Research Highlights

  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that Aspergillus fumigatus develops spatial hypoxic microenvironments during biofilm maturation that contribute to antifungal drug resistance.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Two recent studies report the structural basis of transcription–translation coupling in Escherichia coli, and a further study reports functionally uncoupled transcription–translation in Bacillus subtilis.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that dying cells can release a signal that alerts their kin to the presence of antibiotics and makes them more resistant.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study found that a bacterial metabolite is necessary to execute the cancer driving potential of ‘hotspot’ mutations in the p53 tumour suppressor gene.

    • Akila Sridhar
  • Research Highlight |

    This paper identifies a non-retroviral endogenous viral element in mosquitoes that has antiviral functions.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies now provide insights into how surface contact and sensing stimulate the synthesis of c-di-GMP, which accelerates cell cycle progression and cell differentiation in Caulobacter crescentus.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies used advanced imaging techniques to study the formation and development of bacterial biofilms.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    Two recent studies shed light on the importance of heterogeneity in determining the outcome of influenza virus infections, either by shaping the immune response to infection, or by determining the potential for influenza virus to overcome species barriers.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study reports that gut-colonizing commensal bacteria produce a neurotransmitter that modulates the sensory behaviour of their host.

    • Akila Sridhar
  • Research Highlight |

    This study suggests that double-membrane vesicles are the primary and likely only site of coronavirus viral RNA within the replication organelle.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study identified a compound that shows bactericidal activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

    • Akila Sridhar
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that T6SS-mediated killing of competitors is most effective if a lytic toxin is injected.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    The findings of this study suggest that plastic pollution influences the composition and function of sedimentary microbial communities, with important implications for the microbial nitrogen cycle.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies provide insights into the possible roles of viruses in honey bee health and disease.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Researchers show that Plasmodium falciparum glutamic-acid-rich protein (PfGARP), a 80 kDa antigen expressed on the surface of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes, is a malaria vaccine candidate for specifically targeting the blood stage of this parasite.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study found that bacterial volatile organic compounds attract springtails to soil-dwelling Streptomyces species, promoting the dispersal of spores.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that platelets can harbour infectious HIV and transfer it to macrophages.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    Two papers now report compound uptake in Mycobacterium tuberculosis by ATP-binding cassette (ABC) exporters, which are usually involved in the export of substrates out of the cell and which could be new drug targets.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    In a new study, Torres, Cadwell and colleagues provide insights into a mechanism whereby host cells deploy extracellular vesicles as decoys that trap and ‘neutralize’ Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin to avoid cell damage.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study developed an assay to screen for drugs that inhibit transfer of antimicrobial resistance plasmids between bacteria.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    This study finds that phages produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa form a shield around the bacteria and protect them from antibiotics.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    An early effector of Chlamydia pneumoniae induces curvature of the host plasma membrane, which is sensed by a key regulator of endocytosis that is subsequently recruited to promote internalization of the pathogen.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Researchers have engineered the symbiont Snodgrassella alvi to express double-stranded RNA in honey bees that protects them from pathogens.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • Research Highlight |

    Two recent studies provide initial insights into a novel coronavirus that is associated with an outbreak of human respiratory disease.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study reports the cultivation of a member of the Asgard archaea, which are the closest living relatives of the cells that gave rise to eukaryotes.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study uncovers the molecular mechanism of artemisinin resistance in the most lethal human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    Upon host colonization, increased vesiculation accelerates the modulation of the cell surface composition of Vibrio cholerae, which confers resistance to host-derived antimicrobial peptides and bile.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study identifies a new family of T6SS-delivered ion-selective pore-forming toxins that is distinct from previously described T6SS effectors.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Two recent studies find that pioneering bacterial cells use chemotaxis as a navigation strategy to boost range expansion, but colonizing too quickly can leave the population susceptible to invasion by competitors.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    Further evidence that measles induce ‘immunological amnesia’ highlight the importance of the vaccination and the need to increase vaccination rates.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study identifies a role for members of the endophytic root microbiome and their functional traits in plant protection from the fungal root pathogen Rhizoctonia solani.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study reveals a sequence of molecular events that led to the origin of the most lethal malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in humans.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    Three recent studies highlight how the gut microbiome responds to dietary change, with potential consequences for host–microbiota interactions.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study links a histone deacetylase and the gut microbiota to the circadian regulation of host metabolism.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study explores the response of the gut microbiota to dietary fibres and presents new biosensors that can measure microbial fibre use in vivo.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study finds that the re-seeding of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium persister cells into the gut lumen promotes the spread of antibiotic resistance plasmids.

    • Ashley York
  • 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