Monday, July 17, 2017

BacterioFiles 302 - Message Moderates Microbe Mortality

Bacillus subtilis
By Y tambe, CCBY-SA 3.0
This episode: Even organisms as simple as viruses can communicate with each other!

Download Episode (12.7 MB, 13.9 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Sweet potato virus C

Commentary (paywall)
Great talk about bacterial communication by Dr. Bonnie Bassler

Journal Paper:
Erez Z, Steinberger-Levy I, Shamir M, Doron S, Stokar-Avihail A, Peleg Y, Melamed S, Leavitt A, Savidor A, Albeck S, Amitai G, Sorek R. 2017. Communication between viruses guides lysis–lysogeny decisions. Nature 541:488–493.

Other interesting stories:
  • Engineering gut bacteria to detect and report gut inflammation
  • Plants give fat to their root fungi in exchange for other nutrients
  • Gut microbe metabolite linked with lower risk of diabetes
  • Making bioelectrodes by embedding bacteria in glass (paper)
  • Using CRISPR to discover new drug-producing bacterial genes

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

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    Monday, July 10, 2017

    BacterioFiles 301 - Cells Simulate City Structures

    This episode: Ancient microbes built underwater structures that look like sunken, ancient cities!

    Download Episode (10.6 MB, 11.7 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Actinomadura luteofluorescens

    News item 1/News item 2

    Journal Paper:
    Andrews JE, Stamatakis MG, Marca-Bell A, Stewart C, Millar IL. 2016. Exhumed hydrocarbon-seep authigenic carbonates from Zakynthos Island (Greece): Concretions not archaeological remains. Marine and Petroleum Geology 76:16–25.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Insecticide-resistant insects have insecticide-degrading gut bacteria (paper)
  • Microbe spores that can survive in space
  • Fungus-gardening ants are choosy about how much CO2 they want in their gardens (paper)
  • Biochar helps microbes transfer electrons around in soil
  • Exposure of infants to furry pets affects microbiota

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

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    Monday, July 3, 2017

    BacterioFiles 300 - Hyphae Help Horizontal (Gene Transfer)

    Oyster mushroom mycelium
    By Tobi Kellner, CC BY-SA 3.0
    This episode: Filament-forming organisms help bacteria swim through soil and exchange genes with each other! Also, new feature: microbe of the episode!

    Download Episode (13.2 MB, 14.4 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Azotobacter vinelandii

    News item

    Video of bacteria swimming along mycelium:


    Full statement from Tom Berthold

    Journal Paper:
    Berthold T, Centler F, Hübschmann T, Remer R, Thullner M, Harms H, Wick LY. 2016. Mycelia as a focal point for horizontal gene transfer among soil bacteria. Sci Rep 6:36390.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Bacterial DNA reduces mouse airway allergies
  • Changes in microbiomes of people in 500-day space simulation (paper)
  • Using advanced electron microscopy to visualize giant virus
  • Bacterial predators find prey by both being trapped by their own whirlpools
  • Many unusual viruses are moving around in the fluids of the rocky ocean floor

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    Monday, June 26, 2017

    BacterioFiles 299 - Predator Pops Polymer Producers

    Bdellovibrio attacking prey
    Iebba et al., Front Microbiol 2014
    This episode: Using predatory bacteria to extract valuable bioplastics from other bacteria!

    Download Episode (6.3 MB, 6.9 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item

    Journal Paper:
    Martínez V, Herencias C, Jurkevitch E, Prieto MA. 2016. Engineering a predatory bacterium as a proficient killer agent for intracellular bio-products recovery: The case of the polyhydroxyalkanoates. Sci Rep 6:24381.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Phages could treat infections serious in cystic fibrosis
  • Microbes help protect plants against virus infection (paper)
  • Getting closer to fecal transplant in pill form
  • Microbe communities in overused land recover as vegetation is restored
  • Deep sea phage makes a DNA polymerase that doesn't need primers (paper)

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    Monday, June 19, 2017

    BacterioFiles 298 - Bacteria Boost Bone Buildup

    Human skeleton
    This episode: Gut microbes can even affect formation/remodeling of bones!

    Download Episode (8.5 MB, 9.3 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Journal Paper:
    Yan J, Herzog JW, Tsang K, Brennan CA, Bower MA, Garrett WS, Sartor BR, Aliprantis AO, Charles JF. 2016. Gut microbiota induce IGF-1 and promote bone formation and growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci 113:E7554–E7563.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Raindrops can spread soil bacteria around everywhere
  • Lots to learn from studying sauerkraut (paywall)
  • Only some bacteria in a colony do all the expanding and multiplying (paper)
  • Phage genes help Wolbachia prevent host insects from interbreeding with uninfected hosts (paper)
  • Probiotic bacteria could help prevent damage from heavy metals (paper)

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    Monday, June 12, 2017

    BacterioFiles 297 - Defenders Develop Disease Decrease

    C. elegans roundworm
    By Bob Goldstein, CC BY-SA 3.0
    This episode: Beneficial microbes defend roundworms against a pathogen and pressure it to evolve to cause less disease!

    Download Episode (7.7 MB, 8.4 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item

    Journal Paper:
    Ford SA, Kao D, Williams D, King KC. 2016. Microbe-mediated host defence drives the evolution of reduced pathogen virulence. Nat Commun 7:13430.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Fungus eats dead insects and keeps bacterial competitors away (paper)
  • Soil microbes are better for green roof soils than chemical fertilizers
  • Soil microbes make tuberculosis-treating chemicals
  • Parkinson's and treatments can have detectable effects on microbiome
  • Aspergillus fungi have a lot of potential uses

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

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    Monday, June 5, 2017

    BacterioFiles 296 - Predator Permits Pathogen Penetration

    Cyclopoid copepod
    This episode: Tiny crustaceans eat paramecia, allowing viruses to infect algae inside them!

    Download Episode (9.1 MB, 9.9 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Follow-up to episode 259: mass-producing worm spit healing protein

    News item

    Journal Paper:
    DeLong JP, Al-Ameeli Z, Duncan G, Etten JLV, Dunigan DD. 2016. Predators catalyze an increase in chloroviruses by foraging on the symbiotic hosts of zoochlorellae. Proc Natl Acad Sci 113:13780–13784.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Microbes are important for protecting bees
  • Ant bacteria produce potential new antibiotics
  • Old microbes discovered living in mine crystals
  • Skin bacteria could protect against pathogens
  • Author is writing poems in a bacterial genome so they survive the apocalypse (paywall)

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

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