March 4, 2021

Happy Thursday from San Francisco! Today’s Microbiome Digest includes: a paper by Marbouty et al. in which a large number of phages and their interacting bacteria were identified in the healthy human gut; a thorough examination by Zhu et al. of the composition and metabolic potential of cave-dwelling bacteria, including sequencing of 14 new bacterial species; and a study by Mu et al. which found that the maternally-derived microbe Lactobacillus reuteri promotes immunoglobulin A production in the neonatal gut.

There is also a study by Serrano-Villar et al. which examined the use of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMTs) in HIV patients. The authors observed that FMT led to engraftment of two bacterial families–Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae–typically depleted in HIV-infected subjects and decreased levels of a plasma biomarker of intestinal permeability. While the findings are interesting, I remain skeptical of the appropriateness of FMTs in this context. Instead of an FMT–which requires donors and screening of their stool to ensure quality and safety–why not use a probiotic cocktail of Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae family members and perhaps include prebiotic factors to try to promote engraftment?

Additionally, there is a great article by Ras et al. discussing the results of a pilot study that successfully implemented microbiome-related bioinformatics courses across 11 African countries.

Pregnancy and Early Life
Distinct Changes Occur in the Human Breast Milk Microbiome Between Early and Established Lactation in Breastfeeding Guatemalan Mothers. – Gonzales, E. et al., Frontiers in Microbiology.

Human Skin Microbiome
Spermidine-induced recovery of human dermal structure and barrier function by skin microbiome. – Kim, G. et al. Communications Biology.

Human Vaginal Microbiome
Influence of dapivirine vaginal ring use on cervicovaginal immunity and functional microbiome in adolescent girls. – Farr Zuend, C. et al., AIDS.

Mapping the entire functionally active endometrial microbiota. – Sola-Leyva, A. et al., Human Reproduction.

Genomic relatedness and clinical significance of Streptococcus mitis strains isolated from the urogenital tract of sexual partners. – Mores, C.R. et al., Microbial Genomics.

Human Gut Microbiome
Identification of an N-acetylneuraminic acid-presenting bacteria isolated from a human microbiome. – Han, Z. et al., Scientific Reports.

Fecal microbiota transplantation in HIV: A pilot placebo-controlled study. – Serrano-Villar, S. et al., Nature Communications.

Gastrointestinal microbiota composition predicts peripheral inflammatory state during treatment of human tuberculosis. – Wipperman, M.F. et al., Nature Communications.

Animal Experiments
Regulation of neonatal IgA production by the maternal microbiota. – Mu, Q. et al., PNAS.

Lysates of Methylococcus capsulatus Bath induce a lean-like microbiota, intestinal FoxP3+RORγt+IL-17+ Tregs and improve metabolism. – Jensen, B.A.H., et al., Nature Communications.

Sex-dependent modulation of immune development by secretory IgA–coated Lactobacillus reuteri isolated from breast milk. – Qi, C. et al., Journal of Dairy Science.

Oral berberine improves brain dopa/dopamine levels to ameliorate Parkinson’s disease by regulating gut microbiota. – Wang, Y. et al., Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy.

Animal Microbiome
Lactobacillus reuteri-derived extracellular vesicles maintain intestinal immune homeostasis against lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses in broilers. – Hu, R. et al., Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology.

Plant, Root, and Soil Microbiome
Dicer-like proteins influence Arabidopsis root microbiota independent of RNA-directed DNA methylation. – Kaushal, R. et al., Microbiome.

Succession of the Resident Soil Microbial Community in Response to Periodic Inoculations. – Wang, Z. et al., Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Climate change alters temporal dynamics of alpine soil microbial functioning and biogeochemical cycling via earlier snowmelt. – Broadbent, A.A.D. et al., ISME Journal.

Water and Extremophile Microbiome
Microbial Community Structure Driven by a Volcanic Gradient in Glaciers of the Antarctic Archipelago South Shetland. – García-Lopez, E. et al., Microorganisms.

Effect of polymer type on the colonization of plastic pellets by marine bacteria. – Hansen, J. et al., FEMS Microbiology Letters.

Lifestyle of sponge symbiont phages by host prediction and correlative microscopy. – Jahn, M.T. et al., ISME Journal.

Bacteria and Metabolic Potential in Karst Caves Revealed by Intensive Bacterial Cultivation and Genome Assembly. – Zhue, H-Z et al., Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Phages and Viruses
MetaHiC phage-bacteria infection network reveals active cycling phages of the healthy human gut. – Marbouty, M. et al., Elife.

On the evolutionary origins of host–microbe associations. – Sieber, M. et al., PNAS.

Ecology-guided prediction of cross-feeding interactions in the human gut microbiome. – Goyal, A. et al., Nature Communications.

Using a multiple-delivery-mode training approach to develop local capacity and infrastructure for advanced bioinformatics in Africa. – Ras, V. et al., PLoS Computational Biology.

Amplicon-based skin microbiome profiles collected by tape stripping with different adhesive film dressings: a comparative study. – Ogai, K. et al., BMC Microbiology.

High-Resolution Differentiation of Enteric Bacteria in Premature Infant Fecal Microbiomes Using a Novel rRNA Amplicon. – Graf, J. et al., mBio.

February 27th, 2021

Hyvää Päivää from Helsinki, Finland ! Today’s digest contains quite a lot of different topics. If you are interested in gut microbiomes, I recomment taking a look at the preprint by Weiss and collaborator. In this study, they explore bacteria-bacteria interactions, bacterial growth and metabolic interactions in a synthetic bacterial community: the Oligo-Mouse-Microbiota, which is increasingly used as model system in gut microbiome research.

Additionally, anyone interested in microbiome-based forensic tools should read the study from Sang You and collaborators.  They compared the composition of microbial communities in blood spot surfaces placed in different environments sampled across seasons and time points, in order to evaluate the environmental factors leading to variation in these microbial communities.

Today’s non-microbiology pick is a fascinating study looking at the prevalence of COVID-19 related misinformation among the Yemeni population and its association with vaccine acceptance and perceptions. From this study, the authors recommend the deployment of awareness campaigns to decrease misinformation before initiating any mass vaccination in Yemen.

Have a great Weekend!

Human gut microbiome

Review: The Multiomics Analyses of Fecal Matrix and Its Significance to Coeliac Disease Gut Profiling – Gangadoo et al. – International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Preprint: Exploring the interaction network of a synthetic gut bacterial community – Weiss et al. – BioRxiV

Animal experiments

Environmental concentrations of antibiotics alter the zebrafish gut microbiome structure and potential functions – Rehman Kayani et al. – Environmental Pollution

Fish farm effluents as a source of antibiotic resistance gene dissemination on Jeju Island, South Korea – Jo et al. – Environmental Pollution

Influence of environmental factors and bacterial community diversity in pond water on health of Chinese perch through Gut Microbiota change – Li et al. – Aquaculture Reports

Preprint: The diversity, composition, and metabolic pathways of archaea in pigs – Deng et al. – Preprints

Animal microbiome

Preprint: Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease biomarker bacteria identified in corals and overlying waters using a rapid field-based sequencing approach – Becker et al. – bioRxiV

Built environment

Microbial analyses of blood spot surfaces collected from a laboratory and the bathroom of a female single-person household under different environmental conditions – Sang You et al – FEMS Microbiology letters

Phages and viruses

Opinion paper: Rapid emergence of virus–host mutualism under stress – Dolja – PNAS

Patterns of virus growth across the diversity of life – Jin and Yin – Integrative biology


Standard Bacteriophage Purification Procedures Cause Loss in Numbers and Activity – Carroll-Portillo et al. – Viruses

My non-microbiology picks

Preprint: Misinformation, Perceptions Towards COVID-19 and Willingness to be Vaccinated: A Population-Based Survey in Yemen – Naoras Bitar et al. – BioRxiV

February 26, 2021

Pregnancy and early life

Multi-kingdom ecological drivers of microbiota assembly in preterm infants – Rao et al. – Nature

Human gut

[PREPRINT]A randomization-based causal inference framework for uncovering environmental exposure effects on human gut microbiota – Sommer et al. – bioRxiv

[PREPRINT]Fiber-associated Lachnospiraceae reduce colon tumorigenesis by modulation of the tumor-immune microenvironment – Almeida et al. – bioRxiv

Animal microbiome/experiments

NLRP6-associated host microbiota composition impacts in the intestinal barrier to systemic dissemination of Brucella abortus – Rungue et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Effects of sodium butyrate supplementation on inflammation, gut microbiota, and short‐chain fatty acids in Helicobacter pylori‐infected mice – Huang et al. – Helicobacter

The porcine corneal surface bacterial microbiome: A distinctive niche within the ocular surface – Leis et al. – PLOS One

Dysbiosis of fecal microbiota in cats with naturally occurring and experimentally induced Tritrichomonas foetus infection – Bierlein et al. – PLOS One

Hologenome analysis reveals dual symbiosis in the deep-sea hydrothermal vent snail Gigantopelta aegis – Lan et al. – Nature Communications

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

The bacterial communities of Alaskan mosses and their contributions to N2-fixation – Holland-Moritz et al. – Microbiome

Ecosystem engineers drive differing microbial community composition in intertidal estuarine sediments – Wyness et al. – PLOS One

[PREPRINT]Rare genera differentiate urban green space soil bacterial communities in three cities across the world – Mills et al. – bioRxiv

Nitrogen and water addition regulate fungal community and microbial co-occurrence network complexity in the rhizosphere of Alhagi sparsifolia seedlings – Zhang et al. – Applied Soil Ecology

Metabolic profiling and antioxidant activity during flower development in Agastache rugosa – Yeo et al. – Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants

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

Long-term dynamic changes in attached and planktonic microbial communities in a contaminated aquifer – Mujica-Alarcon, Thornton & Rolfe – Environmental Pollution

Phages and viruses

Virome composition in marine fish revealed by meta-transcriptomics – Geoghegan et al. – Virus Evolution


Comparison of beta diversity measures in clustering the high-dimensional microbial data – Chen et al. – PLOS One

February 25, 2021

General microbiome
The evolution of coexistence from competition in experimental co-cultures of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae – Jake N. Barber – ISME Journal

Human microbiome
Quantifying the effects of antibiotic treatment on the extracellular polymer network of antimicrobial resistant and sensitive biofilms using multiple particle tracking – Lydia C. Powell – npj Biofilms and Microbiomes

Biofilms harbour Clostridioides difficile, serving as a reservoir for recurrent infection – Charmaine Normington – npj Biofilms and Microbiomes

Gut microbiome
REVIEW: The contribution of gut bacterial metabolites in the human immune signaling pathway of non-communicable diseases – F. Hosseinkhani – Gut Microbes

The effect of acute moderate-intensity exercise on the serum and fecal metabolomes and the gut microbiota of cross-country endurance athletes – Mariangela Tabone – Scientific Reports

Oral microbiome
Candida albicans promotes tooth decay by inducing oral microbial dysbiosis – Qian Du – ISME Journal

Characterization of oral virome and microbiome revealed distinctive microbiome disruptions in paediatric patients with hand, foot and mouth disease – Si Xian Ho – npj Biofilms and Microbiomes

Skin microbiome
Characterization of the human skin resistome and identification of two microbiota cutotypes – Zhiming Li – Microbiome

Animal experiment
A gene co-association network regulating gut microbial communities in a Duroc pig population – Antonio Reverter – Microbiome

Modulating gut microbiota in a mouse model of Graves’ orbitopathy and its impact on induced disease – Sajad Moshkelgosha – Microbiome

Multi-compartment metabolomics and metagenomics reveal major hepatic and intestinal disturbances in cancer cachectic mice – Sarah A. Pötgens – Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle

Expanded catalog of microbial genes and metagenome-assembled genomes from the pig gut microbiome – Congying Chen – Nature Communications

Mining zebrafish microbiota reveals key community-level resistance against fish pathogen infection – Franziska A. Stressmann – ISME Journal

Plant, root, and soil microbiome
REVIEW: From exploration to remediation: A microbial perspective for innovation in mining – Alan Levett – Earth-Science Reviews

Food microbiology
A Combined Metagenomics and Metatranscriptomics Approach to Unravel Costa Rican Cocoa Box Fermentation Processes Reveals Yet Unreported Microbial Species and Functionalities – Marko Verce – Frontiers in Microbiology

Water and extremophile microbiome
Mechanistic strategies of microbial communities regulating lignocellulose deconstruction in a UK salt marsh – Daniel R. Leadbeater – Microbiome

Taxonomic and functional analyses of intact microbial communities thriving in extreme, astrobiology-relevant, anoxic sites – Alexandra Kristin Bashir – Microbiome

Genomic evidence for sulfur intermediates as new biogeochemical hubs in a model aquatic microbial ecosystem – Adrien Vigneron – Microbiome

REVIEW: The Seagrass Holobiont: What We Know and What We Still Need to Disclose for Its Possible Use as an Ecological Indicator – Chiara Conte – Water

Spatiotemporal variations and relationships of phosphorus, phosphomonoesterases, and bacterial communities in sediments from two Chilean rivers – Marco Camposa – Science of The Total Environment

Resource partitioning of phytoplankton metabolites that support bacterial heterotrophy – Frank Xavier Ferrer-González – ISME Journal

Phages and virues
Next-generation diagnostics: virus capture facilitates a sensitive viral diagnosis for epizootic and zoonotic pathogens including SARS-CoV-2 – Claudia Wylezich – Microbiome

Preliminary Assessment of Viral Metagenome from Cancer Tissue and Blood from Patients with Lung Adenocarcinoma – Hua‐Zhong Cai – Journal of Medical Virology

PathoFact: a pipeline for the prediction of virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance genes in metagenomic data – Laura de Nies – Microbiome

CANTARE: finding and visualizing network-based multi-omic predictive models – Janet C. Siebert – BMC Bioinformatics

kLDM: Inferring Multiple Metagenomic Association Networks based on the Variation of Environmental Factors – Yuqing Yang – Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics

REVIEW: Cross-species RNA-seq for deciphering host–microbe interactions – Alexander J. Westermann – Nature Review Genetics

A community resource for paired genomic and metabolomic data mining – Michelle A. Schorn – Nature Chemical Biology

Cross-sectional analysis of the microbiota of the human gut and their direct environment (exposome) in a household cohort in northern Vietnam – Bich Vu Thi Ngoc – bioRxiv

HumGut: A comprehensive Human Gut prokaryotic genomes collection filtered by metagenome data – Pranvera Hiseni – bioRxiv

Comparative analysis of 16S rRNA gene and metagenome sequencing in pediatric gut microbiomes – Danielle Peterson – bioRxiv

Unifying the known and unknown microbial coding sequence space – Chiara Vanni – bioRxiv

February 16th, 2021

Good afternoon from sunny Adelaide, Australia. Today’s digest highlights a range of interesting microbiome research, an article in Science modelling the future of SARS-CoV2, and a commentary in Cell on data sharing.


Immunological characteristics govern the transition of COVID-19 to endemicity – Lavine et al. Science.

Human gut microbiome

Can we modulate the breastfed infant gut microbiota through maternal diet? – Sindi et al. FEMS Microbiology Reviews. 

Impact of synbiotics on gut microbiota during early life: a randomized, double-blind study – Phavichitr et al. Scientific Reports

Adaptation of the small intestine to microbial enteropathogens in Zambian children with stunting – Amadi et al. Nature Microbiology

Genomic aberrations after short-term exposure to colibactin-producing E. coli transform primary colon epithelial cells – Iftekhar et al. Nature Communications

Animal experiments 

Human Milk-Fed Piglets Have a Distinct Small Intestine and Circulatory Metabolome Profile Relative to That of Milk Formula-Fed Piglets –  Rosa et al. – mSystems

Human oral microbiome

Impact of the repurposed drug thonzonium bromide on host oral-gut microbiomes – Simon-Soro et al. npj biofilms and microbiomes

Marine  microbiome 

Deciphering a Marine Bone-Degrading Microbiome Reveals a Complex Community Effort – Borchest et al. – mSystems

Phages and viruses

Balance between promiscuity and specificity in phage λ host range – Andrews and Fields – ISME


Resolving cryptic species complexes in marine protists: phylogenetic haplotype networks meet global DNA metabarcoding datasets – Luca et al – ISME

A “data sharing trust” model for rapid, collaborative science – Chan et al. –  Cell

A 16S rRNA Gene and Draft Genome Database for the Murine Oral Bacterial Community – Joseph et al. – mSystems 

February 4, 2021

Greetings from a very snowy Pittsburgh!

If you like getting dirty, today’s digest is for you! It includes a review on bat guano, two research articles about compost, four focused on soil research, and a preprint about fertilization with poultry manure.

Happy reading!

Events and jobs

February 1st to 14th: If you’re on twitter, check out #MicrobeValentinesDay! @AnneAMadden is posting 14 days of pink microbes in honor of Valentine’s Day under this hashtag!

Human skin microbiome

Gut microbiome profile in psoriatic patients treated and untreated with biologic therapy – Valentini et al. – The Journal of Dermatology

Human gut microbiome

Preprint – Impact of a human gut microbe on Vibrio cholerae host colonization through biofilm enhancement – Barrasso et al. – bioRxiv

Review: Gut microbiota-mediated pesticide toxicity in humans: methodological issues and challenges in risk assessment of pesticides – Utembe and Kamng’ona – Chemosphere

Animal experiments

Effects of thallium exposure on intestinal microbial community and organ functions in zebrafish (Danio rerio) – Wang et al. – Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene

Is intestinal bacterial diversity enhanced by trans-species spread in the mixed-species flock of hooded crane (Grus monacha) and bean goose (Anser fabalis) wintering in the lower and middle Yangtze river floodplain? – Yang and Zhou – Animals

Animal microbiome

Review: The microbiome of bat guano: for what is this knowledge important? – Dimkić et al. – Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Tick microbiomes in neotropical forest fragments are best explained by tick-associated and environmental factors rather than host blood source – Kueneman et al. – Microbial Ecology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Survival rates of microbial communities from livestock waste to soils: a comparison between compost and digestate – Akari and Uchida – Applied and Environmental Soil Science

Year, location, and variety impact on grape-, soil-, and leaf-associated fungal microbiota of Arkansas-grown table grapes – Cureau et al. – Microbial Ecology

Preprint: Agricultural fertilization with poultry manure results in persistent environmental contamination with the pathogen Clostridioides difficile – Frentrup et al. – bioRxiv

Impacts of invasive Australian Acacias on soil bacterial community composition, microbial enzymatic activities, and nutrient availability in Fynbos soils – Keet et al. – Microbial Ecology

A novel carboxylesterase derived from a compost metagenome exhibiting high stability and activity towards high salinity – Lu and Daniel – Genes

A two-year field study of nickel-agromining using Odontarrhena chalcidica co-cropped with a legume on an ultramafic soil: temporal variation in plant biomass, nickel yields and taxonomic and bacterial functional diversity – Saad et al. – Plant and Soil

Bacterial response to soil property changes caused by wood ash from wildfire in forest soils around mining areas: Relevance of bacterial community composition, carbon and nitrogen cycling – Zhang et al. – Journal of Hazardous Materials

Water and extremophile microbiome

Microcystis blooms aggravate the diurnal alternation of nitrification and nitrate reduction in the water column in Lake Taihu – Chen et al. – Science of the Total Environment

Temperature and microbial interactions drive the deterministic assembly processes in sediments of hot springs – He et al. – Science of the Total Environment

Cadmium sulfide nanoparticle biomineralization and biofilm formation mediate cadmium resistance of the deep‐sea bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. MT33b – Ma and Sun – Environmental Microbiology Reports

Recovery of freshwater microbial communities after extreme rain events is mediated by cyclic succession – Shabarova et al. – Nature Microbiology

Built environment

Preprint: Half-life of biodegradable plastics in the marine environment depends on material, habitat, and climate zone – Lott et al. – bioRxiv

Water flushing irremovable biofilms on support material in dynamic membrane bioreactor: formation, composition, and microbial community – Huang et al. – Chemosphere

Phages and viruses

Preprint: Rampant prophage movement among transient competitors drives rapid adaptation during infection – Marshall et al. – bioRxiv

January 24, 2021

Hyvää Päivää from Helsinki, Finland ! Today’s digest contains quite a lot of different topics. If you are interested in  early-life microbiome, I recommend taking a look at the paper from Mortensen and collaborators. To understand the role of the maternal vaginal microbiome’s in seeding their child and the importance of the delivery mode in early-life microbiome acquisition, they studied 665 mother–child dyads and modeled the transfer of the vaginal microbiota from mother to infants.

In today’s digest, you’ll also find a really interesting preprint from Abiriga and collaborators, looking at the microbiome of a groundwater aquifer contaminated by a municipal landfill while undergoing intrinsic bioremediation. This preprint is particularly notable because studies looking at the microbiome of contaminated aquifers are particularly rare, despite groundwater contaminations from landfills being a very common issue.

Today’s non-microbiology pick takes a look at the difficulty of detecting scientificly fraudulent images produced by Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). They demonstrate that this deep-learning method can generate realistic western blot images that are indistinguishable from real western blots. In conclusion, the authors argues that additional information should be required to ensure that the western blots published in scientific publication are not generated images. 

Have a great Sunday!

Human respiratory microbiome

Functional lower airways genomic profiling of the microbiome to capture active microbial metabolism – Sulaiman et al. – European respiratory journal

Human skin microbiome

Preprint: Comparative investigation of the Diabetic foot ulcer microbiome – Saeb et al. – BioRxiv

Human vaginal microbiome

Preprint: Vaginal bacterial load in the second trimester is associated with early preterm birth recurrence: a nested case-control – Goodfellow et al. – MedRxiv

Modeling transfer of vaginal microbiota from mother to infant in early life – Mortensen et al. – eLife

Human gut microbiome

Review: Linking Gut Microbiome and Lipid Metabolism: Moving beyond Associations – Lamichhane et al. – Metabolites

Animal microbiome

Individual fate and gut microbiome composition in the European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) – Funosas et al. – Scientific reports

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Microbiome structure and functional potential in permafrost soils of the Western Canadian Arctic – Varsadiya et al. – FEMS Microbial ecology

Book chapter: Microbial Diversity of Phyllosphere – Dhankhar et al. – Phytomicrobiome Interactions and Sustainable Agriculture

Review: Novel and Emerging Capabilities that Can Provide a Holistic Understanding of the Plant Root Microbiome – Singer et al. – Phytomes journal

Water and extremophile microbiome

Book chapter: Potential of Extremophiles for Bioremediation – Kaushik et al. – Microbial Rejuvenation of Polluted Environment. Microorganisms for Sustainability, vol 25. Springer, Singapore.

Built environment

Microbial Diversity Analysis of Sediment from Yeosu New Harbor of South Korea Using 16S rRNA Gene Amplicon Sequencing – Lee et al. – Microbiology ressource announcements

Preprint: Characterisation of the bacterial microbiota of a landfill-contaminated confined aquifer undergoing intrinsic remediation – Abiriga et al. – BioRxiv

Phages and viruses

Reduced metagenomic sequencing (RMS) approach to determine the gut-associated phageome in mother-child – Manohar et al. – Human Microbiome Journal

Review: Enteric Viruses and Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Tarris et al. – Viruses


book chapter: Advances in Omics and Bioinformatics Tools for Phyllosphere Studies – Bansal – Phytomicrobiome Interactions and Sustainable Agriculture

MegaR: an interactive R package for rapid sample classification and phenotype prediction using metagenome profiles and machine learning – Dhungel et al. – BMC Bioinformatics

My non-microbiology picks

Preprint: Emerging Concern of Scientific Fraud: Deep Learning and Image Manipulation – Qi et al. – BioRxiv

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

December 31, 2020

General microbiome

Review: Brain-gut axis: From the conditioned reflex to the microbiota-gut-brain communication system – Klara Gyires – Integrative Physiology

Human skin microbiome

Microbiological profile of diabetic foot ulcers in Kuwait – Asma Alhubail – PLOS ONE

Human respiratory microbiome

The airways microbiome of individuals with asthma treated with high and low doses of inhaled corticosteroids – Matthew J Martin – PLOS ONE

Human gut microbiome

The beneficial or detrimental fluoride to gut microbiota depends on its dosages – Guijie Chen – Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

Review: Synthetic Gut Microbiome: Advances and Challenges – Humphrey A. Mabwi – Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal

Review: Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis as a Regulator of Reward Process – Rubén García-Cabrerizo – Journal of Neurochemistry

Review: Modulatory effects of gut microbiome in cancer immunotherapy: A novel paradigm for blockade of immune checkpoint inhibitors – Sama Rezasoltani – Cancer Medicine

Animal experiments

Effects of heat-killed Enterococcus faecalis T-110 supplementation on gut immunity, gut flora, and intestinal infection in naturally aged hamsters – Takio Inatomi – PLOS ONE

Nasal Tissue Extraction Is Essential for Characterization of the Murine Upper Respiratory Tract Microbiota – L Patrick Schenck – mSphere

Animal microbiome

Review: Gut microbiota of animals living in polluted environments are a potential resource of anticancer molecules – Morhanavallee Soopramanien – Journal of Applied Microbiology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Metabarcoding on both environmental DNA and RNA highlights differences between fungal communities sampled in different habitats  – Martino Adamo – PLOS ONE

Changes in microbial communities at different soil depths through the first rainy season following severe wildfire in North China artificial Pinus tabulaeformis forest – Qianqian Qin – Journal of Environment Management

Shifts in a Phenanthrene-Degrading Microbial Community are Driven by Carbohydrate Metabolism Selection in a Ryegrass Rhizosphere – Longfei Jiang – ACS

Forest gaps mediate the structure and function of the soil microbial community in a Castanopsis kawakamii forest – Xuelin Wang – Ecological Indicators

Review: Herbicide bioremediation: from strains to bacterial communities – Marcos Pileggi – Heliyon

Spatial scale structure soil bacterial communities across an Arctic landscape – Lucie A Malard – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Metagenomic Analysis of Rhizosphere Bacteria in Desert Plant Calotropis procera – Ahmed M Ramadan

Water and extremophile microbiome

Archaeal communities of low and high microbial abundance sponges inhabiting the remote western Indian Ocean island of Mayotte – Ana Rita Moura Polónia – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Preprint: Novel integrative elements and genomic plasticity in ocean ecosystems – Thomas Hackl – bioRxiv

Food microbiology

The diversity of microbial communities in Chinese milk fan and their effects on volatile organic compound profiles – Chen Chen – Journal of Dairy Science

Characterizing Relationship of Microbial Community in Xiaoqu and Volatiles of Light-aroma-type Xiaoqu Baijiu – Zhe Wang – Food Science and Technology Research

Virus and phages

Acquisition, prevalence and clearance of type-specific human papillomavirus infections in young sexually active Indian women: A community-based multicentric cohort study – Richard Muwonge – PLOS ONE


Informed sequential pooling approach to detect SARS-CoV-2 infection – Renato Millioni – PLOS ONE

Thesis: Statistical Methods for Longitudinal Data Analysis and Reproducible Feature Selection in – Lingjing Jiang – UC San Diego Electronic Theses and Dissertations

MicroGMT: A Mutation Tracker for SARS-CoV-2 and Other Microbial Genome Sequences – Yue Xing – Frontiers in Microbiology

Microbes and evolution

Long-term experimental evolution of HIV-1 reveals effects of environment and mutational history – Eva Brons – PLOS BIOLOGY

The role of Ulva fasciata in the evolution of the microbial community and antibiotic resistance genes in maricultural sediments – Yuqin Luo – Marine Pollution Bulletin

Preprint: The Diversity and Evolution of Microbial Dissimilatory Phosphite Oxidation – Sophia D Ewens – bioRxiv

Microbes in the news

Synthetic Biologics Inc. (SYN) Soars 5.43% on December 25 –

The Brain, Gut and Consciousness: Microbiology of Our Mind – Inquiries Journal

Non-microbiology pick

Preprint: National Institutes of Health Institute and Center Award Rates and Funding Disparities – Michael S Lauer – bioRxiv

Communicating risk in human-wildlife interactions: How stories and images move minds – Sarah K Guenther – PLOS ONE

December 17, 2020

Bonjour from Paris, France ! In today’s digest, readers interested in viromes will find a nice selection of papers looking at the viral populations associated to deep lake waters, birds, star fish and human gut! I also recommend anyone interested in this topic to take a look at a preprint from Amgarten and collaborators presenting a new computational tool called “vHULK”, allowing an in-silico bacteriophage host prediction!

Readers may also be interested in taking a look at the announcement of a new web interface allowing the exploration of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP). The ressource, called HMPDACC, provides a unified data repository for the two phases of the HMP, allows to search samples on a multitude of metadata, and provides analysis pipelines and standardized protocols to facilitate community use of HMP dataset.

Finally, today’s non-microbiology digest is a paper taking a look at the avalanche of papers and preprints published this year around the COVID-19 pandemic. Impressively, 84,180 indexed publications were relevant to COVID-19 written by 322,279 unique authors from all scientific subfields (except for Automobile Design & Engineering scientists!)

Have a great Saturday!

General microbiome

Preprint: Trait Evolution in Microbial Communities – Zhao et al. – BioRXiv

Human gut microbiome

The Pre‐treatment Gut Microbiome is Associated with Lack of Response to Methotrexate in New Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis – Artacho et al. – Arthitis and Rheumatology

Chapter: Oral Microbes: A Hidden Yet Powerful Evidence for Futuristic Forensic Investigation – Patel and Ganguly Soni – In: Shrivastava P., et al. (eds) Forensic DNA Typing: Principles, Applications and Advancements. Springer.

Microbiome Analysis from Paired Mucosal and Fecal Samples of a Colorectal Cancer Biobank – Wirth et al. – Cancers

Animal microbiome

Not That Close to Mommy: Horizontal Transmission Seeds the Microbiome Associated with the Marine Sponge Plakina cyanorosea – Oliveira et al. – mircoorganisms

Phages and viruses

Comparative Metagenomics of Palearctic and Neotropical Avian Cloacal Viromes Reveal Geographic Bias in Virus Discovery – Truchado et al. – microorganisms

Virome Analysis of Near-Bottom Coastal Water of Lake Baikal – Butina et al. – Microbiology ressource announcements

Virome Variation during Sea Star Wasting Disease Progression in Pisaster ochraceus (Asteroidea, Echinodermata) – Hewson et al. – Viruses

Gut eukaryotic virome in colorectal carcinogenesis: Is that a trigger? – Massimino et al. – Computational and structural biotechnology journal


Preprint: vHULK, a new tool for bacteriophage host prediction based on annotated genomic features and deep neural networks – Amgarten et al. – BioRXiv

HMPDACC: a Human Microbiome Project Multi-omic data resource – Huot Creasy et al. Nucleic Acids Research

Review: Literature on Applied Machine Learning in Metagenomic Classification: A Scoping Review – Tonkovic et al. – biology

My non-microbiology picks

Preprint: The rapid, massive infection of the scientific literature and authors by COVID-19 – Ioannidis et al. – BioRXiv