Volume 9 Issue 6, June 2011
In This Issue
Better annotation of marker gene sequences and environmental parameters in sequence databases is essential to maximize their use for researchers both today and in the future.
Planctomycetes are bacteria that lack peptidoglycan in their cell walls and possess membrane-bound intracellular compartments, some of which may be analogous to the nucleus and the mitochondria of eukaryotes. Here, Fuerst and Sagulenko summarize recent progress in planctomycete cell biology and its implications for our understanding of the origin of eukaryotes.
The archaeal cell surface is home to a range of lipids, proteins, polysaccharides and surface structures that are distinct from those observed at the bacterial cell surface. In this Review, Albers and Meyer discuss our current understanding of the composition of the archaeal cell envelope.
Manipulation of the host cell actin cytoskeleton is a common feature for many viruses. In this Review, Taylor, Koyuncu and Enquist describe how the interaction of viral proteins with the actin cytoskeleton alters the structure and function of this cytoskeleton, allowing viral infections to initiate, persist and spread.
Fungi communicate with one another using chemical languages that consist of extracellular signals and sophisticated cellular responses. Glass and colleagues review the languages that are used by the largest phylum of fungi, the Ascomycota, during developmental processes such as germination, formation of mycelial networks through cell fusion, coordination of colony development, and both sexual and asexual reproduction.
Sulphate-reducing microorganisms have key roles in the biogeochemical cycling of sulphur, carbon, nitrogen and metals, as well as great biotechnological potential. Here, Zhou and colleagues describe recent applications of 'omics' tools to study the stress responses of these organisms, particularlyDesulfovibriospp., at the cell, population, community and ecosystem levels.
The CRISPR–Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats–CRISPR-associated proteins) systems are immunity systems that are present in many bacteria and archaea. Here, Koonin and colleagues present a new classification of these systems and introduce a new nomenclature of the genes in the CRISPR–casloci that better reflects the relationships between the proteins.