Monthly Archives: September 2013

Genetically dictated change in host mucus carbohydrate landscape exerts a diet-dependent effect on the gut microbiota

New PNAS paper from the Sonnenburg lab about mucus glycans and the microbiota. Abstract We investigate how host mucus glycan composition interacts with dietary carbohydrate content to influence the composition and expressed functions of a human gut community. The humanized … Continue reading

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CDC Threat Report 2013

Recent report by the CDC about antibiotic resistance. I thought it might be useful in introductions of some presentations.

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Bacteriophage adhering to mucus provide a non–host-derived immunity

PNAS article on how bacteriophage use Ig-like domains in their capsid proteins to adhere to mucin secreted by host epithelial cells, creating a protective layer of phage that separates bacteria from the gut epithelium. Cool stuff, well-explained in this figure … Continue reading

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Distinct antimicrobial peptide expression determines host species-specific bacterial associations

I like the language in this article and how it’s framed around looking at microbial community development.  Use of an invertebrate host (hydra) to look at co-evolution of host and microbe populations, with selection of communities based on the types … Continue reading

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Microbiota-liberated host sugars facilitate post-antibiotic expansion of enteric pathogens

Nice letter in Nature from the Sonnenburg lab at Stanford showing that both Salmonella and C. difficile metabolize sugars liberated from mucus by the microbiota. Abstract:  The human intestine, colonized by a dense community of resident microbes, is a frequent … Continue reading

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A bacterial symbiont is converted from an inedible producer of beneficial molecules into food by a single mutation in the gacA gene

How little between happy coexistence and one-sided dominance… Stable multipartite mutualistic associations require that all partners benefit. We show that a single mutational step is sufficient to turn a symbiotic bacterium from an inedible but host-beneficial secondary metabolite producer into … Continue reading

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A few interesting popular press highlights… antibiotics, resistance, and insect guts Women in science (check out this week’s special STEM issue) Rich Lenski (MSU) started a blog recently. I have found it a very interesting and educational read. … Continue reading

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