Monday, September 18, 2017

BacterioFiles 310 - Prodigious Particles Produce Proteins

Megavirus
By Chantal Abergel, CC BY-SA 3.0
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.

Other interesting stories:
  • Using insect bacteria to control devastating citrus disease
  • Microbes give meerkat gangs their signature scents
  • Bacteria use a special trick with their flagella to get unstuck (paper)
  • Fecal transplant microbes can stick around for years after treatment
  • Probiotics could help protect honeybees from pesticides

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

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    Episode outline:

    Monday, September 11, 2017

    Hurricane Preparedness

    No episode this week. Busy preparing for the edge of Hurricane Irma. To all my listeners in a hurricane's path, stay safe!

    Monday, September 4, 2017

    BacterioFiles 309 - Fungus Foils Phytophagy

    Leafcutting ants
    By Bandwagonman,
    CC BY-SA 3.0
    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • What kinds of bacteria live on cats' skin (paper)
  • Microbes could help reduce levels of most toxic mercury form
  • Plant bacteria can protect plants against cadmium toxicity (paper)
  • Rotifer transposons can protect them against aging
  • Bacteria help protect against Listeria infection

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

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    Monday, August 28, 2017

    BacterioFiles 308 - Predators' Projectile Prototypes

    Nematodinium nematocyst cap
    Gavelis et al. 2017
    Science Advances
    CC BY-NC 4.0
    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Astronaut Kate Rubin's experience as microbiologist in space (paywall)
  • Engineered nitrogen-fixing bacteria can reduce need for fertilizer (paper)
  • Diversity of bacterial communities on leaves linked with ecosystem productivity (paper)
  • Using parts of phages to do rapid detection of pathogens (paper)
  • Microbiome modification contributes to effect of diabetes medication

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

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    Monday, August 21, 2017

    BacterioFiles 307 - Simplified Stable Soil Symbiosis

    Enterobacter cloacae
    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Gut community correlates with inflammatory bowel disease treatment effectiveness
  • Bacteria-produced hydrogen in soil could feed other plant-benefiting microbes (paper)
  • Engineered bacteria could treat genetic disease by digesting things for people who can't (paper)
  • Engineered cancer-killing virus also delivers therapy directly to tumors (paper)
  • Using microbes to create clothing that adapts in color and ventilation (paper)

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

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

    Monday, August 14, 2017

    BacterioFiles 306 - Microbes Moderate Metabolic Maladjustment

    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Global warming could harm reptiles by disrupting their gut bacteria
  • Insect microbes that start causing disease but then stop when their numbers get higher
  • Microbes in sea spray affect the atmosphere and climate
  • How breastmilk bacteria affect infant's gut community
  • Sea sponge bacteria can produce toxic flame retardant chemicals

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

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    Monday, August 7, 2017

    BacterioFiles 305 - Defensive Disordered Desiccation

    Tardigrade
    Credit: Bob Goldstein
    and Vicky Madden,
    CC BY-SA 3.0
    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Gut microbes are important for many bee bodily functions (paper)
  • Bacterium helps defend insects but makes plants sick
  • Bacteria can mutate faster or slower to adapt to their environment
  • Cyanobacteria respond to different colors of light in different ways (paper)(commentary)
  • Intense prolonged exercise could negatively impact the gut community

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

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