January 15, 2021

Today’s digest features a collection of reviews, opinion pieces, discussion on prenatal microbiome, pipeline to extract metabolic models from whole metagenome sequencing data (metaGEM), novel type of colistin resistance genes, mechanisms that shape microbial pangenomes, and more. Check out a list of free web-based microbial seminars. Happy reading/listening!

General microbiome

*Mechanisms That Shape Microbial Pangenomes – Maria Rosa Domingo-Sananes
and James O. McInerney – Trends in Microbiology

Evolution to alternative levels of stable diversity leaves areas of niche space unexplored – Ilan Naftali Rubin – bioRxiv

Prenatal microbiome

*The prenatal in utero microbiome controversy: Microbiome or no microbiome: are we looking at the prenatal environment through the right lens? – W. Florian Fricke and Jacques Ravel – BMC Microbiome

Urinary microbiome

The Urinary Microbiome in Postmenopausal Women with Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections – Monique H. Vaughan – bioRxiv

Alterations in Urobiome in Patients With Bladder Cancer and Implications for Clinical Outcome: A Single-Institution Study – Jiarong Zeng – Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology

Bare Versus Hair: Do Pubic Hair Grooming Preferences Dictate the Urogenital Microbiome? – Geynisman-Tan J – Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery

Vaginal microbiome

Amylases in the Human Vagina – Kenetta L. Nunn – mSphere

Gut microbiome

Predicting drug-metagenome interactions: Variation in the microbial β-glucuronidase level in the human gut metagenomes – Moamen M. Elmassry – PlosOne

Microbiome and ischemic stroke: A systematic review – Yee Teng Lee – PlosOne

Antimicrobial resistance

*A novel type of colistin resistance genes selected from random sequence space – Michael Knopp – Plos Genetics

Identifying novel β-lactamase substrate activity through in silico prediction of antimicrobial resistance – Kara K. Tsang – Microbial Genomics

A framework for identifying the recent origins of mobile antibiotic resistance genes – Stefan Ebmeyer – Communications Biology

Minimal biophysical model of combined antibiotic action – Bor Kavčič – Plos Computational Biology

Mobilization of antibiotic resistance genes differ by resistance mechanism – Tue Kjaergaard Nielsen – bioRxiv

Carbapenem and Colistin Resistance in Enterobacter: Determinants and Clones – Zhiyong Zong – Trends in Microbiology

Animal microbiome

Fermented traditional Chinese medicine alters the intestinal microbiota composition of broiler chickens – Peng Huang – Research in Veterinary Science

Plant/root/soil microbiome

Coordination between microbiota and root endodermis supports plant mineral nutrient homeostasis – Isai Salas-González – Science

Food microbiome

Metabolic cooperation and spatiotemporal niche partitioning in a kefir microbial community – Sonja Blasche – Nature Microbiology

Generation of lactose and protease positive probiotic Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG by conjugation with Lactococcus lactis NCDO 712 – Nazar Hussain – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Phages and Viruses

Engineered Phage Endolysin Eliminates Gardnerella Biofilm without Damaging Beneficial Bacteria in Bacterial Vaginosis Ex Vivo – Christine Landlinger – Pathogens


*metaGEM: reconstruction of genome scale metabolic models directly from metagenomes – Francisco Zorrilla – bioRxiv

Whole genome phylogenies reflect the distributions of recombination rates for many bacterial species – Thomas Sakoparnig – eLife

CAFE: a software suite for analysis of paired-sample transposon insertion sequencing data – Anna Abramova – Bioinformatics

Finding orthologous gene blocks in bacteria: the computational hardness of the problem and novel methods to address it – Huy N Nguyen – Bioinformatics

Unraveling city-specific signature and identifying sample origin locations for the data from CAMDA MetaSUB challenge – Runzhi Zhang – Biology Direct

RefSeq: expanding the Prokaryotic Genome Annotation Pipeline reach with protein family model curation – Wenjun Li – Nucleic Acids Research


A co-culture microplate for real-time measurement of microbial interactions – Charles Jo – bioRxiv


Mind, Mood & Microbes Expert Q&A: From Mechanisms to Clinical Applications – Jane Foster, Mauro Costa-Mattioli, John Cryan, Eldin Jašarević, Aletta D. Kraneveld, Filip Scheperjans, Elaine Hsiao – 21 January

SGBUG (Singapore Bacterial Ultra Group) seminar: Silencing bacterial genes with CRISPR-dCas9: from basic insights to high-throughput screens – David Bikard – 21 January

LoopSeq Solo Webinar: High Resolution Metagenomic Sequencing using DADA2 and LoopSeq Long-Read Sequencing – Benjamin Callahan – 21 January

FEMS Yeast Research Webinar on Genomic Insights into Yeast Diversity and Evolution – FEMS – 28 January

SSB Seminar: Double Trouble: Inappropriate Image Duplications in Biomedical Publications – Elisabeth Bik – 29 January

Geomicrobiology Network Seminar Series – The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

Winter 2021 WESTalks – Weekly seminars related to Water and the Environment with speakers from around the globe – IC-IMPACTS Student Engagement Committee (SEC) and the University of British Columbia’s Future Waters

MicroSeminars 2021 – Free Web-based Microbiology Seminar Series

Conferences &c

1st Microbiome PT Summit – The Portuguese Microbiome Community – 4 February

The 2021 UK Cellular Microbiology Network meeting – The Francis Crick Institute – 1-2 March

The Biology and Physics of Bacterial Chromosomes meeting – 4 March

Symposium Celebrating 100th Birthday and Research Accomplishments of Dr. Evelyn M. Witkin – Waksman Institute of Microbiology – 13 April


TWiM 233: Antivirals made by bacteria – Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Elio Schaechter, Michele Swanson, and Michael Schmidt – This week in microbiology podcast

January 06, 2021

Good morning, today we selected papers about the cancer microbiome atlas, detection of blood parasites, antibiotics and gut microbiome, metabolome and a new binning approach for metagenomic data using auto-encoders.

General microbiome

The cancer microbiome atlas: a pan-cancer comparative analysis to distinguish tissue-resident microbiota from contaminants – Dohlaman et al. – Cell Host & Microbe

Human nearly-sterile sites (blood, organs, brain)

Sensitive universal detection of blood parasites by selective pathogen-DNA enrichment and deep amplicon sequencing – Flaherty et al. – Microbiome

Human gut microbiome

Long-Term Impact of Suppressive Antibiotic Therapy on Intestinal Microbiota – Escudero-Sanchez et al. – genes

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

Metagenomics dataset used to characterize microbiome in water and sediments of the lake Solenoe (Novosibirsk region, Russia) – Bryanskaya et al. – Data in Brief


Changes in the Serum Metabolome of Patients Treated With Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics – Kaskiw et al. – Pathogens and Immunity

Walnut Consumption, Plasma Metabolomics, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease – Guasch-Ferre et al. – The Journal of Nutrition


Improved metagenome binning and assembly using deep variational autoencoders – Nissen et al. – Nature Biotechnology

December 27, 2020

Joyeuses fêtes from Paris, France ! In today’s digest, you will find great papers looking at various animal and plant microbiomes. In particular, I recommend taking some time to look at a preprint from Brealey and collaborators exploring the impact of human antibiotic use on oral microbiome in wild animals. The authors used shotgun metagenomics to determine the abundance and diversity of antimicrobial resistance genes in the oral microbiome of brown bears from Swedish museum specimens. Importantly, they show a significant increase in antimicrobial resistance genes in correlation with modern human antibiotics use, showing an impact even on wildlife of our antibiotic consumption.

Today’s non-microbiology pick takes a look back at the history of bioinformatics through the data analysis and visualization of papers published between 1998 and 2019. In addition of reading this very interesting paper, you can take a look at the data collected through interactive visualizations available at http://bioinfo.dcc.ufmg.br/history !

Have a great Sunday!

Pregnancy and early life

Preprint: Metabolomic signature of the maternal microbiota in the fetus – Pessa-Morikawa et al. – BioRXiv

Human nearly-sterile sites

Preprint: The urinary microbiome in postmenopausal women with recurrent urinary tract infections – Hiersoux Vaughan et al. – BioRXiv

Preprint: Biofilm development on urinary catheters promotes the appearance of viable but non-culturable (VBNC) bacteria – Wilks et al. – BioRXiv

Animal microbiome

Preprint: Wild animal oral microbiomes reflect the history of human antibiotics use – Brealey et al. – BioRXiV

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Dissimilarity analysis of microbial communities in the rhizosphere and tissues of diseased and healthy cherry trees (Cerasus pseudocerasus) – Ding et al. – Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology

First Recorded Account of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sand Dunes in South Eastern Australia: Biogeography and Species Richness – Hanlon et al. – Journal of Coastal Research

Diversity and structural differences of bacterial microbial communities in rhizocompartments of desert leguminous plants – Zhou et al. – PLOS ONE

Preprint: Orchard management and landscape context mediate the floral microbiome of pear – Schaeffer et al. – BioRXiv

Water and extremophile microbiome

Interplay of microbial communities with mineral environments incoralline algae – Valdespino-Castillo et al. – Science of the total environment

Acid Mine Drainage as Energizing Microbial Niches for the Formation of Iron Stromatolites: The Tintillo River in Southwest Spain – Chacon-Baca et al. – Astrobiology


PStrain: An Iterative Microbial Strains Profiling Algorithm for Shotgun Metagenomic Sequencing Data – Wang et al. – Bioinformatics

MegaPath: sensitive and rapid pathogen detection using metagenomic NGS data – Leung et al. – BMC Genomics

My non-microbiology picks

A Brief History of Bioinformatics Told by Data Visualization – Mariano et al. – Brazilian Symposium on Bioinformatics


October 07, 2020

Grant application (US specific grant)
2020 Biocodex Microbiota Foundation US $50,000 grant, supporting cutting edge research on the relationship between gut microbiota and chronic disease.
Deadline: October 15th.
Link: https://www.biocodexmicrobiotafoundation.com/national-call-projects/usa

General microbiome

Understanding the potential of lactobacilli in recurrent UTI prevention – Vagios, Hesham & Mitchel – Microbial Pathogenesis

Throat microbial community structure and functional changes in post-surgery laryngeal carcinoma patients – Hsueh et al. – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Bacterial diversity and prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes in the oral microbiome – Almeida et al. – PLOS One

Metagenomics of the modern and historical human oral microbiome with phylogenetic studies on Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus – Achtman & Zhou – Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B

Pregnancy and early life

In utero human intestine harbors unique metabolomic features including bacterial metabolites – Li et al. – JCI insight

Interactions between Environmental Exposures and the Microbiome: Implications for Fetal Programming – Banerjee, Suter & Aagaard – Current Opinion in Endocrine and Metabolic Research

Human nearly-sterile sites (blood, organs, brain)

Alterations in blood microbiota after colonic cancer surgery – Søby et al. – BJS Open

Human gut microbiome

Estimating molecular preservation of the intestinal microbiome via metagenomic analyses of latrine sediments from two medieval cities – Sabin et al. – Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B

Gut microbiota composition in obese and non-obese adult relatives from the highlands of Papua New Guinea – Jonduo et al. – FEMS Microbiology Letters

Fecal Bacteria as Biomarkers for Predicting Food Intake in Healthy Adults – Shinn et al. – The Journal of Nutrition

Animal experiments

Inulin fermentation by lactobacilli and bifidobacteria from dairy calves – Zhu et al. – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Microbial Diversity and Community Structure in Alpine Stream Soil – Rasool et al. – Geomicrobiology Journal

Food microbiology

Impact of dietary fibers in infant formula on gut microbiota and the intestinal immune barrier – Kong et al. – Food & Function


[PREPRINT] A framework for comparing microbial networks reveals core associations – Rottjers et al. – bioRxiv

Microbes in the news (popular press, EurekAlert, ScienceDaily, Youtube, NPR, etc)

Gut health benefits begin in utero – Brita Belli – YaleNews

Medieval poo holds clues to health of modern-day gut microbiome – Sara Rigby – Science Focus

September 23, 2020

General microbiome
Chemotaxis under flow disorder shapes microbial dispersion in porous media – Pietro de Anna – Nature Physics

REVIEW: A piece of the pie: engineering microbiomes by exploiting division of labor in complex polysaccharide consumption – Stephen RLindemann – Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering

Benchmarking microbial growth rate predictions from metagenomes – Andrew M. Long – The ISME Journal

Integration of absolute multi-omics reveals dynamic protein-to-RNA ratios and metabolic interplay within mixed-domain microbiomes – F. Delogu – Nature Communications

Spatial Variance of Species Distribution Predicts the Interspecies Interactions within a Microbial Metacommunity – So-Yeon Jeong & Tae Gwan Kim – Microbial Ecology

Human microbiome
The Social Distancing Imposed To Contain COVID-19 Can Affect Our Microbiome: a Double-Edged Sword in Human Health – Célia P. F. Domingues – mSphere

Gut microbiome
Auto-reactivity against gut bacterial peptides in patients with late-onset diabetes – Mohammad Sajid – Autoimmunity

REVIEW: The gut microbiome in pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation – Riccardo Masetti – Pediatric Blood & Cancer

Gut Microbiota and Metabolome Alterations Associated with Parkinson’s Disease – Sarah Vascellari – mSystems

REVIEW: Gut Microbiota Resilience: Definition, Link to Health and Strategies for Intervention – Shaillay Kumar Dogra – Frontiers in Microbiology

Deciphering the impact of diet and host physiology on the mammalian gut microbiome by multi-omics approaches – Christian Milani – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Oral microbiome
High altitude as a possible factor for dysbiosis of salivary microbiome in orthodontic patients – Ibrahim AlShahrani – Archives of Oral Biology

Pregnancy and early life microbiome
Changes in Gut Microorganism in Patients with Positive Immune Antibody-Associated Recurrent Abortion – Min Jin – BioMed Research International

Contrasting microbiota profiles observed in children carrying either Blastocystis spp. or the commensal amoebas Entamoeba coli or Endolimax nana – Juan F. Alzate – Scientific Reports

Biological observations in microbiota analysis are robust to the choice of 16S rRNA gene sequencing processing algorithm: case study on human milk microbiota – Shirin Moossavi – BMC Microbiology

Microbiome of near sterile sites
Metagenome analysis using serum extracellular vesicles identified distinct microbiota in asthmatics – Ji-Hyang Lee – Scientific Reports

Lung microbiome
REVIEW: Reconsidering ventilator-associated pneumonia from a new dimension of the lung microbiome – Laia Fernández-Barata – EBioMedicine

Animal microbiome
The impact of anthelmintic treatment on gut bacterial and fungal communities in diagnosed parasite-free sika deer Cervus nippon – Xiaolong Hu – Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Host phylogeny and life history stage shape the gut microbiome in dwarf (Kogia sima) and pygmy (Kogia breviceps) sperm whales – Elizabeth R. Denison – Scientific Reports

Animal experiment
Altered gut microbiome accompanying with placenta barrier dysfunction programs pregnant complications in mice caused by graphene oxide – Xiaojing Liu – Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

Comparative analysis of the pulmonary microbiome in healthy and diseased pigs – Zongjie Li – Molecular Genetics and Genomics

Diet posttranslationally modifies the mouse gut microbial proteome to modulate renal function – Lior Lobel – Science

Plant, root, and soil microbiome
REVIEW: Overhauling the assessment of agrochemical-driven interferences with microbial communities for improved global ecosystem integrity – Mengcen Wang & Tomislav Cernava – Environmental Science and Ecotechnology

Susceptibility and resilience of the soil ciliate community to high temperatures – Takaaki Oshima – Soil Science and Plant Nutrition

Food microbiology
Novel approaches for the identification of microbial communities in kimchi: MALDI-TOF MS analysis and high-throughput sequencing – Eiseul Kim – Food Microbiology

Water microbiome
The Nutrient Removal Ability and Microbial Communities in a Pilot-Scale Horizontal Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetland Fed by Slightly Polluted Lake Water – Weigang Wang – Wetland

Impact of temporal pH fluctuations on the coexistence of nasal bacteria – Sandra Dedrick – bioRxiv

Study of growth, metabolism, and morphology of Akkermansia muciniphila with an in vitro advanced bionic intestinal reactor – Xiaobei Zhan – bioRxiv

September 8, 2020

Greetings, friends!

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

Happy reading!

General microbiome

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multi-site human microbiome

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

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

Human respiratory microbiome

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

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

Human gut microbiome

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

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

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

Animal experiments

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

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

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

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

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

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

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

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

Water and extremophile microbiome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Built environment

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

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

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

Food microbiology

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


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


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

August 14, 2020

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

Have a great weekend!


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

General microbiome

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

Pregnancy and early life

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

Human milk microbiome

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

Human oral microbiome

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

Human gut microbiome

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

Animal experiments

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

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

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

Animal microbiome

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

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

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water, air, and extremophile microbiome

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

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

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

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

Built environment

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

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

Bioinformatics and other techniques

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

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

Microbes in the News

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

Science Publishing and Career

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

June 2, 2020

Happy Month of June to all,
June serves as the national month for Alzheimer’s and brain awareness. So I will start today’s digest with some news articles about the same.
Further the digest covers some very fascinating research articles about how the microbiome influences transcriptional profile in Drosophila melanogaster to peripheral blood microbial signatures in COPD. Digest also features some awesome microbe related science communication articles.
Enjoy reading!!!
Have a Safe, Healthy, Happy, and Productive month ahead.

Alzheimer’s and brain awareness news posts

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month 2020 – Bankston – ASBMB Today

Could the gut microbiome be linked to autism? – Svoboda – Nature Outlook

General microbiome
*Interactions between the microbiome and mating influence the female’s transcriptional profile in Drosophila melanogaster – Delbare et al – bioRxiv

Phenotypic changes of bacteria through opportunity and global methylation leads to antibiotic resistance – Neerathilingam et al – bioRxiv

Human nearly-sterile sites
Peripheral blood microbial signatures in COPD – Morrow et al – bioRxiv

Human gut microbiome
Prebiotics and community composition influence gas production of the human gut microbiota – Yu et al – bioRxiv

Short-term High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Exercise Does Not Affect Gut Bacterial Community Diversity or Composition of Lean and Overweight Men -Rettedal et al – Experimental Physiology

Animal experiments
Integrative omics analysis of the termite gut system adaptation to Miscanthus diet identifies lignocellulose degradation enzymes – Clusinska et al – Communications Biology

Water and extremophile microbiome
Phylum-level Diversity of the Microbiome of the Extremophilic Basidiomycete Fungus Pisolithus Arhizus (Scop.) Rauschert: An Island of Biodiversity in a Thermal Soil Desert – Culling et al – MicrobiologyOpen

Food microbiology
Lactobacillus Rhamnosus 2016SWU.05.0601 Regulates Immune Balance in Ovalbumin-Sensitized Mice by Modulating the Immune-Related Transcription Factors Expression and Gut Microbiota – Song et al – Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture

Harnessing Ultrasound-Stimulated Phase Change Contrast Agents to Improve Antibiotic Efficacy Against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Biofilms – Durham et al – bioRxiv

Microbiome Science communication articles
The hunt for a healthy microbiome – Eisenstein – Nature Outlook

The complex relationship between drugs and the microbiome – Savage -Nature Outlook

The Infant Gut Microbiome and Probiotics that Work – Smilowitz and Taft – The Scientist

May 19, 2020

Good afternoon from sunny South Wales!

Today’s digest has a lot of great papers, with something for just about everyone. We’ll start off with a bang, and highlight a great paper in which Rajasekaran and collegaues challenge the current dogma that human intervertebral discs are sterile using a 16S rRNA sequencing approach.

We then have an interesting, or perhaps concerning paper looking at the prevalence of underreported parasites in laboratory zebrafish populations. A must read for anybody using zebrafish models. We also have plenty of papers concerning plant and water microbiomes, including a rather huge report on ocean systems.

Finally, with the current health climate, what better paper peruse than the contribution of Qureshi et al. who have demonstrated that gender neutral bathrooms are more rapidly colonised than single gender bathrooms. If recent anecdotal news articles are to be believed (although they seldom are) it’s usually the men letting the side down. You’ve got to wash those hands!

I hope everyone is staying safe, and enjoys today’s post!


Preprint: Identification of five antiviral compounds from the Pandemic Response Box targeting SARS-CoV-2 – Holwerda et al.

General microbiome

Longitudinal Study of Oral Microbiome Variation in Twins – Freire et al.Sci Rep

Human nearly-sterile sites

Human intervertebral discs harbour a unique microbiome and dysbiosis determines health and disease – Rajasekaran et al.European Spine Journal

Human gut microbiome

Early signs of gut microbiome aging: biomarkers of inflammation, metabolism, and macromolecular damage in young adulthood – Gaydosh et al. The Journals of Gerontology

Animal experiments

Behavioural effects of the common brain-infecting parasite Pseudoloma neurophilia in laboratory zebrafish (Danio rerio) – Midttun et al.Sci Rep

Lactobacillus plantarum FRT10 alleviated high-fat diet–induced obesity in mice through regulating the PPARα signal pathway and gut microbiota – Cai et al.Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology

Animal microbiome

Factors affecting the microbiome of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum – Brinkerhoff et al.PLoS ONE

Preprint: Distinct Microbial Assemblages Associated with Genetic Selection for High- and Low- Muscle Yield in Rainbow Trout – Walker et al.

Whole-genome sequences of an abortive Bacillus safensis strain isolated from a mare’s uterus – Little, Hillhouse and Lawhorn – Genome Sequences

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Preprint: A fungal member of the microbial phyllosphere antagonizes infection of Arabidopsis thaliana by the oomycete pathogen Albugo laibachii via a putative secreted hydrolase – Eitzen et al.

Preprint: Diazotrophic bacteria from maize exhibit multifaceted plant growth promotion traits in multiple hosts – Higdon et al.

Fungal communities and their association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria affect early decomposition of Norway spruce deadwood – Gómez-Brandón et al. – Sci Rep

Fruitbody chemistry underlies the structure of endofungal bacterial communities across fungal guilds and phylogenetic groups – Pent, Bahram and Põldmaa – ISME J

Endophytic fungal community in grape is correlated to foliar age and domestication – Fan et al.Annals of Microbiology

Water and extremophile microbiome

Microbial genomics of the global ocean system – Joye and Kostka – Coloqium Report

How do microbiota associated with an invasive seaweed vary across scales? – Bonthond et al.Molecular Ecology

Preprint: Differences in the microbiota of native and non-indigenous gelatinous zooplankton organisms in a low saline environment – Jaspers et al.

Built environment

Gender‐neutral bathroom surfaces recolonized by microbes more quickly than single gender bathrooms – Qureshi, Kedo and Berthrong – Letters in Applied Microbiology

Food microbiology

Dynamic distribution of gut microbiota in meat rabbits at different growth stages and relationship with average daily gain (ADG) – Fang et al.BMC Microbiology


Preprint: Evaluation of Methods to Optimise Shotgun Metagenomic Sequencing-Based Analysis of the Microbiome of Milk – Feehily et al.

April 5, 2020.

All the break-neck speed with which the progress that is happening today in tracking, detecting and treating the disease, like everything else, is owed in part to the giants whose shoulders we’re standing on. One such thing is the usage of serum (from recovered patients or derived elsewhere) for treatment. So, as a little tribute, I would like to share with you today, on the birthday of Dr. Hattie Elizabeth Alexander (born April 5, 1901), the information that she pioneered the work in using anti-influenzal rabbit serums to treat the then always-fatal influenzal meningitis (effectively bringing down the fatality rate to 20%!), and was also sone of the very first to study bacterial mutations that come along with antibiotic resistance !

So we’ve come a long way and are forging our way forward. Here are a few interesting articles that are slowly pushing this boundary, a piece at a time.


From PREDICT to prevention, one pandemic later – Colin J Carlson – The Lancet.

Human Microbiome

Review: Risk factors associated with gastric malignancy during chronic Helicobacter pylori infection – Ami Y Seegar – Medical Research Archives.

Review: From Association to Causality: the Role of the Gut Microbiota and Its Functional Products on Host Metabolism – Ara Koh – Molecular Cell.

Pregnancy and Early Life

Breast Milk and Microbiota in the Premature Gut: A Method of Preventing Necrotizing Enterocolitis – Orga PL et al – Karger.

Human Brain and Microbiome

Book: Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy. Chapter: The Microbiome and Brain Health – Sharon L. Norling -Springer

Animal Experiments

Integrated omics profiling of dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitic mice supplemented with Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum). Wanping Aw et al – NPJ Science of Food.


Rhizobacteriome: Promising Candidate for Conferring Drought Tolerance in Crops – Vinod Yadav et al – Journal of Pure Applied Microbiology

Legionella species: A potential problem associated with rain water harvesting systems? – Judith A Taylor et al – SAGE Journals


Applications of Machine Learning Predictive Models in the Chronic Disease Diagnosis – Gopi Battineni et al – Journal of Personalized Medicine

PS: I know, I am with you on this — the lockdown isn’t ideal. But we are also the generation, who for the first time can end articles signing off as “Stay Safe and Wash Your Hands” and manage to prevent a large proportion of its species from suffering / dying. Isn’t that crazy! Have a great day!

More information on Dr. Hattie Elizabeth Alexander — here and here.