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Antimicrobials: Putting antibiotic action into context

2016-10-31

This study reveals that ribosomal antibiotics function in a context-specific manner, dependent on the penultimate amino acid in the nascent chain and the amino acid in the P-site of the peptidyl transferase center.



Bacterial toxins: A true competitor

2016-10-24

This study reports that the T7SS has antibacterial activity and is involved in intraspecies competition.



Archaeal biology: Masters of methane

2016-11-07

Three new studies investigate the metabolic pathways that anaerobic archaea use to produce hydrocarbons such as methane and butane.



Viral infection: Rabies virus causes stress

2016-11-07

Exposure of cells to different types of stress, including heat shock and oxidative stress, leads to the accumulation of translationally stalled mRNAs in cytoplasmic structures known as stress granules. Nikolic et al. report that rabies virus induces the assembly of dynamic stress granules. These



Microbiome: Complexity at the sub-genus level

2016-11-07

Bacteroidetes is one of the most abundant phyla in the gut, and studies have suggested that Prevotella spp. are associated with a high-fibre diet, whereas Bacteroides spp. are associated with the consumption of animal fat and a protein-rich diet. De Filippis et al



Fungal biology: A key regulator of secondary metabolites

2016-11-07

Fungi are a rich sources of secondary metabolites that are relevant to human health, including antibiotics and fungal toxins. However, our understanding of the regulation of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters is limited. Oakley et al. carried out a genetic screen in Aspergillus nidulans



Cellular microbiology: Tagging proteins for the Clp protease

2016-10-17

This study reveals that arginine phosphorylation tags proteins for degradation by the ClpCP protease



Bacterial pathogenesis: Rickettsia releases the tension

2016-11-07

This study shows that the bacterial effector Sca4 promotes intercellular spread of the obligate intracellular pathogen Rickettsia parkeri by disrupting the transmission of intercellular tension at cell–cell adherence junctions.



Antimicrobials: The central role of lipids in daptomycin action

2016-11-11

Daptomycin is a last-resort antibiotic that is used against resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Although it is a membrane-targeting antibiotic, its exact mechanism of action was unknown. Müller et al. used Bacillus subtilis to determine the effects of daptomycin.



Techniques and applications: Shining a light on persisters

2016-11-11

Persister cells can survive antibiotic treatment despite being genetically identical to sensitive cells. Persistence is a particular problem for the treatment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis; however, so far there was no straightforward way to identify and quantify persisters of this bacterium. Jain et al.



Environmental microbiology: A small soil bacterium dominates

2016-11-11

Verrucomicrobia is one of the most abundant, although least characterized, phyla in soil. Brewer et al. identified a new verrucomicrobial lineage, which they termed 'Candidatus Udaeobacter copiosus'. In the >1000 soil samples examined, this lineage was frequently one of the most abundant.



Species Mash-up

2016-11-11

This month's Genome Watch describes how Mash can be used to tackle comparisons between large amounts of genomic and metagenomic sequence data for taxonomic applications.



How multi-partner endosymbioses function

2016-10-31

Various animals are associated with specific endosymbiotic microorganisms that provide the host with essential nutrients or confer protection against natural enemies. Genomic analyses of the many endosymbioses that are found in plant sap-feeding hemipteran insects have revealed independent acquisitions — and occasional replacements — of



Treponema pallidum, the syphilis spirochete: making a living as a stealth pathogen

2016-10-10

The past two decades have seen a worldwide resurgence in infections caused by Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum, the syphilis spirochete. The well-recognized capacity of the syphilis spirochete for early dissemination and immune evasion has earned it the designation 'the stealth pathogen'. Despite the



Unearthing the roots of ectomycorrhizal symbioses

2016-10-31

During the diversification of Fungi and the rise of conifer-dominated and angiosperm- dominated forests, mutualistic symbioses developed between certain trees and ectomycorrhizal fungi that enabled these trees to colonize boreal and temperate regions. The evolutionary success of these symbioses is evident from phylogenomic analyses that



Competing endogenous RNAs: a target-centric view of small RNA regulation in bacteria

2016-09-19

Many bacterial regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs) have several mRNA targets, which places them at the centre of regulatory networks that help bacteria to adapt to environmental changes. However, different mRNA targets of any given sRNA compete with each other for binding to the sRNA; thus,