Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer).
Microbial communities are groups of microorganisms that share a common living space. The microbial populations that form the community can interact in different ways, for example as predators and prey or as symbionts.
In this Perspective, Suez and Elinav describe the potential for therapeutic approaches based on the use of metabolites secreted, modulated or degraded by the gut microbiome, and issues that will be critical for their implementation.
A tree biodiversity and ecosystem function experiment shows that leaf bacterial diversity is positively related to plant community productivity, and explains a portion of the variation in productivity that would otherwise be attributed to plant diversity and functional traits.
We asked microbiologist and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins about her time on the International Space Station, the challenges of working with bugs in space, and what's next for science that is out of this world.
From roles in the health, nutrition and performance of humans during spaceflight, through to the question of life on other worlds, microbiology has fundamental contributions to make to our exploration of the cosmos.
This month's Genome Watch highlights how metagenomics is continuing to reveal the diversity of microorganisms in the environment and how it is challenging and expanding our understanding of how life evolved on Earth.