Category Archives: microbiology

I do not think it means what you think it means: “relic DNA” can obscure microbial diversity studies

Although microbes are small, they play an important part in both biogeochemical cycles in the ocean as well as on land. However, as they are not so easy to observe by eye, and in many cases can’t be cultured in … Continue reading

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When the going gets hot the dinoflagellates (sometimes) get going, how viruses might affect coral symbionts

Corals represent more than meets the eye, they host intricate and interesting communities composed of dinoflagellates (also referred to as zooxanthellae), and a suite of microbes that include bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, and viruses. One such dinoflagellate that often shares … Continue reading

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Diving into chilly California waters, understanding genomic differentiation and the role of gene transfer in marine cyanophages

At this point, it’s clear: microbes are everywhere, there are a lot of them, and they are important. In fact, they are more abundant, more diverse and older than any other organism we have on this planet. In particular, cyanobacteria … Continue reading

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Posted in Coevolution, evolution, genomics, horizontal gene transfer, microbiology, population genetics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The importance of culturing the uncultured, delving into the microbial consortia in the human gut

The molecular side of ecology has grown by leaps and bounds in recent decades. The review we covered not too long ago, did a nice job of summarizing many key aspects highlighting the importance of this relatively new molecular view … Continue reading

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Posted in community ecology, genomics, medicine, metagenomics, microbiology | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

There are more microbes than meet the eye: exploring the genomic diversity in an aquifer

First: it’s Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 – before you even think about putting your feet up and reading this post, I hope you’ve managed to wrangle yourself one of those highly prized “I voted” stickers. Now, on to more microbial … Continue reading

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Posted in bioinformatics, community ecology, metagenomics, microbiology, next generation sequencing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Gene expression shows how a plant and its mutualists are better together

No living thing is an island, and many of the encounters between living things that happen every day are not antagonistic or even indifferent, but mutually beneficial. Two such mutualisms that could be among the most important on the planet … Continue reading

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Posted in microbiology, next generation sequencing, plants, RNAseq | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

It’s not the size that counts: teeny tiny SAR11 bacteria play a big role in our oceans

Microbes account for a huge chunk of the diversity on this planet, are essential in all sorts of biogeochemical processes, and we are still figuring out how everything is related. Teeny tiny bacterial cells are abundant both on land as … Continue reading

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Respect the old but seek out the new: Direct 16S rRNA-seq from bacterial communities

I think it’s fair to say that it’s an ongoing struggle to figure out what the heck microbes are doing in their natural environments, and who those microbes are. Clearly, there is no silver bullet that gives us all the … Continue reading

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Posted in community ecology, microbiology, RNAseq | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Of microbes and men: Testing the neutral theory with the human microbiome

There is no doubt that one of the hottest current topics in microbiology revolves around the human microbiome. There have been a suite of recent studies we’ve highlighted, on organisms ranging from bees and mice, to humans. A quick google scholar search identifies … Continue reading

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Microbes can rapidly evolve host-protective traits

One of the coolest studies I’ve come across so far this year is the fascinating story about microbe-mediated protection in worms by Kayla King et al. The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis normally causes mild disease in worms (Caenorhabditis elegans). After a week … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, microbiology, mutation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment