Research Highlights

  • Research Highlight |

    The findings of this study suggest that commensal Neisseria species antagonize infection by pathogenic Neisseria species through their DNA, by a mechanism based on genetic competence and DNA methylation state.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies report synthetic genetic circuits for inducible asymmetric cell division that give rise to cellular differentiation in Escherichia coli.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies now provide structural insights into the stator–rotor interaction, stator assembly and stator maintenance of the bacterial flagellum.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    The simultaneous, independent emergence of different clades of Candida auris and the high temperature tolerance of the species compared to other fungi has inspired researchers to propose links to climate change.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    This study reports the identification and characterization of spindle-shaped viruses that infect a marine ammonia-oxidizing thaumarchaeon and that are distinct from other known marine viruses.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Two papers provide novel insights into how Vibrio cholerae colonizes chitin, revealing the role of a type IV pilus and filamentation.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study investigates which strategies are effective to mitigate the effects of science denialism.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that the microbiota associated with farm houses also has a protective effect in non-farm houses as the risk of developing asthma decreases.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study reports that Cas13 induces a state of dormancy in bacteria, which inhibits viral replication and the rise of CRISPR-resistant phages.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that bacteria can maintain efficient chemotaxis in the presence of obstacles by reducing their tumbling frequency.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study reports a force-independent form of flow-sensing in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies describe how a commensal can either protect against or promote colitis, and a third study shows how colitis can affect the disease severity of a subsequent infection.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that a subpopulation of bacteria assumes a hypermutable phenotype during antibiotic treatment, which accelerates resistance development.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    Tissue damage in the lungs can lead to the outgrowth of commensal bacterial species that promote fibrotic responses.

    • Yvonne Bordon
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that under nutrient-depleted conditions, γ-proteobacteria eject their flagellar hook, distal rod and filament and that relics of these ejected flagella are retained at old cell poles.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study uncovers a functional link between ion flux and ribosome function, and indicates an alternative mechanism for bacterial survival under antibiotic stress.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that Malassezia restricta in the gut acts via CARD9S12N, a risk factor for Crohn’s disease, to promote the production of inflammatory cytokines in myeloid phagocytes and exacerbate colitis.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies investigate how bacteria respond with slow or no growth during unfavourable conditions.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies investigated the human gut virome and report the positive correlation between microbiome diversity and phage diversity, and the link between phage expansion and intestinal inflammation.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study shows that phosphatidic acid produced during infection acts as an intrinsic signal that governs natural egress of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii through a guanylate cyclase signalling platform.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study combining video microscopy and computer models shows that rare pioneer bacteria contribute to Listeria monocytogenes spread.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    In a recent study, researchers examined the super-donor phenomenon in faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and concluded that the existence of FMT super-donors is not yet supported, and they suggest a more personalized approach could improve the success of FMT.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies address the mechanism of phage induction in the context of a gut symbiont and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli infection.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study shows that silencing of the type VI secretion system is essential for plasmid conjugation and the dissemination of multidrug resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study reports a model for Pseudomonas aeruginosa surface colonization that creates phenotypic diversity to enhance spread and virulence.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study investigates the phenotypic heterogeneity in influenza virus size and composition.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    This study uncovers a strategy whereby pandemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus clones subvert antibody-mediated immunity.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Two recent studies identify factors that accelerate the rate of antimicrobial resistance development.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study reports the experimental evolution of the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans into a non-pathogenic commensal that provides resistance against other pathogens.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    A new report shows that investing in the prevention of antimicrobial resistance now will have a big pay-off in the future.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    This study reveals a novel mechanism of receptor-triggered toxin delivery.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study reports that extracellular vesicles produced by Candida albicans biofilm cells have a crucial role in the production of the extracellular matrix and biofilm drug resistance.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Recently emerged enteroviruses have been linked to acute paralysis, and a new study now shows that these viruses have developed neurotropism.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    This study reports that the consumption of probiotic Bacillus bacteria abolishes Staphylococcus aureus gut colonization by interfering with S. aureus quorum-sensing.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies provide insights into the assembly of the division machinery.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study analysed the proportion of uncultured bacteria and archaea globally and found that the majority of environments are dominated by uncultured cells.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    This study reports that surfing motility is a conserved yet diverse form of motility in bacteria.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study identifies a novel and simple electron transport chain in Listeria monocytogenes, whereby electrons are transported from intracellular NADH to quinone and subsequently via an extracellular flavoprotein to a terminal electron acceptor.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study used a large cohort of HIV-1 transmission pairs to determine the contribution of viral genetics on the development of neutralizing antibodies.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    Two recent studies provide new insights into the architecture, molecular mechanisms and function of the Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins (PTEX) complex and the core PTEX protein EXP2.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that rotaviruses and noroviruses are transmitted in stool as clusters of viruses within vesicles, and that this mode of transmission provides a replication advantage.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study integrates genomic, geological and fossil evidence to derive a timeline of life’s early evolution and the origin of eukaryotes.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    Three studies provide insights into the microbial lineages involved in carbon processing in thawing permafrost, the role of viruses in soil carbon cycling, and the pattern, extent and scientific implications of sampling bias in environmental field research across the Arctic.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies characterize the transmission of the microbiome from mother to infant during the first months of life.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    In this study, Berman and colleagues show that a subpopulation of C. albicans cells can tolerate antifungal drug treatment, which contributes to persistent infection.

    • Ursula Hofer