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BacterioFiles 361 - Figuring Fungus's Forcing Fly Functions

This episode: Bringing a fungus that makes zombie flies into the lab makes a good model for studying microbial mind-control! Thanks to Dr. Carolyn Elya for her contribution! Download Episode (12.1 MB, 13.25 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Dipteran brevidensovirus 2 News item Videos of fly fungus infection progression Journal Papers: Elya C, Lok TC, Spencer QE, McCausland H, Martinez CC, Eisen M. 2018. Robust manipulation of the behavior of Drosophila...


BacterioFiles 360 - Fellow Phages Fight Fortifications

This episode: Bacteriophages with defenses against bacterial CRISPR defenses have to work together to succeed! Thanks to Drs. Edze Westra and Stineke van Houte for their contributions, and to Calvin Cornell for suggesting this story! Download Episode (9.6 MB, 10.5 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Lactobacillus casei subsp. alactosus News item 1/News item 2 Journal Papers: Borges AL, Zhang JY, Rollins MF, Osuna BA, Wiedenheft B, Bondy-Denomy J. 2018. Bacteriophage...


BacterioFiles 359 - Prokaryotes Provoke Perpendicular Punishment

This episode: Some bacteria produce DNA-targeting toxins, which provokes a similar retaliation from other strains. Sometimes this hurts the provoker, but sometimes it is very helpful to them! Thanks to Dr. Despoina Mavridou for her contribution! Download Episode (7.9 MB, 8.4 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Mycobacterium virus Athena News item Journal Paper: Gonzalez D, Sabnis A, Foster KR, Mavridou DAI. 2018. Costs and benefits of provocation in bacterial warfare....


BacterioFiles 358 - elegans Endures Edifying Enterococcus

This episode: Roundworms and not-too-irritating bacteria quickly evolve a beneficial relationship when under threat from other bacterial pathogens! Download Episode (7.5 MB, 8.1 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Siegesbeckia yellow vein betasatellite News item Journal Paper: Rafaluk‐Mohr C, Ashby B, Dahan DA, King KC. 2018. Mutual fitness benefits arise during coevolution in a nematode-defensive microbe model. Evol Lett 2:246–256. Other interesting stories: Phages...


BacterioFiles 357 - Colossal Contagion Codes Catabolism

This episode: A new giant virus infecting marine algae brings its own genes related to fermentation, generating energy in the absence of oxygen! Thanks to Drs. Chris Schvarcz and Grieg Steward for their contributions! Download Episode (14 MB, 15.25 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Borrelia anserina News item Journal Paper: Schvarcz CR, Steward GF. 2018. A giant virus infecting green algae encodes key fermentation genes. Virology 518:423–433. Other interesting...


BacterioFiles 356 - Beams Boost Bolstered Bacteria

This episode: Combining cells with light-absorbing nanomaterials can help tumor-targeting bacteria produce more anticancer compound! Download Episode (10.4 MB, 11.4 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Maruca vitrata nucleopolyhedrovirus Here's a paper I found that actually shows carbon dot nanomaterials enhancing bacterial nitrogen fixation Journal Paper: Zheng D-W, Chen Y, Li Z-H, Xu L, Li C-X, Li B, Fan J-X, Cheng S-X, Zhang X-Z. 2018. Optically-controlled bacterial...


BacterioFiles 355 - Photon Factors Favor Fancy Fuels

This episode: Engineering yeast to control their metabolism using light and dark for the production of advanced biofuels and chemicals! Download Episode (16.1 MB, 17.7 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Equine arteritis virus News item Journal Paper: Zhao EM, Zhang Y, Mehl J, Park H, Lalwani MA, Toettcher JE, Avalos JL. 2018. Optogenetic regulation of engineered cellular metabolism for microbial chemical production. Nature 555:683–687. Email questions or comments to...


BacterioFiles 354 - Prokaryote Protection Promotes Protein Passing

This episode: The bacterial immune system, CRISPR-Cas, can enhance gene transfer via transduction (phages carrying bacteria DNA) despite preventing it via conjugation! Download Episode (14.9 MB, 16.3 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Human polyomavirus 8 Journal Paper: Watson BNJ, Staals RHJ, Fineran PC. 2018. CRISPR-Cas-Mediated Phage Resistance Enhances Horizontal Gene Transfer by Transduction. mBio 9:e02406-17. Other interesting stories: Using yeast in packets to...


BacterioFiles 353 - Pathogen Prevents Pathogen Pervasion

This episode: Some bacteria that can cause pneumonia can prevent other bacteria from doing the same! Download Episode (9.6 MB, 10.5 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Bell pepper mottle virus Journal Paper: Reddinger RM, Luke-Marshall NR, Sauberan SL, Hakansson AP, Campagnari AA. 2018. Streptococcus pneumoniae Modulates Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Dispersion and the Transition from Colonization to Invasive Disease. mBio 9:e02089-17. Other interesting stories: Trying to...


BacterioFiles 352 - Staphylococcus Stops Skin Swellings

This episode: A harmless strain of bacteria on the skin produces a compound that can prevent tumors from forming! Download Episode (9.2 MB, 10 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Hamiltonella virus APSE1 News item Journal Paper: Nakatsuji T, Chen TH, Butcher AM, Trzoss LL, Nam S-J, Shirakawa KT, Zhou W, Oh J, Otto M, Fenical W, Gallo RL. 2018. A commensal strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis protects against skin neoplasia. Sci Adv 4:eaao4502. Other interesting...


BacterioFiles 351 - Tupanvirus Transports Translation Tools

This episode: New giant virus has genes for a surprisingly complete system of protein synthesis! Download Episode (10.1 MB, 11.1 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Phocid alphaherpesvirus 1 Video of tupanvirus intracellular factory Journal Paper: Abrahão J, Silva L, Silva LS, Khalil JYB, Rodrigues R, Arantes T, Assis F, Boratto P, Andrade M, Kroon EG, Ribeiro B, Bergier I, Seligmann H, Ghigo E, Colson P, Levasseur A, Kroemer G, Raoult D, La Scola B. 2018. Tailed giant...


BacterioFiles 350 - Microbes Mysteriously Make Methane

This episode: A version of the microbial enzyme that fixes nitrogen can also convert carbon dioxide to methane! Download Episode (11.8 MB, 12.9 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Human mastadenovirus D Journal Paper: Zheng Y, Harris DF, Yu Z, Fu Y, Poudel S, Ledbetter RN, Fixen KR, Yang Z-Y, Boyd ES, Lidstrom ME, Seefeldt LC, Harwood CS. 2018. A pathway for biological methane production using bacterial iron-only nitrogenase. Nat Microbiol 3:281–286. Other interesting...


BacterioFiles 349 - Magnet Microbes Make Millivolts

This episode: Bacteria that contain tiny magnets can generate an electric current! Download Episode (6.8 MB, 7.4 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Mamastrovirus 2 Journal Paper: Smit B.A., Van Zyl E., Joubert J.J., Meyer W., Prévéral S., Lefèvre C.T., Venter S.N. 2018. Magnetotactic bacteria used to generate electricity based on Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction. Lett Appl Microbiol 66:362–367. Other interesting stories: Deep-sea fangly fishes have tight...


BacterioFiles 348 - Huge Host Hackers Have Historic Histones

This episode: Giant viruses produce DNA-packing proteins that seem to have branched off from eukaryotes far back in evolutionary history! Download Episode (6 MB, 6.5 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Caulobacter maris News item Journal Paper: Erives AJ. 2017. Phylogenetic analysis of the core histone doublet and DNA topo II genes of Marseilleviridae: evidence of proto-eukaryotic provenance. Epigenetics & Chromatin 10:55. Other interesting stories: Swimming bacteria...


BacterioFiles 347 - Adenovirus Adapter Allows Assignment

This episode: Adding adapters to anti-cancer virus helps it avoid destruction by the body so it can target the tumors! Thanks to Dr. Andreas Plückthun for his contribution! Download Episode (7.8 MB, 8.5 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Tomato leaf curl Vietnam virus News item Journal Paper: Schmid M, Ernst P, Honegger A, Suomalainen M, Zimmermann M, Braun L, Stauffer S, Thom C, Dreier B, Eibauer M, Kipar A, Vogel V, Greber UF, Medalia O, Plückthun A. 2018....


BacterioFiles 346 - Prokaryote Prey Plug Picoalgae

This episode: Very small ocean algae consume bacterial prey of a similar size to themselves by engulfing them only partially! Download Episode (8.9 MB, 9.7 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Bradyrhizobium japonicum Journal Paper: Kamennaya NA, Kennaway G, Fuchs BM, Zubkov MV. 2018. “Pomacytosis”—Semi-extracellular phagocytosis of cyanobacteria by the smallest marine algae. PLOS Biol 16:e2003502. Other interesting stories: Using nanomagnets to control quorum sensing by...


BacterioFiles 345 - Super Sonic Cell Sacs

This episode: Protein bags of gas in bacteria could help make ultrasound imaging more versatile! Download Episode (7.6 MB, 8.25 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Cronobacter virus Esp2949-1 News item Journal Paper: Bourdeau RW, Lee-Gosselin A, Lakshmanan A, Farhadi A, Kumar SR, Nety SP, Shapiro MG. 2018. Acoustic reporter genes for noninvasive imaging of microorganisms in mammalian hosts. Nature 553:86–90. Other interesting stories: Laxatives shown very disruptive to...


BacterioFiles 344 - Bacteriophages Bypass Body Barriers

This episode: Phages may be passing through the barriers in our body all the time! Thanks to Dr. Jeremy Barr for his contribution! Download Episode (13.2 MB, 14.5 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Rhodobacter virus RcCronus Journal Paper: Nguyen S, Baker K, Padman BS, Patwa R, Dunstan RA, Weston TA, Schlosser K, Bailey B, Lithgow T, Lazarou M, Luque A, Rohwer F, Blumberg RS, Barr JJ. 2017. Bacteriophage Transcytosis Provides a Mechanism To Cross Epithelial Cell Layers....


BacterioFiles 343 - Super Cells Save Susceptible Species

This episode: Very radiation-resistant bacteria can protect other, less-resistant microbes from some of the effects of chronic radiation! Download Episode (9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Paramecium bursaria Chlorella virus CA4A News item Journal Paper: Shuryak I, Matrosova VY, Gaidamakova EK, Tkavc R, Grichenko O, Klimenkova P, Volpe RP, Daly MJ. 2017. Microbial cells can cooperate to resist high-level chronic ionizing radiation. PLOS ONE...


BacterioFiles 342 - Cyanide Stops Cell Suckers

This episode: Some bacteria can defend themselves from bacterial predators by producing cyanide! Thanks to Dr. Robert Mitchell for his contribution! Download Episode (7.7 MB, 8.4 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Dyoepsilonpapillomavirus 1 News item Journal Paper: Mun W, Kwon H, Im H, Choi SY, Monnappa AK, Mitchell RJ. 2017. Cyanide Production by Chromobacterium piscinae Shields It from Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus HD100 Predation. mBio 8:e01370-17. Other interesting...