The periplastidal compartment: a naturally minimized eukaryotic cytoplasm.
Abstract Many important algae groups like diatoms, dinoflagellates and 'kelp' but also apicomplexan parasites evolved in secondary endosymbiosis. Here, a eukaryote-eukaryote endosymbiosis created chimeric cells, in which a eukaryotic symbiont was reduced to a complex plastid. Although having lost nearly all of the eukaryotic compartments of the symbiont, a tiny lumen representing the remnant of the cytoplasm of the symbiont is still present in most of these organisms. This compartment, the periplastidal compartment, shows different degrees of reductions as in two algal groups the former nucleus is still present in...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 15, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Grosche C, Hempel F, Bolte K, Zauner S, Maier UG Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Evolution, dynamics and specialized functions of glycosomes in metabolism and development of trypanosomatids.
e;pez M, Michels PA Abstract Kinetoplastea such as trypanosomatid parasites contain specialized peroxisomes that uniquely contain enzymes of the glycolytic pathway and other parts of intermediary metabolism and hence are called glycosomes. Their specific enzyme content can vary strongly, quantitatively and qualitatively, between different species and during the parasites' life cycle. The correct sequestering of enzymes has great importance for the regulation of the trypanosomatids' metabolism and can, dependent on environmental conditions, even be essential. Glycosomes also play a pivotal role in life-cycle regula...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 14, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Szöör B, Haanstra JR, Gualdrón-López M, Michels PA Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Mechanisms for chromosome segregation.
We describe the latest advances in segregation of bacterial chromosomes with emphasis on the different pair and release mechanisms. PMID: 25460797 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 13, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Bouet JY, Stouf M, Lebailly E, Cornet F Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Endosymbiotic theory for organelle origins.
Abstract Endosymbiotic theory goes back over 100 years. It explains the similarity of chloroplasts and mitochondria to free-living prokaryotes by suggesting that the organelles arose from prokaryotes through (endo)symbiosis. Gene trees provide important evidence in favour of symbiotic theory at a coarse-grained level, but the finer we get into the details of branches in trees containing dozens or hundreds of taxa, the more equivocal evidence for endosymbiotic events sometimes becomes. It seems that either the interpretation of some endosymbiotic events are wrong, or something is wrong with the interpretations of s...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 9, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Zimorski V, Ku C, Martin WF, Gould SB Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Fungal peroxisomes as biosynthetic organelles.
Abstract Peroxisomes are nearly ubiquitous single-membrane organelles harboring multiple metabolic pathways beside their prominent role in the β-oxidation of fatty acids. Here we review the diverse metabolic functions of peroxisomes in fungi. A variety of fungal metabolites are at least partially synthesized inside peroxisomes. These include the essential co-factor biotin but also different types of secondary metabolites. Peroxisomal metabolites are often derived from acyl-CoA esters in for example β-oxidation intermediates. In several ascomycetes a subtype of peroxisomes has been identified that is meta...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 8, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Stehlik T, Sandrock B, Ast J, Freitag J Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The chromosomal accommodation and domestication of mobile genetic elements.
Abstract Prokaryotes are constantly being infected by large mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as conjugative elements and temperate phages. The fitness of these elements is tightly linked with the evolutionary success of the host. This leads to selection against disruptive effects their integration might have on the organization and structure of the chromosome. Seamless genetic accommodation of the mobile elements also involves silencing infectious mechanisms and expressing functions adaptive to the host. Ironically, these characteristics favor the host ability to domesticate the mobile element. Recent data sugg...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 8, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Touchon M, Bobay LM, Rocha EP Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Peroxisomal quality control mechanisms.
Abstract Peroxisomes are ubiquitous organelles that harbor diverse metabolic pathways, which are essential for normal cell performance. Conserved functions of these organelles are hydrogen peroxide metabolism and β-oxidation. Cells employ multiple quality control mechanisms to ensure proper peroxisome function and to protect peroxisomes from damage. These involve the function of molecular chaperones, a peroxisomal Lon protease and autophagic removal of dysfunctional organelles. In addition, multiple mechanisms exist to combat peroxisomal oxidative stress. Here, we outline recent advances in our understanding ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 8, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Kumar S, Kawałek A, van der Klei IJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

New approaches to understanding the spatial organization of bacterial genomes.
We describe the power of these techniques, highlighting the major advances they have produced while also discussing their limitations. PMID: 25305533 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 7, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Le TB, Laub MT Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The role of mitochondria in fungal aging.
Abstract Time-dependent impairments of mitochondrial function play a key role in biological aging. Work on fungal aging models has been instrumental in unraveling basic mechanisms leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and the identification of different pathways active in keeping mitochondria 'healthy' over time. Pathways including those involved in reactive oxygen scavenging, repair of damage, proteostasis, mitochondrial dynamics, and biogenesis, are interconnected and part of a complex quality control system. The individual components of this network are limited in capacity. However, if the capacity of one pathwa...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - October 6, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Bernhardt D, Hamann A, Osiewacz HD Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The antibiotic resistome: what's new?
Abstract The antibiotic resistome is dynamic and ever expanding, yet its foundations were laid long before the introduction of antibiotics into clinical practice. Here, we revisit our theoretical framework for the resistome concept and consider the many factors that influence the evolution of novel resistance genes, the spread of mobile resistance elements, and the ramifications of these processes for clinical practice. Observing the trends and prevalence of genes within the antibiotic resistome is key to maintaining the efficacy of antibiotics in the clinic. PMID: 25280222 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 30, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Perry JA, Westman EL, Wright GD Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Collective antibiotic resistance: mechanisms and implications.
Abstract In collective resistance, microbial communities are able to survive antibiotic exposures that would be lethal to individual cells. In this review, we explore recent advances in understanding collective resistance in bacteria. The population dynamics of 'cheating' in a system with cooperative antibiotic inactivation have been described, providing insight into the demographic factors that determine resistance allele frequency in bacteria. Extensive work has elucidated mechanisms underlying collective resistance in biofilms and addressed questions about the role of cooperation in these structures. Additional...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 27, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Vega NM, Gore J Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Games of life and death: antibiotic resistance and production through the lens of evolutionary game theory.
Abstract In this review, we demonstrate how game theory can be a useful first step in modeling and understanding interactions among bacteria that produce and resist antibiotics. We introduce the basic features of evolutionary game theory and explore model microbial systems that correspond to some classical games. Each game discussed defines a different category of social interaction with different resulting population dynamics (exclusion, coexistence, bistability, cycling). We then explore how the framework can be extended to incorporate some of the complexity of natural microbial communities. Overall, the game th...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 27, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Conlin PL, Chandler JR, Kerr B Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Quorum sensing peptides mediating interspecies bacterial cell death as a novel class of antimicrobial agents.
Abstract mazEF is a toxin-antitoxin stress-induced module which is abundant on the chromosome of most bacteria including pathogens and most extensively studied in Escherichia coli. E. coli mazEF mediated cell death is a population phenomenon requiring the quorum-sensing (QS) 'Extracellular Death Factor' (EDF), the E. coli peptide NNWNN. E. coli mazEF-mediated cell death can also be triggered by different QS peptides secreted by the Gram positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis and the Gram negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Thus, the different EDFs belong to a family of QS peptides that mediates interspecies c...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - September 19, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Kumar S, Engelberg-Kulka H Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Persistence: a copacetic and parsimonious hypothesis for the existence of non-inherited resistance to antibiotics.
wu KI Abstract We postulate that phenotypic resistance to antibiotics, persistence, is not an evolved (selected-for) character but rather like mutation, an inadvertent product of different kinds of errors and glitches. The rate of generation of these errors is augmented by exposure to these drugs. The genes that have been identified as contributing to the production of persisters are analogous to the so-called mutator genes; they modulate the rate at which these errors occur and/or are corrected. In theory, these phenotypically resistant bacteria can retard the rate of microbiological cure by antibiotic treatment....
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 1, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Levin BR, Concepción-Acevedo J, Udekwu KI Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Host-microbe interactions: parasites: sensing and responding to the changing environment: le life of protozoan parasites.
ngh M PMID: 25081632 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 28, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Guillén N, Duraisingh M Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Reactive oxygen species and the bacterial response to lethal stress.
Abstract Bacteria are killed by a variety of lethal stressors, some of which promote a cascade of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Perturbations expected to alter ROS accumulation affect the lethal action of diverse antibacterials, leading to the hypothesis that killing by these agents can involve ROS-mediated self-destruction. Recent challenges to the hypothesis are considered, particularly with respect to complexities in assays that distinguish primary damage from the cellular response to that damage. Also considered are bifunctional factors that are protective at low stress levels but destructive at high levels. ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 28, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Zhao X, Drlica K Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Reactive dirty fragments: implications for tuberculosis drug discovery.
Abstract Reactive multi-target fragments, old synthetic antimycobacterials that are activated inside Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli and are smaller than the usual drug-like, single-target molecules, represent critical components of current tuberculosis chemotherapies. Recent studies showed that para-aminosalicylic acid is recognized as a substrate by dihydropteroate synthase and poisons the downstream folate pathway. Pyrazinamide, a key relapse-reducing drug, is metabolized by an amidase and the reaction product interferes with trans-translation, membrane potential and other targets. However, the mechanism of ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 28, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Gopal P, Dick T Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Bacterial gasotransmitters: an innate defense against antibiotics.
Abstract In recent decades, there has been growing interest in the field of gasotransmitters, endogenous gaseous signaling molecules (NO, H2S, and CO), as regulators of a multitude of biochemical pathways and physiological processes. Most of the concerted effort has been on eukaryotic gasotransmitters until the subsequent discovery of bacterial counterparts. While the fundamental aspects of bacterial gasotransmitters remain undefined and necessitate further research, we will discuss a known specific role they play in defense against antibiotics. Considering the current dilemma of multidrug-resistant bacteria we co...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 28, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Luhachack L, Nudler E Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Emerging mass spectrometry techniques for the direct analysis of microbial colonies.
Abstract One of the emerging areas in microbiology is detecting specialized metabolites produced by microbial colonies and communities with mass spectrometry. In this review/perspective, we illustrate the emerging mass spectrometry methodologies that enable the interrogation of specialized metabolites directly from microbial colonies. Mass spectrometry techniques such as imaging mass spectrometry and real-time mass spectrometry allow two and three-dimensional visualization of the distribution of metabolites, often with minimal sample pretreatment. The speed in which molecules are captured using these methods requi...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 24, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Fang J, Dorrestein PC Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Host-microbe interactions: fungi.
e; JP PMID: 25066798 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 24, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Dunlap JC, Latgé JP Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Host-microbe interactions: viruses: Viral sensing and activation of immunity.
PMID: 25066799 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 24, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Saleh MC Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Non-coding RNA and the complex regulation of the trypanosome life cycle.
Abstract The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness and the wasting disease, nagana, in cattle. The parasite is transmitted to the mammalian host by the bite of a tsetse fly. These parasites lack transcriptional regulation, and their gene expression is mainly regulated post-transcriptionally. Changes in the transcriptome and proteome suggest that mRNA stability and translation regulation operate to control cycling between the hosts. The review discusses the small RNome of T. brucei, and the potential involvement of these molecules in shaping the adaptation of the ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 23, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Michaeli S Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Harnessing CRISPR-Cas9 immunity for genetic engineering.
Abstract CRISPR-Cas encodes an adaptive immune system that defends prokaryotes against infectious viruses and plasmids. Immunity is mediated by Cas nucleases, which use small RNA guides (the crRNAs) to specify a cleavage site within the genome of invading nucleic acids. In type II CRISPR-Cas systems, the DNA-cleaving activity is performed by a single enzyme Cas9 guided by an RNA duplex. Using synthetic single RNA guides, Cas9 can be reprogrammed to create specific double-stranded DNA breaks in the genomes of a variety of organisms, ranging from human cells to bacteria, and thus constitutes a powerful tool for gene...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 18, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Charpentier E, Marraffini LA Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Recent insights into the evolution of innate viral sensing in animals.
Abstract The evolution of viral sensors is likely to be shaped by the constraint imposed through high conservation of viral Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs), and by the potential for 'arms race' coevolution with more rapidly evolving viral proteins. Here we review the recent progress made in understanding the evolutionary history of two types of viral sensor, RNA helicases and Toll-like receptors. We find differences both in their rates of evolution, and in the levels of positive selection they experience. We suggest that positive selection has been the primary driver of the rapid evolution of the RN...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 17, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Lewis SH, Obbard DJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Trypanosoma brucei: meet the system.
Abstract African trypanosomes cause devastating diseases in humans and domestic animals. The parasites evolved early in the eukaryotic lineage and have numerous biochemical peculiarities that distinguish them from other systems. These include unconventional mechanisms for expressing nuclear and mitochondrial genes as well as unusual subcellular localizations for a variety of enzymes. Systems biology has arisen partly to allow contextualization of the massive datasets that describe individual chemical parts of biological systems. Here we describe recent efforts to collect and analyse data pertaining to all aspects ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 15, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Achcar F, Kerkhoven EJ, Barrett MP Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

High-throughput sequencing for the study of bacterial pathogen biology.
Abstract A revolution in sequencing technologies in recent years has led to dramatically increased throughput and reduced cost of bacterial genome sequencing. An increasing number of applications of the new technologies are providing broad insights into bacterial evolution, epidemiology, and pathogenesis. For example, the capacity to sequence large numbers of bacterial isolates is enabling high resolution phylogenetic analyses of bacterial populations leading to greatly enhanced understanding of the emergence, adaptation, and transmission of pathogenic clones. In addition, RNA-seq offers improved quantification an...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 14, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: McAdam PR, Richardson EJ, Fitzgerald JR Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Noncoding RNAs as emerging regulators of Plasmodium falciparum virulence gene expression.
Abstract The eukaryotic unicellular pathogen Plasmodium falciparum tightly regulates gene expression, both during development and in adaptation to dynamic host environments. This regulation is evident in the mutually exclusive expression of members of clonally variant virulence multigene families. While epigenetic regulators have been selectively identified at active or repressed virulence genes, their specific recruitment remains a mystery. In recent years, noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) have emerged as lynchpins of eukaryotic gene regulation; by binding to epigenetic regulators, they provide target specificity to other...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 11, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Vembar SS, Scherf A, Siegel TN Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Differential RNA-seq: the approach behind and the biological insight gained.
Abstract RNA-sequencing has revolutionized the quantitative and qualitative analysis of transcriptomes in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. It provides a generic approach for gene expression profiling, annotation of transcript boundaries and operons, as well as identifying novel transcripts including small noncoding RNA molecules and antisense RNAs. We recently developed a differential RNA-seq (dRNA-seq) method which in addition to the above, yields information as to whether a given RNA is a primary or processed transcript. Originally applied to describe the primary transcriptome of the gastric pathogen Helicobacte...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 11, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Sharma CM, Vogel J Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Novel technologies in microbiology: Recent advances in techniques in microbiology.
PMID: 25017933 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 10, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Charpentier E, Marraffini LA Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

A model-guided analysis and perspective on the evolution and epidemiology of antibiotic resistance and its future.
Abstract A simple epidemiological model is used as a framework to explore the potential efficacy of measures to control antibiotic resistance in community-based self-limiting human infections. The analysis of the properties of this model predict that resistance can be maintained at manageable levels if: first, the rates at which specific antibiotics are used declines with the frequency of resistance to these drugs; second, resistance rarely emerges during therapy; and third, external sources rarely contribute to the entry of resistant bacteria into the community. We discuss the feasibility and limitations of these...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 9, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Levin BR, Baquero F, Johnsen PJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Microbial metabolomics: innovation, application, insight.
Abstract Most textbooks depict metabolism as a well understood housekeeping function of cells. However, organisms vary in their metabolic needs according to the specific niches they reside in and selective pressures encountered therein. Recent advances in analytical chemistry have begun to reveal an unexpected diversity in the composition, structure and regulation of metabolic networks. Here, we review key technological developments in the area of metabolism and their impact on our understanding of the fundamental roles of metabolism in cellular physiology. PMID: 25016173 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 9, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Aldridge BB, Rhee KY Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Entamoeba histolytica adaptation to glucose starvation: a matter of life and death.
Abstract Parasites are often challenged by constant changes of the glucose concentration in their different hosts and/or within the different biotopes in the same host. During its life cycle, Entamoeba histolytica, the causative protozoan parasite of human amoebiasis, is exposed to both a glucose-poor environment in the colon and a glucose-rich environment in the liver. High-throughput 'omics' technologies are now widely used to characterize the cell's global response to various stresses and these technologies can survey E. histolytica's global response to fluctuations in glucose concentration in its environment. ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 9, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Baumel-Alterzon S, Ankri S Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Ecology and industrial microbiology.
PMID: 25012965 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 7, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Smalla K, Tiedje JM Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Does a drop in the bucket make a splash? Assessing the impact of antibiotic use on plants.
Abstract Antibiotics are applied to plants to prevent bacterial diseases, although the diversity of antibiotics and total amounts used are dwarfed by antibiotic use in animal agriculture. Nevertheless, the release of antibiotics into the open environment during crop treatment draws scrutiny for its potential impact on the global pool of resistance genes. The main use of antibiotics on plants is application of streptomycin to prevent fire blight, a serious disease of apple and pear trees. A series of recent studies identified and quantified antibiotic resistance genes and profiled bacterial communities in apple orc...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 5, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: McManus PS Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Metagenomic small molecule discovery methods.
Abstract Metagenomic approaches to natural product discovery provide the means to harvest bioactive small molecules synthesized by environmental bacteria without the requirement of first culturing these organisms. Advances in sequencing technologies and general metagenomic methods are beginning to provide the tools necessary to unlock the unexplored biosynthetic potential encoded by the genomes of uncultured environmental bacteria. Here, we highlight recent advances in sequence-based and functional-based metagenomic approaches that promise to facilitate antibiotic discovery from diverse environmental microbiomes. ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 4, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Charlop-Powers Z, Milshteyn A, Brady SF Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Impact of Denmark's ban on antimicrobials for growth promotion.
Abstract Denmark was among the first countries to ban the use of antimicrobials for growth promotion (AGPs) in animal production through an on-going series of actions and regulations since 1995. In 2010 the Yellow Card scheme was adopted to decrease total antimicrobial consumption in pig production through additional restrictions on pig farmers. The withdrawal of AGPs and other restrictions have reduced total antimicrobial use, but at the same time therapeutic drug use has increased and resistance in key zoonotic bacteria has not decreased. Improved use of vaccines and management practices can help reduce losses e...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 2, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Jensen HH, Hayes DJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Impacts of antibiotic use in agriculture: what are the benefits and risks?
Abstract Antibiotic drugs provide clear benefits for food animal health and welfare, while simultaneously providing clear risks due to enrichment of resistant microorganisms. There is no consensus, however, on how to evaluate benefits and risks of antibiotic use in agriculture, or the impact on public health. Recent soil resistome work emphasizes the importance of environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistance (AR), and provides a starting point for distinguishing AR that can be impacted by agricultural practices from AR naturally present in a system. Manure is the primary vehicle introducing antibiotic drugs, ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 2, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Durso LM, Cook KL Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Advanced mass spectrometry technologies for the study of microbial pathogenesis.
Abstract Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) has been successfully applied to the field of microbial pathogenesis with promising results, principally in diagnostic microbiology to rapidly identify bacteria based on the molecular profiles of small cell populations. Direct profiling of molecules from serum and tissue samples by MALDI MS provides a means to study the pathogen-host interaction and to discover potential markers of infection. Systematic molecular profiling across tissue sections represents a new imaging modality, enabling regiospecific molecular measurements to be ma...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 2, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Moore JL, Caprioli RM, Skaar EP Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The story of mycodiesel.
This report discusses the discovery of the first fungus proposed as a producer of 'Mycodiesel'. Also mentioned are many examples of fungi making these VOCs and some of the novel methods that have been specifically developed and used to study the fungal production of hydrocarbons. Finally, the report concludes with a discussion of commercial scale up and feasibility of this approach in helping to solve the world's need for liquid fuels. PMID: 24997400 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 2, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Strobel G Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Bacteriophage-based synthetic biology for the study of infectious diseases.
Abstract Since their discovery, bacteriophages have contributed enormously to our understanding of molecular biology as model systems. Furthermore, bacteriophages have provided many tools that have advanced the fields of genetic engineering and synthetic biology. Here, we discuss bacteriophage-based technologies and their application to the study of infectious diseases. New strategies for engineering genomes have the potential to accelerate the design of novel phages as therapies, diagnostics, and tools. Though almost a century has elapsed since their discovery, bacteriophages continue to have a major impact on mo...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 2, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Citorik RJ, Mimee M, Lu TK Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Antibiotic resistance gene discovery in food-producing animals.
Abstract Numerous environmental reservoirs contribute to the widespread antibiotic resistance problem in human pathogens. One environmental reservoir of particular importance is the intestinal bacteria of food-producing animals. In this review I examine recent discoveries of antibiotic resistance genes in agricultural animals. Two types of antibiotic resistance gene discoveries will be discussed: the use of classic microbiological and molecular techniques, such as culturing and PCR, to identify known genes not previously reported in animals; and the application of high-throughput technologies, such as metagenomics...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 30, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Allen HK Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Deciphering nitric oxide stress in bacteria with quantitative modeling.
Abstract Many pathogens depend on nitric oxide (NO) detoxification and repair to establish an infection, and inhibitors of these systems are under investigation as next-generation antibiotics. Because of the broad reactivity of NO and its derivatives with biomolecules, a deep understanding of how pathogens sense and respond to NO, as an integrated system, has been elusive. Quantitative kinetic modeling has been proposed as a method to enhance analysis and understanding of NO stress at the systems-level. Here we review the motivation for, current state of, and future prospects of quantitative modeling of NO stress ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 28, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Robinson JL, Adolfsen KJ, Brynildsen MP Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Sensing viral invasion by RIG-I like receptors.
Abstract Cellular responses to pathogen invasion are crucial for maintaining cell homeostasis and survival. The interferon (IFN) system is one of the most effective cellular responses to viral intrusion in mammals. Viral recognition by innate immune sensors activates the antiviral IFN system. Retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) like receptors (RLRs) are DExD/H box RNA helicases that sense viral invasion. RLRs recognize cytoplasmic viral RNAs and trigger antiviral responses, resulting in production of type I IFN and inflammatory cytokines. Unique and common sensing mechanisms among RLRs have been reported. In th...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 23, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Yoo JS, Kato H, Fujita T Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Impact of antibiotic use in the swine industry.
Abstract Antibiotic resistance in bacteria associated with pigs not only affects pig production but also has an impact on human health through the transfer of resistant organisms and associated genes via the food chain. This can compromise treatment of human infections. In the past most attention was paid to glycopeptide and streptogramin resistance in enterococci, fluoroquinolone resistance in campylobacter and multi-drug resistance in Escherichia coli and salmonella. While these are still important the focus has shifted to ESBL producing organisms selected by the use of ceftiofur and cefquinome in pigs. In addit...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 21, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Barton MD Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Bacterial sensing of bacteriophages in communities: the search for the Rosetta stone.
Abstract Billions of years of evolution have resulted in microbial viruses and their hosts communicating in such a way that neither of these antagonists can dominate the other definitively. Studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying this dialog, initially in bacteriophages, rapidly identified several of the ways in which bacteria resist bacteriophage infections and bacteriophages defeat bacterial defenses. From an ecological perspective, recent data have raised many questions about the dynamic interactions between bacteria and bacteriophages, the densities of which, in complex microbial populations, are only b...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 18, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Debarbieux L Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Metabolomic analysis of Entamoeba: applications and implications.
Abstract Entamoeba histolytica is an enteric protozoan parasite that causes hemorrhagic dysentery and extraintestinal abscesses in millions of inhabitants of endemic areas. The genome of E. histolytica has already been sequenced and used to predict the metabolic potential of the organism. Since nearly 56% of the E. histolytica genes remain unannotated, correlative 'omics' analyses of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and biochemical metabolic profiling are essential in uncovering new, or poorly understood metabolic pathways. Metabolomics aims at understanding biology by comprehensive metabolite profiling. In ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 17, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Jeelani G, Nozaki T Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Human health impacts of antibiotic use in agriculture: A push for improved causal inference.
Abstract Resistant bacterial infections in humans continue to pose a significant challenge globally. Antibiotic use in agriculture contributes to this problem, but failing to appreciate the relative importance of diverse potential causes represents a significant barrier to effective intervention. Standard epidemiologic methods alone are often insufficient to accurately describe the relationships between agricultural antibiotic use and resistance. The integration of diverse methodologies from multiple disciplines will be essential, including causal network modeling and population dynamics approaches. Because intuit...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 16, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Singer RS, Williams-Nguyen J Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Epigenetic memory takes center stage in the survival strategy of malaria parasites.
fai R Abstract Malaria parasites run through a complex life cycle in the vertebrate host and mosquito vector. This not only requires tightly controlled mechanisms to govern stage-specific gene expression but also necessitates effective strategies for survival under changing environmental conditions. In recent years, the combination of different -omics approaches and targeted functional studies highlighted that Plasmodium falciparum blood stage parasites use heterochromatin-based gene silencing as a unifying strategy for clonally variant expression of hundreds of genes. In this article, we describe the epigenetic c...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 16, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Voss TS, Bozdech Z, Bártfai R Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Functional duality of the cell wall.
ais A Abstract The polysaccharide cell wall is the extracellular armour of the fungal cell. Although essential in the protection of the fungal cell against aggressive external stresses, the biosynthesis of the polysaccharide core is poorly understood. For a long time it was considered that this cell wall skeleton was a fixed structure whose role was only to be sensed as non-self by the host and consequently trigger the defence response. It is now known that the cell wall polysaccharide composition and localization continuously change to adapt to their environment and that these modifications help the fungus to esc...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 14, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Latgé JP, Beauvais A Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Transcript maturation in apicomplexan parasites.
Abstract The complex life cycles of apicomplexan parasites are associated with dynamic changes of protein repertoire. In Toxoplasma gondii, global analysis of gene expression demonstrates that dynamic changes in mRNA levels unfold in a serial cascade during asexual replication and up to 50% of encoded genes are unequally expressed in development. Recent studies indicate transcription and mRNA processing have important roles in fulfilling the 'just-in-time' delivery of proteins to parasite growth and development. The prominence of post-transcriptional mechanisms in the Apicomplexa was demonstrated by mechanistic st...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 13, 2014 Category: Microbiology Authors: Suvorova ES, White MW Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research