Research Highlights

  • Research Highlight |

    Two large culture screens of the gut microbiota study the effects of defined media and drugs on bacterial growth.

    • Ursula Hofer
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    Infection ofE. huxleyiby coccolithoviruses facilitates downward vertical flux of both particulate organic and inorganic carbon, thus enhancing the efficiency of carbon export into the deep ocean.

    • Andrea Du Toit
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    Two new studies explore the diverse microorganisms and their enzymes that contribute to the global sulfur cycle.

    • Ursula Hofer
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    This study provides evidence that lipopolysaccharides are pushed from the inner membrane to the outer membrane of the bacterial cell envelope over a protein bridge.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
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    A recent study reports that host lysozyme counteracts β-lactam-mediated killing of some bacteria by promoting efficient L-form switching.

    • Ashley York
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    This study reports that the P. aeruginosa type III secretion system translocon functions as a pore-forming toxin that triggers the modification of histones in eukaryotic cells.

    • Andrea Du Toit
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    This study uses ocean mesocosms to show that climate change can lead to a decoupled increase of cyanobacterial primary production and a collapse of the marine food web.

    • Ursula Hofer
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    A recent study finds that a gut-associated fungus alters the gut physiology of theAedes aegyptimosquito to increase susceptibility to dengue virus.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study reports that artemisinin-induced latency is mediated by general translational repression following the phosphorylation of the α-subunit ofPlasmodiumeukaryotic initiation factor 2.

    • Andrea Du Toit
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    Using single amplified genomes, this study identifies members of the Nitrospinae bacterial phylum as the main primary producers in the dark ocean.

    • Ursula Hofer
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    This study reports that commensal enteric fungi provide protection against infection in local intestinal and non-intestinal systemic tissues and enhance systemic immunity.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study identified a metabolic pathway in members of the gut microbiota, which uses aromatic amino acids to produce small molecules with systemic effects.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    Bacterial predation byAcinetobacter baylyi increases the rate of horizontal gene transfer from Escherichia coli, which leads to the acquisition of antibiotic resistance genes from prey cells.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study identifies the environmental factors that are associated with changes in bacterial secondary metabolism across natural environments on a metagenome-wide scale.

    • Andrea Du Toit
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    This study shows how the crypt microbiota and the LPS that they produce alter epithelial proliferation and differentiation in the colon.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study revealed howH. pyloriopens cell-to-cell junctions and traverses the gastric epithelium to bind to basolateral integrins, thereby activating the assembly and function of its type IV secretion system.

    • Irene Vacca
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study investigated the structural dynamics of a matrix protein ofVibrio choleraebiofilms and examined how this protein modulates the architecture of the biofilm.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    In a recent study, Takataet al. show that viral CG suppression is key for the replication of HIV-1 and that the zinc-finger antiviral protein (ZAP), by specifically binding to CG-rich RNA sequences, can identify non-self RNAs and target them for degradation.

    • Irene Vacca
  • Research Highlight |

    This study reveals a two-component response regulator system in enterotoxigenicBacteroides fragilis strains that regulates the expression of the colitis-inducing B. fragilistoxin.

    • Andrea Du Toit
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    A recent study by Silvesteret al. found that a conserved quorum sensing signalling pathway regulates interspecies crosstalk in trypanosome co-infections and provided novel insights into trypanosome virulence and transmission.

    • Irene Vacca
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    This study reports thatLegionella pneumophilaregulates mitochondrial dynamics to subvert mitochondrial bioenergetics of infected cells in a process that involves a bacterial T4SS effector and a host fission protein.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study identified a host-derived ammonium transporter in the genome of an algal virus that increases the rate of nitrogen uptake by infected cells and changes how the host accesses diverse nitrogen sources during infection.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study describes a new molecular mechanism used by the gut microbiota to maintain a state of homeostasis in the intestinal lumen, and highlights the importance of PPARγ signalling in this complex regulation.

    • Irene Vacca
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    A recent study investigated how the history of adaptation to a single antibiotic influences the trajectory of evolutionary dynamics during subsequent treatments with different antibiotics.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study by Florezet al. shows a direct correlation between the export of PQS and OMV biogenesis, which suggests that by modulating the export of PQS it is possible to regulate the production of OMVs.

    • Irene Vacca
  • Research Highlight |

    Two recent studies shed light on the mechanisms that coordinate cell division with chromosomal replication and segregation in two distinct bacterial species.

    • Irene Vacca
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies explore the effect of overexpression of efflux pumps on bacterial fitness as well as the effect of loss of efflux function on virulence.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Two independent recent studies have revealed how distinct components of the biofilm matrix contribute to its architectural stability and functionality.

    • Irene Vacca
  • Research Highlight |

    Two recent studies provide new insights into the fusion stage of HIV-1 entry.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study presents cryo-electron microscopy structures of the type I-E Cascade and provides insights into PAM-dependent R-loop formation, Cas3 recruitment and substrate handover.

    • Andrea Du Toit
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    In this study, Patel, Whiteet al. discover that the hepatitis B virus pre-genome RNA contains specific nucleotide motifs that mediate interactions with the viral capsid protein to drive nucleocapsid assembly.

    • Ashley York
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    This study found a new role for chaperone–usher pathway (CUP) pili in the colonization of the gut by uropathogenicEscherichia coli(UPEC) and identified a mannoside compound that could be used to prevent their binding to host cells.

    • Irene Vacca
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    This study shows that a type VI secretion system contributes to the competitiveness ofShigella sonnei.

    • Shimona Starling
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies reveal howMycobacterium tuberculosisadapts to environmental stresses that are associated with an intracellular lifestyle.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study suggests that the valine residue at position 188 of NS1 has a crucial role in antigenaemia, which is essential for the transmission of Zika virus from mammalian hosts to mosquitoes.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Luethyet al. show that metabolites produced by the gut microbiota can modulate the expression of Campylobacter jejunideterminants that are required for growth, commensalism and virulence.

    • Irene Vacca
  • Research Highlight |

    This study provides experimental support that macrophages may represent a persistent viral reservoir for HIV-1in vivo.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    Burdaet al. found that Plasmodium bergheiliver-stage merozoites induce the disruption of the actin–plasma membrane linkage, which might promote merosome formation.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Two recent studies provide novel mechanistic and structural insights into lipid and lipoprotein transport between the inner and outer bacterial membranes, across the periplasmic space.

    • Irene Vacca
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that distant biofilms can coordinate their behaviour and use time-sharing to increase their growth rate under nutrient-limiting conditions

    • Shimona Starling
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study by Maraffini and colleagues shows that CRISPR–Cas systems capture phage DNA during genome injection, which protects cells from subsequent infection before the lytic cycle begins.

    • Shimona Starling
  • Research Highlight |

    A detailed study ofE. colistrains that were isolated from the urine of women shows that bladder colonization does not require previously defined virulence factors but is linked to the differential regulation of core functions.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies provide a structural basis to help us understand the periodic assembly of cyanobacterial clock proteins.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    The CRISPR–Cas9 patents filed by the Broad Institute are upheld by the US Patent and Trademark Office

    • Shimona Starling