Reviews & Analysis

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  • Prochlorococcus is the most abundant photosynthetic organism in the ocean, but single-cell measurements and model simulations reveal that this organism might obtain only 20% of the carbon required for growth from photosynthesis in the deep water column.

    • María del Carmen Muñoz-Marín
    News & Views
  • Pandemic viruses cause major global disease burden and economic disruption. We investigated pandemic HIV-1(M) to understand its unique characteristics by comparing it with HIV strains that did not achieve pandemic human-to-human spread. We observed structural adaptations in the HIV-1(M) capsid that reduce detection by innate immune sensors.

    Research Briefing
  • In this Perspective, the authors discuss the importance and current challenges of using genomic data to predict the emergence of infectious disease outbreaks, and propose the next steps to integrate genomics and modelling for infectious diseases forecasting.

    • Jessica E. Stockdale
    • Pengyu Liu
    • Caroline Colijn
    Perspective
  • The authors review archaeal morphology, surface features, internal organization and cell division, discussing the state of the art and future research directions.

    • Marleen van Wolferen
    • Andre Arashiro Pulschen
    • Sonja-Verena Albers
    Review Article
  • Efforts to futureproof global microbial biodiversity are proposed, in particular in managed landscapes, to monitor, manage and restore the soil fungal microbiome.

    • Colin Averill
    • Mark A. Anthony
    • Tom W. Crowther
    Perspective
  • Probiotics given to preterm infants not only persist but restructure early-life microbiota, which presents an opportunity to optimize developmental outcomes and a responsibility to fully understand the long-term consequences.

    • Kaitlyn Oliphant
    • Erika C. Claud
    News & Views
  • A computational analysis of biosynthetic gene clusters with unique structural features unveils new natural product scaffolds, leading to the discovery of an antibiotic targeting BamA with activity against Gram-negative pathogens.

    • Kristen A. Muñoz
    • Paul J. Hergenrother
    News & Views
  • Most prokaryotes cannot easily be grown in the laboratory and distributed as pure cultures. Thus, these organisms could not be officially named. A code of nomenclature — the SeqCode — provides paths to name such organisms on the basis of genomic data, aiming to unify field and laboratory studies in microbiology.

    Research Briefing
  • Genomics analyses of the Streptococcus pneumoniae pangenome show that gene essentiality depends on genetic context and can evolve over time.

    • Alan J. S. Beavan
    • James O. McInerney
    News & Views
  • Multidimensional phenotyping links sequencing data and bacterial phenotypic diversity to uncover crucial virulence pathways in the emerging pathogen Mycobacterium abscessus.

    • Iñaki Comas
    • Miguel Moreno-Molina
    News & Views
  • This work used DNA and RNA sequencing to investigate how wildfire burn severity affects forest soil microbiomes. The results revealed the mechanisms that allow specific bacteria, fungi and viruses to colonize and thrive in burned soils. These changes can influence nutrient cycling and carbon storage in soil.

    Research Briefing
  • Now, a study using multi-omics to investigate the mechanistic role of the airway microbiome in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) reveals that the airway microbiome-derived metabolite indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) can alleviate COPD-associated airway inflammation and epithelial apoptosis. These results implicate IAA as a potential therapeutic candidate for further investigation in COPD.

    Research Briefing
  • Marine protists abound, but are challenging to study, and their interactions with other microbes in nature remain largely unknown. We captured wild predatory protists (choanoflagellates) and discovered a divergent, obligately co-associated bacterial group that lives by extracting resources from these predators.

    Research Briefing
  • Commensal gut bacteria harbour sulfotransferases that metabolize cholesterol and some steroid hormones to produce bacterially derived signals that influence host phenotypes.

    • William J. Massey
    • J. Mark Brown
    News & Views
  • The conserved nucleotide diadenosine tetraphosphate (Ap4A) is induced under various stresses, including heat. In a non-biased screen, we identified a critical role of Ap4A in inhibiting a central step in purine metabolism and heat resistance. We clarify the molecular mechanism of Ap4A action on the inosine-5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) enzyme, showing Ap4A as a bona fide nucleotide second messenger.

    Research Briefing
  • Rapid experimental evolution and targeted genetic engineering of Escherichia coli in a stinkbug host reveals that a single mutation can produce a host-beneficial symbiosis.

    • Martin Kaltenpoth
    News & Views
  • Identification and analysis of mutator strains in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans show that natural loss of RNA interference triggers massive accumulation of Cnl1 retroelements at subtelomeric regions.

    • Manning Y. Huang
    • Hiten D. Madhani
    News & Views
  • Phylogeny estimation of newly discovered aquatic copiotrophic Rickettsiales indicates evolution of host dependency from extracellular species and the origin of mitochondria from an unknown proteobacterial lineage.

    • Victoria I. Verhoeve
    • Joseph J. Gillespie
    News & Views