Monday, January 15, 2018

BacterioFiles 324 - Prokaryote Prefers Poorer Power

Green Dragon Spring, Yellowstone
Credit: National Park Service
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.

Other interesting stories:
  • Developing good methods for using skin microbiome for forensics (paper)
  • Microbe discovered that consumes groundwater contaminant dioxane
  • Mucus-eating gut microbes can produce beneficial nutrients and vitamins (paper)
  • Making new beer and wine flavors with different yeast
  • Providing leaf microbiota to help endangered plants survive in wild

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

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    Episode outline:

    Monday, January 8, 2018

    BacterioFiles 323 - Clostridium Capturing Carbon with Walter Sandoval

    Walter Sandoval in lab
    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Even microbes can help mix up lake water
  • Using drones to sample whale microbiome
  • Prebiotics could affect gut even without microbe involvement (paper)
  • Bacteria do better in changing environments when they cooperate
  • Newly discovered bacterial defense against phages (paper)

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

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    Monday, January 1, 2018

    BacterioFiles 322 - Parents' Partners Protect Plants

    Cacao tree with fruit pods
    By Luisovalles
    Own work, CC BY 3.0
    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Using bacteria to clean up radioactive strontium from water (paper)
  • Ocean bacteria make themselves slippery instead of sticky to avoid predators (paper)
  • Which plants grow in tropics depends on how fungi interact with their seeds
  • Using an antibiotic-sensing protein to control antibiotic production in bacteria
  • Symbiotic fungi can help plants tolerate stresses better

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

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    Episode outline:

    Monday, December 18, 2017

    BacterioFiles 321 - Escherichia Extends elegans Existence

    Caenorhabditis elegans
    By Bob Goldstein, UNC Chapel Hill
    CC BY-SA 3.0
    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Useful reviews and guide to commercial probiotic selection at Reviews.com
  • Success of high-fiber diet depends on gut microbes
  • Engineering microbes to produce fluorine-containing polymers (like Teflon)
  • Using mosquito gut bacteria to prevent malaria spread
  • Bacteria and archaea in harsh places share genes often (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.

    Episode outline:

    Monday, December 11, 2017

    BacterioFiles 320 - Fortified Fungi Fight Fevers

    Anopheles gambiae
    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Virus-like protein helps bacteria eat fungi (paper)
  • Molecules from good bacteria help animals stay healthy for longer (paper)
  • Zika virus could help treat brain cancer
  • Probiotic bacterium helps prevent gluten-related gut problems in mice (paper)
  • Native vs. invader microbes help or prevent invasive marine plants invade

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

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    Episode outline:

    Monday, December 4, 2017

    BacterioFiles 319 - Mycelial Moisture Magnanimity

    By: Worrich et al. 2017, Nat Commun
    CC-BY 4.0
    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Which gut fungi transfer from mothers to babies (paper)
  • Bacteria as catalyst substrate for biofuel cleaning
  • Different gut microbiota associated with Parkinson's disease
  • Engineering gut bacteria to talk to the body in helpful ways
  • Bacteria induce mating in another ocean microbe

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

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    Monday, November 20, 2017

    BacterioFiles 318 - Killers Controlling Coral Contamination

    Predator attacking and killing prey
    From: Welsh et al. 2017 PeerJ
    CC-BY 4.0
    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.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Using trees and their microbes to clean up pollution
  • Using bacteria to preserve/repair stone monuments and statues (paper)
  • Stable gut microbes could help defend against amoeba infection
  • Phage therapy treats very resistant infection in person
  • Probiotic + probiotic food could help prevent infant sepsis (paper)

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

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    Episode outline: