January 17, 2018

In today’s digest, a review of the skin microbiome and a brilliant article on role of microbes in plant speciation. Lastly, the microbiome of the ever impressive water bear.

General Microbiome

Editorial: Special Issue on ‘Microbe-host interactions’.Hammerschmidt S. FEBS Letters.

Review: The stress concept in gastroenterology: from Selye to today.Elsenbruch S. F1000 Research

Review:Role of human microbiome and selected bacterial infections in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Roszyk E. Reumatologia

Gut Microbiome

Review: Non-digestible carbohydrates in infant formula as substitution for human milk oligosaccharide functions: Effects on microbiota and gut maturation.Akkerman R. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

Review: Diet, Gut Microbiota, and Colorectal Cancer Prevention: A Review of Potential Mechanisms and Promising Targets for Future Research.Song M. Current Colorectal Cancer Reports

Skin Microbiome

Review: The human skin microbiome. Byrd AL. Nature Reviews Microbiology

Anal Microbiome

Is there a link between aging and microbiome diversity in exceptional mammalian longevity? Hughes GM. PeerJ

Plant, Soil, and Water Microbiome

Out of sight, but no longer out of mind – towards an increased recognition of the role of soil microbes in plant speciation.Geml J. New Phytologist.

Investigating the Microbial Degradation Potential in Oil Sands Fluid Fine Tailings Using Gamma Irradiation: A Metagenomic Perspective.VanMensel D. Microbial Ecology

Animan Experiments and Microbiome

The Microbial Community of Tardigrades: Environmental Influence and Species Specificity of Microbiome Structure and Composition.Vecchi M, Newton ILG, Cesari M. Microbial Ecology

Peracetic acid disinfection kinetics for combined sewer overflows: indicator organisms, antibiotic resistance genes, and microbial community.Eramo A. Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology


Oral Microbiome Characterization in Murine Models. Abusleme L. Bio-protocol

Microbes in the NEWS

Can Probiotics Improve the Gut Flora and Reduce Complications after Surgery?

-Medical News Bulletin



January 15, 2018

Today’s digest is full of great papers, including new methods of detection and quantificaion of HGT in anoxic conditions, and a brilliant paper on root-rhizosphere interactome.

General Microbiome

Impact of the start-up process on the microbial communities in biocathodes for electrosynthesis. Mateos, R. Bioelectrochemistry.

Gut Microbiome

Dietary Factors Modulate Colonic Tumorigenesis Through the Interaction of Gut Microbiota and Host Chloride Channels. Zhang Y. Molecular Nutrition Food Research

Metagenomic and metabolomic analyses unveil dysbiosis of gut microbiota in chronic heart failure patients. Cui, X. Scientific Reports

Nasal Microbiome

An insight into intestinal mucosal microbiota disruption after stroke.Stanley,D. Scientific Reports

Influence of pig farming on the human’s nasal microbiota: The key role of the airborne microbial communities. Kraemer, JG. Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Fecal Microbiome

Letters to Editor: Sucrase-isomaltase 15Phe IBS risk variant in relation to dietary carbohydrates and faecal microbiota composition. Thingholm L. Gut

Plant, Soil, and Water Microbiome

Soil contamination alters the willow root and rhizosphere metatranscriptome and the root-rhizosphere interactome. Yergeau, E. The ISME Journal

Indoor Microbiome

Microbiomes in Dishwashers: Analysis of the microbial diversity and putative opportunistic pathogens in dishwasher biofilm communities.Raghupathi, PK. Applied and Environmental Microbiology


Characteristics of ARG-carrying plasmidome in the cultivable microbial community from wastewater treatment system under high oxytetracycline concentration. Shi, Y. Applied Microbioloby and Biotechnology

Animan Experiments and Microbiome

Characterizing the bacterial microbiota in different gastrointestinal tract segments of the Bactrian camel. He, J. Scientific Reports

Effect of atorvastatin on the gut microbiota of high fat diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rats. Khan, TJ. Scientific Reports


Fluorescence recovery allows the implementation of a fluorescence reporter gene platform applicable for the detection and quantification of horizontal gene transfer in anoxic environments. Pinilla, R. Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Microbiome Jobs

Part-Time Microbiology Laboratory Technician

-Inside Higher Ed Careers

January 14, 2018

Today’s digest features brilliant ‘Letters to the Editors’ articles in response to recently published works, and concise microbiome reviews. Lastly, an improved method for assembly of functional metagenomes.

Gut Microbiome

Letters to the Editor: Navigating the Microbiota Seas: Triangulation Finds a Way Forward. Rosen, CE. Cell Host & Microbe.

Perturbations of the gut microbiome genes in infants with atopic dermatitis according to feeding type. Lee, M-J. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Insect Microbiome

REVIEW: Functional roles and metabolic niches in the honey bee gut microbiota. Bonilla-Rosso, G. Current Opinion in Microbiology

Letters to the Editor: Insect Gut Microbiota: Accessories to the Bite. Aksoy, S. Cell Host & Microbe

Animal Experiments and Microbiome

Characterisation of the intestinal microbial communities of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed with Hermetia illucens (black soldier fly) partially defatted larva meal as partial dietary protein source. Bruni, L. Aquaculture

REVIEW: Gastrointestinal tract (gut) health in the young pig. Pluske, JR. Animal Nutrition

Plant, soil, and water Microbiome

Deciphering the bacterial and fungal communities in clubroot-affected cabbage rhizosphere treated with Bacillus Subtilis XF-1. Liu, C. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment

REVIEW:Rhizospheric microorganisms as a solution for the recovery of soils contaminated by petroleum: A review. Janzen dos Santos, J. Journal of Environmental Management.

Food Microbiome

Different temperatures select distinctive acetic acid bacteria species and promotes organic acids production during Kombucha tea fermentation. De Filippis. Food Microbiology


REVIEW: Fluorescence activated cell-sorting principles and applications in microalgal biotechnology. Pereira, H. Algal Research

A-GAME: improving the assembly of pooled functional metagenomics sequence data. Chiara, M. BMC Genomics

Microbes in the News

Research Says Exercise Also Improves Your Gut Bacteria


January 7, 2018

Today’s digest is brief but full of fun and exciting news about microbes, including self-portraits of microbes on your skin and how AI (artificial intellegence) is used to identify bacteria.

Gut Microbiome

REVIEW: Gut as a target for cadmium toxicity. Tinkov, AA. Environmental Pollution

Plant, Soil, and Water Microbiome

Effects of short-term fallow managements on soil microbial properties: A case study in China. Li, G. Applied Soil Ecology

Animal Experiments and Microbiome

Environmental concentrations of antibiotics impair zebrafish gut health. Zhou, L. Environmental Pollution

Polystyrene microplastics induce microbiota dysbiosis and inflammation in the gut of adult zebrafish. Jin, Y. Environmental Pollution

Food Microbiome

REVIEW: Seafood spoilage microbiota and associated volatile organic compounds at different storage temperatures and packaging. Odeyemi, OA. International Journal of Food Microbiology.

Microbes in the NEWS

The Swab Test: Amount Of Bacteria On Touchscreens May Surprise You

-CBS Philly

Artificial intelligence used to identify bacteria

-Digital Journal

Physicists Solve the Biodiversity Arms-Race Paradox: “Kill the Winner”


A Self-Portrait of the Microbes that Live on our Skin

-Labiotech.eu (blog)

Microbiology Jobs

Part-Time Lab Technician II, Biology/Microbiology

-Inside Higher Ed Careers

January 5, 2018

Today’s digest has an interesting commentary on the oral-gut connection and a brilliant piece on microbial diversity. Lastly, a look at how grapevines influence belowground diversity and networks

General Microbiome

A role for the endometrial microbiome in dysfunctional menstrual bleeding. Pelzer ES. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek.

Performance and microbial community variations of anaerobic digesters under increasing tetracycline concentrations. Xiong Y. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

In Nature, There Is Only Diversity. McLaren MR. MBio.

Gut Microbiome

Commentary: Oral-gut connection: one step closer to an integrated view of the gastrointestinal tract? Lira-Junior R. Mucosal Immunology

Bile acids at the cross-roads of gut microbiome-host cardiometabolic interactions. Ryan PM. Diabeticology and Metabolic Syndrome

REVIEW: Diet, Microbiota, and Metabolic Health: Trade-Off Between Saccharolytic and Proteolytic Fermentation. Korpela K. Annual of Food Science and Technology

Nasal and Lung Microbiome

REVIEW: Fungi in Bronchiectasis: A Concise Review. Máiz L. Internatioanal Journal of Molecular Sciences

Alterations in the mucosa-associated fungal microbiota in patients with ulcerative colitis. Qiu X. Oncotarget

The association between anterior nares and nasopharyngeal microbiota in infants hospitalized for bronchiolitis. Luna PN. Microbiome

Fecal Microbiome

Editorial Comment: Fecal microbiota transplantation as a possible treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Juncadella AC. Annals of Translational Medicine

Plant, Soil, and Water Microbiome

Co-variation between Distribution of Microbial Communities and Biological Metabolization of Organics in Urban Sewer Systems. Jin P. Environmental Science and Technology.

Do invasive plants structure microbial communities to accelerate decomposition in intermountain grasslands? McTee MR. Ecology and Evolution

Grapevine rootstocks shape underground bacterial microbiome and networking but not potential functionality. Marasco R. Microbiome

Biodiversity of the microbial mat of the Garga hot spring. Rozanov AS. BMC Evolutionary Biology

Animal Experiments and Microbiome

Microbiota Reconstitution Does Not Cause Bone Loss in Germ-Free Mice. Quach D. mSphere

Physiological Translocation of Lactic Acid Bacteria during Pregnancy Contributes to the Composition of the Milk Microbiota in Mice. de Andrés J. Nutrients

Extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet light in the fungal pathogen causing white-nose syndrome of bats. Palmer JM. Nature Communication


Marine Microbiome

Agelas Wasting Syndrome Alters Prokaryotic Symbiont Communities of the Caribbean Brown Tube Sponge, Agelas tubulata.Deignan LK. Microbial Ecology

Environmental drivers of heterogeneity in the trophic-functional structure of protozoan communities during an annual cycle in a coastal ecosystem. Xu G. Marine Pollution Bulletin

Antibiotic Resitance

Editorial: Empiric antibiotic use in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation: should we avoid anaerobe coverage? Shono Y. Blood Advances

Characterization of genetic determinants involved in antibiotic resistance in Aeromonas spp. and fecal coliforms isolated from different aquatic environments. Carnelli A. Research in Microbiology



The best microbiome papers of 2017

Happy New Year again!

Last week, I asked you all to vote for the best microbiome papers of 2017. And just like the previous year, we have a very clear winner. A paper that had some obvious help from the author’s Facebook friends, who all wrote in to vote 🙂

Full disclosure: I was the handling editor of this paper.

The winner is…. (drumroll)….

Second place was won by:

And in shared third/fourth place:

Other nominees were:

I wish you all the best for the new year! Hopefully, 2018 will bring even more great microbiome science papers.

December 31, 2017

A rich Digest to end 2017! There are several reviews on human gut microbiome and lots of papers on plant , root and soil microbiome. The airway microbiome is trending today and scientists are starting to examine rigorously the effect of herbal medicine on the gut microbiota. Happy Reading and Happy New Year!

General microbiology

Bacterial pathogens were detected from human exhaled breath using a novel protocol – Yunhao Zheng et al. – Journal of Aerosol Science

Bacteria Facilitate Enteric Virus Co-infection of Mammalian Cells and Promote Genetic Recombination – Andrea K. Erickson et al. – Cell Host & Microbe

Human airway microbiome

Review: Airway microbial metagenomics – Katarzyna Pienkowska et al. – Microbes and Infection

Respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus bronchiolitis are associated with distinct metabolic pathways – Christopher J Stewart et al. – Journal of Infectious Diseases

Tech Note: A breath of information: the volatilome – M. Mansurova et al. – Current Genetics

Short-term particulate matter exposure influences nasal microbiota in a population of healthy subjects – Jacopo Mariani et al. – Environmental Research

Exposure to traffic-related air pollution and the composition of the gut microbiota in overweight and obese adolescents – Tanya L. Alderete et al. – Environmental Research

Human gut microbiome

Gut microbiome contributes to impairment of immunity in pulmonary tuberculosis patients by alteration of butyrate and propionate producers – Abhijit Maji et al. – Environmental Microbiology

Review: Targeting the gut barrier for the treatment of alcoholic liver disease – Zhanxiang Zhou and Wei Zhong – Liver Research

Review: Microbial Regulation of Glucose Metabolism and Insulin Resistance – Crommen S and Simon MC – Genes

Review: Gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease – Nishida A et al. – Clinical Journal of Gastroenterology

Review: Human Intestinal Microbiota: Interaction Between Parasites and the Host Immune Response – Oswaldo Partida-Rodríguez et al. – Archives of Medical Research

Review: Gut dysbiosis and irritable bowel syndrome: the potential role of probiotics – Nicola Principi et al. – Journal of Infection

Review: Gut Microbiota in Obesity and Metabolic Abnormalities: A Matter of Composition or Functionality? – Sofia Moran-Ramo et al. – Archives of Medical Research

In vitro: An in vitro study to assess the impact of tetracycline on the human intestinal microbiome – Ji Young Jung et al. – Anaerobe

Human gut-microbiome-brain axis

Review: Targeting gut microbiome: A novel and potential therapy for autism – Yongshou Yang et al. – Life Sciences


Dark matter in host-microbiome metabolomics: Tackling the unknowns–A review – B.Y. Loulou Peisl et al. – Analytica Chimica Acta

Animal experiments

Mouse: Intestinal Ralstonia pickettii augments glucose intolerance in obesity – Shanthadevi D. Udayappan et al. – PLoS One

Pig: Structural Modulation of Gut Microbiota during Alleviation of Suckling Piglets Diarrhoea with Herbal Formula – Cui Liu et al. – Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Rat: Effects of HLA-B27 on Gut Microbiota in Experimental Spondyloarthritis Implicate an Ecological Model of Dysbiosis – Gill T et al. – Arthritis and Rheumatology

Changes in mouse gut bacterial community in response to different types of drinking water – Marcela F. Dias et al. – Water Research

Mouse: Particle size determines the anti-inflammatory effect of wheat bran in a model of fructose over-consumption: Implication of the gut microbiota – Francesco Suriano & Audrey M. Neyrinck et al. – Journal of Functional Foods

Mouse: Mushroom polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum and Poria cocos reveal prebiotic functions – Imran Khan et al. – Journal of Functional Foods

Animal microbiome

Bacterial diversity of wild-caught Lutzomyia longipalpis (a vector of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil) under distinct physiological conditions by metagenomics analysis – Ana Clara Araújo Machado Pires et al. – Parasites & Vectors

Drosophila Perpetuates Nutritional Mutualism by Promoting the Fitness of Its Intestinal Symbiont Lactobacillus plantarum – Gilles Storelli et al. – Cell Metabolism

Analysis of the influence of living environment and age on vaginal fungal microbiome in giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) by high throughput sequencing – Danyu Chen et al. – Microbial Pathogenesis

Plant, root and soil microbiome

Phosphate levels influence the utilisation of rice rhizodeposition carbon and the phosphate-solubilising microbial community in a paddy soil – Xi-En Long et al. – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Plant community and soil conditions individually affect soil microbial community assembly in experimental mesocosms – Aspen T. Reese et al. – Ecology and Evolution

Responses of bulk and rhizosphere soil microbial communities to thermoclimatic changes in a Mediterranean ecosystem – Javier Pascual et al. – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Remediation of arsenic in mung bean (Vigna radiata) with growth enhancement by unique arsenic-resistant bacterium Acinetobacter lwoffii – Joyati Das and Priyabrata Sarkar – Science of the Total Environment

* Opinion: Why we need a National Living Soil Repository – Daniel K. Manter et al. – PNAS

Long-term effects of nitrogen fertilization on aggregation and localization of carbon, nitrogen and microbial activities in soil – Yidong Wang et al. – Science of the Total Environment

Vineyard microbiome variations during different fertilisation practices revealed by 16s rRNA gene sequencing – Loredana Canfora et al. – Applied Soil Ecology

* Co-occurrence patterns of soybean rhizosphere microbiome at a continental scale – Baogang Zhang et al. – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Review: Symbiotic nitrogen fixation by rhizobia — the roots of a success story – Catherine Masson-Boivin and Joel L Sachs – Current Opinion in Plant Biology

Water and extremophile microbiome

PDF: From extreme environments to human pathogens: an evolutionary journey – Donato Giovannelli and Costantino Vetriani – Biochemical Society

Comparison of Iris pseudacorus wetland systems with unplanted systems on pollutant removal and microbial community under nanosilver exposure – Juan Huang et al. – Science of the Total Environment

Impacts of design configuration and plants on the functionality of the microbial community of mesocosm-scale constructed wetlands treating ibuprofen – Liang Zhang et al. – Water Research

Microbial community evolution in partial nitritation/anammox process: From sidestream to mainstream – Yandong Yang et al. – Bioresource Technology

Spatiotemporal changes in bacterial community and microbial activity in a full-scale drinking water treatment plant – Luanfeng Hou et al. – Science of the Total Environment

Built environment microbiome

Microbiological air contamination in university premises and the evaluation of drug resistance of staphylococci occurring in the form of a bioaerosol – Katarzyna Wolny-Koładka et al. – Indoor and Built Environment

Phages and viruses

Virome analysis of lily plants reveals a new potyvirus – Yongqiang Li et al. – Archives of Virology

Comparative Analysis of 37 Acinetobacter Bacteriophages – Dann Turner et al. – Viruses

Antiviral systems in vector mosquitoes – Tong Liu et al. – Developmental & Comparative Immunology

Microbes in the news

Launceston associate professors studying gut microbiome in elderly Tasmanians – Carly Dolan – Examiner

Biofilm made of mulberry silk to destroy dengue virus – TNN – Times of India

Rhode Island Health Department finds E. coli bacteria, issues boil water notice – PATRICIA RESENDE & TONY GUGLIOTT – NBC 10

Op-Ed: Survival tips in the age of drug-resistant bacteria – Kevin Kavanagh – Lexington Herald Leader

One Big Family: This Beautiful Interactive Diagram Shows How Every Organism Is Related – Fiona McMillan – Forbes

Researchers propose different approach to beat antibiotic-resistant superbugs – News Medical