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Podcast title BacterioFiles
Website URL https://www.asm.org/bacteriofi...
Description The podcast for microbe lovers: reporting on exciting news about bacteria, archaea, and sometimes even eukaryotic microbes and viruses.
Updated Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:33:52 +0000
Image BacterioFiles
Category Science
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Episodes

1. 403: Mercury Modifies Microbe Metabolism
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Description:

This episode: First episode of a climate-related arc! Considering microorganisms is important when predicting the amount of carbon coming from soil as temperature increases!

Download Episode (4.7 MB, 6.75 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Streptomyces virus Zemlya

News item

Takeaways
Soil as a whole has a big influence on the climate of the planet, by enabling the communities of organisms that live in it to interact and grow, taking up gases from the atmosphere and putting others back in. Even aside from plants that grow in it, the other organisms in soil can respire and break down compounds to produce CO2, adding to what's in the atmosphere already.

There has long been observed a relationship between ambient temperatures and this respiration in soil, such that more heat means more activity and more gases released from the soil, but today's study found that the microbial biomass in a given piece of land can have a big effect on the temperature/respiration relationship.

Journal Paper:
Čapek P, Starke R, Hofmockel KS, Bond-Lamberty B, Hess N. 2019. Apparent temperature sensitivity of soil respiration can result from temperature driven changes in microbial biomass. Soil Biol Biochem 135:286–293.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.



2. 402: Microbe Membranes Mobilize Microglia
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Description:

This episode: Gut microbes can stimulate immune cells in mouse brains to fight off viral infections!

Download Episode (9.0 MB, 13.0 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Streptoverticillium mobaraense

News item

Takeaways
The central nervous system, including the brain, is a protected area of the body. Pathogens that get in can do a lot of damage, including memory loss, paralysis, and death, so there's a strict barrier in healthy people that keeps most things out of this area: the blood-brain barrier. The immune system is also kept separate, so special cells called microglia do the patrolling and protection of the brain.

Nevertheless, microbes in the gut can influence the function of the immune system in the brain, even from a distance. In this study, mice lacking gut microbes did not have as effective an immune response to a virus infecting the brain, and it was found that molecules from bacterial outer membranes were sensed by microglia to activate their defensive response.

Journal Paper:
Brown DG, Soto R, Yandamuri S, Stone C, Dickey L, Gomes-Neto JC, Pastuzyn ED, Bell R, Petersen C, Buhrke K, Fujinami RS, O’Connell RM, Stephens WZ, Shepherd JD, Lane TE, Round JL. 2019. The microbiota protects from viral-induced neurologic damage through microglia-intrinsic TLR signaling. eLife 8:e47117.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.



3. 401: Phototrophs Fill Fungal Filaments
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Description:

This episode: In this partnership between fungus and algae, the algae eventually take up residence inside their partner!

Download Episode (8.4 MB, 12.1 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Erwinia tracheiphila

News item/Summary article

Takeaways
Partnerships and cooperation between otherwise free-living organisms is common in the natural world. Partnering with a photosynthetic organism is a smart approach, allowing the partner to get its energy from the sun and making gathering nutrients easier for the phototroph, and possibly offering protection as well. But in most partnerships, each partner stays separated by its own cell membrane.

In this study, a fungus and an alga grow well together, exchanging carbon for nitrogen, similar to how lichens operate. But after a month or so of co-culture, the algae apparently enter the cells of the fungus somehow and live inside it, happily growing and dividing, turning the fungus green.

Journal Paper:
Du Z-Y, Zienkiewicz K, Vande Pol N, Ostrom NE, Benning C, Bonito GM. 2019. Algal-fungal symbiosis leads to photosynthetic mycelium. eLife 8:e47815.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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4. 400: Considering Consumables' Community Correlations
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Description:

This episode: Figuring out how gut communities change with changes in diet!

Download Episode (6.1 MB, 8.8 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Hepacivirus A

News item

Takeaways
Diet can play a big role in our health. It's not a magic pill that can cure or prevent anything, but a good diet can significantly reduce many health risks for the average person, compared with a bad diet.

Diet also has a big effect on the community of microbes in our gut, and this may play a role in the health effects we see from diet, so understanding how food and microbes interact is important. This study looked at the diet quality of participants in several food categories, and correlated this with various kinds of microbes found inside them.

Journal Paper:
Liu Y, Ajami NJ, El-Serag HB, Hair C, Graham DY, White DL, Chen L, Wang Z, Plew S, Kramer J, Cole R, Hernaez R, Hou J, Husain N, Jarbrink-Sehgal ME, Kanwal F, Ketwaroo G, Natarajan Y, Shah R, Velez M, Mallepally N, Petrosino JF, Jiao L. 2019. Dietary quality and the colonic mucosa–associated gut microbiome in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 110:701–712.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.



5. 399: Conductor Creating Carbon Canvases
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Description:

This episode: Bacteria can aide the production of the useful material graphene, using their ability to add electrons to external surfaces!

Download Episode (7.7 MB, 11.3 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Brevibacterium frigoritolerans

News item

Takeaways
Advanced materials often take advanced techniques to create, but they offer numerous benefits: increased strength and flexibility, smaller size, more options. One such material is graphene, which is basically a sheet of carbon atoms linked together like chainmail. It is only a single atom thick but is amazingly strong, mostly transparent, and good at conducting heat and electricity.

The trick is, it's hard to make in large quantities cheaply and easily. Sheets of carbons can be obtained from blocks of graphite, but these sheets are graphene oxide, which lack the desirable properties of graphene. Chemical methods can be used to remove the oxidation, but they are harsh and difficult. Luckily, bacteria are great at microscopic remodeling. In this study, electron-transferring bacteria are able to reduce the graphene oxide to graphene with properties almost as good as are achieved by chemical reduction.

Journal Paper:
Lehner BAE, Janssen VAEC, Spiesz EM, Benz D, Brouns SJJ, Meyer AS, van der Zant HSJ. 2019. Creation of Conductive Graphene Materials by Bacterial Reduction Using Shewanella oneidensis. ChemistryOpen 8:888–895.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.



6. 398: Marathon Microbes Maximize Mileage
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Description:

This episode: Bacteria found in the guts of serious athletes help mice exercise longer by transforming their metabolic waste!

Download Episode (7.3 MB, 10.6 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans

News item

Takeaways
Our gut microbes affect many aspects of health, and many aspects of how we live affect our microbes. One such aspect is physical exertion, which has been associated with enrichment of various microbes in the guts of athletes. This observation led to the question: are these microbes just benefiting from the high levels of exertion, or are they able to contribute also?

This study found that certain such bacteria, when given to mice, enabled the mice to run for a longer period on a treadmill. These microbes break down lactic acid, which is generated in our bodies when we push our physical limits, but the study provided evidence that the longer run times were due not to removal of this waste product, but to the propionate compound produced by its degradation.

Journal Paper:
Scheiman J, Luber JM, Chavkin TA, MacDonald T, Tung A, Pham L-D, Wibowo MC, Wurth RC, Punthambaker S, Tierney BT, Yang Z, Hattab MW, Avila-Pacheco J, Clish CB, Lessard S, Church GM, Kostic AD. 2019. Meta-omics analysis of elite athletes identifies a performance-enhancing microbe that functions via lactate metabolism. Nat Med 25:1104–1109.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.



7. 397: Plant Promotes Pathogen-Prohibiting Partner
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Description:

This episode: Plants stimulate their root bacteria to compete better, and these bacteria help the plants resist disease!

Download Episode (7.3 MB, 10.6 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Bacillus circulans

Takeaways
In some ways, plants' roots are like our gut. They both absorb nutrients, and they both have complex communities of microbes living alongside the host cells. These microbes can assist their hosts in various ways, and get fed in return.

In this study, one species of root bacterium is able to compete against others by producing an antimicrobial compound. The plant stimulates this production with chemical signals, and benefits from its symbionts' increased competitiveness because the bacterium helps the plant resist infection.

Journal Paper:
Ogran A, Yardeni EH, Keren-Paz A, Bucher T, Jain R, Gilhar O, Kolodkin-Gal I. 2019. The Plant Host Induces Antibiotic Production To Select the Most-Beneficial Colonizers. Appl Environ Microbiol 85:e00512-19.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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8. 396: Bacteria Boost Blood Bank Budgets
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Description:

This episode: Bacterial enzymes could convert donated blood to be compatible with more people in need!

Download Episode (8.0 MB, 11.7 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Cucumber leaf spot virus

News item

Takeaways
Blood transfusions using donated blood save many lives. Unfortunately, most donations can't be given to just anyone that needs blood; there must be a match in blood type between donor and recipient, or else a life-threatening reaction could occur in the recipient's body. So type A can't donate to type B, or vice versa, but type O is compatible with the other types.

In this study, bacterial enzymes found in human gut microbes have the ability to cleave off the unique type A and B sugars on the surface of red blood cells. This could allow the conversion of all donated blood to type O, greatly increasing the blood bank supply, but more testing is needed to develop the process.

Journal Paper:
Rahfeld P, Sim L, Moon H, Constantinescu I, Morgan-Lang C, Hallam SJ, Kizhakkedathu JN, Withers SG. 2019. An enzymatic pathway in the human gut microbiome that converts A to universal O type blood. Nat Microbiol 4:1475–1485.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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9. 395: Many Microbiome Mindsets
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Description:

This episode: Five different ways of thinking about our relationship with our microbes!

Download Episode (20.4 MB, 29.8 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Tuhoko rubulavirus 3

News item

Takeaways
The microbiome by itself is an amazingly complicated community of many different species, with different lifestyles and metabolisms, all living together in competition and cooperation. On top of that, interactions between the microbiome and our body and our lifestyle multiply the complexity even more.

This article explores five different views of the microbiome and how it fits into our body (or how the body fits in with the microbiome). From the organ view to the ecosystem view, each is a different way of looking at the different functions, dynamic patterns, and integration of the microbiome in its host, and each provides guidance for how to approach treatment of disease and maintenance of health.

Journal Paper:
Morar N, Bohannan BJM. 2019. The Conceptual Ecology of the Human Microbiome. The Quarterly Review of Biology 94:149–175.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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10. 394: Skinny Cell Structure Supports
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Description:

This episode: Not as simple as it sounds—how rod-shaped bacteria maintain their shape!

Thanks to Dr. Ethan Garner for his contribution!

Download Episode (6.3 MB, 9.2 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Erwinia virus M7

News item

Takeaways
Microbes seem like they should be a lot simpler than large multicellular organisms, but even what seems like it should be a simple system in microbes can be surprisingly complex. In this case, the system bacteria maintaining their particular cell shape.

Spherical cells have it easier: just add more cell material at every point. But for rods, they must make the cell longer without making it wider. How do they accomplish this? Two groups of proteins work together to help rod-shaped species grow, but how they work wasn't specifically known.

In this study, it was found that one group of proteins adds more cell material as it moves around the circumference, while the other adds structure to the cell that allows it to maintain shape. The more of these structural proteins present, the thinner the cell can stay.

Journal Paper:
Dion MF, Kapoor M, Sun Y, Wilson S, Ryan J, Vigouroux A, van Teeffelen S, Oldenbourg R, Garner EC. 2019. Bacillus subtilis cell diameter is determined by the opposing actions of two distinct cell wall synthetic systems. Nat Microbiol 4:1294–1305.

Other interesting stories:



11. 393: Prokaryote Partner Prevents Pathogen Potency
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Description:

This episode: Bacterial symbionts of amoebas help them survive bacterial infection, and prevent pathogens from spreading to others as much!

Download Episode (7.5 MB, 8.1 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Eubacterium dolichum

News item

Takeaways
Amoebas are free-living, single-celled organisms, but they have some things in common with some cells of our immune system (macrophages). For example, certain bacterial pathogens can infect both in similar ways. So it can be useful to study the interactions of amoebas and bacteria to learn about our own immune defenses.

In this study, the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii has another bacterial symbiont that helps it resist killing by the bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila. Once the amoebas recovered from the infection, they were more resistant to future challenges. Even better, the symbiont prevented the pathogen from transforming into a more spreadable form like it does when infecting amoebas alone.

Journal Paper:
König L, Wentrup C, Schulz F, Wascher F, Escola S, Swanson MS, Buchrieser C, Horn M. 2019. Symbiont-Mediated Defense against Legionella pneumophila in Amoebae. mBio 10:e00333-19.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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12. 392: Magnetic Microbes Maneuver Marine Manager
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Description:

This episode: A marine protist can orient itself along magnetic fields thanks to bacterial symbionts on its surface that make magnetic nanoparticles!

Download Episode (7.2 MB, 7.9 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Chlorocebus pygerythrus polyomavirus 3

Takeaways
Various kinds of bacteria can orient their movement along a magnetic field. These are called magnetotactic, and they use this ability to swim toward or away from the surface of their aquatic habitat, to adjust their oxygen exposure according to their preference.

No eukaryotic microbes have yet been discovered that can sense and react to magnetic fields like these prokaryotes. In this study, however, a protist was discovered that can do it via its partnership with ectosymbionts, or bacteria attached to its surface, that sense magnetism and orient their host's movement. In return, factors of the host's metabolism may feed its symbionts.

Journal Paper:
Monteil CL, Vallenet D, Menguy N, Benzerara K, Barbe V, Fouteau S, Cruaud C, Floriani M, Viollier E, Adryanczyk G, Leonhardt N, Faivre D, Pignol D, López-García P, Weld RJ, Lefevre CT. 2019. Ectosymbiotic bacteria at the origin of magnetoreception in a marine protist. Nat Microbiol 4:1088–1095.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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13. 391: Slime Stores Sodium Sensibility
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Description:

This episode: Slime molds can learn to get used to salt and hold on to that memory even after a period of dormancy!

Download Episode (8.9 MB, 9.7 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Nocardia transvalensis

News item

Takeaways
Slime mold Physarum polycephalum has many surprisingly intelligent abilities, despite being only a single cell. Studying how these abilities work in the cell can teach us new ways that life can do things. The ability of interest here is habituation, or learning not to avoid a chemical that seems unpleasant to the cell but is not necessarily harmful, especially with a food reward.

The slime mold can become habituated to salt, in this case, learning to tolerate it enough to pass through a gradient of increasing concentration to get to some food as quickly as it crosses the same distance with no salt present. The scientists here learned that the cell takes up sodium into itself as it habituates, and holds onto both sodium and its memory through a period of hibernation.

Journal Paper:
Boussard A., Delescluse J., Pérez-Escudero A., Dussutour A. 2019. Memory inception and preservation in slime moulds: the quest for a common mechanism. Phil Trans R Soc B 374:20180368.

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, RSS, Google Play. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook



14. 390: Friendly Phages Find Foes
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Description:

This episode: Bacteria carry deadly phages and use them against rival strains!

Download Episode (9.4 MB, 10.2 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Bifidobacterium bifidum

News item

Takeaways
Bacteria such as Escherichia coli live in environments such as the gut with many other types of microbes, and often develop communities of microbes cooperating and/or competing with each other for resources. But in order to cooperate or compete, bacteria must first be able to identify and discriminate between themselves and others. Sometimes microbes do this by exchanging membrane molecules, or secreting chemical signals that only partners can detect, or transferring plasmids or producing antimicrobial compounds that kill competitors.

In the current study, scientists discovered a strain of E. coli that carries around phages that help them distinguish other strains and compete with them. When this strain encounters another, the phages it carries attack and destroy cells of the other strain, while leaving the carrier strain mostly unharmed. This strategy is not without cost, though; the viral proteins take resources to produce, and when there's no competing strains around, the virus can attack its carrier to some extent.

Journal Paper:
Song S, Guo Y, Kim J-S, Wang X, Wood TK. 2019. Phages Mediate Bacterial Self-Recognition. Cell Reports 27:737-749.e4.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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15. 389: Prokaryotes Pacify Protein Problem
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Description:

This episode: Engineered bacteria could help people digest an essential nutrient when they can't digest it themselves!

Download Episode (8.5 MB, 9.3 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Kadipiro virus

News item (paywall)

Science-Based Medicine blog article about phenylketonuria, Synlogic, and engineering bacteria to treat this disorder, with lots of good detail

Takeaways
Treating genetic disorders can be very difficult. Sometimes they can be managed, with lifestyle, diet, or medication, but cure has almost always been out of the picture. With a disorder such as phenylketonuria (PKU), for example, in which the body is unable to fully metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine, diet and medication may work to some extent.

In an effort to provide better options for PKU, scientists at Synlogic, Inc have created a strain of Escherichia coli that produces phenylalanine-degrading enzymes in the gut. The hope is that ingesting this bacterium could allow PKU patients to be less restrictive with their diet.

Journal Paper:
Isabella VM, Ha BN, Castillo MJ, Lubkowicz DJ, Rowe SE, Millet YA, Anderson CL, Li N, Fisher AB, West KA, Reeder PJ, Momin MM, Bergeron CG, Guilmain SE, Miller PF, Kurtz CB, Falb D. 2018. Development of a synthetic live bacterial therapeutic for the human metabolic disease phenylketonuria. Nat Biotechnol 36:857–864.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, RSS, Google Play. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook



16. 388: Floor Fungi Fracture Phthalates
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Description:

This episode: Microbes in household dust help degrade potentially harmful plasticizer chemicals!

Thanks to Ashleigh Bope for her contribution!

Download Episode (6.7 MB, 7.3 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Rosa rugosa leaf distortion virus

News item

Takeaways
Modern life and technology comes with modern challenges, including exposure to chemicals in building materials and such that humans didn't encounter much before the last few generations. Phthalate esters, found in PVC and other materials, can accumulate in homes and cause some problems, especially in children.

Modern life is also new to microbes, but they are very adaptable and versatile. In this study, microbes in household dust show some ability to break down the phthalates over time. Whether this activity is significant and beneficial to residents remains to be discovered.

Journal Paper:
Bope A, Haines SR, Hegarty B, Weschler CJ, Peccia J, Dannemiller KC. Degradation of phthalate esters in floor dust at elevated relative humidity. Environ Sci: Processes Impacts.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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17. 387: Carbonate Creators Combat Cracking
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Description:

This episode: Bacteria strengthen concrete while helping to prevent damage from road salts!

Download Episode (6.8 MB, 7.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Azospirillum brasilense

News item

Takeaways
Winter is a bad time for concrete outside. Water seeps into cracks and freezes, causing bigger cracks that widen into potholes. Even the road salts used to keep water from freezing can react with compounds in the cement to break down the structure of the concrete.

This study looks to bacteria for a solution for protecting concrete from these reactions. Sporosarcina pasteurii, given the right nutrients, can take the harmful salt compounds and turn them into minerals that strengthen the concrete instead of weakening it.

Journal Paper:
Ksara M, Newkirk R, Langroodi SK, Althoey F, Sales CM, Schauer CL, Farnam Y. 2019. Microbial damage mitigation strategy in cementitious materials exposed to calcium chloride. Construction and Building Materials 195:1–9.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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18. 386: Cupola Contaminant Cleaners
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Description:

This episode: Bacteria help gently clean residue off artworks painted on stone!

Download Episode (5.6 MB, 6.1 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Cellulophaga virus Cba171

Takeaways
More and more cleaning products these days contain an ingredient called "enzymes." These are proteins that break down contaminants biologically instead of just removing them chemically, in a targeted manner.

In a similar approach, this study explores applying bacteria directly to classic artwork painted directly on stone, to clean up residues on the surface. These bacteria can produce enzymes on site and degrade the contaminants while leaving the underlying paint intact.

Journal Paper:
Ranalli G, Zanardini E, Rampazzi L, Corti C, Andreotti A, Colombini MP, Bosch‐Roig P, Lustrato G, Giantomassi C, Zari D, Virilli P. 2019. Onsite advanced biocleaning system on historical wall paintings using new agar-gauze bacteria gel. J Appl Microbiol 126:1785–1796.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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19. 385: Prokaryotes Protect Paper
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Description:

This episode: Bacteria produce antifungal compounds that can protect paper from fungal deterioration!

Download Episode (6.8 MB, 7.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Acetobacter aceti

Takeaways
Paper is a very useful information storage medium, but it is also somewhat delicious for microbes that can break it down as food, degrade the quality, and cause indelible stains and discoloration under the right conditions. Preventing this usually requires careful control, such as keeping humidity low, for storing paper for long periods.

In this study, scientists tested the ability of the bacterium Lysobacter enzymogenes to protect paper via the antifungal compounds it produces. This first required filtering out the pigments that the bacteria produced, to prevent them from discoloring the paper. Once a method for this filtering was in place, they found the bacterial culture supernatant could significantly reduce fungal growth on various kinds of paper, and protect the paper from staining and degradation.

Journal Paper:
Chen Z, Zou J, Chen B, Du L, Wang M. 2019. Protecting books from mold damage by decreasing paper bioreceptivity to fungal attack using de-coloured cell-free supernatant of Lysobacter enzymogenes C3. J Appl Microbiol 126:1772–1784.

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, RSS, Google Play. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook



20. 384: Moss Materials Modify Microbiota
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Description:

This episode: Contact with soil materials and moss causes significant, though short-term, changes in the skin microbiota!

Thanks to Dr. Mira Grönroos for her contribution!

Download Episode (7.1 MB, 7.75 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Leonurus mosaic virus

Takeaways
Exposure to microbes throughout life is thought to help calibrate the immune system to some extent, reducing the risk of allergies and asthma without losing defense against pathogens. In this study, rubbing soil or packets of moss on the skin changed the composition of the skin microbiota temporarily, so this may be a way to help with this important type of exposure, but it is not yet known how to achieve optimal long-term effects.

Journal Paper:
Grönroos M, Parajuli A, Laitinen OH, Roslund MI, Vari HK, Hyöty H, Puhakka R, Sinkkonen A. 2019. Short-term direct contact with soil and plant materials leads to an immediate increase in diversity of skin microbiota. MicrobiologyOpen 8:e00645.

Other interesting stories:

 

Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!

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21. 383: Communities Carry Communicable Communities
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Description:

I'm back! This episode: Looking at how people in different villages share microbes!

Download Episode (6.5 MB, 7.0 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Cristispira pectinis

Takeaways
Our microbiota, the communities of microbes living in and on our bodies, are incredibly diverse and varied. Each person's is different, and they can change drastically over time with changes in location, diet, lifestyle, and other factors.

Learning how our microbiota forms and changes and functions is important, because it can affect many aspects of health. In this study, villagers in the islands of Fiji share microbes with others in the same and other villages, but not always in patterns that might be expected.

Journal Paper:
Brito IL, Gurry T, Zhao S, Huang K, Young SK, Shea TP, Naisilisili W, Jenkins AP, Jupiter SD, Gevers D, Alm EJ. Transmission of human-associated microbiota along family and social networks. Nat Microbiol.

Other interesting stories:

 

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22. 382: Small Scavengers Suck Sizable Cells
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Description:

This episode: Fungus-hunting amoebas have different strategies for detecting and preying on single-celled and filamentous fungi!

Also, a personal note: I'm going to be taking a few weeks off the podcast to be able to take full advantage of spring, but I'll be back as soon as the weather gets too hot.

Download Episode (7.5 MB, 8.2 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Chondromyces catenulatus

Takeaways
Amoebas in the microbial world are like powerful predators, going around gobbling up whatever they find that's small enough, by a process called phagocytosis, in which they surround their prey with their cell membrane and engulf it. It's similar to macrophages or white blood cells as part of our immune system in our bodies.

The prey of amoebas includes bacteria, large viruses, and single-celled fungi called yeasts. In this study, scientists showed that some yeasts make great food sources for a certain kind of amoeba called Protostelium aurantium, while others either lack nutritional value or hide from the predators by covering up certain recognition molecules on their cell wall.

They found that the amoebas could also consume the spores of filamentous fungi, and could even attack the filaments, or hyphae. In this latter case, instead of engulfing the large filaments, they pierced the cells and extracted their contents, an approach named ruphocytosis, from the Greek for suck or slurp.

Journal Paper:
Radosa S, Ferling I, Sprague JL, Westermann M, Hillmann F. The different morphologies of yeast and filamentous fungi trigger distinct killing and feeding mechanisms in a fungivorous amoeba. Environ Microbiol.

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23. 381: Chlorophyll Can Convey Cancer Characteristics
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Description:

This episode: Pigmented bacteria can be used in a cancer imaging technique that combines light and sound!

Download Episode (8.9 MB, 9.75 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Streptomyces bellus

Takeaways
Because "cancer" is a general term that describes many different forms of disease affecting different cells in different parts of the body, effective cancer treatment relies on understanding the location and physiology of the cancer in a given patient. New imaging technologies for diagnosis and analysis of cancer and for cancer research can be very valuable, especially if they don't require big investments of money and space.

One promising imaging technology is called multispectral optoacoustic imaging, or MSOT. This uses pulses of light to create vibrations as pigments in tissues absorb the light and undergo thermal expansion; these vibrations are then detected by ultrasound technology. This approach allows good resolution and depth of imaging without large equipment like MRI machines, but the best results require adding pigments into the body.

In this study, scientists showed that the photosynthetic pigments of purple non-sulfur bacteria can be useful in this optoacoustic imaging, providing a somewhat long-term, nontoxic approach. It proved especially interesting when they discovered that the wavelength spectrum changing over time was an indication of macrophage activity in the tumors.

Journal Paper:
Peters L, Weidenfeld I, Klemm U, Loeschcke A, Weihmann R, Jaeger K-E, Drepper T, Ntziachristos V, Stiel AC. 2019. Phototrophic purple bacteria as optoacoustic in vivo reporters of macrophage activity. Nat Commun 10:1191.

Other interesting stories:

 

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24. 380: Plant Promoter Produces Polymer
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Description:

This episode: A microbe that boosts plant growth needs to make storage polymers for both itself and the plant's sake!

Download Episode (7.1 MB, 7.75 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Suid gammaherpesvirus 3

Takeaways
Bacteria that promote plant growth are fascinating and not too hard to find. Plants and microbes make good partners by each contributing something the other needs. Plants make sugars via photosynthesis that microbes can use as food, and microbes can gather nutrients that plants can't make, can drive off pathogens, and can contribute to plant growth in other ways.

However, plants aren't making sugars all the time, because the sun goes down every day. So what do partner microbes do at these times? In this study, a beneficial microbe Herbaspirillum seropedicae was found to produce a storage compound called polyhydroxyalkanoate, or PHA, that it could use to store food for times of scarcity. Mutants of this microbe that could not make the storage compound weren't very beneficial for their plant partners.

Journal Paper:
Alves LPS, Amaral FP do, Kim D, Bom MT, Gavídia MP, Teixeira CS, Holthman F, Pedrosa F de O, Souza EM de, Chubatsu LS, Müller-Santos M, Stacey G. 2019. Importance of Poly-3-Hydroxybutyrate Metabolism to the Ability of Herbaspirillum seropedicae To Promote Plant Growth. Appl Environ Microbiol 85:e02586-18.

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25. 379: Photons Facilitate Faster Flourishing
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Description:

This episode: Light increases the growth even of some bacteria that don't harvest its energy!

Download Episode (9.0 MB, 9.75 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Methylococcus thermophilus

News item

Takeaways
Light from the sun is one of the fundamental sources of energy for life on this planet. Plants and other phototrophs—photosynthetic organisms that get their energy mainly from light—form the foundation of the food web, and organisms that feed on them or that feed on organisms that feed on them are all dependent on the ability to capture the sun's rays.

There are other ways to benefit directly from the sun's energy, besides photosynthesis—some microbes have enzymes that use light energy to repair damage to DNA (the same damage that is caused by ultraviolet light), and we use sunlight to synthesize vitamin D.

In this study, however, microbes are discovered to grow faster in the presence of light despite not being phototrophs or producing any light-harvesting proteins. The scientists discover some possible light-sensing proteins, though, that could regulate these microbes' behavior, allowing them to synchronize their growth cycles to phototroph partners in aquatic environments.


Journal Paper:
Maresca JA, Keffer JL, Hempel P, Polson SW, Shevchenko O, Bhavsar J, Powell D, Miller KJ, Singh A, Hahn MW. Light modulates the physiology of non-phototrophic Actinobacteria. J Bacteriol JB.00740-18.

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26. 378: Medusa Makes Marble Microbes
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Description:

This episode: Newly discovered giant virus from a hot spring turns its amoeba hosts to stone!

Download Episode (6.7 MB, 7.3 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Listeria virus P70

News item

Takeaways
Viruses come in endless different shapes, sizes, and genetic configurations. Even within the group called giant viruses there is a large amount of variety. Many of their genes are unknown, without homology to any other sequences we have acquired in other areas of life. There is great potential to learn interesting things from these viruses.

In this study, a new giant virus is discovered. Like many others, this infects amoebas, and causes them to transform from dynamic, shape-shifting cells into hard little cyst-like circles. This ability gave it the name Medusavirus. It's the first giant virus found in a relatively hot environment (a hot spring), and among other interesting features, it shows signs of multiple instances of gene transfer to and from its amoeba host.

Journal Paper:
Yoshikawa G, Blanc-Mathieu R, Song C, Kayama Y, Mochizuki T, Murata K, Ogata H, Takemura M. 2019. Medusavirus, a novel large DNA virus discovered from hot spring water. J Virol JVI.02130-18.

Other interesting stories:

 

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27. 377: Distributed Defense-Defeating Devices
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Description:

This episode: Newly discovered CRISPR-inhibiting genes are found in many different bacterial groups!

Download Episode (8.0 MB, 8.8 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Borrelia mazzottii

News item

Takeaways
The discovery of the microbial immune system, CRISPR-Cas, changed many things about the way we think of microbial ecology and interactions with microbe-infecting viruses. The CRISPR-Cas system can learn to detect new threats by capturing bits of their genetic sequences and using these to target the Cas proteins to chop up any such sequences that make it into the cytoplasm. This can greatly increase microbial survival in certain ecosystems in which viruses regularly kill a large percentage of the microbial population.

To overcome this defense, a virus has to adapt, either by acquiring mutations that change its sequence, thus escaping detection, or by acquiring anti-CRISPR proteins that shut down the microbial defense directly. These possibilities make the complex ecology even more interesting.

In this study, scientists develop a clever method for screening for new anti-CRISPR genes, and go searching for them in samples from various places (soil, animal guts, human gut). They find several new examples, which turn out to be found in many different kinds of species in many different environments.

Journal Paper:
Uribe RV, Helm E van der, Misiakou M-A, Lee S-W, Kol S, Sommer MOA. 2019. Discovery and Characterization of Cas9 Inhibitors Disseminated across Seven Bacterial Phyla. Cell Host & Microbe 25:233-241.e5.

Other interesting stories:

 

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28. 376: Pressurized Pollutant Pulls Products
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Description:

This episode: Supercritical carbon dioxide and bacteria that can grow in it make a great combination for biofuel production!

Download Episode (9.4 MB, 10.2 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Flexibacter aggregans

Takeaways
Biofuels are an important part of humanity's move away from non-renewable resources. They have a higher energy density than batteries are yet able to achieve, giving them significant advantages for transportation purposes in which tapping into an electric grid isn't possible. Depending on the biofuel, they also have the advantage of existing infrastructure: we don't need to build a whole new system of charging or refueling stations, but can use the systems already in place.

However, biofuels as a collection of technologies still need some refinements. Yields for the more potentially sustainable approaches are low, and the lower the concentration of a soluble fuel, the more difficult it is to separate it from the non-fuel components of a fermentation. Microbial products also face the risk of contamination of a fermentation by unwanted organisms that use up the substrate without producing desirable products.

In this study, supercritical carbon dioxide is considered as a fix for both of these problems. The gas is pressurized to a point at which it is indistinguishable from liquid. A strain of Bacillus megaterium is specially selected as capable of growing and fermenting in this environment, while contaminants are inhibited. The solvent potential of supercritical carbon dioxide also serves as a way to extract the biofuel product—in this case, isobutanol—from the aqueous part of the culture medium. While it needs some development, this approach yields promising results.

Journal Paper:
Boock JT, Freedman AJE, Tompsett GA, Muse SK, Allen AJ, Jackson LA, Castro-Dominguez B, Timko MT, Prather KLJ, Thompson JR. 2019. Engineered microbial biofuel production and recovery under supercritical carbon dioxide. Nat Commun 10:587.

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29. 375: Prepared Pathogen Preserves Perception
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Description:

This episode: A cancer-killing virus could help increase success of treatment of a form of eye cancer in children!

Download Episode (8.0 MB, 8.7 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus

News item

Takeaways
Cancer obviously is a serious concern, and can be tricky to treat because there are endless varieties in all different places in the body, each of which can have its own expected progression, aggressiveness, and methods of treatment to take into account.

Even more serious is when the cancer is in very young children, as is often the case with a cancer of the eye called retinoblastoma. There are about 8000 cases of this disease per year, and when treatment is unsuccessful, it can lead to the loss of one or both eyes.

In this study, investigators looked into using a cancer-targeting, oncolytic virus to complement the normal treatment of chemotherapy. The virus for the most part remained localized to the eye where it should be, and targeted the cancer instead of healthy cells, and so seems promising. In the small trial with two patients included in this study, the virus didn't cause a complete recovery, but showed some modest promising results.

Journal Paper:
Pascual-Pasto G, Bazan-Peregrino M, Olaciregui NG, Restrepo-Perdomo CA, Mato-Berciano A, Ottaviani D, Weber K, Correa G, Paco S, Vila-Ubach M, Cuadrado-Vilanova M, Castillo-Ecija H, Botteri G, Garcia-Gerique L, Moreno-Gilabert H, Gimenez-Alejandre M, Alonso-Lopez P, Farrera-Sal M, Torres-Manjon S, Ramos-Lozano D, Moreno R, Aerts I, Doz F, Cassoux N, Chapeaublanc E, Torrebadell M, Roldan M, König A, Suñol M, Claverol J, Lavarino C, De TC, Fu L, Radvanyi F, Munier FL, Catalá-Mora J, Mora J, Alemany R, Cascalló M, Chantada GL, Carcaboso AM. 2019. Therapeutic targeting of the RB1 pathway in retinoblastoma with the oncolytic adenovirus VCN-01. Sci Transl Med 11:eaat9321.

Other interesting stories:

Exploring how microbes can influence the flavor of coffee

 

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30. 374: Microbes Muzzle Malicious Metal
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Description:

This episode: Mouse gut microbes, from mice or from human donors, can protect mice against arsenic toxicity!

Download Episode (6.3 MB, 6.9 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Streptomyces griseus

News item

Takeaways
Our gut microbes benefit us in many ways, including nutritionally—by producing vitamins and helping to digest food—and by helping us in defense against pathogens and other immunological threats.

Many things we do can affect our gut microbes too, positively or negatively. What we eat, toxins we encounter, and other aspects of lifestyle can damage our microbial communities.

In this study, we see that the reverse could be true, that gut microbes, and specifically one called Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, can protect their host against toxins such as arsenic.

Journal Paper:
Coryell M, McAlpine M, Pinkham NV, McDermott TR, Walk ST. 2018. The gut microbiome is required for full protection against acute arsenic toxicity in mouse models. Nat Commun 9:5424.

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31. 373: Plant Pilots Prevent Parching
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Description:

This episode: Beneficial fungi found inside wild grain plants help wheat plants grow better with less water!

Download Episode (7.1 MB, 7.75 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Beijerinckia indica

Takeaways
As we have microbial communities in our guts, on our skin, and in various other places in and on our bodies, plants also have beneficial microbial symbionts around their roots, on their leaf surfaces, and even inside their tissues. These microbes can be bacteria, fungi, or other, and can help plants gather nutrients, resist diseases or pests, and other things.

In this study, some fungi living in grain plants—called endophytes, or "inside plants"—can help wheat tolerate drought and grow better with less water. Studying this system could lead to breakthroughs in wheat farming, all thanks to microbes.

Journal Paper:
Llorens E, Sharon O, Camañes G, García‐Agustín P, Sharon A. Endophytes from wild cereals protect wheat plants from drought by alteration of physiological responses of the plants to water stress. Environ Microbiol.

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32. 372: Roundworm Riders Repel Raiders
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Description:

This episode: Bacteria that help nematodes prey on insects also help keep fungi from stealing their kills!

Download Episode (7.4 MB, 8.1 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Artogeia rapae granulovirus

Takeaways
Soil is an incredibly complex ecosystem, with many different interactions constantly happening between plants, insects, bacteria, fungi, and other organisms, not to mention a large variety of shifting environmental conditions. All of these are competing with some and cooperating with others to try to survive and thrive the best they can.

One interesting interaction takes place between small roundworms in the soil, called nematodes, and bacteria they carry around that cause disease in insects. These nematodes prey on insects by injecting the bacteria into them, which kill and start digesting the insects. The nematodes then feed on the insects and the bacteria until the resources have been exhausted, and then move on to the next insect, taking some bacteria with them again.

In this study, the scientists wondered how these partners deal with competitors in the soil that might want to take advantage of their resources. They discover that the bacteria produce compounds that can repel and inhibit fungi that might otherwise steal their kills.

Journal Paper:
Shan S, Wang W, Song C, Wang M, Sun B, Li Y, Fu Y, Gu X, Ruan W, Rasmann S. The symbiotic bacteria Alcaligenes faecalis of the entomopathogenic nematodes Oscheius spp. exhibit potential biocontrol of plant- and entomopathogenic fungi. Microb Biotechnol.

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33. 371: Cell Stalker Senses Signals
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Description:

This episode: Phages eavesdrop on bacterial communications to attack at the perfect moment!

Thanks to Justin Silpe and Dr. Bonnie Bassler for their contributions!

Download Episode (11.1 MB, 12.2 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Artichoke Aegean ringspot virus

News item

Takeaways
Even organisms as small as bacteria can, and often do, communicate with each other through a process called quorum sensing, in which each cell releases a small amount of a certain chemical into their surroundings. When the population is large enough that the concentration of this chemical builds up to a certain level, the cells in the population change their behavior. The specifics of this change depend on the species and the situation.

But since this chemical signal is released into the environment, anything around that can sense it can listen in on the communications of a bacterial population. In this study, Justin Silpe and Dr. Bonnie Bassler find a type of virus that uses such a chemical communication as a signal to come out of stasis and hijack a whole population of bacteria at once!

Journal Paper:
Silpe JE, Bassler BL. 2019. A Host-Produced Quorum-Sensing Autoinducer Controls a Phage Lysis-Lysogeny Decision. Cell 176:268-280.E13.

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34. 370: Magnets Make Messenger More Moveable
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Description:

This episode: Enhancing a virus with magnetic nanoparticles and CRISPR-Cas gene editing abilities makes it a good vector for genetic therapies!

Download Episode (11.2 MB, 12.25 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Staphylococcus virus S253

News item

Takeaways
Gene delivery, getting genetic content for gene therapy to the correct tissues in an organism, has long been a very tricky problem. And genetic modification, making specific changes at a specific place in a genome, is also difficult.

Viruses can help with both delivery and modification, but they're often not specific and targeted enough to be effective, or even safe. Off-target effects could be harmful or even deadly, potentially resulting in cancer.

In this study, a virus is modified with nanotechnology in the form of tiny magnets to allow humans to target it to specific tissues, and given the ability to modify specific genes using the bacterial CRISPR-Cas system. These modifications potentially make this gene delivery system much more safe and effective.

Journal Paper:
Zhu H, Zhang L, Tong S, Lee CM, Deshmukh H, Bao G. 2018. Spatial control of in vivo CRISPR–Cas9 genome editing via nanomagnets. Nat Biomed Eng.

Other interesting stories:

 

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35. 369: Powering Purple Prokaryote Protonation
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Description:

This episode: Purple phototrophic bacteria could use certain kinds of wastewater, along with electric current, to produce valuable products like hydrogen without much waste!

Thanks to Dr. Ioanna Vasiliadou for her contribution!

Download Episode (12.7 MB, 13.9 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Streptomyces tendae

News item

Takeaways
Purple phototrophic bacteria can take light energy and use it to help power their metabolism. They're not dependent on it like plants, but can use light or other energy sources for their versatile metabolism.

This versatility makes them very interesting candidates for industrial biotechnology applications. These bacteria can take in various combinations of nutrients and produce a number of different valuable products, including protein-rich feed, bioplastics, and biofuels such as hydrogen gas.

Today's study shows they can also take up electrons directly to help make their biofuel production process even more environmentally sustainable.

Journal Paper:
Vasiliadou IA, Berná A, Manchon C, Melero JA, Martinez F, Esteve-Nuñez A, Puyol D. 2018. Biological and Bioelectrochemical Systems for Hydrogen Production and Carbon Fixation Using Purple Phototrophic Bacteria. Front Energy Res 6:107.

Other interesting stories:

 

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36. 368: Prokaryotes Promote Passing Parent Peculiarities
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Description:

This episode: Fruit fly gut microbes can mediate non-genetic traits passed from parents to offspring!

Thanks to Dr. Per Stenberg for his contribution!

Download Episode (10.0 MB, 10.9 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Bifidobacterium breve

News item

Takeaways
Heritability of traits is essential for evolution; if an ability can't be passed on from generation to generation, then natural selection can't act on it on a population-wide level.

An organism's genome is the source of most heritable traits, as DNA gets passed on to offspring, but a number of other ways of passing on traits have been discovered, in the field of epigenetics.

In this study, the gut microbes from fruit flies raised in one temperature could affect the gene expression of their offspring raised in a different temperature, compared to flies that had been kept at the latter temperature over both generations. While the effects on fly fitness or behavior are not yet known, these results suggest that gut microbes, transmitted from parents to offspring, could be another mechanism of heritability.

Journal Paper:
Zare A, Johansson A-M, Karlsson E, Delhomme N, Stenberg P. 2018. The gut microbiome participates in transgenerational inheritance of low-temperature responses in Drosophila melanogaster. FEBS Lett 592:4078–4086.

Other interesting stories:

 

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37. BacterioFiles 367 - Migrating Modifies Microbiota
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Description:

This episode: Women who immigrated to the US from southeast Asia lost much of their gut microbiota diversity, resulting in a microbe community similar to the typical American!

Download Episode (9.3 MB, 10.2 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Pseudomonas anguilliseptica

News item

Journal Paper:
Vangay P, Johnson AJ, Ward TL, Al-Ghalith GA, Shields-Cutler RR, Hillmann BM, Lucas SK, Beura LK, Thompson EA, Till LM, Batres R, Paw B, Pergament SL, Saenyakul P, Xiong M, Kim AD, Kim G, Masopust D, Martens EC, Angkurawaranon C, McGready R, Kashyap PC, Culhane-Pera KA, Knights D. 2018. US Immigration Westernizes the Human Gut Microbiome. Cell 175:962-972.e10.

Other interesting stories:

 

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38. BacterioFiles 366 - Globules Get Garbage Gone
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Description:

This episode: Bacteria rid themselves of burdensome waste by ejecting it inside little pieces of their own cell, called minicells!

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Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Cacao yellow mosaic virus

News item

Journal Papers:
Rang CU, Proenca A, Buetz C, Shi C, Chao L. 2018. Minicells as a Damage Disposal Mechanism in Escherichia coli. mSphere 3:e00428-18.

Other interesting stories:

 

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39. BacterioFiles 365 - Saccharomycopsis Cells Slay Sickeners
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Description:

This episode: Dr. Klara Junker joins me to discuss her work on the predatory yeast Saccharomycopsis schoenii that can kill the serious pathogenic yeast Candida auris!

Download Episode (11.0 MB, 12.0 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Lambdapapillomavirus 5

Movies of Saccharomycopsis attacking other yeasts

Journal Papers:
Junker K, Bravo Ruiz G, Lorenz A, Walker L, Gow NAR, Wendland J. 2018. The mycoparasitic yeast Saccharomycopsis schoenii predates and kills multi-drug resistant Candida auris. Sci Rep 8:14959.

Other interesting stories:

 

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40. BacterioFiles 364 - Polyproteins Promote Producing Pabulum
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Description:

This episode: Engineering other organisms to fix nitrogen by combining the required enzyme components into giant proteins that then get cut into the regular-sized subunit components!

Download Episode (10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Blastochloris sulfoviridis

Journal commentary (paywall)

Journal Papers:
Yang J, Xie X, Xiang N, Tian Z-X, Dixon R, Wang Y-P. 2018. Polyprotein strategy for stoichiometric assembly of nitrogen fixation components for synthetic biology. Proc Natl Acad Sci 115:E8509–E8517.

Other interesting stories:

 

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41. BacterioFiles 363 - Tiny Treasure Tunnels
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Description:

This episode: Intricate networks of tunnels in garnet gemstones seem to have come from tunneling microorganisms!

Thanks to Magnus Ivarsson for his contribution!

Download Episode (5.4 MB, 5.9 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Streptomyces griseosporeus

News item

Journal Papers:
Ivarsson M, Skogby H, Phichaikamjornwut B, Bengtson S, Siljeström S, Ounchanum P, Boonsoong A, Kruachanta M, Marone F, Belivanova V, Holmström S. 2018. Intricate tunnels in garnets from soils and river sediments in Thailand – Possible endolithic microborings. PLOS ONE 13:e0200351.

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42. BacterioFiles 362 - Combining Chromosomes
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 12.47Mb)

Description:

This episode: Combining all 16 of yeast's chromosomes into one or two only impairs their growth slightly in the lab, but it prevents them from successful mating with wild yeasts!

Download Episode (12.4 MB, 13.6 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Vibrio succinogenes

News item 1/News item 2

Journal Papers:
Luo J, Sun X, Cormack BP, Boeke JD. 2018. Karyotype engineering by chromosome fusion leads to reproductive isolation in yeast. Nature 560:392–396.
Shao Y, Lu N, Wu Z, Cai C, Wang S, Zhang L-L, Zhou F, Xiao S, Liu L, Zeng X, Zheng H, Yang C, Zhao Z, Zhao G, Zhou J-Q, Xue X, Qin Z. 2018. Creating a functional single-chromosome yeast. Nature 560:331–335.

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43. BacterioFiles 361 - Figuring Fungus's Forcing Fly Functions
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 12.17Mb)

Description:

This episode: Bringing a fungus that makes zombie flies into the lab makes a good model for studying microbial mind-control!

Thanks to Dr. Carolyn Elya for her contribution!

Download Episode (12.1 MB, 13.25 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Dipteran brevidensovirus 2

News item

Videos of fly fungus infection progression

Journal Papers:
Elya C, Lok TC, Spencer QE, McCausland H, Martinez CC, Eisen M. 2018. Robust manipulation of the behavior of Drosophila melanogaster by a fungal pathogen in the laboratory. eLife 7:e34414.

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44. BacterioFiles 360 - Fellow Phages Fight Fortifications
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 9.64Mb)

Description:

This episode: Bacteriophages with defenses against bacterial CRISPR defenses have to work together to succeed!

Thanks to Drs. Edze Westra and Stineke van Houte for their contributions, and to Calvin Cornell for suggesting this story!

Download Episode (9.6 MB, 10.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Lactobacillus casei subsp. alactosus

News item 1/News item 2

Journal Papers:
Borges AL, Zhang JY, Rollins MF, Osuna BA, Wiedenheft B, Bondy-Denomy J. 2018. Bacteriophage Cooperation Suppresses CRISPR-Cas3 and Cas9 Immunity. Cell 174:917-925.e10.

Landsberger M, Gandon S, Meaden S, Rollie C, Chevallereau A, Chabas H, Buckling A, Westra ER, Houte S van. 2018. Anti-CRISPR Phages Cooperate to Overcome CRISPR-Cas Immunity. Cell 174:908-916.e12.

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45. BacterioFiles 359 - Prokaryotes Provoke Perpendicular Punishment
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 7.87Mb)

Description:

This episode: Some bacteria produce DNA-targeting toxins, which provokes a similar retaliation from other strains. Sometimes this hurts the provoker, but sometimes it is very helpful to them!

Thanks to Dr. Despoina Mavridou for her contribution!

Download Episode (7.9 MB, 8.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Mycobacterium virus Athena

News item

Journal Paper:
Gonzalez D, Sabnis A, Foster KR, Mavridou DAI. 2018. Costs and benefits of provocation in bacterial warfare. Proc Natl Acad Sci 115:7593–7598.

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46. BacterioFiles 358 - elegans Endures Edifying Enterococcus
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 7.47Mb)

Description:

This episode: Roundworms and not-too-irritating bacteria quickly evolve a beneficial relationship when under threat from other bacterial pathogens!

Download Episode (7.5 MB, 8.1 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Siegesbeckia yellow vein betasatellite

News item

Journal Paper:
Rafaluk‐Mohr C, Ashby B, Dahan DA, King KC. 2018. Mutual fitness benefits arise during coevolution in a nematode-defensive microbe model. Evol Lett 2:246–256.

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47. BacterioFiles 357 - Colossal Contagion Codes Catabolism
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 14.00Mb)

Description:

This episode: A new giant virus infecting marine algae brings its own genes related to fermentation, generating energy in the absence of oxygen!

Thanks to Drs. Chris Schvarcz and Grieg Steward for their contributions!

Download Episode (14 MB, 15.25 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Borrelia anserina

News item

Journal Paper:
Schvarcz CR, Steward GF. 2018. A giant virus infecting green algae encodes key fermentation genes. Virology 518:423–433.

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48. BacterioFiles 356 - Beams Boost Bolstered Bacteria
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 10.46Mb)

Description:

This episode: Combining cells with light-absorbing nanomaterials can help tumor-targeting bacteria produce more anticancer compound!

Download Episode (10.4 MB, 11.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Maruca vitrata nucleopolyhedrovirus

Here's a paper I found that actually shows carbon dot nanomaterials enhancing bacterial nitrogen fixation

Journal Paper:
Zheng D-W, Chen Y, Li Z-H, Xu L, Li C-X, Li B, Fan J-X, Cheng S-X, Zhang X-Z. 2018. Optically-controlled bacterial metabolite for cancer therapy. Nat Commun 9:1680.

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49. BacterioFiles 355 - Photon Factors Favor Fancy Fuels
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 16.19Mb)

Description:

This episode: Engineering yeast to control their metabolism using light and dark for the production of advanced biofuels and chemicals!

Download Episode (16.1 MB, 17.7 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Equine arteritis virus

News item

Journal Paper:
Zhao EM, Zhang Y, Mehl J, Park H, Lalwani MA, Toettcher JE, Avalos JL. 2018. Optogenetic regulation of engineered cellular metabolism for microbial chemical production. Nature 555:683–687.

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50. BacterioFiles 354 - Prokaryote Protection Promotes Protein Passing
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 14.94Mb)

Description:

This episode: The bacterial immune system, CRISPR-Cas, can enhance gene transfer via transduction (phages carrying bacteria DNA) despite preventing it via conjugation!

Download Episode (14.9 MB, 16.3 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Human polyomavirus 8

Journal Paper:
Watson BNJ, Staals RHJ, Fineran PC. 2018. CRISPR-Cas-Mediated Phage Resistance Enhances Horizontal Gene Transfer by Transduction. mBio 9:e02406-17.

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51. BacterioFiles 353 - Pathogen Prevents Pathogen Pervasion
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 9.60Mb)

Description:

This episode: Some bacteria that can cause pneumonia can prevent other bacteria from doing the same!

Download Episode (9.6 MB, 10.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Bell pepper mottle virus

Journal Paper:
Reddinger RM, Luke-Marshall NR, Sauberan SL, Hakansson AP, Campagnari AA. 2018. Streptococcus pneumoniae Modulates Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Dispersion and the Transition from Colonization to Invasive Disease. mBio 9:e02089-17.

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52. BacterioFiles 352 - Staphylococcus Stops Skin Swellings
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 9.22Mb)

Description:

This episode: A harmless strain of bacteria on the skin produces a compound that can prevent tumors from forming!

Download Episode (9.2 MB, 10 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Hamiltonella virus APSE1

News item

Journal Paper:
Nakatsuji T, Chen TH, Butcher AM, Trzoss LL, Nam S-J, Shirakawa KT, Zhou W, Oh J, Otto M, Fenical W, Gallo RL. 2018. A commensal strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis protects against skin neoplasia. Sci Adv 4:eaao4502.

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53. BacterioFiles 351 - Tupanvirus Transports Translation Tools
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 10.18Mb)

Description:

This episode: New giant virus has genes for a surprisingly complete system of protein synthesis!

Download Episode (10.1 MB, 11.1 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Phocid alphaherpesvirus 1

Video of tupanvirus intracellular factory

Journal Paper:
Abrahão J, Silva L, Silva LS, Khalil JYB, Rodrigues R, Arantes T, Assis F, Boratto P, Andrade M, Kroon EG, Ribeiro B, Bergier I, Seligmann H, Ghigo E, Colson P, Levasseur A, Kroemer G, Raoult D, La Scola B. 2018. Tailed giant Tupanvirus possesses the most complete translational apparatus of the known virosphere. Nat Commun 9:749.

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54. BacterioFiles 350 - Microbes Mysteriously Make Methane
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 11.86Mb)

Description:

This episode: A version of the microbial enzyme that fixes nitrogen can also convert carbon dioxide to methane!

Download Episode (11.8 MB, 12.9 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Human mastadenovirus D

Journal Paper:
Zheng Y, Harris DF, Yu Z, Fu Y, Poudel S, Ledbetter RN, Fixen KR, Yang Z-Y, Boyd ES, Lidstrom ME, Seefeldt LC, Harwood CS. 2018. A pathway for biological methane production using bacterial iron-only nitrogenase. Nat Microbiol 3:281–286.

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55. BacterioFiles 349 - Magnet Microbes Make Millivolts
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 6.79Mb)

Description:

This episode: Bacteria that contain tiny magnets can generate an electric current!

Download Episode (6.8 MB, 7.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Mamastrovirus 2

Journal Paper:
Smit B.A., Van Zyl E., Joubert J.J., Meyer W., Prévéral S., Lefèvre C.T., Venter S.N. 2018. Magnetotactic bacteria used to generate electricity based on Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction. Lett Appl Microbiol 66:362–367.

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56. BacterioFiles 348 - Huge Host Hackers Have Historic Histones
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 6.00Mb)

Description:

This episode: Giant viruses produce DNA-packing proteins that seem to have branched off from eukaryotes far back in evolutionary history!

Download Episode (6 MB, 6.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Caulobacter maris

News item

Journal Paper:
Erives AJ. 2017. Phylogenetic analysis of the core histone doublet and DNA topo II genes of Marseilleviridae: evidence of proto-eukaryotic provenance. Epigenetics & Chromatin 10:55.

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57. BacterioFiles 347 - Adenovirus Adapter Allows Assignment
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 7.78Mb)

Description:

This episode: Adding adapters to anti-cancer virus helps it avoid destruction by the body so it can target the tumors!

Thanks to Dr. Andreas Plückthun for his contribution!

Download Episode (7.8 MB, 8.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Tomato leaf curl Vietnam virus

News item

Journal Paper:
Schmid M, Ernst P, Honegger A, Suomalainen M, Zimmermann M, Braun L, Stauffer S, Thom C, Dreier B, Eibauer M, Kipar A, Vogel V, Greber UF, Medalia O, Plückthun A. 2018. Adenoviral vector with shield and adapter increases tumor specificity and escapes liver and immune control. Nat Commun 9:450.

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58. BacterioFiles 346 - Prokaryote Prey Plug Picoalgae
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 8.88Mb)

Description:

This episode: Very small ocean algae consume bacterial prey of a similar size to themselves by engulfing them only partially!

Download Episode (8.9 MB, 9.7 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Bradyrhizobium japonicum

Journal Paper:
Kamennaya NA, Kennaway G, Fuchs BM, Zubkov MV. 2018. “Pomacytosis”—Semi-extracellular phagocytosis of cyanobacteria by the smallest marine algae. PLOS Biol 16:e2003502.

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59. BacterioFiles 345 - Super Sonic Cell Sacs
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 7.56Mb)

Description:

This episode: Protein bags of gas in bacteria could help make ultrasound imaging more versatile!

Download Episode (7.6 MB, 8.25 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Cronobacter virus Esp2949-1

News item

Journal Paper:
Bourdeau RW, Lee-Gosselin A, Lakshmanan A, Farhadi A, Kumar SR, Nety SP, Shapiro MG. 2018. Acoustic reporter genes for noninvasive imaging of microorganisms in mammalian hosts. Nature 553:86–90.

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60. BacterioFiles 344 - Bacteriophages Bypass Body Barriers
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 13.28Mb)

Description:

This episode: Phages may be passing through the barriers in our body all the time!

Thanks to Dr. Jeremy Barr for his contribution!

Download Episode (13.2 MB, 14.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Rhodobacter virus RcCronus

Journal Paper:
Nguyen S, Baker K, Padman BS, Patwa R, Dunstan RA, Weston TA, Schlosser K, Bailey B, Lithgow T, Lazarou M, Luque A, Rohwer F, Blumberg RS, Barr JJ. 2017. Bacteriophage Transcytosis Provides a Mechanism To Cross Epithelial Cell Layers. mBio 8:e01874-17.

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61. BacterioFiles 343 - Super Cells Save Susceptible Species
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 9.73Mb)

Description:

This episode: Very radiation-resistant bacteria can protect other, less-resistant microbes from some of the effects of chronic radiation!

Download Episode (9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Paramecium bursaria Chlorella virus CA4A

News item

Journal Paper:
Shuryak I, Matrosova VY, Gaidamakova EK, Tkavc R, Grichenko O, Klimenkova P, Volpe RP, Daly MJ. 2017. Microbial cells can cooperate to resist high-level chronic ionizing radiation. PLOS ONE 12:e0189261.

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62. BacterioFiles 342 - Cyanide Stops Cell Suckers
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 7.72Mb)

Description:

This episode: Some bacteria can defend themselves from bacterial predators by producing cyanide!

Thanks to Dr. Robert Mitchell for his contribution!

Download Episode (7.7 MB, 8.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Dyoepsilonpapillomavirus 1

News item

Journal Paper:
Mun W, Kwon H, Im H, Choi SY, Monnappa AK, Mitchell RJ. 2017. Cyanide Production by Chromobacterium piscinae Shields It from Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus HD100 Predation. mBio 8:e01370-17.

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63. BacterioFiles 341 - Cancer Killer Could Cure Cryptic Contagion
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 8.72Mb)

Description:

This episode: A virus designed to target cancer could also help eliminate hidden HIV infections!

Thanks to Nischal Ranganath for his contribution!

Download Episode (8.7 MB, 9.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Streptomyces pluricolorescens

News item

Journal Paper:
Ranganath N, Sandstrom TS, Schinkel B, C S, Côté SC, Angel JB. 2018. The Oncolytic Virus MG1 Targets and Eliminates Cells Latently Infected With HIV-1: Implications for an HIV Cure. J Infect Dis 217:721–730.

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64. BacterioFiles 340 - Plasmid Promotes Plant Pathogenesis
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 9.44Mb)

Description:

This episode: Some bacteria living around plants can become pathogenic just by gaining a few genes!

Download Episode (9.4 MB, 10.3 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Alternanthera yellow vein betasatellite

News item

Journal Paper:
Savory EA, Fuller SL, Weisberg AJ, Thomas WJ, Gordon MI, Stevens DM, Creason AL, Belcher MS, Serdani M, Wiseman MS, Grünwald NJ, Putnam ML, Chang JH. 2017. Evolutionary transitions between beneficial and phytopathogenic Rhodococcus challenge disease management. eLife 6:e30925.

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65. BacterioFiles 339 - Medical Microbiota Measurement
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 10.57Mb)

Description:

This episode: Fecal microbiota transplants work just as well when taken in pill form as when delivered through a tube!

Download Episode (10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Halobacterium halobium

News item

Journal Paper:
Kao D, Roach B, Silva M, Beck P, Rioux K, Kaplan GG, Chang H-J, Coward S, Goodman KJ, Xu H, Madsen K, Mason A, Wong GK-S, Jovel J, Patterson J, Louie T. 2017. Effect of Oral Capsule- vs Colonoscopy-Delivered Fecal Microbiota Transplantation on Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Am Med Assoc 318:1985–1993.

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66. BacterioFiles 338 - Maverick Mouse Microbes Mitigate Maladies
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 9.83Mb)

Description:

This episode: Gut microbe transplants from wild mice protect lab mice from disease!

Download Episode (9.8 MB, 10.7 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Cabassou virus

News item

Journal Paper:
Rosshart SP, Vassallo BG, Angeletti D, Hutchinson DS, Morgan AP, Takeda K, Hickman HD, McCulloch JA, Badger JH, Ajami NJ, Trinchieri G, Pardo-Manuel de Villena F, Yewdell JW, Rehermann B. 2017. Wild Mouse Gut Microbiota Promotes Host Fitness and Improves Disease Resistance. Cell 171:1015-1028.e13.

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67. BacterioFiles 337 - Gathering Gut Groupings Graphics
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 8.78Mb)

Description:

This episode: A simplified bacterial community in mouse guts doesn't have much community structure, relative to other body areas!

Download Episode (8.8 MB, 9.6 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Rhodomicrobium vannielii

News item

Journal Paper:
Welch JLM, Hasegawa Y, McNulty NP, Gordon JI, Borisy GG. 2017. Spatial organization of a model 15-member human gut microbiota established in gnotobiotic mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci 114:E9105–E9114.

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68. BacterioFiles 336 - Phages Fortify Friendly Fighters
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 12.94Mb)

Description:

This episode: Phage therapy can work very well when combined with an effective immune response from the host!

Download Episode (12.9 MB, 14.1 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Gammapapillomavirus 8

News item about "nightmare bacteria"

Journal Paper:
Roach DR, Leung CY, Henry M, Morello E, Singh D, Di Santo JP, Weitz JS, Debarbieux L. 2017. Synergy between the Host Immune System and Bacteriophage Is Essential for Successful Phage Therapy against an Acute Respiratory Pathogen. Cell Host Microbe 22:38-47.e4.

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69. BacterioFiles 335 - Purported Paraprobiotic Potential
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 11.57Mb)

Description:

This episode: Paraprobiotics, or killed probiotic bacteria, are studied for health effects, but results and study design are questionable!

Download Episode (11.5 MB, 12.6 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Phlox virus S

Journal Paper:
Nishida K, Sawada D, Kawai T, Kuwano Y, Fujiwara S, Rokutan K. 2017. Para-psychobiotic Lactobacillus gasseri CP2305 ameliorates stress-related symptoms and sleep quality. J Appl Microbiol 123:1561–1570.

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70. BacterioFiles 334 - Measuring Mycelial Moth Muncher Management
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 8.16Mb)

Description:

This episode: Figuring out the best way to study the spread of a fungus that kills an invasive tree-eating caterpillar pest!

Download Episode (8.2 MB, 8.9 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Pasteurella aerogenes

News item

Journal Paper:
Bittner TD, Hajek AE, Liebhold AM, Thistle H. 2017. Modification of a Pollen Trap Design To Capture Airborne Conidia of Entomophaga maimaiga and Detection of Conidia by Quantitative PCR. Appl Environ Microbiol 83:e00724-17.

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71. BacterioFiles 333 - Transposons Take Targeting Tool
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 10.78Mb)

Description:

This episode: Certain transposons, genetic elements that move around the genome on their own, have co-opted the bacterial immune system, CRISPR, to use for jumping to new hosts!

Thanks to Dr. Joseph Peters for his contribution!

Download Episode (10.7 MB, 11.75 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Streptomyces yokosukanensis

Journal Paper:
Peters JE, Makarova KS, Shmakov S, Koonin EV. 2017. Recruitment of CRISPR-Cas systems by Tn7-like transposons. Proc Natl Acad Sci 114:E7358–E7366.

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72. BacterioFiles 332 - Moth Minors Missing Microbes
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 14.00Mb)

Description:

This episode: Unlike most animals, caterpillars don't seem to have a resident gut microbe to help them in various ways!

Thanks to Tobin Hammer for his contribution!

Download Episode (14 MB, 15.3 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Borrelia graingeri

News item

Journal Paper:
Hammer TJ, Janzen DH, Hallwachs W, Jaffe SP, Fierer N. 2017. Caterpillars lack a resident gut microbiome. Proc Natl Acad Sci 114:9641–9646.

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73. BacterioFiles 331 - Password Protein Poisons Pairings
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 12.47Mb)

Description:

This episode: How social bacteria societies function: by sharing enzyme packages with each other that can contain toxins that are deadly for rivals but not for friends!

Thanks to Chris Vasallo for his contribution!

Download Episode (12.4 MB, 13.6 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Propionibacterium virus PAD20

News item

Journal Paper:
Vassallo CN, Cao P, Conklin A, Finkelstein H, Hayes CS, Wall D. 2017. Infectious polymorphic toxins delivered by outer membrane exchange discriminate kin in myxobacteria. eLife 6:e29397.

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74. BacterioFiles 330 - Polar Plasmid Produces Particles
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 17.77Mb)

Description:

This episode: A plasmid discovered in Antarctic archaea can create virus-like particles, membrane vesicles, and transfer itself to new hosts!

Thanks to Rick Cavicchioli for his contribution.

Download Episode (17.7 MB, 19.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Hypomicrogaster canadensis bracovirus

News item

Journal Paper:
Erdmann S, Tschitschko B, Zhong L, Raftery MJ, Cavicchioli R. 2017. A plasmid from an Antarctic haloarchaeon uses specialized membrane vesicles to disseminate and infect plasmid-free cells. Nat Microbiol 2:1446.

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75. BacterioFiles 329 - Special Secreting Structure Studied
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Description:

This episode: New type of secretion system discovered that bacteria use to stab amoeba predators to escape their digestion!

Download Episode (7.8 MB, 8.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Avastrovirus 1

News item

Journal Paper:
Böck D, Medeiros JM, Tsao H-F, Penz T, Weiss GL, Aistleitner K, Horn M, Pilhofer M. 2017. In situ architecture, function, and evolution of a contractile injection system. Science 357:713–717.

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76. BacterioFiles 328 - Focused Phages Fight Films
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 9.57Mb)

Description:

This episode: Phages bound to magnetic nanoparticles can be guided and pulled toward their target, penetrating biofilms to kill harmful microbes!

Download Episode (9.6 MB, 10.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Veillonella alcalescens

News item

Journal Paper:
Li L-L, Yu P, Wang X, Yu S-S, Mathieu J, Yu H-Q, Alvarez PJJ. 2017. Enhanced biofilm penetration for microbial control by polyvalent phages conjugated with magnetic colloidal nanoparticle clusters (CNCs). Environ Sci Nano 4:1817–1826.

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77. BacterioFiles 327 - Microbe Metabolite Meliorates Malaise
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 8.99Mb)

Description:

This episode: Gut microbes in mice break down plant foods and produce molecules that stimulate the immune system to resist influenza!

Thanks to Drs. Ashley Steed and Thaddeus Stappenbeck for their contributions!

Download Episode (9 MB, 9.8 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Bougainvillea chlorotic vein banding virus

News item

Journal Paper:
Steed AL, Christophi GP, Kaiko GE, Sun L, Goodwin VM, Jain U, Esaulova E, Artyomov MN, Morales DJ, Holtzman MJ, Boon ACM, Lenschow DJ, Stappenbeck TS. 2017. The microbial metabolite desaminotyrosine protects from influenza through type I interferon. Science 357:498–502.

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78. BacterioFiles 326 - Ciliate Symbionts Selected Separately
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 9.76Mb)

Description:

This episode: Learning about endosymbionts by comparing bacteria living inside eukaryotes to their free-living cousins!

Thanks to Dr. Vittorio Boscaro for his contribution!

Download Episode (9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Ancalochloris perfilievii

Journal Paper:
Boscaro V, Kolisko M, Felletti M, Vannini C, Lynn DH, Keeling PJ. 2017. Parallel genome reduction in symbionts descended from closely related free-living bacteria. Nat Ecol Evol 1:1160.

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79. BacterioFiles 325 - Moisture Mobilizes Mycelium Multiples
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Description:

This episode: Figuring out how mushrooms launch their spores out using a trick of water surface tension!

Download Episode (6.7 MB, 7.3 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Carrot torradovirus 1

News item

Video of artificial "spore" launching

Journal Paper:
Liu F, Chavez RL, Patek SN, Pringle A, Feng JJ, Chen C-H. 2017. Asymmetric drop coalescence launches fungal ballistospores with directionality. J R Soc Interface 14:20170083.

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80. BacterioFiles 324 - Prokaryote Prefers Poorer Power
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Description:

This episode: Hot spring archaea prefer to use elements that give them less energy even when more energetic options are available!

Download Episode (8.1 MB, 8.8 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Vitreoscilla beggiatoides

News item

Journal Paper:
Amenabar MJ, Shock EL, Roden EE, Peters JW, Boyd ES. 2017. Microbial substrate preference dictated by energy demand rather than supply. Nat Geosci 10:577–581.

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81. BacterioFiles 323 - Clostridium Capturing Carbon with Walter Sandoval
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Description:

This episode: I talk with Dr. Walter Sandoval-Espinola, a researcher from Paraguay, now a postdoc at Harvard, about his discovery that biofuel-producing bacteria Clostridium beijerinckii can also transform CO2 and carbon monoxide into biofuels!

Download Episode (37 MB, 40.4 minutes)

Show notes:
News item en español

Find Walter on Twitter or LinkedIn

Journal Paper:
Sandoval-Espinola WJ, Chinn MS, Thon MR, Bruno-Bárcena JM. 2017. Evidence of mixotrophic carbon-capture by n-butanol-producer Clostridium beijerinckii. Sci Rep 7:12759.

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82. BacterioFiles 322 - Parents' Partners Protect Plants
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Description:

Happy New Year! This episode: Fungal endophytes transferred from healthy adult plant leaf litter help baby cacao plants resist disease!

Thanks to Dr. Natalie Christian for her contribution!

Download Episode (10.3 MB, 11.25 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Lactobacillus virus Lb338-1

News item
Hear a CBC interview with Dr. Christian about this research

Journal Paper:
Christian N, Herre EA, Mejia LC, Clay K. 2017. Exposure to the leaf litter microbiome of healthy adults protects seedlings from pathogen damage. Proc R Soc B 284:20170641.

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83. BacterioFiles 321 - Escherichia Extends elegans Existence
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Description:

This episode: Bacteria with various gene knockouts help roundworms live longer and with less disease!

Download Episode (9.9 MB, 10.75 minutes)

Show notes:
News item

Journal Paper:
Han B, Sivaramakrishnan P, Lin C-CJ, Neve IAA, He J, Tay LWR, Sowa JN, Sizovs A, Du G, Wang J, Herman C, Wang MC. 2017. Microbial Genetic Composition Tunes Host Longevity. Cell 169:1249–1262.e13.

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84. BacterioFiles 320 - Fortified Fungi Fight Fevers
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 7.78Mb)

Description:

This episode: Fungi modified to produce spider and scorpion toxins kill malaria-transmitting mosquitoes extra fast!

Thanks to Brian Lovett for his contribution.

Download Episode (7.8 MB, 8.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Microbispora parva

News item

Journal Paper:
Bilgo E, Lovett B, Fang W, Bende N, King GF, Diabate A, Leger RJS. 2017. Improved efficacy of an arthropod toxin expressing fungus against insecticide-resistant malaria-vector mosquitoes. Sci Rep 7:3433.

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85. BacterioFiles 319 - Mycelial Moisture Magnanimity
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 10.45Mb)

Description:

This episode: Filament network-forming organisms like fungi can transfer nutrients and moisture to bacteria in harsher conditions!

Download Episode (10.4 MB, 11.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Desulfuromonas acetoxidans

News item

Journal Paper:
Worrich A, Stryhanyuk H, Musat N, König S, Banitz T, Centler F, Frank K, Thullner M, Harms H, Richnow H-H, Miltner A, Kästner M, Wick LY. 2017. Mycelium-mediated transfer of water and nutrients stimulates bacterial activity in dry and oligotrophic environments. Nat Commun 8:ncomms15472.

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86. BacterioFiles 318 - Killers Controlling Coral Contamination
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 12.82Mb)

Description:

This episode: Bacteria that prey on other bacteria could help keep corals healthy! Thanks to Rory Welsh for his contribution.

Download Episode (12.8 MB, 14 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Latino mammarenavirus

Journal Paper:
Welsh RM, Rosales SM, Zaneveld JR, Payet JP, McMinds R, Hubbs SL, Thurber RLV. 2017. Alien vs. predator: bacterial challenge alters coral microbiomes unless controlled by Halobacteriovorax predators. PeerJ 5:e3315.

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87. BacterioFiles 317 - Mosquito Microbe Movement
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 11.35Mb)

Description:

This episode: Studying how Wolbachia bacteria spread through a mosquito population helps efforts to use them to prevent the spread of Dengue! Thanks to Tom Schmidt for his contribution.

Download Episode (11.3 MB, 12.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Heterosigma akashiwo virus 01

News item

Journal Paper:
Schmidt TL, Barton NH, Rašić G, Turley AP, Montgomery BL, Iturbe-Ormaetxe I, Cook PE, Ryan PA, Ritchie SA, Hoffmann AA, O’Neill SL, Turelli M. 2017. Local introduction and heterogeneous spatial spread of dengue-suppressing Wolbachia through an urban population of Aedes aegypti. PLOS Biol 15:e2001894.

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88. BacterioFiles 316 - Studying Sizeable Special Synthetases
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 8.71Mb)

Description:

This episode: Scientists study how fungi make interesting peptides using large proteins instead of ribosomes.

Download Episode (8.7 MB, 9.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Nerine virus X

News item

Journal Paper:
Yu D, Xu F, Zhang S, Zhan J. 2017. Decoding and reprogramming fungal iterative nonribosomal peptide synthetases. Nat Commun 8:ncomms15349.

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89. BacterioFiles 315 - Probiotics Prevent Protein Plaques
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 11.88Mb)

Description:

This episode: In mice genetically modified to have Alzheimer's-like disease, giving probiotics reduced their degeneration!

Download Episode (11.8 MB, 13 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: SARS coronavirus

Journal Paper:
Bonfili L, Cecarini V, Berardi S, Scarpona S, Suchodolski JS, Nasulti C, Fiorini D, Boarelli MC, Rossi G, Eleuteri AM. 2017. Microbiota modulation counteracts Alzheimer's disease progression influencing neuronal proteolysis and gut hormone plasma levels. Sci Rep 7:2426.

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90. BacterioFiles 314 - Drosophila Dwellers Delay Deficiency
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 14.75Mb)

Description:

This episode: Bacteria affect fruit fly behavior by reducing their need and craving for protein-rich food!

Thanks to Dr. Carlos Ribeiro for his contribution!

Download Episode (14.7 MB, 16.1 minutes)

Show notes:
News item

Ribeiro lab website - two fully-funded postdoc opportunities available

Journal Paper:
Leitão-Gonçalves R, Carvalho-Santos Z, Francisco AP, Fioreze GT, Anjos M, Baltazar C, Elias AP, Itskov PM, Piper MDW, Ribeiro C. 2017. Commensal bacteria and essential amino acids control food choice behavior and reproduction. PLOS Biol 15:e2000862.

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91. BacterioFiles 313 - Colonies Correct Chloride Corrosion
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 13.44Mb)

Description:

This episode: Bacteria could help treat corrosion to preserve ancient iron artifacts!

Thanks to Drs. Pilar Junier and Edith Joseph for their contributions!

Download Episode (13.4 MB, 14.7 minutes)

Show notes:
Journal Paper:
Comensoli L, Maillard J, Albini M, Sandoz F, Junier P, Joseph E. 2017. Use of Bacteria To Stabilize Archaeological Iron. Appl Environ Microbiol 83:e03478-16.

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92. BacterioFiles 312 - Antibiotic Acts As Agreement
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Description:

This episode: Bacteria that produce antibiotic molecule can also use it for communication between cells!

Download Episode (10 MB, 11 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Rosellinia necatrix victorivirus 1

Journal Paper:
Beyersmann PG, Tomasch J, Son K, Stocker R, Göker M, Wagner-Döbler I, Simon M, Brinkhoff T. 2017. Dual function of tropodithietic acid as antibiotic and signaling molecule in global gene regulation of the probiotic bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens. Sci Rep 7:730.

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93. BacterioFiles 311 - Synchronized Slimes Spread Slowly
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 14.24Mb)

Description:

This episode: Separate groups of bacteria can each thrive better when they take turns growing instead of competing!

Thanks to Jintao Liu and Rosa Martinez-Corral for their contributions to this episode!

Download Episode (14.2 MB, 15.5 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Palyam virus

News item

Journal Paper:
Liu J, Martinez-Corral R, Prindle A, Lee DD, Larkin J, Gabalda-Sagarra M, Garcia-Ojalvo J, Süel GM. 2017. Coupling between distant biofilms and emergence of nutrient time-sharing. Science 356:638–642.

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94. BacterioFiles 310 - Prodigious Particles Produce Proteins
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 11.28Mb)

Description:

This episode: Newly discovered giant viruses almost build their own replication machinery instead of using their host's!

Download Episode (11.2 MB, 12.3 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Terasakiella pusilla

News item

Journal Paper:
Schulz F, Yutin N, Ivanova NN, Ortega DR, Lee TK, Vierheilig J, Daims H, Horn M, Wagner M, Jensen GJ, Kyrpides NC, Koonin EV, Woyke T. 2017. Giant viruses with an expanded complement of translation system components. Science 356:82–85.

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95. BacterioFiles 309 - Fungus Foils Phytophagy
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 7.50Mb)

Description:

This episode: Fungi living in plants could protect them from ants that cut up their leaves to feed their own fungal gardens!

Download Episode (7.5 MB, 8.2 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Escherichia virus RB3

Journal Paper:
Rocha SL, Evans HC, Jorge VL, Cardoso LAO, Pereira FST, Rocha FB, Barreto RW, Hart AG, Elliot SL. 2017. Recognition of endophytic Trichoderma species by leaf-cutting ants and their potential in a Trojan-horse management strategy. R Soc Open Sci 4:160628.

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96. BacterioFiles 308 - Predators' Projectile Prototypes
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 8.24Mb)

Description:

This episode: Eukaryotic ocean microbes have surprisingly diverse and complex ballistic weapons!

Download Episode (8.2 MB, 9 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Mycoplasma arginini

Cool videos of microbial weapons firing

Journal Paper:
Gavelis GS, Wakeman KC, Tillmann U, Ripken C, Mitarai S, Herranz M, Özbek S, Holstein T, Keeling PJ, Leander BS. 2017. Microbial arms race: Ballistic “nematocysts” in dinoflagellates represent a new extreme in organelle complexity. Sci Adv 3:e1602552.

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97. BacterioFiles 307 - Simplified Stable Soil Symbiosis
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 12.58Mb)

Description:

This episode: A stable community of only 7 bacteria around corn roots take on similar functions to the much more diverse soil community!

Download Episode (12.5 MB, 13.75 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Corynebacterium insidiosum

Journal Paper:
Niu B, Paulson JN, Zheng X, Kolter R. 2017. Simplified and representative bacterial community of maize roots. Proc Natl Acad Sci 114:E2450–E2459.

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98. BacterioFiles 306 - Microbes Moderate Metabolic Maladjustment
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 8.46Mb)

Description:

This episode: Microbes from obese mice seemed helpful in protecting other mice somewhat from an unhealthy lifestyle.

Download Episode (8.5 MB, 9.25 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Streptomyces thermoviolaceus

News item

Journal Paper:
Nicolas S, Blasco‐Baque V, Fournel A, Gilleron J, Klopp P, Waget A, Ceppo F, Marlin A, Padmanabhan R, Iacovoni JS, Tercé F, Cani PD, Tanti J-F, Burcelin R, Knauf C, Cormont M, Serino M. 2017. Transfer of dysbiotic gut microbiota has beneficial effects on host liver metabolism. Mol Syst Biol 13:921.

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99. BacterioFiles 305 - Defensive Disordered Desiccation
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 11.89Mb)

Description:

This episode: Tardigrades have an interesting way of surviving complete drying out: by producing proteins lacking a stable structure!

Download Episode (11.8 MB, 13 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Chandipura vesiculovirus

News item

Journal Paper:
Boothby TC, Tapia H, Brozena AH, Piszkiewicz S, Smith AE, Giovannini I, Rebecchi L, Pielak GJ, Koshland D, Goldstein B. 2017. Tardigrades Use Intrinsically Disordered Proteins to Survive Desiccation. Mol Cell 65:975–984.e5.

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100. BacterioFiles 304 - Phages Facilitate Photosynthesis
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bact... download (audio/mpeg, 6.64Mb)

Description:

This episode: Viruses infecting cyanobacteria can produce proteins that actually help their host capture light better!

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Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Pseudomonas asplenii

News item

Journal Paper:
Gasper R, Schwach J, Hartmann J, Holtkamp A, Wiethaus J, Riedel N, Hofmann E, Frankenberg-Dinkel N. 2017. Distinct Features of Cyanophage-encoded T-type Phycobiliprotein Lyase ΦCpeT: The Role of Auxiliary Metabolic Genes. J Biol Chem 292:3089–3098.

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