Dynamism and regulation of the stator, the energy conversion complex of the bacterial flagellar motor.
Abstract Many motile bacteria swim by rotating their motility organ, the flagellum. Rotation of the flagellum is driven by a motor at its base, and torque is generated by the rotor-stator interaction coupled with the specific ion flow through the channel in the stator. Because the stator works as an energy-conversion complex in the motor, understanding the functional mechanism of the stator is critically important. But its characterization has been hampered due to the difficulty in isolating the functional stator complex from the membrane. Recently, successful new approaches for studying the stator have been repor...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 9, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Kojima S Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Recent contributions of structure-based drug design to the development of antibacterial compounds.
Abstract According to a Pew Research study published in February 2015, there are 37 antibacterial programs currently in clinical trials in the United States. Protein structure-based methods for guiding small molecule design were used in at least 34 of these programs. Typically, this occurred at an early stage (drug discovery and/or lead optimization) prior to an Investigational New Drug (IND) application, although sometimes in retrospective studies to rationalize biological activity. Recognizing that structure-based methods are resource-intensive and often require specialized equipment and training, the NIAID has ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 9, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Staker BL, Buchko GW, Myler PJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Nitrate, nitrite and nitric oxide reductases: from the last universal common ancestor to modern bacterial pathogens.
;umler AJ Abstract The electrochemical gradient that ensues from the enzymatic activity of cytochromes such as nitrate reductase, nitric oxide reductase, and quinol oxidase contributes to the bioenergetics of the bacterial cell. Reduction of nitrogen oxides by bacterial pathogens can, however, be uncoupled from proton translocation and biosynthesis of ATP or NH4(+), but still linked to quinol and NADH oxidation. Ancestral nitric oxide reductases, as well as cytochrome c oxidases and quinol bo oxidases evolved from the former, are capable of binding and detoxifying nitric oxide to nitrous oxide. The NO-metabolizing...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 28, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Vázquez-Torres A, Bäumler AJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Advancing gut microbiome research using cultivation.
Abstract Culture-independent approaches have driven the field of microbiome research and illuminated intricate relationships between the gut microbiota and human health. However, definitively associating phenotypes to specific strains or elucidating physiological interactions is challenging for metagenomic approaches. Recently a number of new approaches to gut microbiota cultivation have emerged through the integration of high-throughput phylogenetic mapping and new simplified cultivation methods. These methodologies are described along with their potential use within microbiome research. Deployment of novel culti...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 21, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Sommer MO Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Antimicrobials.
PMID: 26384621 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 15, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Dunman PM, Tomaras AP Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Nuclear autonomy in multinucleate fungi.
Abstract Within many fungal syncytia, nuclei behave independently despite sharing a common cytoplasm. Creation of independent nuclear zones of control in one cell is paradoxical considering random protein synthesis sites, predicted rapid diffusion rates, and well-mixed cytosol. In studying the surprising fungal nuclear autonomy, new principles of cellular organization are emerging. We discuss the current understanding of nuclear autonomy, focusing on asynchronous cell cycle progression where most work has been directed. Mechanisms underlying nuclear autonomy are diverse including mRNA localization, ploidy variabil...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 14, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Roberts SE, Gladfelter AS Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Eukaryotic microbes: models and beyond.
PMID: 26371422 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 11, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Martin SG Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Bacterial CRISPR: accomplishments and prospects.
Abstract In this review we briefly describe the development of CRISPR tools for genome editing and control of transcription in bacteria. We focus on the Type II CRISPR/Cas9 system, provide specific examples for use of the system, and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of CRISPR versus other techniques. We suggest potential strategies for combining CRISPR tools with high-throughput approaches to elucidate gene function in bacteria. PMID: 26363124 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 9, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Peters JM, Silvis MR, Zhao D, Hawkins JS, Gross CA, Qi LS Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Applications of imaging for bacterial systems biology.
Abstract Imaging has fueled exciting advances in bacterial cell biology, which have led to exquisite understanding of mechanisms of protein localization and cell growth in select cases. Nonetheless, it remains a challenge to connect subcellular dynamics to cellular phenotypes. In this review, I explore synergies between imaging and systems approaches to bacterial physiology. I highlight how single-cell, time-lapse imaging under environmental or chemical perturbations yields insights that complement traditional observations based on population-level growth on long time-scales. Next, I discuss applications of high-t...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 7, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Huang KC Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

In the midst of the antimicrobial discovery conundrum: an overview.
PMID: 26356257 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 6, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Tomaras AP, Dunman PM Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Translational deficiencies in antibacterial discovery and new screening paradigms.
Abstract An impending disaster is currently developing in the infectious disease community: the combination of rapidly emerging multidrug-resistance among clinically relevant bacterial pathogens, together with an unprecedented withdrawal from industrial dedication to this disease area, is jeopardizing human health on a societal level. For those who remain focused and dedicated to identifying solutions to this growing problem, additional challenges await when in vitro activity does not correlate with in vivo efficacy. Thus the development of more effective translational assays will greatly improve and streamline th...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 6, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Dunman PM, Tomaras AP Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Anti-infective vaccination in the 21st century-new horizons for personal and public health.
Abstract The 21st century has seen the licensure of new anti-infective vaccines that have demonstrated their benefit for both individual and population (herd) protection. Despite this there are still many human pathogens for which no vaccine is available. As we learn more about these pathogens, and as technologies advance, more opportunities for vaccine development have become available. This review will address these advances and highlight the paradigm shift from vaccines that are used on a population basis, to others which will have an individual benefit, if successfully licensed, but are not expected to have wi...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 4, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Scully IL, Swanson K, Green L, Jansen KU, Anderson AS Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Regulation of contractile ring formation and septation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.
Abstract The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has become a powerful model organism for cytokinesis studies, propelled by pioneering genetic screens in the 1980s and 1990s. S. pombe cells are rod-shaped and divide similarly to mammalian cells, utilizing a medially-placed actin-and myosin-based contractile ring. A cell wall division septum is deposited behind the constricting ring, forming the new ends of each daughter cell. Here we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the regulation of contractile ring formation through formin proteins and the role of the division septum in S. pombe cell division....
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 1, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Willet AH, McDonald NA, Gould KL Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Cell fusion in Neurospora crassa.
er A Abstract In recent years, the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa has advanced as a model organism for studying eukaryotic cell-cell communication and fusion. Cell merger in this fungus employs an unusual mode of communication, in which the fusion partners appear to switch between signal sending and receiving. Many molecular factors mediating this intriguing mechanism and the subsequent membrane merger have been identified. It has become apparent that conserved factors, such as MAP kinases, NADPH oxidases and the STRIPAK complex, together with fungal specific proteins are wired into an intricate signaling ne...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 1, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Herzog S, Schumann MR, Fleißner A Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

High-throughput bacterial functional genomics in the sequencing era.
Abstract High-throughput functional genomic technologies are accelerating progress in understanding the diversity of bacterial life and in developing a systems-level understanding of model bacterial organisms. Here we highlight progress in deep-sequencing-based functional genomics, show how whole genome sequencing is enabling phenotyping in organisms recalcitrant to genetic approaches, recount the rapid proliferation of functional genomic approaches to non-growth phenotypes, and discuss how advances are enabling genome-scale resource libraries for many different bacteria. PMID: 26336012 [PubMed - as supplied ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 31, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Gray AN, Koo BM, Shiver AL, Peters JM, Osadnik H, Gross CA Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Shift and adapt: the costs and benefits of karyotype variations.
Abstract Variation is the spice of life or, in the case of evolution, variation is the necessary material on which selection can act to enable adaptation. Karyotypic variation in ploidy (the number of homologous chromosome sets) and aneuploidy (imbalance in the number of chromosomes) are fundamentally different than other types of genomic variants. Karyotypic variation emerges through different molecular mechanisms than other mutational events, and unlike mutations that alter the genome at the base pair level, rapid reversion to the wild type chromosome number is often possible. Although karyotypic variation has l...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 25, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Gerstein AC, Berman J Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Antibacterial monoclonal antibodies: the next generation?
Abstract There is a clear need for renewed efforts to combat the increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance. While the antibiotic resistance epidemic is due in part to the misuse of antibiotics, even proper empiric antibiotic therapy increases the selective pressure and potential for drug-resistance and spread of resistance mechanisms between bacteria. Antibiotic resistance coupled with the detrimental effects of broad-spectrum antibiotics on the healthy microbiome, have led the field to explore pathogen specific antibacterials such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Medical need along with advances in mAb discov...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 21, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: DiGiandomenico A, Sellman BR Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

New chemical tools to probe cell wall biosynthesis in bacteria.
Abstract Some of the most successful drugs in the antibiotic pharmacopeia are those that inhibit bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. However, the worldwide spread of bacterial antibiotic resistance has eroded the clinical efficacy of these drugs and the antibiotic pipeline continues to be lean as drug discovery programs struggle to bring new agents to the clinic. Nevertheless, cell wall biogenesis remains a high interest and celebrated target. Recent advances in the preparation of chemical probes and biosynthetic intermediates provide the tools necessary to better understand cell wall assembly. Likewise, these tools...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 17, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Gale RT, Brown ED Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Mechanics and morphogenesis of fission yeast cells.
inc N Abstract The integration of biochemical and biomechanical elements is at the heart of morphogenesis. While animal cells are relatively soft objects which shape and mechanics is mostly regulated by cytoskeletal networks, walled cells including those of plants, fungi and bacteria are encased in a rigid cell wall which resist high internal turgor pressure. How these particular mechanical properties may influence basic cellular processes, such as growth, shape and division remains poorly understood. Recent work using the model fungal cell fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, highlights important contributio...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 17, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Davì V, Minc N Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Taking a bite: Amoebic trogocytosis in Entamoeba histolytica and beyond.
Abstract Entamoeba histolytica is a diarrheal pathogen with the ability to cause profound host tissue damage. This organism possesses contact-dependent cell killing activity, which is likely to be a major contributor to tissue damage. E. histolytica trophozoites were recently shown to ingest fragments of living human cells. It was demonstrated that this process, termed amoebic trogocytosis, contributes to cell killing. Recent advances in ex vivo and 3-D cell culture approaches have shed light on mechanisms for tissue destruction by E. histolytica, allowing amoebic trogocytosis to be placed in the context of additi...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 12, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Ralston KS Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Comparative mapping of host-pathogen protein-protein interactions.
Abstract Pathogens usurp a variety of host pathways via protein-protein interactions to ensure efficient pathogen replication. Despite the existence of an impressive toolkit of systematic and unbiased approaches, we still lack a comprehensive list of these PPIs and an understanding of their functional implications. Here, we highlight the importance of harnessing genetic diversity of hosts and pathogens for uncovering the biochemical basis of pathogen restriction, virulence, fitness, and pathogenesis. We further suggest that integrating physical interaction data with orthogonal types of data will allow researchers ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 10, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Shah PS, Wojcechowskyj JA, Eckhardt M, Krogan NJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Transferrin-mediated iron sequestration as a novel therapy for bacterial and fungal infections.
Abstract Pathogenic microbes must acquire essential nutrients, including iron, from the host in order to proliferate and cause infections. Iron sequestration is an ancient host antimicrobial strategy. Thus, enhancing iron sequestration is a promising, novel anti-infective strategy. Unfortunately, small molecule iron chelators have proven difficult to develop as anti-infective treatments, in part due to unacceptable toxicities. Iron sequestration in mammals is predominantly mediated by the transferrin family of iron-binding proteins. In this review, we explore the possibility of administering supraphysiological lev...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 8, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Bruhn KW, Spellberg B Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Comparative biology of cell division in the fission yeast clade.
Abstract Cytokinesis must be regulated in time and space in order to preserve genome integrity during cell proliferation and to allow daughter cells to adopt distinct fates and geometries during differentiation. The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has been a popular model organism for understanding spatiotemporal regulation of cytokinesis in a symmetrically dividing cell. Recent work on another member of the same genus, Schisozaccharomyces japonicus, suggests that S. pombe may have evolved an unusual division site placement mechanism based on a recently duplicated anillin paralog. Here we discuss an extrao...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 8, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Gu Y, Oliferenko S Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Bioinformatics of antimicrobial resistance in the age of molecular epidemiology.
Abstract Antimicrobial resistance is a global health challenge and has an evolutionary trajectory ranging from proto-resistance in the environment to untreatable clinical pathogens. Resistance is not static, as pathogenic strains can move among patient populations and individual resistance genes can move among pathogens. Effective treatment of resistant infections, antimicrobial stewardship, and new drug discovery increasingly rely upon genotype information, powered by decreasing costs of DNA sequencing. These new approaches will require advances in microbial informatics, particularly in development of reference d...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 31, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: McArthur AG, Wright GD Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Antibiotics and the developing infant gut microbiota and resistome.
Abstract The microbial communities colonizing the human gut are tremendously diverse and highly personal. The composition and function of the microbiota play important roles in human health and disease, and considerable research has focused on understanding the ecological forces shaping these communities. While it is clear that factors such as diet, genotype of the host, and environment influence the adult gut microbiota community composition, recent work has emphasized the importance of early-life assembly dynamics in both the immediate and long-term personalized nature of the gut microbiota. While the mature adu...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 31, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Gibson MK, Crofts TS, Dantas G Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Interference of viral effector proteins with chromatin, transcription, and the epigenome.
Abstract Pathogens exploit cellular functions to create an environment conducive to their persistence and propagation. Viruses and bacteria express effector-proteins or virulence factors, known to interfere at the molecular level with regulatory 'checkpoints' of numerous physiological events in the cell. A newly prominent area of research is the identification of pathogenic effector proteins that function on the host chromatin, their subversion/interference with chromatin regulatory processes, the short/long/heritable effects on the infected cell and the ultimate consequence of their expression at the organismal l...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 29, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Marazzi I, Garcia-Sastre A Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Life as a moving fluid: fate of cytoplasmic macromolecules in dynamic fungal syncytia.
Abstract In fungal syncytia dozens, or even millions of nuclei may coexist in a single connected cytoplasm. Recent discoveries have exposed some of the adaptations that enable fungi to marshall these nuclei to produce complex coordinated behaviors, including cell growth, nuclear division, secretion and communication. In addition to shedding light on the principles by which syncytia (including embryos and osteoplasts) are organized, fungal adaptations for dealing with internal genetic diversity and physically dynamic cytoplasm may provide mechanistic insights into how cells generally are carved into different funct...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 27, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Roper M, Lee C, Hickey PC, Gladfelter AS Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The parasexual lifestyle of Candida albicans.
Abstract Candida albicans is both a prevalent human commensal and the most commonly encountered human fungal pathogen. This lifestyle is dependent on the ability of the fungus to undergo rapid genetic and epigenetic changes, often in response to specific environmental cues. A parasexual cycle in C. albicans has been defined that includes several unique properties when compared to the related model yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Novel features include strict regulation of mating via a phenotypic switch, enhanced conjugation within a sexual biofilm, and a program of concerted chromosome loss in place of a conventi...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 22, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Bennett RJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Metabolic interactions in microbial communities: untangling the Gordian knot.
Abstract Metabolic exchanges are ubiquitous in microbial communities. However, detecting metabolite cross-feedings is difficult due to their intrinsically dynamic nature and the complexity of communities. Thus, while exhaustive description of metabolic networks operating in natural systems is a task for the future, the battle of today is divided between detailed characterizations of small, reduced complexity microbial consortia, and focusing on particular metabolic aspects of natural ecosystems. Detecting metabolic interactions requires methodological blend able to capture species identity, dependencies and the na...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 21, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Ponomarova O, Patil KR Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Host-microbe interactions: viruses.
tre A PMID: 26205286 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 20, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Marazzi I, García-Sastre A Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Host-microbe interactions: fungi: Heterogeneity in fungal cells, populations, and communities.
PMID: 26205287 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 20, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Hogan DA, Gladfelter AS Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Experimental evolution of the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae yields insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying adaptation.
Abstract Understanding how changes in DNA drive the emergence of new phenotypes and fuel evolution remains a major challenge. One major hurdle is the lack of a fossil record of DNA that allows linking mutations to phenotypic changes. However, the emergence of high-throughput sequencing technologies now allows sequencing genomes of natural and experimentally evolved microbial populations to study how mutations arise and spread through a population, how new phenotypes arise and how this ultimately leads to adaptation. Here, we highlight key studies that have increased our mechanistic understanding of evolution. We s...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 17, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Voordeckers K, Verstrepen KJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Candida albicans the chameleon: transitions and interactions between multiple phenotypic states confer phenotypic plasticity.
Abstract The ability of microbial cells to exist in multiple states is a ubiquitous property that promotes adaptation and survival. This phenomenon has been extensively studied in the opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans, which can transition between multiple phenotypic states in response to environmental signals. C. albicans normally exists as a commensal in the human body, but can also cause debilitating mucosal infections or life-threatening systemic infections. The ability to switch between cellular forms contributes to C. albicans' capacity to infect different host niches, and strictly regulates the progra...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 16, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Scaduto CM, Bennett RJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Viral evolution: beyond drift and shift.
Abstract Technological advances have allowed aspects of viral evolution to be explored at unprecedented scales. As a consequence, new quantitative approaches are needed to investigate features of viral evolution that fall outside traditional areas of study, such as antigenic evolution. We examine three areas of viral evolution where tools from disciplines such as statistical physics, topology, and information theory have been used recently as quantitative frameworks for large-scale studies and, in some cases, suggest a novel theoretical approach to a problem. Ongoing interaction among these disciplines with biolog...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 16, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Greenbaum BD, Ghedin E Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Comment on "Impact of antibiotic use in the swine industry", by Mary D. Barton [Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 19 (June 2014) 9-15].
Comment on "Impact of antibiotic use in the swine industry", by Mary D. Barton [Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 19 (June 2014) 9-15]. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2015 Jul 9; Authors: Kempf I, Jouy E, Granier SA, Chauvin C, Sanders P, Salvat G, Madec JY PMID: 26165457 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 9, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Kempf I, Jouy E, Granier SA, Chauvin C, Sanders P, Salvat G, Madec JY Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

How eukaryotic filamentous pathogens evade plant recognition.
Abstract Plant pathogenic fungi and oomycetes employ sophisticated mechanisms for evading host recognition. After host penetration, many fungi and oomycetes establish a biotrophic interaction. It is assumed that different strategies employed by these pathogens to avoid triggering host defence responses, including establishment of biotrophic interfacial layers between the pathogen and host, masking of invading hyphae and active suppression of host defence mechanisms, are essential for a biotrophic parasitic lifestyle. During the infection process, filamentous plant pathogens secrete various effectors, which are hyp...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 7, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Oliveira-Garcia E, Valent B Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Host-microbe interactions: Parasites.
PMID: 26143044 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 1, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Blader IJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Experimental approaches to phenotypic diversity in infection.
Abstract Microbial infections are burdening human health, even after the advent of antibiotics, vaccines and hygiene. Thus, infection biology has aimed at the molecular understanding of the pathogen-host interaction. This has revealed key virulence factors, host cell signaling pathways and immune responses. However, our understanding of the infection process is still incomplete. Recent evidence suggests that phenotypic diversity can have important consequences for the infection process. Diversity arises from the formation of distinct subpopulations of pathogen cells (with distinct virulence factor expression patte...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 1, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Kreibich S, Hardt WD Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Environmental microbiology: Revisiting the physiology of microorganisms on the single cell scale.
r S PMID: 26117799 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 24, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: King N, Müller S Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The principles of whole-cell modeling.
Abstract Whole-cell models which comprehensively predict how phenotypes emerge from genotype promise to enable rational bioengineering and precision medicine. Here, we outline the key principles of whole-cell modeling which have emerged from our work developing bacterial whole-cell models: single-cellularity; functional, genetic, molecular, and temporal completeness; biophysical realism including temporal dynamics and stochastic variation; species-specificity; and model integration and reproducibility. We also outline the whole-cell model construction process, highlighting existing resources. Numerous challenges r...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 23, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Karr JR, Takahashi K, Funahashi A Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Extremophiles: From extreme environments to highly stable biocatalysts.
PMID: 26116023 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 23, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Bonch-Osmolovskaya E, Atomi H Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Recent strategies and progress in identifying host factors involved in virus replication.
z S Abstract Viruses are completely dependent on their host cells for the successful production of progeny viruses. At each stage of the viral life cycle an intricate interplay between virus and host takes place with the virus aiming to usurp the host cell for its purposes and the host cell trying to block the intruder from propagation. In recent years these interactions have been studied on a global level by systems biology approaches, such as RNA interference screens, transcriptomic or proteomic methodologies, and exciting new insights into the pathogen-host relationship have been revealed. In this review, we su...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 22, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: König R, Stertz S Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Uncultivated thermophiles: current status and spotlight on 'Aigarchaeota'.
Abstract Meta-analysis of cultivation-independent sequence data shows that geothermal systems host an abundance of novel organisms, representing a vast unexplored phylogenetic and functional diversity among yet-uncultivated thermophiles. A number of thermophiles have recently been interrogated using metagenomic and/or single-cell genomic approaches, including members of taxonomic groups that inhabit both thermal and non-thermal environments, such as 'Acetothermia' (OP1) and 'Atribacteria' (OP9/JS1), as well as the exclusively thermophilic lineages 'Korarchaeota', 'Calescamantes' (EM19), 'Fervidibacteria' (OctSpA1-...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 22, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Hedlund BP, Murugapiran SK, Alba TW, Levy A, Dodsworth JA, Goertz GB, Ivanova N, Woyke T Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Selection and refinement: the malaria parasite's infection and exploitation of host hepatocytes.
Abstract Plasmodium parasites belong to the Apicomplexan phylum, which consists mostly of obligate intracellular pathogens that vary dramatically in host cell tropism. Plasmodium sporozoites are highly hepatophilic. The specific molecular mechanisms, which facilitate sporozoite selection and successful infection of hepatocytes, remain poorly defined. Here, we discuss the parasite and host factors which are critical to hepatocyte infection. We derive a model where sporozoites initially select host cells that constitute a permissive environment and then further refine the chosen hepatocyte during liver stage develop...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 20, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Kaushansky A, Kappe SH Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Shaping the oral mycobiota: interactions of opportunistic fungi with oral bacteria and the host.
Abstract The oral mycobiota is an important component of the oral microbiota that has only recently received increased attention. The diversity and complexity of the oral mycobiota in healthy humans is greater than any other body site. Dysbiotic imbalance of indigenous fungal communities in immunosuppressed hosts has been proposed to lead to oropharyngeal fungal infections. As in other body sites, to survive and thrive in the oral cavity fungi have to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with the resident bacterial microbiota and the host. Here we review our current understanding of the composition of the or...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 19, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Xu H, Dongari-Bagtzoglou A Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The morphotype heterogeneity in Cryptococcus neoformans.
Abstract Many environmental fungi have evolved exceptional abilities to overcome host defenses and to cause systemic infections. However, the evolutionary trajectory that gives rise to the remarkable pathogenic traits of otherwise saprophytic species is poorly understood. Recent studies suggest that social behaviors likely enhance fitness and augment virulence in the ubiquitous fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. In this regard, heterogeneity in morphotypes and the ability to switch morphotype offer flexibility and resilience for this fungus in disparate environmental and host niches. Here, we discuss the tradeoffs of...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 18, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Wang L, Lin X Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Connecting growth with gene expression: of noise and numbers.
Abstract Growth is a dynamic process whereby cells accumulate mass. Growth rates of single cells are connected to RNA and protein synthesis rates, and therefore with biomolecule numbers. Noise in gene expression depends on these numbers, and is thus linked with cellular growth. Whether these global attributes of the cell participate in gene regulation is still largely unexplored. New experimental and modelling studies suggest that systemic variations in biomolecule numbers can coordinate cellular processes, including growth itself, through global regulatory feedback that acts in addition to genetic regulatory netw...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 17, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Shahrezaei V, Marguerat S Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Exploration of extremophiles for high temperature biotechnological processes.
ikian G Abstract Industrial processes often take place under harsh conditions that are hostile to microorganisms and their biocatalysts. Microorganisms surviving at temperatures above 60°C represent a chest of biotechnological treasures for high-temperature bioprocesses by producing a large portfolio of biocatalysts (thermozymes). Due to the unique requirements to cultivate thermophilic (60-80°C) and hyperthermophilic (80-110°C) Bacteria and Archaea, less than 5% are cultivable in the laboratory. Therefore, other approaches including sequence-based screenings and metagenomics have been successful in pr...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 8, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Elleuche S, Schäfers C, Blank S, Schröder C, Antranikian G Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Halophiles and their enzymes: negativity put to good use.
Abstract Halophilic microorganisms possess stable enzymes that function in very high salinity, an extreme condition that leads to denaturation, aggregation, and precipitation of most other proteins. Genomic and structural analyses have established that the enzymes of halophilic Archaea and many halophilic Bacteria are negatively charged due to an excess of acidic over basic residues, and altered hydrophobicity, which enhance solubility and promote function in low water activity conditions. Here, we provide an update on recent bioinformatic analysis of predicted halophilic proteomes as well as experimental molecula...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 8, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: DasSarma S, DasSarma P Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

DNA repair in hyperthermophilic and hyperradioresistant microorganisms.
Abstract The genome of a living cell is continuously under attack by exogenous and endogenous genotoxins. Especially, life at high temperature inflicts additional stress on genomic DNA, and very high rates of potentially mutagenic DNA lesions, including deamination, depurination, and oxidation, are expected. However, the spontaneous mutation rates in hyperthermophiles are similar to that in Escherichia coli, and it is interesting to determine how the hyperthermophiles preserve their genomes under such grueling environmental conditions. In addition, organisms with extremely radioresistant phenotypes are targets for...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 6, 2015 Category: Microbiology Authors: Ishino Y, Narumi I Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research