Reviews & Analysis

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  • In this Review, Mizrahi and colleagues describe the composition, ecology and metabolism of the rumen microbiome, and the impact on host physiology and the environment. They also discuss the most pertinent methane mitigation strategies that emerged to balance food security and environmental impact.

    • Itzhak Mizrahi
    • R. John Wallace
    • Sarah Moraïs
    Review Article
  • Symbiotic interactions can be neutral, harmful or have beneficial effects for host organisms. In this Review, Drew, Stevens and King discuss the evolutionary transitions of host–microorganism symbioses along the parasite–mutualist continuum, the mechanisms underlying evolutionary changes, the selective pressures involved and common empirical approaches for studying them.

    • Georgia C. Drew
    • Emily J. Stevens
    • Kayla C. King
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Brito discusses methods that are available to study how horizontal gene transfer shapes the function of natural microbial communities and explores questions to which some of these tools can be applied.

    • Ilana Lauren Brito
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Schultz-Cherry, Thomas and colleagues discuss the pathogenesis of influenza virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the human respiratory tract, the contribution of the host response to severe disease, epithelial repair mechanisms following infection, and current and potential future therapies for influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 infections.

    • Tim Flerlage
    • David F. Boyd
    • Stacey Schultz-Cherry
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Stanley-Wall and colleagues provide an overview of biofilm composition and formation in Bacillus subtilis and how this research is informing microbial evolution and ecology and aiding in the development of beneficial applications for biofilms.

    • Sofia Arnaouteli
    • Natalie C. Bamford
    • Ákos T. Kovács
    Review Article
  • The human body hosts vast numbers of different viruses, collectively termed the virome. In this Review, Liang and Bushman provide an overview of research on the human virome and highlight recent studies that explore the assembly and composition of the human virome as well as host–virome interactions in health and disease.

    • Guanxiang Liang
    • Frederic D. Bushman
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Steensels, Gallone and Verstrepen discuss the origin and evolution of fungal interspecific hybrids and provide examples of how hybridization produced useful hybrids for industrial fermentations but also resulted in the emergence of highly virulent pathogens.

    • Jan Steensels
    • Brigida Gallone
    • Kevin J. Verstrepen
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Correa and colleagues revisit the rules of life for viruses of microorganisms by advancing a conceptual framework that recognizes virus–host interactions across a continuum of infection modalities and by examining the influence of these modalities on viruses, their hosts and ecosystems.

    • Adrienne M. S. Correa
    • Cristina Howard-Varona
    • Joshua S. Weitz
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Leung provides an overview of the transmissibility and modes of transmission of respiratory viruses, the viral, host and environmental determinants of transmission, and common non-pharmaceutical interventions for mitigating respiratory virus transmission. She also discusses the recent controversies over aerosol transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

    • Nancy H. L. Leung
    Review Article
  • Toxoplasmosis caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is a common opportunistic infection with high mortality in individuals who are immunocompromised, most commonly due to reactivation of infection in the central nervous system (CNS). In this Review, Sibley and colleagues explore the interaction between host immune defences and parasite virulence factors with emphasis on bradyzoite differentiation and survival of T. gondii within the CNS.

    • Sumit K. Matta
    • Nicholas Rinkenberger
    • L. David Sibley
    Review Article
  • Cryptococcosis is a serious fungal infection for which treatment options are limited. In this Review, Cowen and colleagues discuss the current antifungal treatments available for cryptococcal infections, the challenges in developing new treatments, and ongoing efforts to identify novel therapies.

    • Kali R. Iyer
    • Nicole M. Revie
    • Leah E. Cowen
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Rappuoli and colleagues discuss evidence that vaccines can have a major role in fighting antimicrobial resistance, they describe the current state of development of vaccines against antimicrobial-resistant bacterial pathogens and discuss possible opportunities to overcome obstacles that hinder progress in vaccine development.

    • Francesca Micoli
    • Fabio Bagnoli
    • Davide Serruto
    Review Article
  • Microorganisms produce and excrete an array of metabolites with different physico-chemical properties and biological activities. In this Review, Garbeva and colleagues highlight recent discoveries concerning microbial volatile compounds and their roles in intra-kingdom and inter-kingdom communication, and discuss the potential biotechnological applications of microbial volatiles, as well as challenges and perspectives in this emerging research field.

    • Laure Weisskopf
    • Stefan Schulz
    • Paolina Garbeva
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Kappler and colleagues highlight recent advances in our understanding of the biogeochemical iron cycle, exploring the great complexity of the processes involved and novel mechanistic insights that have been gained.

    • Andreas Kappler
    • Casey Bryce
    • Elizabeth D. Swanner
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Fodor and colleagues discuss recent structural insights into the RNA polymerases of negative-sense RNA viruses and their use to identify novel targets for the development of antiviral agents.

    • Aartjan J. W. te Velthuis
    • Jonathan M. Grimes
    • Ervin Fodor
    Review Article
  • Recent studies have revealed that the evolutionary impact of plasmids goes above and beyond their being mere gene delivery platforms. In this Review, Rodríguez-Beltrán, San Millán and colleagues discuss the advances that underscore the importance of plasmids in bacterial ecology and evolution beyond horizontal gene transfer.

    • Jerónimo Rodríguez-Beltrán
    • Javier DelaFuente
    • Álvaro San Millán
    Review Article
  • The fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which causes white-nose syndrome in bats, has devastated bat populations in North America since its introduction from Eurasia in the 2000s. In this Review, Hoyt and colleagues describe the ecology of P. destructans in bats and its impacts on bats and the ecosystem.

    • Joseph R. Hoyt
    • A. Marm Kilpatrick
    • Kate E. Langwig
    Review Article
  • Bacteria have much more diverse and versatile respiratory chains than eukaryotes, enabling adaption to different environmental conditions. In this Review, Kaila and Wikström discuss the architecture, function and bioenergetics of modular bacterial respiratory chains and supercomplexes.

    • Ville R. I. Kaila
    • Mårten Wikström
    Review Article