November 14, 2020

Hello from the Sonoran Desert! In today’s digest, you’ll find great papers, in particular in soil and water microbiology but also in bioinformatics! As an example, Mara and collaborators are exploring the viruses found in the oxygen-deficient water column of the Cariaco basin. Interestingly, a large diversity of viral Auxilliary Metabolic Genes (AMGs) were found and give new insights in how phages may interact with their bacterial hosts in this understudied ecosystem.

In the bioinformatics section, I recommend anyone interested in phage metagenomics to take a look at the paper from Ren and collaborators. The authors have developed a reference-free and alignment-free deep learning tool, called DeepVirFinder, allowing the retrieval of viral sequences in metagenomes.

Today’s non-microbiology digest is a paper announcing the last update of the Genome Online Database (GOLD), a manually curated collection of genome projects and their metadata from around the world, which now contains more than a million entries! Great news for bioinformaticians!

Have a great Saturday!

Human gut microbiome

The bacterial association with oral cavity and intra-abdominal abscess after gastrectomy – Nishikawa et al. – PlosOne

Animal microbiome

Loss of symbiont infectivity following thermal stress can be a factor limiting recovery from bleaching in cnidarians – Kishimoto et al. – ISME Journal

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

A cosmopolitan fungal pathogen of dicots adopts an endophytic lifestyle on cereal crops and protects them from major fungal diseases – Tian et al. – ISME Journal

Air microbiome

Spatio-temporal variations in bacterial and fungal community associated with dust aerosol in Kuwait – Al Salameen et al. – PlosOne

Water and extremophile microbiome

Environmental heterogeneity determines the ecological processes that govern bacterial metacommunity assembly in a floodplain river system – Huber et al. – ISME Journal

A large-scale assessment of lakes reveals a pervasive signal of land use on bacterial communities – Kraemer et al. – ISME Journal

Viral elements and their potential influence on microbial processes along the permanently stratified Cariaco Basin redoxcline – Mara et al. – ISME Journal

Phages and Viruses

Metagenomic Analysis of the Enteric RNA Virome ofInfants from the Oukasie Clinic, North West Province,South Africa, Reveals Diverse Eukaryotic Viruses – Mogotsi et al. – Viruses


Identifying viruses from metagenomic data using deep learning – Ren et al. – Quantitative Biology

Review: Reconstructing organisms in silico: genome-scale models and their emerging applications – Fang et al. – Nature Reviews Microbiology

Zero-Inflated gaussian mixed models for analyzing longitudinal microbiome data – Zhang et al. – PlosOne

Evaluating the number of different genomes in a metagenome by means of the compositional spectra approach – Kirzhner et al. – PlosOne

Survey of metaproteomics software tools for functional microbiome analysis – Sajulga et al. – PlosOne


Sample pooling methods for efficient pathogen screening: Practical implications – Furstenau et al. – PlosOne

My non-microbiology picks

Genomes OnLine Database (GOLD) v.8: overview and updates – Mukherjee et al. – Nucleic Acids Research

November 5, 2020

Hello, friends!

I’m an American who grew up in North Carolina, lived in Georgia for many years, and now counts Pennsylvania as home. All of this is to say, I’ve been especially consumed by the US election this morning and so today’s digest is tailor made to distract me for a few hours. It contains a heavy dose of general microbiome, environmental microbiology, and microbial ecology articles. If you need a bigger distraction than usual, I’ve highlighted a few articles that I am particularly looking forward to reading and am using this space as an opportunity to reintroduce myself and share why these articles have peaked my interest.

I completed my PhD research on the cockroach gut microbiome and through this work, I realized how complex microbiome-host-environmental interactions can be. Because of this, my first highlighted article is a review about cockroach-associated microbes. Currently, I work in a national lab studying environmental-associated microbes (and their functional capacity!) in a variety of different energy-associated environments. It’s no wonder I’m excited to read the second highlighted article focused on novel soil microbes found in an abandoned coal mine! I’m also very hungry at the moment, so as soon I read the phrase “smoked cow cheese” I was motivated to explore my cheese drawer as well as think more about microbial food safety and the microbial production of favor compounds. Finally, I love musical theater and science outreach, so I’m delighted to share a mouldy article that combines both passions.

Happy reading, everyone!

General microbiome

Review: The pneumococcal social network – Aggarawal et al. – PLOS Pathogens

Expanding magnetic organelle biogenesis in the domain Bacteria – Lin et al. – Microbiome

Gene duplication drives genome expansion in a major lineage of Thaumarchaeota – Sheridan et al. – Nature Communications

Metatranscriptomic analysis reveals active microbes and genes responded to short-term Cr(VI) stress – Yu et al. – Ecotoxicology

Effects of heavy ion particle irradiation on spore germination of Bacillus spp. from extremely hot and cold environments – Zammuto et al. – Life
Human gut microbiome

Gut microbiome

Gut microbiota ecology: Biodiversity estimated from hybrid neutral-niche model increases with health status and aging – Sala et al. – PLOS ONE

Implication of gut microbiota in the physiology of rats intermittently exposed to cold and hypobaric hypoxia – Ramos-Romero et al. – PLOS ONE

Animal microbiome

Exploring the resident gut microbiota of stranded odontocetes: high similarities between two dolphin species Tursiops truncatus and Stenella coeruleoalba – Abdelrhman et al. – Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK

**Review: Bacteria associated with cockroaches: health risk or biotechnological opportunity? – Guzman & Vilcinskas – Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Water and extremophile microbiome

Impact of land uses, drought, flood, wildfire, and cascading events on water quality and microbial communities: A review and analysis – Mishra et al. – Journal of Hydrology

Dams shift microbial community assembly and imprint nitrogen transformation along the Yangtze River – Gao et al. – Water Research

Built environment

**Isolation and characterization of soil bacteria from an abandoned coal mine in southeast Kansas – Bechtold et al. – BioOne Complete

Review: Understanding building-occupant-microbiome interactions toward healthy built environments – Li et al. – Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Food microbiology

**Microbial quality of smoked cow cheese “Parencia” – Kačániová et al. – Scientific Papers: Animal Science and Biotechnologies

Phages and viruses

Virome of bat guano from nine northern California roosts – Li et al. – Journal of Virology


The IMG/M data management and analysis system v.6.0: new tools and advanced capabilities – Chen et al. – Nucleic Acids Research

PhANNs, a fast and accurate tool and web server to classify phage structural proteins – Cantu et al. – PLOS Computational Biology


Low-cost biofuel-powered autoclaving machine for use in rural health care centres – Ahmed et al. – Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology

**‘The Mould that Changed the World’: Quantitative and qualitative evaluation of children’s knowledge and motivation for behavioural change following participation in an antimicrobial resistance musical – Hall et al. – PLOS ONE

Harnessing the power of eDNA metabarcoding for the detection of deep-sea fishes – McClenaghan et al. – PLOS ONE

November 4, 2020

Some very nice articles in todays digest including a probiotic study in Science Translation Medicine and a non-microbiome pick for dog lovers at the end. Enjoy!

COVID-19 & Vaccines

SARS-CoV-2 viral load is associated with increased disease severity and mortality – Fajnzylber et al. Nature Communications

Gut microbiome

Multi-omics analyses of radiation survivors identify radioprotective microbes and metabolites – Guo et al. Science

Dietary simple sugars alter microbial ecology in the gut and promote colitis in mice – Khan et al. Science Translational Medicine

Deep-Learning Resources for Studying Glycan-Mediated Host-Microbe Interactions – Bojar et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Mucin-derived O-glycans supplemented to diet mitigate diverse microbiota perturbations – Pruss et al. ISME

Microbiota-Derived Short-Chain Fatty Acids Promote LAMTOR2-Mediated Immune Responses in Macrophages – Wu et al. mSystems


A probiotic yeast-based immunotherapy against Clostridioides difficile infection – Chen et al. Science Translational Medicine

Water and extremophile microbiome

Host specificity of microbiome assembly and its fitness effects in phytoplankton – Jackrel et al. ISME

Microbial ecology of the newly discovered serpentinite-hosted Old City hydrothermal field (southwest Indian ridge) – Lecoeuvre et al. ISME

Phages and viruses

Roles of bacteriophages, plasmids and CRISPR immunity in microbial community dynamics revealed using time-series integrated meta-omics – Arbas et al. Nature Microbiology


Detecting Gene Ontology misannotations using taxon-specific rate ratio comparisons – Wei et al. Bioinformatics

phyloFlash: Rapid Small-Subunit rRNA Profiling and Targeted Assembly from Metagenomes – Gruber-Vodicka et al. mSystems

Large-Scale Metagenome Assembly Reveals Novel Animal-Associated Microbial Genomes, Biosynthetic Gene Clusters, and Other Genetic Diversity – Youngblut et al. mSystems

Non-microbiome pick 

Origins and genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs – Berstrom et al. 

November 1, 2020

Hello from the Sonoran Desert! In today’s digest, you’ll find several interesting works, in particular on recent advances in understanding the gut microbiome! Iandaza and collaborators review the rise of machine learning and deep learning methods in exploring the gut microbiota and the potential of these methods in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Additionally, this digest links to a freely-accessible webinar series from the university of Illinois on gut-brain connections.

If you are interested in microbial ecology, I also recommend taking a look at a very interesting preprint from Ettinger and collaborators. The authors investigate the distribution of fungi associated with a widely distributed seagrass, Zostera marina. This work is particularly relevant since the role and diversity of fungi in marine ecosystems are often overlooked in microbiome studies, while terrestrial fungi have been shown to have critical roles as decomposers, pathogens and endophytes.

Finally, you’ll find in this digest a non-microbiology pick: an amazing preprint where authors assessed 2.75 million open access articles on their transparency (data sharing, code sharing, conflicts of interest disclosures, funding disclosures and protocol registration)!

Have a great Sunday!

Events and webinars

Webinar: Scientific Webinars on the Gut-Brain Connection Spotlight Spike in Research

Pregnancy and early life

Review: The dark matter of microbiome: the mother-infant pair virome – Comitini et al. – Minerva Pediatrica

Human vaginal microbiome

Intrauterine Growth Restriction Is Associated with Unique Features of the Reproductive Microbiome – Hu et al. – Reproductive sciences

Human gut microbiome

Review: Gut microbiota and artificial intelligence approaches: A scoping review – Iadanza et al. – Health and Technology

Review: Circadian rhythms and the gut microbiota: from the metabolic syndrome to cancer – Bishehsari et al. – Nature Reviews Endocrinology

Ecological Structuring of Temperate Bacteriophages in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease-Affected Gut – Nishiyama et al. – Microorganisms

Animal microbiome

Preprint: Genomic and microscopic evidence of stable high density and maternally inherited Wolbachia infections in Anopheles mosquitoes – Walker et al. – BioRxiV

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Testosterone amendment alters metabolite profiles of the soil microbial community – Ding et al. – Environmental Pollution

Host population size is linked to orchid mycorrhizal fungal communities in roots and soil, which are shaped by microenvironment – Kaur et al. – Mycorrhiza

Root exudates drive soil‐microbe‐nutrient feedbacks in response to plant growth – Zhao et al. – Plant, Cell & Environment

Microbial activity and metamitron degrading microbial communities differ between soil and water-sediment systems – Wang et al. – Journal of hazardous materials

Water and extremophile microbiome

Review: Insights into ‘Symbiodiniaceae phycosphere’ in a coral holobiont – Guedes Garrido et al. – Symbiosis

Diversity and Dynamics of Seaweed Associated Microbial Communities Inhabiting the Lagoon of Venice – Juhmani et al. – Microorganisms

Preprint: Global diversity and biogeography of the Zostera marina mycobiome – Ettinger et al. – BioRxiV

Built environment

Analysis of Microbial Community Structure and Diversity in Surrounding Rock Soil of Different Waste Dump Sites in Fushun Western Opencast Mine – Jiang et al. – Chemosphere

My non-microbiology picks

Preprint: Assessment of transparency indicators across the biomedical literature: how open is open? – Serghiou et al. – BioRxiV

October 30, 2020

Cancer inpatients with COVID-19: A report from the Brazilian National Cancer Institute – de Melo et al. – PLOS One

Few bacterial co-infections but frequent empiric antibiotic use in the early phase of hospitalized patients with COVID-19: results from a multicentre retrospective cohort study in The Netherlands – Karami – et al. – Infectious Diseases

Infection of dogs with SARS-CoV-2 – Sit et al. – Nature

General microbiome/metabolome

Metabolomics of primary cutaneous melanoma and matched adjacent extratumoral microenvironment – Taylor et al. PLOS One

Human gut microbiome

Microbial signature in IgE-mediated food allergies – Goldberg et al. – Genome Medicine

Gut microbiota profiles of treatment-naïve adult acute myeloid leukemia patients with neutropenic fever during intensive chemotherapy – Rattanathammethee et al. – PLOS One

[Book Chapter]Understanding Polyphenols’ Health Effects Through the Gut Microbiota – Selma et al. – Dietary Polyphenols : Their Metabolism and Health Effects

[REVIEW]Gut Microbiota: Its Potential Roles in Pancreatic Cancer – Li et al. – Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol.

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Biological invasions alter environmental microbiomes: A meta-analysis – Malacrino et al. – PLOS One

Phages and viruses

[PREPRINT]VirION2: a short- and long-read sequencing and informatics workflow to study the genomic diversity of viruses in nature – Zablocki et al. – bioRxiv

[REVIEW]T cell immunity to commensal fungi – Scheffold, Bacher & LeibundGut-Landmann – Current Opinion in Microbiology


Prometheus, an omics portal for interkingdom comparative genomic analyses – Ko et al. – PLOS One

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

News in Brie! Scientists discover cheese is so smelly because it helps microbes ‘talk’ to the bacteria that makes it ripe – S. Howes – Daily Mail

October 27, 2020

Greetings from Pittsburgh, PA!

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

Happy reading (or movie watching)!

General microbiome

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

Pregnancy and early life

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

Human gut microbiome

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

Animal experiments

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

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

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

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

Animal microbiome

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

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

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

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

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

Water and extremophile microbiome

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

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

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

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

Phages and viruses

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


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

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

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


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

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

Science, publishing, and career

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

October 16, 2020

In today’s digest read about how food additives affect the intestinal microbiota and induce intestinal inflammation, the role of the gut microbiome in honey bee nestmate recognition, how to use gene-level analysis to identify microbial “genome islands” associated with human health, and more. Check out the list of audiobooks about microbes. Happy Friday!

General microbiome

Time as a microbial resource – Karen G. Lloyd – Environmental Microbiology Reports

Review: The Central Role of Interbacterial Antagonism in Bacterial Life – S. Brook Peterson – Current Biology

Gut microbiome

*Dietary Emulsifiers Directly Impact Adherent-Invasive E. coli Gene Expression to Drive Chronic Intestinal Inflammation – Emilie Viennois – Cell Reports

Microbial Strain Engraftment, Persistence and Replacement after Fecal Microbiota Transplantation – Daniel Podlesny – medRxiv

Characterization of presumptive vancomycin-resistant enterococci recovered during infection control surveillance in Dallas, Texas – Sara Ping – bioRxiv

Metabolic dissimilarity determines the establishment of cross-feeding interactions in bacteria – Samir Giri – bioRxiv

Metabolic Response of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii to Cell-Free Supernatants from Lactic Acid Bacteria – Mathilde Lebas – Microorganisms

A combination of metagenomic and cultivation approaches reveals hypermutator phenotypes within Vibrio cholerae infected patients – Inès Levade – bioRxiv

Safety and functional enrichment of gut microbiome in healthy subjects consuming a multi-strain fermented milk product: a randomised controlled trial – Anne-Sophie Alvarez – Scientific Reports

Skin microbiome

Microbial and transcriptional differences elucidate atopic dermatitis heterogeneity across skin sites – Noora Ottman – Allergy

Respiratory microbiome

Multicenter analysis of sputum microbiota in tuberculosis patients – Claudia Sala – PlosOne

Lacticaseibacillus casei AMBR2 modulates the epithelial barrier function and immune response in a donor-derived nasal microbiota manner – Charlotte De Rudder – Scientific Reports

Animal microbiome

*The gut microbiome defines social group membership in honey bee colonies – Cassondra L. Vernier – Science Advances

Early-life gut dysbiosis linked to juvenile mortality in ostriches – Elin Videvall – Microbiome

Animal experiment

The Immune System Fails to Mount a Protective Response to Gram-Positive or Gram-Negative Bacterial Prostatitis – Federico Lupo – Journal of Immunology

The aging mouse microbiome has obesogenic characteristics – Dana Binyamin – Genome Medicine

Tetracycline Antibiotics Induce Host-Dependent Disease Tolerance to Infection – Henrique G. Colaço – Immunity

Water microbiome

Impact of phosphate dosing on the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems: Fieldwork studies in chlorinated networks – Isabel Douterelo – Water Research

Sustained nitrogen loss in a symbiotic association of Comammox Nitrospira and Anammox bacteria – Ekaterina Y. Gottshall – bioRxiv

Viruses and phages

Culturing novel and abundant pelagiphages in the ocean – Zefeng Zhang – Environmental Microbiology

High-throughput mapping of the phage resistance landscape in E. coli – Vivek K. Mutalik – PlosBiology


Minireview: Fun(gi)omics: Advanced and Diverse Technologies to Explore Emerging Fungal Pathogens and Define Mechanisms of Antifungal Resistance – Brianna Ball – mBio


Bac-PULCE: Bacterial Strain and AMR Profiling Using Long Reads via CRISPR Enrichment – Andrea Sajuthi – bioRxiv


*Gene-level metagenomics identifies genome islands associated with immunotherapy response – Samuel S Minot – bioRxiv

PUMAA: A Platform for Accessible Microbiome Analysis in the Undergraduate Classroom – Keith Mitchell – Frontiers in Microbiology

Raman2imzML converts Raman imaging data into the standard mass spectrometry imaging format – Stefania Alexandra Iakab – BMC Bioinformatics

Scientific writing

Eight problems with literature reviews and how to fix them – Neal R. Haddaway – Nature Ecology & Evolution

Scientific art

Inktober2020 #PathogenPortraits by Dr Eliza Wolfson

Citizen science

The Human Diets & Microbiome Initiative in the US (THDMI): A unique opportunity to become a citizen scientist. Join for FREE to uncover the secret of the gut microbiome.


11 Audiobooks About Microbes – Justine Dees – Joyful Microbe

October 11, 2020

Hello from the Sonoran Desert! In today’s digest, you’ll find quite a few exciting reads about ancient microbes!

Duchêne and collaborators review recents efforts in paleopathology leading to the genome sequencing of ancient pathogens of historical interest such as the pre-modern bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis), smallpox (Variola virus) and cholera (Vibrio cholerae). In their review, the authors explore this amazing topic that aims to broaden our understanding of the past infectious disease.

On the other hand, Eisenhofer and collaborators examine ancient microbial DNA preserved within dental calculus samples from two major cultural periods in Japan: the Jomon period circa 3000 years ago and the Edo period circa 400–150 ago. In this piece, they explore how human oral microbiomes have changed through time in ancient Japanese populations.

Finally, you’ll find in this digest a non-microbiology pick: a “10 simple rules” paper outlining best practices for annotating and submitting sequencing data! Indeed, metadata accompanying sequence datasets is critical to ensure data longevity and reusability by both human and machine agents, and poor metadata can drastically reduce the value of sequencing experiments by limiting its reuse in integrative analyses!

Have a great Sunday!

General Microbiology

Review: The Recovery, Interpretation and Use of Ancient Pathogen Genomes – Duchêne et al. – Current Biology

Multi-site human microbiome

Functional diversity of microbial ecologies estimated from ancient human coprolites and dental calculus – Jacobson et al. – Philosphical transactions of the royal society of Biological sciences.

Human respiratory and oral microbiome

Investigating the demographic history of Japan using ancient oral microbiota – Eisenhofer et al. – Philosphical transactions of the royal society of Biological sciences.

Human gut microbiome

Preprint: Distinct human gut microbial taxonomic signatures uncovered with different sample processing and microbial cell disruption methods for metaproteomic analysis – Garcia-Duran et al. – BioRxiv.

Review: Deciphering diet-gut microbiota-host interplay: Investigations of pectin. – Tan and Nie – Trends in Food Science & Technology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Book Chapter: Microbes and Environment: Global Warming Reverting the Frozen Zombies. In: Fahad et al. (eds) Environment, Climate, Plant and Vegetation Growth. Springer, Cham.

Taxonomic Diversity of Bacteria and Their Filterable Forms in the Soils of Eastern Antarctica (Larsemann Hills and Bunger Hills) – Kudinova et al. – Microbiology.

Preprint: Long-term warming effects on the microbiome and nitrogen fixation associated with the moss Racomitrium lanuginosum in Icelandic tundra – Klarenberg et al. – bioRxiv

Water and extremophile microbiome

Diversity of Eukaryotic Microorganisms in the Drainage Waters of a Coal Open-Cast Mine – Gruzdev et al. – Microbiology

Dissimilarity of microbial diversity of pond water, shrimp intestine and sediment in Aquamimicry system – Zeng et al. – AMB express.

Comparative diversity analysis of halophiles at two polar saltern systems in Indramayu, West Java, Indonesia – Chasanah et al. – Letters in Applied Microbiology.

Mechanistic model of nutrient uptake explains dichotomy between marine oligotrophic and copiotrophic bacteria – Norris et al. – BioRxiv.

Food microbiology

Review: Microbial diversity of seafood. Parlapani. Current Opinion in Food Science.

Phages and viruses

The first head‐tailed virus, MFTV1, produced by a hyperthermophilic methanogenic deep‐sea archaea – Thiroux et al. – Environmental microbiology.

Review: Single-virus genomics and beyond – Martinez et al. – Nature reviews Microbiology


A Rapid Automated Process for Organizing Bacterial Cluster Segments Using Deep Neural Networks – Elroy Martis et al. – IEEE conference


FACS-iChip: a high-efficiency iChip system for microbial ‘dark matter’ mining – Liu et al. – Marine Life Science and Technology

Comparison of Nucleic Acid Extraction Methods for a Viral Metagenomics Analysis of Respiratory Viruses – Sabatier et al. – Microorganisms

Science, publishing, and career

Preprint: Advancing science or advancing careers? Researchers’ opinions on success indicators – Aubert Bonn and Pinxten – BioRxiv.

My non-microbiology picks

Ten simple rules for annotating sequencing experiments – Stevens et al. – Plos Computational Biology

October 6, 2020

Starting today’s digest with a couple of very interest studies on COVID-19 in Nature and Science. There’s also multiple interesting virome papers today.

COVID-19 & Vaccines

Selective and cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes in unexposed humans – Mateus et al. Science

The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals – Zeberg et al. Nature

Massive and rapid COVID-19 testing is feasible by extraction-free SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR – Smyrlaki et al. Nature Communications. 

General microbiome

Identification of new enterosynes using prebiotics: roles of bioactive lipids and mu-opioid receptor signalling in humans and mice – Abot et al. Gut

Assessing the Variation within the Oral Microbiome of Healthy Adults – Nearing et al. mSphere

Strain-Level Analysis of Bifidobacterium spp. from Gut Microbiomes of Adults with Differing Lactase Persistence Genotypes – Schmidt et al. mSystems

Description of a new member of the family Erysipelotrichaceae: Dakotella fusiforme gen. nov., sp. nov., isolated from healthy human feces – Ghimire et al. PeerJ.

Gut microbiome

Distinct signatures of gut microbiome and metabolites associated with significant fibrosis in non-obese NAFLD – Lee et al. Nature Communications

Animal microbiome 

Fecal microbiota in client-owned obese dogs changes after weight loss with a high-fiber-high-protein diet – Bermudez-Sanchez. PeerJ

Plant microbiome

Achieving similar root microbiota composition in neighbouring plants through airborne signalling – Kong et al. ISME

Phages and viruses

Human-Gut-DNA Virome Variations across Geography, Ethnicity, and Urbanization – Zuo et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Phage gene expression and host responses lead to infection-dependent costs of CRISPR immunity – Meaden et al. ISME

Interaction of bacterial metagenome and virome in patients with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy – Bajaj et al. Gut

Stability of the Virome in Lab- and Field-Collected Aedes albopictus Mosquitoes across Different Developmental Stages and Possible Core Viruses in the Publicly Available Virome Data of Aedes Mosquitoes – Shi et al. mSystems

September 28, 2020

In today’s digest read about ureteral stent microbiota, metagenomic growth estimators, social transmission as a major shaper of gut microbiota in wild mice [spoiler: mice with many friends in separate social circles have the richest microbiota], and give a listen to the first episode of Lonely Pipette, a brand new podcast about doing better science!

General microbiome

Review: Searching for principles of microbial physiology – Frank J Bruggeman – FEMS Microbiology Reviews


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


Review: Gut microbial metabolites as multi-kingdom intermediates – Kimberly A. Krautkramer – Nature Reviews Microbiology


Integration of absolute multi-omics reveals dynamic protein-to-RNA ratios and metabolic interplay within mixed-domain microbiomes – Francesco Delogu – Nature
Behind the paper: What can absolute multi-omics add to microbial ecology?

Gut microbiome

Macrophages Maintain Epithelium Integrity by Limiting Fungal Product Absorption – Aleksandra S. Chikina – Cell

Review: Anorexia nervosa and gut microbiota: A systematic review and quantitative synthesis of pooled microbiological data – Laura Di Lodovico – Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry

In search for interplay between stool microRNAs, microbiota and short chain fatty acids in Crohn’s disease – a preliminary study – Filip Ambrozkiewicz – BMC Gastroenterology

Vaginal microbiome

Slipped strand mispairing in the gene encoding cell wall associated sialidase NanH3 in Gardnerella spp – Shakya P. Kurukulasuriya – bioRxiv

The vaginal microbiome in pregnant women: knowledge gaps in relation to clinical relevance – Steven S. Witkin – BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Urinary microbiome

*Ureteral Stent Microbiota Is Associated with Patient Comorbidities but Not Antibiotic Exposure – Kait F. Al – Cell Reports Medicine

Novel Antibiotic-Loaded Particles Conferring Eradication of Deep Tissue Bacterial Reservoirs for the Treatment of Chronic Urinary Tract Infection – Wai Lau – Journal of Controlled Release

Respiratory microbiome

Altered respiratory microbiota composition and functionality associated with asthma early in life – Mohammad T. AL Bataineh – BMC Infectious Diseases

Oral microbiome

Comparative evaluation of microbial profiles of oral samples obtained at different collection time points and using different methods – Michi Omori – Clinical Oral Investigations

Alteration of salivary microbiome in periodontitis with or without type-2 diabetes mellitus and metformin treatment – Xiaoyu Sun – Scientific Reports

Animal microbiome

Habitat disturbance influences the skin microbiome of a rediscovered neotropical-montane frog – Randall R. Jiménez – BMC Microbiology

Lactobacillus spp. attenuate antibiotic-induced immune and microbiota dysregulation in honey bees – Brendan A. Daisley – Communications Biology

Animal experiment

Antibiotics increase aggression behavior and aggression-related pheromones and receptors in Drosophila melanogaster – Michal Grinberg – bioRxiv

*Social networks strongly predict the gut microbiota of wild mice – Aura Raulo – bioRxiv

Plant/root/soil microbiome

Insights into the diversity and survival strategies of soil bacterial isolates from the Atacama Desert – Alicyn Reverdy – bioRxiv

Rhizobacterial species richness improves sorghum growth and soil nutrient synergism in a nutrient-poor greenhouse soil – Mohammad Radhi Sahib – Scientific Reports

Water microbiome

Bacterial Opportunistic Pathogen Gene Markers in Municipal Drinking Water are Associated with Distribution System and Household Plumbing Characteristics – Sarah Haig – Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology

Collection system investigation microbial source tracking (CSI-MST): Applying molecular markers to identify sewer infrastructure failures – Dana Gonzalez – Journal of Microbiological Methods

New insights into the vertical distribution and microbial degradation of microplastics in urban river sediments – Lihua Niu – Water Research

Unveiling dynamics of size-dependent antibiotic resistome associated with microbial communities in full-scale wastewater treatment plants – Kaifeng Yu – Water Research

Aerobic microbial communities in the sediments of a marine oxygen minimum zone – Sabyasachi Bhattacharya – FEMS Microbiology Letters

Phages and viruses

Identification of Bacteriophages in the Vagina of Pregnant Women: A Descriptive Study – Antonio Charlys da Costa – BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

The Protective Effect of Staphylococcus epidermidis Biofilm Matrix against Phage Predation – Luís D.R. Melo – Viruses


Inferring microbial co-occurrence networks from amplicon data: a systematic evaluation – Dileep Kishore – bioRxiv

GeneMates: an R package for detecting horizontal gene co-transfer between bacteria using gene-gene associations controlled for population structure – Yu Wan – BMC Genomics

A network approach to elucidate and prioritize microbial dark matter in microbial communities – Tatyana Zamkovaya – The ISME Journal


*TLP #1: Navigating the path to team leader, guest: Maxim Greenberg – Renaud Pourpre and Jonathan Weitzman – The Lonely Pipette: helping scientists do better science

Burnout Syndrome, guest: Beth Thompson – Christine Boinett – Your Digital Mentor Podcast

August 2020 Pod: From the deep sea to the lost sense of smell – Bengtsson-Palme Lab – Microbiology Lab Pod

Events &c

Black In Microbiology Week [September 28 – October 4]
a vibrant celebration of Black microbiologists, with talks & panels featuring microbiologists across career stages and subdisciplines

How CHROMagar™ Revolutionized Microbe Identification – Andrea Prinzi – ASM
*Submit a Masterpiece to ASM Agar Art 2020!

The National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP) #nolabnoproblem initiativeProjects & Presentations