yu – Research Square

Characteristics of Esophagus Flora in Patients with Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Central China – Shuixiang He – Research Square

Can root-associated fungi mediate the impact of abiotic conditions on the growth of a High Arctic herb? – Magdalena Wutkowska – bioRxiv

Microbes on the market
Finch Therapeutics Announces Positive Topline Results from Randomized Controlled Trial of CP101, an Oral Microbiome Drug, for the Prevention of Recurrent C. difficile Infection – Finch Therapeutics

Microbes in the news
Gut reaction: How the gut microbiome may influence the severity of COVID-19 – Shirin Moossavi – The Conversation

June 20th, 2020

Glad midsommar!

Happy midsummer to everyone from Sweden. Today’s digest is heavy on the preprints with a couple of thought-provoking editorials from the journal Nature. You will notice a lot of articles related to COVID-19. There is an interesting study that proposes the use of dogs and their sensory powers to detect CoV infections. More importantly, a preprint discusses the use of a tyrosine kinase as a potential drug and another preprint discusses the results of a massive FDA-approved drug repurposing screen for COVID. Also in the digest is an article where the researchers have shown that the gut microbiome produces neurotransmitters and another article that explains how Streptomyces spores hitchhike. Another article, although not related to our general theme, is super interesting as well. A group of scientists have proposed that the first egg of the dinosaurs was probably soft-shelled and not like the hard eggs we imagined all this time!

I am sorry for doing a lousy job today at providing a proper context and some informative introduction to today’s digest as it is the most awaited Midsommar holiday and the barbecue is calling! I hope everyone is enjoying the summer. Make sure to follow social distancing guidelines!


Preprint: Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib as a potential drug for COVID-19 – Nirmitee Sanjay Mulgaonkar, et al.

Preprint: Variant analysis of SARS-CoV-2 strains in Middle Eastern countries – Khalid M Bindayna and Shane Crinion

Preprint: Polymorphism and selection pressure of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and diagnostic antigens: implications for immune evasion and serologic diagnostic performance – Eric Dumonteil and Claudia Herrera

Preprint: Disruption of Adaptive Immunity Enhances Disease in SARS-CoV-2 Infected Syrian Hamsters – Rebecca Brocato, et al.

Preprint: High-density amplicon sequencing identifies community spread and ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in the Southern United States – Ryan P McNamara, et al.

Preprint: Proteotyping SARS-CoV-2 virus from nasopharyngeal swabs: a proof-of-concept focused on a 3 min mass spectrometry window – Duarte Gouveia, et al.

Preprint: A single dose of recombinant VSV-∆G-spike vaccine provides protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge – Yfat Yahalom-Ronen, et al.

Preprint: Antiviral treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters reveals a weak effect of favipiravir and a complete lack of effect for hydroxychloroquine – Suzanne JF Kaptein, et al.

Preprint: Drug repurposing screens reveal FDA approved drugs active against SARS-Cov-2 – Mark Dittmar, et al.

Preprint: Dog Savior: Immediate Scent-Detection of SARS-COV-2 by Trained Dogs – Omar Vesga, et al.

Preprint: Evaluation of the performance of SARS-CoV-2 serological tools and their positioning in COVID-19 diagnostic strategies. – Aurélie Velay, et al.

General Microbiome

Preprint: Exploring the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Bacterial Pathobiome – Deborah Iwanowicz, et al.

Preprint: Hi-C deconvolution of a textile-dye degrader microbiome reveals novel taxonomic landscapes and link phenotypic potential to individual genomes – Ayixon Sanchez-Reyes, et al.

A metabolic pathway for bile acid dehydroxylation by the gut microbiome – Masanori Funabashi, et al. – Nature

A neurotransmitter produced by gut bacteria modulates host sensory behaviour – Michael P. O’Donnell, et al. – Nature


Preprint: Novel functional insights from the Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite-specific proteome by probabilistic integration of 26 studies – Lisette Meerstein-Kessel, et al.


Preprint: Conjugal DNA transfer in the maternally inherited symbiont of tsetse flies Sodalis glossinidius – Christopher G Kendra, et al.

Preprint: Systematic analysis of REBASE identifies numerous Type I restriction-modification systems that contain duplicated, variable hsdS specificity genes that randomly switch methyltransferase specificity by recombination. – John M. Atack, et al.

Preprint: The role of LmeA, a mycobacterial periplasmic protein, in stabilizing the mannosyltransferase MptA and its product lipomannan under stress – Kathryn C Rahlwes, et al.

Preprint: Microbial piggy-back: how Streptomyces spores are transported by motile soil bacteria – Alise R. Muok, et al.


Preprint: Herbivore-induced activation of viral phosphatase disarms plant antiviral immunities for pathogen transmission – Pingzhi Zhao, et al.

Preprint: Quantifying the acquisition and retention of lumpy skin disease virus by haematophagus insects and the implications for transmission and control – Beatriz Sanz-Bernardo, et al.

Preprint: Identification of a critical horseshoe-shaped region in the nsp5 (Mpro, 3CLpro) protease interdomain loop (IDL) of coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) – Benjamin C. Nick, et al.

Preprint: A sweep of earth’s virome reveals host-guided viral protein structural mimicry; with implications for human disease – Gorka Lasso, et al.


The first dinosaur egg was soft – Mark A. Norell, et al. – Nature

Junior researchers hit by coronavirus-triggered hiring freezes – Chris Woolston – Nature

Peer review should be an honest, but collegial, conversation Nature

June 18, 2020

Greetings from Pittsburgh!

Today’s digest is unintentionally themed around change. Included is an article on the metabolic versatility of Salmonella enterica and another on the genetic diversification of Escherichia coli. If you’re more interested in the big picture, there is also an article about the evolution of ecological niches in plant-associated microbes as well as an article about the impacts of global change on soil microbial diversity and functionality.

Here’s to hoping that we are just as resilient as the microbes we study!

Events and jobs

A special plug for the National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP). NSURP is a community-driven initiative to create rewarding remote summer research opportunities for BIPOC undergraduate students in the microbial sciences. They are actively recruiting mentors and students for this summer, with the hope to match pairs by June 22nd.

General microbiome

Salmonella finds a way: Metabolic versatility of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in diverse host environments – Taylor and Winter – PLOS Pathogens

Phylogenetic background and habitat drive the genetic diversification of Escherichia coli – Touchon et al. – PLOS Genetics

Human skin microbiome

The microbiome of diabetic foot ulcers: a comparison of swab and tissue biopsy wound sampling techniques using 16S rRNA gene sequencing – Travis et al. – BMC Microbiology

Animal experiments

MAPK-dependent hormonal signaling plasticity contributes to overcoming Bacillus thuringiensis toxin action in an insect host – Guo et al. – Nature Communications

Investigation of the effects of probiotic, Bacillus subtilis on stress reactions in laying hens using infrared thermography – Soroko and Zaborski – PLOS ONE

Gut carriage of antimicrobial resistance genes in women exposed to small-scale poultry farms in rural Uganda: A feasibility study – Weil et al. – PLOS ONE

Animal microbiome

Anti-microbial activity of whole blood and plasma collected from Anna’s Hummingbirds (Calypte anna) against three different microbes – DeRogatis et al. – PLOS ONE

Bacteriophages specific to Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli exist in goat feces and associated environments on an organic produce farm in Northern California, USA – Lennon et al. – PLOS ONE

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Survival of Escherichia coli O157 in autoclaved and natural sandy soil mesocosms – Baker et al. – PLOS ONE

Geometry and evolution of the ecological niche in plant-associated microbes – Chaloner et al. – Nature Communications

Meta-analysis of the impacts of global change factors on soil microbial diversity and functionality – Zhou et al. – Nature Communications

Food microbiology

Neighboring plants divergently modulate effects of loss-of-function in maize mycorrhizal phosphate uptake on host physiology and root fungal microbiota – Fabiańska et al. – PLOS ONE

Phages and viruses

Comparative analysis of viruses in four bee species collected from agricultural, urban, and natural landscapes – Olgun et al. – PLOS ONE


bigPint: A Bioconductor visualization package that makes big data pint-sized – Rutter and Cook – PLOS Computational Biology


Subduing the influence of PCR inhibitors on amplifying aged, degraded, and low copy number DNA: PCR enhancer cocktail-p and rescue PCR – Kemp et al. – PLOS ONE

Click-to-Capture: A method for enriching viable Staphylococcus aureus using bio-orthogonal labeling of surface proteins – Shalizi et al. – PLOS ONE

June 16, 2020

Sorry for the late afternoon digest. We are in the midst of trying to get our lab back up and running! There are several interesting papers today, including a commentary on the holobiont model and the usefulness of integrating microbiome and GWAS data, the development of a “Microbiome-Derived Metabolism Screen” for personalized medicine published in Cell, and a paper investigating phylosymbiosis in the skin microbiome of fish. My non-microbiology pick is a urine sampling method to assess diet, which could be very useful to gut microbiome scientists.

General microbiome

Commentary: Re-evaluating the relationship between missing heritability and the microbiome – Gavin M. Douglas – Microbiome

Book chapter: Pharmacomicrobiomics – Weihua Huang – Pharmacogenomics in Precision Medicine

Human gut microbiome

Review: Altered Composition of Gut Microbiota in Depression: A Systematic Review – Zahra Amirkhanzadeh Barandouzi – Frontiers in Psychiatry

Review: Tryptophan Metabolites Along the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis: An Interkingdom Communication System Influencing the Gut in Health and Disease – Annalisa Bosi – International Journal of Tryptophan Research

Personalized Mapping of Drug Metabolism by the Human Gut Microbiome – Bahar Javdan – Cell

Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron-derived outer membrane vesicles promote regulatory dendritic cell responses in health but not in inflammatory bowel disease – Lydia Durant – Microbiome

Animal microbiome

The skin microbiome of elasmobranchs follows phylosymbiosis, but in teleost fishes, the microbiomes converge – Michael P. Doane – Microbiome

Whole-genome sequence analysis of environmental Escherichia coli from the faeces of straw-necked ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) nesting on inland wetlands – Ethan R Wyrsch – Microbial Genomics

Intestinal Microbiota Analyses of Litopenaeus vannamei During a Case of Atypical Massive Mortality in Northwestern Mexico – Alejandro López-Cortés – Current Microbiology

Identification of hepatitis C virus in the common bed bug–a potential, but uncommon route for HCV infection? – Jiaxin Ling – Emerging Microbes & Infections

Eggshell and environmental bacteria contribute to the intestinal microbiota of growing chickens – Joel J. Maki – Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology

Topography of the respiratory tract bacterial microbiota in cattle – Christopher McMullen – Microbiome

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Exploring slope spatial heterogeneity by nitrogen transfer and arbuscular mycorrhizal community – Yanyan Yu – Journal of Soils and Sediments

Disentangling drivers of soil microbial potential enzyme activity across rain regimes: An approach based on the functional trait framework – Gabin Piton – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Microbial communities in petroleum-contaminated seasonally frozen soil and their response to temperature changes – Xusheng Wang – Chemosphere

Review: The Plant Microbiome: From Ecology to Reductionism and Beyond – Connor R. Fitzpatrick – Annual Review of Microbiology

Biogeographic patterns of microbial co-occurrence ecological networks in six American forests – Qichao Tu – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Water, air, and extremophile microbiome

Microbial communities of container aquatic habitats shift in response to Culex restuans larvae – Ephantus J. Muturi – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Climate mediates continental scale patterns of stream microbial functional diversity – Félix Picazo – Microbiome

Bacterial diversity of a high-altitude permafrost thaw pond located on Ojos del Salado (Dry Andes, Altiplano-Atacama region) – Júlia Margit Aszalós – Astrobiology  

Effects of active volcanism on bacterial communities in the highest-altitude crater lake of Ojos del Salado (Dry Andes, Altiplano-Atacama Region) – Júlia Margit Aszalós – Astrobiology  

Methanogenesis in the Lake Elton saline aquatic system – Anna Kallistova – Extremophiles

Auxotrophic interactions: A stabilizing attribute of aquatic microbial communities? – Winifred Johnson – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Food microbiology

Lactic acid accumulation under heat stress related to accelerated glycolysis and mitochondrial dysfunction inhibits the mycelial growth of Pleurotus ostreatus – Zhiyu Yan – Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Evaluation and comparison of the microbial communities and volatile profiles in homemade suansun from Guangdong and Yunnan provinces in China – Qianqian Guan – Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture

Non-Microbiology Pick

Developing community-based urine sampling methods to deploy biomarker technology for the assessment of dietary exposure – Amanda J. Lloyd – Public Health Nutrition

Towards virtual physiological humans: integrating metabolism, physiology, and gut-microbiome

Science communication on a recently published paper

Precision Medicine

A milestone in precision medicine would be the ability to explore generative models that can capture the real-world complexity of human physiology. If computational models can successfully integrate physiology, metabolism, and host-microbiome data – thereby achieving personalization of predictive models of virtual physiological humans – this would be a key stepping-stone in yielding promising therapeutic targets that are both individual-specific and case-specific. Thus, the science (and art) of generating and exploring virtual physiological humans could be a boon to systems physiology and precision medicine.

Whole-body metabolic reconstructions

Towards this end, Thiele et al. recently published an intriguing paper. Thiele et al. demonstrate building and validation of sex-specific curated Whole-Body Metabolic (WBM) reconstructions. Computational models derived from such WBM reconstructions offer a novel molecular-level, anatomically and physiologically consistent, sex-specific genome-scale reconstructions of human physiology and metabolism. Thiele et al. further demonstrated that the WBM reconstructions can be ‘personalized’ via integration of quantitative physiological data with multi-omics such as metabolomics, and gut-microbiome. Thus, Thiele et al. introduce Harvey and Harvetta, the male and female WBM reconstructions, respectively. These reconstructions and the derived models and analysis enable novel assessment of, e.g., host-microbiome co-metabolism that is individual-specific and is resolved at an organ-level.


The extreme complexity of real-world metabolic modelling of host-microbiome in humans can hardly be overstated. Thiele et al. address this critical challenge via constraint-based reconstruction – their models account for the enormous diversity of microbiome-associated microbial genes that are meaningful both physiologically and is individual-specific such as in host-microbiome co-metabolism. Thus this approach allows case-specific investigation of human metabolism, such as for studying inherited metabolic diseases.


Previously the Thiele Lab , extensive metabolic modelling of metabolic and physiologically relevant pathways (curated algorithmically and manually) led to a comprehensive model that allows investigation via constraint-based reconstruction of over 80,000 pathways. Thiele et al. approached the problem into a smaller sub-problems that they have previously addressed. First – by compiling organ-specific information from previous literature and including experimental-omics data, Thiele Lab generated WBM reconstructions. Second – Thiele Lab imposed constraints the WBM reconstructions via (large-scale) physiology, dietary constraints and quantitative metabolomic data.


A key challenge that Thiele et al. addressed in this current 2020 paper is the integration of more than 80,000 biochemical reactions, that were both anatomically and physiologically consistent. These WBM reconstructions describe 26 organs and 6 blood cell types and capture whole-body organ-resolved metabolism. Importantly, these recapitulate previously known inter-organ metabolic cycles and energy use. Interestingly, WBM models can also predict biomarkers. This might, e.g., elucidate new pathways or targets that are implicated in heritable metabolic diseases.

Take-home-message and future ahead

Exploring such quantitative metabolic models could reveal new molecular insights pertaining to (co-dependence of host-microbiome) metabolism and overall human physiology and homeostasis – both in health and disease. The power of computational models is further exemplified if these allow addressing questions via novel hypothesis-testing that go beyond the scope of wet-lab experiments.

written by: Div Prasad

I’m interested in quantitative biology (at the intersection) of human genetics, machine learning, and host-microbiome interactions.

Twitter: @divyaePrasad
github: divprasad

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