December 2, 2021

Happy December from Pittsburgh!

Today’s digest includes original research on the impacts of fungal entomopathogens on Wolbacia infections and the influence of nutrient status on the response of a diatom to oil and dispersant. I have also included a study protocol for oral microbiome transplant for the treatment of dental caries and periodontal disease as well as preprints on a variety of topics. Finally, I want to highlight two articles I included that are little different from my usual content: the first is on predictors of willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and the second is focused on transparency in peer review.



***To vaccinate or not to vaccinate!? Predictors of willingness to receive Covid-19 vaccination in Europe, the U.S., and China – Brailovskaia et al. – PLOS One

General microbiome

Preprint: Copper nanoparticles as modulator of active bacterial population and their physiology in ecosphere – Alboloushi et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Metabolite Damage and Damage-Control in a Minimal Genome – Haas et al. – bioRxiv

Development and characterization of an oral microbiome transplant among Australians for the treatment of dental caries and periodontal disease: A study protocol – Nath et al. – PLOS One

Preprint: Heat activation and inactivation of bacterial spores. Is there an overlap? – Wen et al. – bioRxiv

Animal experiments

Inferring Mycobacterium bovis transmission between cattle and badgers using isolates from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial – van Tonder et al. – PLOS Pathogens

Animal microbiome

Impacts of fungal entomopathogens on survival and immune responses of Aedes albopictus and Culex pipiens mosquitoes in the context of native Wolbachia infections – Ramirez et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Water and extremophile microbiome

Influence of nutrient status on the response of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum to oil and dispersant – Kamalanathan et al. – PLOS One

Preprint: Community-wide epigenetics provides novel perspectives on the ecology and evolution of marine microbiome – Seong et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Microbial cysteine degradation is a source of hydrogen sulfide in oxic freshwater lakes – Tran et al. – bioRxiv


When and why direct transmission models can be used for environmentally persistent pathogens – Benson – PLOS Computational Biology


Preprint: The processing of staphylococcal biofilm images from Fluorescence and Confocal Microscopy to assess in vitro efficacy of antiseptic molecules – Krasowski et al. – bioRxiv

Science, publishing, and career

***Transparency in peer review: Exploring the content and tone of reviewers’ confidential comments to editors – O’Brien et al. – PLOS One

November 17, 2021

General microbiome

Macrophages in Microbial Pathogenesis: Commonalities of Defense Evasion Mechanisms – Pandey et al. – Infection and Immunity

Human respiratory microbiome

The Influence of FUT2 and FUT3 Polymorphisms and Nasopharyngeal Microbiome on Respiratory Infections in Breastfed Bangladeshi Infants from the Microbiota and Health Study – Binia et al. – mSphere

Human gut microbiome

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Commonly Failed in Children with Co-Morbidities – Kellermayer et al. – JPGN

Current and future applications of fecal microbiota transplantation for children – Chen & Chiu – Biomedical Journal

[REVIEW]Microbial influences on gut development and gut-brain communication – Ye & Rawls – Development

Characterization and predictive functional profiles on metagenomic 16S rRNA data of liver transplant recipients: A longitudinal study – Sivaraj et al. – Clinical Transplantation

Changes to human faecal microbiota after international travel – Kampmann et al. – Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease

Animal experiments

Cognate recognition of microbial antigens defines constricted CD4+ T cell receptor repertoires in the inflamed colon – Muschaweck et al. – Immunity

An aniline-substituted bile salt analog protects both mice and hamsters from multiple Clostridioides difficile strains – Phan et al. – Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

Analysis of Cow-Calf Microbiome Transfer Routes and Microbiome Diversity in the Newborn Holstein Dairy Calf Hindgut – Zhu et al. – Frontiers in Nutrition


Multi-omic evaluation of metabolic alterations in multiple sclerosis identifies shifts in aromatic amino acid metabolism – Fitzgerald et al. – Cell Reports Medicine


[REVIEW]It takes guts to learn: machine learning techniques for disease detection from the gut microbiome – Curry, Nute & Treangen – Emerging Topics in Life Sciences

November 15, 2021

Today’s digest contains an article about the effect of shale flowback fluid on the polluted soil microbiome. It also includes multiple preprints on topics such as long-read sequencing on the Oxford Nanopore, arctic marine protists, rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing for mixed infections, and more.

Happy reading!

General microbiome

Preprint: Rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing and species identification for mixed infections – Kandavalli et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Bacterial quorum sensing allows graded and bimodal cellular responses to variations in population density – Rattray et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint – Phage-encoded sigma factors alter bacterial dormancy – Schwartz et al. – bioRxiv

Human respiratory microbiome

Preprint: Aspergillus fumigatus drives tissue damage via iterative assaults upon mucosal integrity and immune homeostasis – Okaa et al. – bioRxiv

Human skin microbiome

Preprint: Cobamide sharing drives skin microbiome dynamics – Swaney et al. – bioRxiv

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Toxic effects of shale gas fracturing flowback fluid on microbial communities in polluted soil – Zudong Mei et al. – Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

Water and extremophile microbiome

Preprint: Colonial choanoflagellate isolated from Mono Lake harbors a microbiome – Hake et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Linking extreme seasonality and gene expression in arctic marine protists – Wutkowska et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Biosorption potential and molecular characterization of metal resistant autochthonous microbes from tannery solid waste – Younas et al. – bioRxiv


Preprint: Oxford Nanopore R10.4 long-read sequencing enables near-perfect bacterial genomes from pure cultures and metagenomes without short-read or reference polishing – Sereika et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Going through phages: A Computational approach to Revealing the role of prophage in Staphylococcus aureus – Sweet et al. – bioRxiv

October 22, 2021

Happy Friday!

Today’s digest includes an article on the role of age in the human intestinal microbiome, research on the role of a novel Acidobacteriota in seafloor sulfur cycling, work demonstrating the use of machine learning to predict camplyobacter source data, and much more! I also included the link to a page on “The Secret World Inside You”, a science exhibit focused on the human microbiome that is at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas from now until April 10, 2022. If anyone ends up checking it out, I’d love to hear about it!


A microbiome science exhibit, “The Secret World Inside You,” is at The Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas from October 16, 2021 to April 10, 2022 .

Human gut microbiome

Bile acid-independent protection against Clostridioides difficile infection – Aguirre et al. – PLOS PATHOGENS

The importance of age in compositional and functional profiling of the human intestinal microbiome – Herzog et al. – PLOS ONE

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

The chosen few—variations in common and rare soil bacteria across biomes – Bickel & Or – The ISME Journal

The fungus Kalmusia longispora is able to cause vascular necrosis on Vitis vinifera – Karácsony et al. – PLOS ONE

Water and extremophile microbiome

Novel taxa of Acidobacteriota implicated in seafloor sulfur cycling – Flieder et al. – The ISME Journal

Beach sand oil spills select for generalist microbial populations – Heritier-Robbins et al. – The ISME Journal

Preprint: Influence of DNA extraction kits on the fungal DNA metabarcoding for freshwater environmental DNA – Matsuoka et al. – bioRxiv

Marine signature taxa and core microbial community stability along latitudinal and vertical gradients in sediments of the deepest freshwater lake – Reboul et al. – The ISME Journal

Phages and viruses

Review: Community context matters for bacteria-phage ecology and evolution – Blazanin & Turner – The ISME Journal


Machine learning to predict the source of campylobacteriosis using whole genome data – Arning et al. – PLOS GENETICS

September 30, 2021

Today’s digest includes a quantification of bacterial strains after fecal microbiota transplantation, a network analysis of the strawberry greenhouse soil microbiome after soil amendments, and an article about enhanced copper-resistance genes in Alteromonas macleodii. Also included are multiple preprints on topics such as denitrification pathways present in tunda soil metagenomes as well as the response of Endozoicomonas, a core coral bacterial group, to heat stress and host lysates.

General microbiome

Genomic population structure associated with repeated escape of Salmonella enterica ATCC14028s from the laboratory into nature – Achtman et al. – PLOS Genetics

Preprint: Role of the mobilome in the global dissemination of the carbapenem resistance gene blaNDM – Acman et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Existence of log-phase Escherichia coli persisters and lasting memory of a starvation pulse – Svenningsen et al. – bioRxiv

Human gut microbiome

Precise quantification of bacterial strains after fecal microbiota transplantation delineates long-term engraftment and explains outcomes – Aggarwala et al. – Nature Microbiology

Animal microbiome

A role for arthropods as vectors of multidrug-resistant Enterobacterales in surgical site infections from South Asia – Hassan et al. – Nature Microbiology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Response of soil microbiome structure and its network profiles to four soil amendments in monocropping strawberry greenhouse – Liu et al. – PLOS One

Preprint: Truncated denitrifiers dominate the denitrification pathway in tundra soil metagenomes – Pessi et al. – bioRxiv

Water and extremophile microbiome

Preprint: Response of Endozoicomonas montiporae to heat stress and coral host lysates – Chan et al. – bioRxiv

Enhanced copper-resistance gene repertoire in Alteromonas macleodii strains isolated from copper-treated marine coatings – Cusick et al. – PLOS One

Bacterial community structure of early-stage biofilms is dictated by temporal succession rather than substrate types in the southern coastal seawater of India – Sushmitha et al. – PLOS One

Preprint: Ecological stochasticity and phage induction diversify bacterioplankton communities at the microscale – Szabo et al. – bioRxiv

September 15, 2021

Today’s digest is fairly light. It includes an article focused on the protective role of bacterial endosymbionts on soil fungus, a preprint on the indoor environment as a source for human-associated anaerobes, and work demonstrating how protein biosensors can be used to track the effects osmotic stress on cells.

Happy reading!

General microbiome

Preprint: Comprehensive comparative genomics analysis for the emerging human pathogen Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis (SDSE): A case study and Pan-subspecies genomic analysis – Saeb & Tayeb – bioRxiv

Preprint: The model arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis harbours endosymbiotic bacteria with a highly reduce genome – Savary et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: A Campylobacter integrative and conjugative element with a CRISPR-Cas9 system targeting competing plasmids: a history of plasmid warfare? – van Vilet et al. – bioRxiv

Animal microbiome (for animals in the wild)

Differences in gut microbiome composition between sympatric wild and allopatric laboratory populations of omnivorous cockroaches – Tinker et al. – Frontiers in Microbiology

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Bacterial endosymbionts protect beneficial soil fungus from nematode attack – Büttner et al. – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Built environment

Preprint: The indoor environment – A potential source for intact human-associated anaerobes – Pausan et al. – bioRxiv


Intrinsically disordered protein biosensor tracks the physical-chemical effects of osmotic stress on cells – Cuevas-Velazquez et al. – Nature Communications

July 30th, 2021

Today’s papers are primarily plant and environment related, but there’s also a great couple papers on the humanmicrobiome – discussing streptococci’s ability to colonise the ear, as well as a mini-review discussing oral microbial transplantation in improving COVID-19 outcomes. Have a great day!

Human general microbiome

Competitive advantage of oral streptococci for colonization of the middle ear mucosa. Jacob et al. bioRxiv.

Human gut microbiome

Utilizing machine learning with knockoff filtering to extract significant metabolites in Crohn’s disease with a publicly available untargeted metabolomics dataset – Bin Masud et al- PLOS one.

Human vaginal microbiome

Modeling the temporal dynamics of cervicovaginal microbiota identifies targets that may promote reproductive health – Munoz et al – Microbiome.

Human respiratory microbiome

The forgotten oral microbial transplantation for improving the outcomes of COVID-19 – AbdelMassih et al – New microbes and New Infections. [Mini-review]

Plant, root and soil microbiome

Metabolomics and microbiome reveal impacts of rhizosphere metabolites on alfafa continuous cropping – Wang et al -bioRxiv.

Unearthing Shifts in Microbial Communities Across a Soil Disturbance Gradient – Seitz et al – bioRxiv.

Unraveling negative biotic interactions determining soil microbial community assembly and functioning -Romdhane et al -The ISME journal.

Large-scale protein level comparison of Deltaproteobacteria reveals cohesive metabolic groups – Langwig et al -The ISME journal.

Impact of microecological agents on water environment restoration and microbial community structures of trench system in a Baiyangdian wetland ecosystem – Li et al – Journal of Applied Microbiology.

July 23, 2021

Happy Friday!

It’s an exciting day here because I’m packing for fieldwork! In just a few short days I’ll be sampling from a saline aquifer in Illinois. For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to be going into the field, today’s digest is packed with a wide range of articles. Topics covered include the wild spider gut microbiome, the presence of antibiotic resistance genes in an Ohio river, the mosquito virome, the plant rhizosphere, and more.

Happy reading!

Human gut microbiome

Preprint: Phenotypic and genomic diversification in complex carbohydrate degrading human gut bacteria – Pudlo et al. – bioRxiv

Animal experiments

Effect of biochanin A on the rumen microbial community of Holstein steers consuming a high fiber diet and subjected to a subacute acidosis challenge – Harlow et al. – PLOS ONE

Ear wound healing in MRL/MpJ mice is associated with gut microbiome composition and is transferable to non-healer mice via microbiome transplantation – Velasco et al. – PLOS ONE

Animal microbiome

Preprint: Increased microbial diversity and decreased prevalence of common pathogens in the gut microbiomes of wild turkeys compared to domestic turkeys – Craft et al. – bioRxiv

Interspecific variation and functional traits of the gut microbiome in spiders from the wild: The largest effort so far – Tyagi et al. – PLOS ONE

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Preprint: Tillage intensity and plant rhizosphere selection shape bacterial-archaeal assemblage diversity and nitrogen cycling genes – Cloutier et al. – bioRxiv

Water and extremophile microbiome

Preprint: An Ohio State Scenic River Shows Elevated Antibiotic Resistance Genes, Including Acinetobacter Tetracycline and Macrolide Resistance, Downstream of Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluent – Murphy – bioRxiv

Biogeochemistry of the Antrim Shale Natural Gas Reservoir – Stemple et al. – ACS Earth and Space Chemistry

Built environment

Preprint: Novel municipal sewage-associated bacterial genomes and their potential in source tracking – Linder et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Structure of bacterial communities in Japanese-style bathrooms: Comparative sequencing of bacteria in shower water and showerhead biofilms using a portable nanopore sequencer – Fujiyoshi et al. – bioRxiv

Phages and viruses

Preprint: Dynamic surveillance of mosquitoes and their viromes in Wuhan during 2020 – Ren et al. – bioRxiv


Simple mapping-based quantification of a mock microbial community using total RNA-seq data – Moriya – PLOS ONE

Preprint: Evaluation of DNA extraction protocols from liquid-based cytology specimens for studying cervical microbiota – Shibata et al. – bioRxiv

July 22, 2021

Human and General Microbiome

The Change Of Gut Microbiota In MDD Patients Under SSRIs Treatment – Yang Shen – Scientific Reports

Minimal-moderate Variation Of Human Oral Virome And Microbiome In IgA Deficiency – Maria José de la Cruz Peña – Scientific Reports

Weight Shapes The Intestinal Microbiome In Preterm Infants: Results Of A Prospective observational study – Fardou H Heida – BMC Microbiology

Functional Heterogeneity In The Fermentation Capabilities Of The Healthy Human Gut microbiota – Thomas Gurry – PloS One

Characterization Of The Blood And Neutrophil-specific Microbiomes And Exploration Of potential bacterial biomarkers for sepsis in surgical patients – Chenyang Wang – Immunity, Inflammation And Disease

Cognitive Function Improvement After Fecal Microbiota Transplantation In In Alzheimer’s dementia patient: a case report – Soo-Hyun Park – Current Medical Research And Opinion

Amplicon And Metagenomic Analysis Of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Coronavirus and the Microbiome in Patients with Severe MERS – Waleed Aljabr – mSphere

Dental Plaque Microbial Resistomes Of Periodontal Health And Disease And Their Changes after Scaling and Root Planing Therapy – Yutong Kang – mSphere

Archaea Are Rare And Uncommon Members Of The Mammalian Skin Microbiome – Alexander K Umbach – mSystems

Association Between Human Genetic Variants And The Vaginal Bacteriome Of Pregnant Women – Wei Fan – mSystems

Population-wide Diversity And Stability Of Serum Antibody Epitope Repertoires against human microbiota – Thomas Vogl – Nature Medicine

Dynamic Colonization Of Microbes And Their Functions After Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Nathaniel D Chu – mBio

Review: Tryptophan Metabolites Modulate Inflammatory Bowel Disease And Colorectal Cancer By affecting immune system – Moein Ala – International Reviews Of Immunology

Review: From Gut Microbiota To Host Appetite: Gut Microbiota-derived Metabolites As Key regulators – Hui Han – Microbiome

The Roles Of Cytoplasmic Lipid Droplets In Modulating Intestinal Uptake Of Dietary Fat – Alyssa S Zembroski – Annual Reviews Of Nutrition

Review: Intestinal Microbiota In The SARS-CoV-2 Infection: What Is Known? – Patrícia Brito Rodrigues – Advances In Experimental Medicine And Biology

Review: The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis And Epilepsy – Qiang Yue – Cellular And Molecular Neurobiology

In Brief: Microbiota Links To Immunotherapy Toxicity – Sarah Seton-Rogers – Nature Reviews Cancer

Opinion: Forming Consensus To Advance Urobiome Research – Linda Brubaker – mSystems

Beneficial Microbes and Compounds

A High-protein Diet Containing Inulin/oligofructose Supports Body Weight Gain associated with lower energy expenditure and carbohydrate oxidation, and alters faecal microbiota in C57BL/6 mice – Franziska Koch – Journal Of Nutritional Science

Immunosuppressive Activity Is Attenuated By Astragalus polysaccharides Via remodeling the gut microenvironment in melanoma mice – Guiqing Ding – Cancer Science

Review: The Interaction Effect Between Tea Polyphenols And Intestinal Microbiota: Role In ameliorating neurological diseases – Mengyu Hong – Journal Of Food Biochemistry

Review: Nutritional Interventions And The Gut Microbiome In Children – Saurabh Mehta – Annual Reviews Of Nutrition

Animal Microbiome and Animal Models

Interspecific Variation And Functional Traits Of The Gut Microbiome In Spiders From the wild: The largest effort so far. – Kaomud Tyagi – PloS One

Vibrio vulnificus Induces The Death Of A Major Bacterial Species In The Mouse Gut via cyclo-Phe-Pro. – Jeong-A Kim – Microbiome

Maternal Cecal Microbiota Transfer Rescues Early-life Antibiotic-induced Enhancement of type 1 diabetes in mice. – Xue-Song Zhang – Cell Host & Microbe

Comprehensive Cultivation Of The Swine Gut Microbiome Reveals High Bacterial Diversity and Guides Bacterial Isolation in Pigs. – Xiaofan Wang – mSystems

Plant Microbiome

Drought Stress And Plant Ecotype Drive Microbiome Recruitment In Switchgrass – Tie-Yuan Liu – Journal Of Integrative Plant Biology

Microbe-dependent Heterosis In Maize – Maggie R Wagner – Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America

Review: Prioritizing Host Phenotype To Understand Microbiome Heritability In Plants – Maggie R Wagner – The New Phytologist

Microbiome Analysis and Techniques

On The Robustness Of Inference Of Association With The Gut Microbiota In Stool, rectal swab and mucosal tissue samples – Shan Sun – Scientific Reports

Amplicon Sequence Variants Artificially Split Bacterial Genomes Into Separate Clusters. – Patrick D Schloss – MSphere

Linking Plasmid-based Beta-lactamases To Their Bacterial Hosts Using Single-cell fusion PCR – Peter J Diebold – eLife

An Integrated Machine Learning Framework For A Discriminative Analysis Of schizophrenia using multi-biological data. – Peng-Fei Ke – Scientific Reports

An Intestinal Gut Organ Culture System For Analyzing Host-Microbiota Interactions – Shalhevet Azriel – Journal Of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)

July 15, 2021

Good morning!

There are two particularly exciting papers today; a metagenomic analysis of the genera Akkermansia, providing evidence this is a primarily human microbiota member, and a paper aiming to further understand our knowledge of antibiotic exposure – finding significant alterations in neuronal gene expression in mouse pups.

Human gut microbiome

Development of a prebiotic blend to influence in vitro fermentation effects, with a focus on propionate, in the gut. Collins et al. FEMS Microbiology Ecology.

Genomic diversity and ecology of human-associated Akkermansia species in the gut microbiome revealed by extensive metagenomic assembly. Karcher et al. Genome Biology.

Pregnancy and Early life

Effects of early-life penicillin exposure on the gut microbiome and frontal cortex and amygdala gene expression. Volkova et al. iScience.

Animal experiments

Altered milk yield and rumen microbial abundance in response to concentrate supplementation during the cold season in Tibetan sheep. Lin-Sheng Gui et al. Electronic journal of Biotechnology.

Plant, root and soil microbiome

Time outweighs the effect of host developmental stage on microbial community composition. Dibner et al. FEMS Microbiology Ecology.

Food microbiology

Dynamics of dark fermentation microbial communities in the light of lactate and butyrate production. Detman et al. Microbiome.


A metabolomics pipeline for the mechanistic interrogation of the gut microbiome. Han et al. Nature.