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Industrial microbiology is a branch of applied microbiology in which microorganisms are used in industrial processes; for example, in the production of high-value products such as drugs, chemicals, fuels and electricity.
It is unclear whether the transfer of plasmids carrying antibiotic resistance genes can explain their persistence when antibiotics are not present. Here, Lopatkin et al. show that conjugal plasmids, even when costly, are indeed transferred at sufficiently high rates to be maintained in the absence of antibiotics.
Metaboli engineering through gene overexpression, knock-down and knock-out is often carried out sequentially in a high labor, low-throughput manner. Here, the authors use CRISPR-mediated gene activation, interference and deletion to rapidly rewire S. cerevisiae metabolism in a single step.
An E. coli strain able to use CO2 fixation for sugar synthesis was previously generated by experimental evolution of an engineered strain. Here, Herz et al. show that specific mutations in five genes, encoding carbon metabolism enzymes or key regulators, are sufficient to enable robust growth of the strain.
The biosynthetic pathway of fusidane-type antibiotics, such as helvolic acid, is largely undiscovered. Here, the authors investigate the biosynthesis of helvolic acid, thereby determining the sequence of the enzymatic reactions involved in the process and the intermediates formed.
The Uncultivated Bacteria and Archaea dataset is a foundational collection of 7,903 genomes from uncultivated microorganisms. It highlights how microbial diversity is readily recovered using current tools and existing metagenomic datasets to help piece together the tree of life.