Reviews & Analysis

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  • Multiple proteins are involved in bacterial cell division, including FtsZ, the FtsZ-binding proteins and the septal peptidoglycan synthesis complex. Recent studies assessing the dynamics of these proteins provide additional insights into their functions during the bacterial division process.

    • Tanneke den Blaauwen
    News & Views
  • Enveloped viruses often produce particles with varying shapes. Elongated particles are shown to be crucial for maintaining infectivity under conditions in which viral glycoprotein activity is compromised.

    • Anice C. Lowen
    News & Views
  • This Perspective discusses fungal taxonomy and provides guidance for the naming of fungal taxa known only from sequences.

    • Robert Lücking
    • M. Catherine Aime
    • Conrad L. Schoch
  • Cyanobacteria, which produce ~25% of global oxygen, also release around 100 times more hydrocarbons into the ocean than all petroleum sources. A cryptic microbial cycle explains why these hydrocarbons do not accumulate in the sea.

    • Terry J. McGenity
    • Boyd A. McKew
    • David J. Lea-Smith
    News & Views
  • An injection system used for host cell invasion by apicomplexan parasites shares a common evolutionary origin with the secretory system used for cellular defence by the free-living ciliates.

    • Ke Hu
    News & Views
  • Pairwise interactions within and between bacteria and fungi are key drivers of the predictable development of the preterm infant gut microbiome.

    • Tine Rask Licht
    News & Views
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum is enriched in the gut microbiome of patients who respond to cancer treatment, but only selected strains of commercial B. bifidum reduced tumour burden synergistically with therapy in a mouse model.

    • Lindsay J. Hall
    • Stephen D. Robinson
    News & Views
  • Mapping the emergence of a highly invasive lineage reveals a crucial step in the evolution of Salmonella strains.

    • Caressa N. Tsai
    • Brian K. Coombes
    News & Views
  • Bacteria use CRISPR–Cas systems as adaptive defence weapons against attacking phages. A new study shows that under severe stress conditions, Serratia turn off their CRISPR immune system to increase the uptake of potentially beneficial plasmids.

    • Beat Christen
    News & Views
  • Most soil microorganisms can use the trace gases carbon monoxide, hydrogen and methane — and potentially other inorganic compounds — to supplement their cellular energetic needs.

    • Paul Carini
    News & Views
  • Multi-omics and geochemical data reveal that dinoflagellates, abundant marine microorganisms, utilize numerous metabolic strategies to survive in diverse ocean environments.

    • Naomi M. Levine
    • Suzana G. Leles
    News & Views
  • Commensal pneumococci convert invasive diseases to peaceful colonizers by commandeering the host nuclear KDM6B demethylase to mark NF-κB sites of the IL-11 cytokine promoter and increase epithelium repair.

    • Elaine I. Tuomanen
    News & Views
  • By competing for the same binding site on SmbA, a regulatory nucleotide-binding protein, the bacterial second messengers c-di-GMP and (p)ppGpp inversely balance cell cycle re-entry of growth-arrested swarmer cells of Caulobacter crescentus.

    • Regine Hengge
    News & Views
  • Spermine is essential for adhesion to the hydrophobic rice leaf surface by the blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae during infection.

    • Andrew J. Foster
    • Nicholas J. Talbot
    News & Views
  • Many bacteria rely on their flagella for motility, yet the molecular mechanism of flagellar rotation was previously unclear. Recently, multiple papers solved the atomic structure of the bacterial flagellum stator complex, elucidating how these intricate molecular machines operate.

    • Natalie S. Al-Otaibi
    • Julien R. C. Bergeron
    News & Views
  • Epigenetic switching between white and opaque cell types in Candida is mediated by transcription factors that undergo liquid–liquid phase separation.

    • Haoping Liu
    News & Views
  • Glycolytic Staphylococcus aureus generate lactate that targets specific histone deacetylases to stimulate the production of IL-10 and enable biofilm formation.

    • Alice Prince
    News & Views