Microbiology techniques

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, Broszeit et al. show that circulating A/H3N2 viruses have evolved binding specificity to α2,6-sialosides on extended LacNAc moieties and therefore cannot agglutinate erythrocytes. Applying glycan remodeling allows to install functional receptors on erythrocytes and promotes identification of newly circulating variants to facilitate vaccine design.

    • Frederik Broszeit
    • , Rosanne J. van Beek
    •  & Geert-Jan Boons
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The current biorefineries yield lignin with inadequate fractionation for bioconversion, yet substantial changes of these biorefinery designs could jeopardize carbohydrate efficiency and increase capital costs. Here the authors resolve the dilemma by designing ‘plug-in processes of lignin’ to enable economic waste valorization.

    • Zhi-Hua Liu
    • , Naijia Hao
    •  & Joshua S. Yuan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the human antibody response to influenza A virus strains is important for vaccine development. Here, Creanga et al. generate a panel of 55 replication-deficient reporter viruses representing diversity of human H1N1 and H3N2, and pandemic subtypes and characterize the neutralization profile of 24 antibodies and polyclonal sera.

    • Adrian Creanga
    • , Rebecca A. Gillespie
    •  & Masaru Kanekiyo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    During Plasmodium intra-erythrocytic developmental, parasites compromise the structural integrity of host red-blood cells. Here, Clark et al. develop a flow cytometric osmotic stability assay to show that P. vivax infection destabilizes host reticulocytes, which are less stable than P. falciparum-infected normocytes.

    • Martha A. Clark
    • , Usheer Kanjee
    •  & Manoj T. Duraisingh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To obtain optimal yield and productivity in bioproduction, expression of pathway genes must be appropriately coordinated. Here, the authors report repurposing of base editors for simultaneous regulation of multiple gene expression and demonstrate its application in industrially important and model microorganisms.

    • Yu Wang
    • , Haijiao Cheng
    •  & Yanhe Ma
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The intact proviral DNA assay quantifies the genomically intact HIV reservoir, but assay failure due to HIV-1 polymorphism has been observed. Here, the authors report a 28% failure rate in a cohort of people with HIV-1, and note within-host HIV-1 diversity as a further challenge to IPDA accuracy.

    • Natalie N. Kinloch
    • , Yanqin Ren
    •  & R. Brad Jones
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There is an urgent need to develop simple and fast antimicrobial susceptibility tests. Here, Spencer et al. describe a label-free test that can deliver results within an hour, consisting of a 30-min antibiotic treatment followed by single-cell analysis of phenotypic responses with microfluidic impedance cytometry.

    • Daniel C. Spencer
    • , Teagan F. Paton
    •  & Hywel Morgan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The detection of pathogens in food and clinical samples remains a challenge. Here, Shen et al. present a detection system, involving a combination of nucleic acid-based allosteric probes and CRISPR-Cas13a components, that can detect very low numbers of a bacterial pathogen in milk and serum samples without isolation.

    • Jinjin Shen
    • , Xiaoming Zhou
    •  & Da Xing
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Existing efforts have been focused on one of the elements in the automation of the design, build, test, and learn (DBTL) cycle for biosystems design. Here, the authors integrate a robotic system with machine learning algorithms to fully automate the DBTL cycle and apply it in optimizing the lycopene biosynthetic pathway.

    • Mohammad HamediRad
    • , Ran Chao
    •  & Huimin Zhao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Stimuli affecting migration of filaria in host tissues are unclear. Using in situ imaging, Kilarski et al. here show that universal adaptations of nematodes allow Litomosoides sigmodontis infective larvae to mechanically break into pre-collecting lymphatics and follow the direction of flow towards the lymph node.

    • Witold W. Kilarski
    • , Coralie Martin
    •  & Melody A. Swartz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Brown macroalgae is a good candidate feedstock for biorefinery, but the major carbohydrate alginate cannot be digested by current industrial microbes. Here, the authors isolate Vibrio sp. dhg and engineer it to produce value-added biochemicals from alginate using newly developed genetic tools.

    • Hyun Gyu Lim
    • , Dong Hun Kwak
    •  & Gyoo Yeol Jung
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Vector alteration strategies are emerging as attractive tools for malaria transmission control. Here, Shane et al. engineer a bacterial strain, isolated from mosquitoes, to produce an antiplasmodial protein in the presence of blood meal, causing the mosquitoes to become refractory to Plasmodium infection.

    • Jackie L. Shane
    • , Christina L. Grogan
    •  & David J. Lampe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are protein-bound organelles encapsulating segments of metabolic pathways. Here the authors utilize specific de novo coiled-coil protein-protein interactions to display proteins on the outer or inner surface of BMCs.

    • Matthew J. Lee
    • , Judith Mantell
    •  & Martin J. Warren
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Targeting tumors with bacteria as vehicles for metabolite therapy suffers from low efficiency and robustness. Here, the authors combine carbon nitride with nitric oxide generation enzyme-positive E. coli for photo-controlled metabolite therapy (PMT) and observe increased effects both in vitro and in tumor-bearing mice.

    • Di-Wei Zheng
    • , Ying Chen
    •  & Xian-Zheng Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The Trioplex real-time RT-PCR assay was developed for detection of Zika virus infections in areas with dengue and chikungunya transmission. Here, Santiago et al. describe the optimization and clinical performance of the assay, showing high sensitivity for detection and differentiation of the three viruses.

    • Gilberto A. Santiago
    • , Jesús Vázquez
    •  & Jorge L. Muñoz-Jordan