News & Comment

  • Research Highlight |

    Two recent studies use electron cryomicroscopy to determine the architecture of bacterial flagellum stator complexes.

    • Akila Sridhar
  • In Brief |

    This study reported the discovery of two new relatives of rubella virus, ruhugu virus in bats and rustrela virus in mice.

    • Grant Otto
  • In Brief |

    This study provides evidence that bacterial nanotubes produced by Bacillus subtilis and other bacteria are a feature of cell death rather than physiological structures.

    • Grant Otto
  • In Brief |

    This study found that Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms impede the motility of the nematode bacterivore Caenorhabditis elegans.

    • Grant Otto
  • Research Highlight |

    In this study, the authors have used a modular approach to create synthetic acetylation-resistant streptogramins.

    • M. Teresa Villanueva
  • Comment |

    A global assessment of the structure and function of the crop microbiome is urgently needed for the development of effective and rationally designed microbiome technologies for sustainable agriculture. Such an effort will provide new knowledge on the key ecological and evolutionary interactions between plant species and their microbiomes that can be harnessed for increasing agriculture productivity.

    • Brajesh K. Singh
    • , Pankaj Trivedi
    • , Eleonora Egidi
    • , Catriona A. Macdonald
    •  & Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo
  • Research Highlight |

    This study provides insights into how a mycovirus decreases the pathogenicity of its fungal host and promotes plant defences, and how this can be translated into the development of a plant vaccine.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • News & Views |

    The rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance is recognized as a major public health threat. Nanomaterials have risen to tackle this problem through either improving the potency of existing antibiotics or generating entirely new antibacterial mechanisms.

    • Weiwei Gao
    •  & Liangfang Zhang
  • Feature |

    Scientists around the world have risen to the challenges posed by COVID-19 by rapidly transforming their laboratories and refocusing their research efforts.

    • Ursula Hofer
    • , Andrea Du Toit
    •  & Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    This study discovered that the maternal gut microbiota of mice modulates fetal neurodevelopment during homeostasis and the behaviour of offspring in adult life.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    This study found that the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis promotes the progression of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    A recent study suggests that anthropogenic disturbance of grasslands changes the sensitivity of plant pathogens to climate change.

    • Ashley York
  • Genome Watch |

    This month’s Genome Watch highlights how the search for the origins of SARS-CoV-2 emphasizes the need for integrated phylogenetic methods.

    • Russell Y. Neches
    • , Matthew D. McGee
    •  & Nikos C. Kyrpides
  • In Brief |

    This paper found that cytoplasmic control of intranuclear polarity by human cytomegalovirus leads to segregation of viral DNA from heterochromatin, thus promoting virus replication.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    A recent study investigated bacterial–fungal symbioses and found that fungal responses to bacteria differed depending on whether the relationship was mutualistic or antagonistic.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    This study found that Zika virus infection enhances future risk of severe dengue disease.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    This study suggests that two syntrophic Clostridium species can fuse and exchange cellular material, creating hybrid cells.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • In Brief |

    This study shows that alveolar macrophages patrol the lung to take up inhaled bacteria and that influenza virus infection can interfere with this function.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • 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
  • Under the Lens |

    This month’s Under the Lens discusses dual-view light-sheet microscopy and how its use has revealed the dynamics of bacterial biofilm development, a fundamental process found in bacteria.

    • Suzanne C. Letham
    •  & Tanmay A. M. Bharat
  • In Brief |

    A recent study reports that anthropogenic land use causes major changes in the diversity and taxonomic composition of reservoir hosts for pathogens, with implications for the emergence of zoonotic diseases.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    A recent study investigated the physiological status of cells isolated from ~101.5 million year old sediment of the South Pacific Gyre.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    This study found that extracellular DNA mediates efficient extracellular electron transfer by phenazines in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.

    • Ashley York
  • 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
  • In Brief |

    This study reports that extensive copy number variations occur in the presence of azole antifungal drugs in Candida albicans, which might cause phenotypic and population-level heterogeneity observed in clinical isolates.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study suggests that the enhanced pathogenicity following co-infection of corals with Vibrio coralliilyticus and Vibrio mediterranei is a side effect of competition sensing and the induced responses.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

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

    • Ursula Hofer
  • In Brief |

    This study shows that a high-fat diet and antibiotic treatment impair mitochondrial bioenergetics, which increases epithelial oxygenation and triggers dysbiosis and pre-inflammatory bowel disease.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • 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
  • Feature |

    Scientists around the world have risen to the challenges posed by COVID-19 by rapidly transforming their laboratories and refocusing their research efforts. In the first of a new series of Feature articles to highlight these efforts, we interviewed three researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

    • Ursula Hofer
    • , Andrea Du Toit
    •  & Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    This study suggests that primary SARS-CoV-2 exposure may protect against reinfection in rhesus macaques.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    A recent study found that viral cap snatching generates host–virus chimeric proteins during infection.

    • Ashley York
  • Genome Watch |

    This month’s Genome Watch highlights how genomic surveillance can provide important information for identifying and tracking emerging pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2.

    • Stephanie W. Lo
    •  & Dorota Jamrozy
  • 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
  • In Brief |

    This study reports the strain-level and genomic diversity in the gut microbiota of two closely related honey bee species.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study reports the identification of cholesterol dehydrogenases from gut microbiomes that modulate host cholesterol levels.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study provides structural insides into the mechanism of action of mycobacterial arabinosyltransferases and the mode of action of an anti-tuberculosis drug targeting those enzymes.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • 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
  • In Brief |

    Researchers report the most comprehensive analysis of the tumour microbiome to date.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    A recent study finds that the neurotransmitter serotonin modulates the virulence of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli and Citrobacter rodentium.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    This study reports the discovery of human-pathogenic filamentous Aspergillus latus allodiploid hybrids that are phenotypically distinct from the parental species.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

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

    • Ursula Hofer