This episode: A plasmid discovered in Antarctic archaea can create virus-like particles, membrane vesicles, and transfer itself to new hosts!

Thanks to Rick Cavicchioli for his contribution.

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Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Hypomicrogaster canadensis bracovirus

News item

Journal Paper:
Erdmann S, Tschitschko B, Zhong L, Raftery MJ, Cavicchioli R. 2017. A plasmid from an Antarctic haloarchaeon uses specialized membrane vesicles to disseminate and infect plasmid-free cells. Nat Microbiol 2:1446.

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This episode: New type of secretion system discovered that bacteria use to stab amoeba predators to escape their digestion!

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Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Avastrovirus 1

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Journal Paper:
Böck D, Medeiros JM, Tsao H-F, Penz T, Weiss GL, Aistleitner K, Horn M, Pilhofer M. 2017. In situ architecture, function, and evolution of a contractile injection system. Science 357:713–717.

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This episode: Phages bound to magnetic nanoparticles can be guided and pulled toward their target, penetrating biofilms to kill harmful microbes!

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Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Veillonella alcalescens

Journal Paper:
Li L-L, Yu P, Wang X, Yu S-S, Mathieu J, Yu H-Q, Alvarez PJJ. 2017. Enhanced biofilm penetration for microbial control by polyvalent phages conjugated with magnetic colloidal nanoparticle clusters (CNCs). Environ Sci Nano 4:1817–1826.

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This episode: Gut microbes in mice break down plant foods and produce molecules that stimulate the immune system to resist influenza!

Thanks to Drs. Ashley Steed and Thaddeus Stappenbeck for their contributions!

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Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Bougainvillea chlorotic vein banding virus

Journal Paper:
Steed AL, Christophi GP, Kaiko GE, Sun L, Goodwin VM, Jain U, Esaulova E, Artyomov MN, Morales DJ, Holtzman MJ, Boon ACM, Lenschow DJ, Stappenbeck TS. 2017. The microbial metabolite desaminotyrosine protects from influenza through type I interferon. Science 357:498–502.

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This episode: Learning about endosymbionts by comparing bacteria living inside eukaryotes to their free-living cousins!

Thanks to Dr. Vittorio Boscaro for his contribution!

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Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Ancalochloris perfilievii

Journal Paper:
Boscaro V, Kolisko M, Felletti M, Vannini C, Lynn DH, Keeling PJ. 2017. Parallel genome reduction in symbionts descended from closely related free-living bacteria. Nat Ecol Evol 1:1160.

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This episode: Figuring out how mushrooms launch their spores out using a trick of water surface tension!

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Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Carrot torradovirus 1

News item

Video of artificial “spore” launching

 

Journal Paper:
Liu F, Chavez RL, Patek SN, Pringle A, Feng JJ, Chen C-H. 2017. Asymmetric drop coalescence launches fungal ballistospores with directionality. J R Soc Interface 14:20170083.

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This episode: Hot spring archaea prefer to use elements that give them less energy even when more energetic options are available!

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Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Vitreoscilla beggiatoides

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Journal Paper:
Amenabar MJ, Shock EL, Roden EE, Peters JW, Boyd ES. 2017. Microbial substrate preference dictated by energy demand rather than supply. Nat Geosci 10:577–581.

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This episode: I talk with Dr. Walter Sandoval-Espinola, a researcher from Paraguay, now a postdoc at Harvard, about his discovery that biofuel-producing bacteria Clostridium beijerinckii can also transform CO2 and carbon monoxide into biofuels!

Download Episode (37 MB, 40.45 minutes)

Show notes:
News item en español

Find Walter on Twitter or LinkedIn

Journal Paper:
Sandoval-Espinola WJ, Chinn MS, Thon MR, Bruno-Bárcena JM. 2017. Evidence of mixotrophic carbon-capture by n-butanol-producer Clostridium beijerinckii. Sci Rep 7:12759.

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Happy New Year! This episode: Fungal endophytes transferred from healthy adult plant leaf litter help baby cacao plants resist disease!

Thanks to Dr. Natalie Christian for her contribution!

Download Episode (10.3 MB, 11.25 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Lactobacillus virus Lb338-1

News item
Hear a CBC interview with Dr. Christian about this research

Journal Paper:
Christian N, Herre EA, Mejia LC, Clay K. 2017. Exposure to the leaf litter microbiome of healthy adults protects seedlings from pathogen damage. Proc R Soc B 284:20170641.

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This episode: Bacteria with various gene knockouts help roundworms live longer and with less disease!

Download Episode (9.9 MB, 10.75 minutes)

Show notes:
News item

Journal Paper:
Han B, Sivaramakrishnan P, Lin C-CJ, Neve IAA, He J, Tay LWR, Sowa JN, Sizovs A, Du G, Wang J, Herman C, Wang MC. 2017. Microbial Genetic Composition Tunes Host Longevity. Cell 169:1249–1262.e13.

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Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

Subscribe at iTunes or Google Play, support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter, or Facebook