100 episodes

The podcast for microbe lovers: reporting on exciting news about bacteria, archaea, and sometimes even eukaryotic microbes and viruses.

BacterioFiles Jesse Noar

    • Science
    • 4.4 • 20 Ratings

The podcast for microbe lovers: reporting on exciting news about bacteria, archaea, and sometimes even eukaryotic microbes and viruses.

    Caulobacter Condensates Compartmentalize Kinase

    Caulobacter Condensates Compartmentalize Kinase

    This episode: Bacteria can use blobs of disordered proteins to quickly adapt to new conditions!
     
    Thanks to Dr. Saumya Saurabh for his contribution!
    Download Episode (10.9 MB, 15.9 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Drosophila melanogaster Micropia virus
     
     
    Takeaways
    Bacteria can adapt to environmental fluctuations via mechanisms operating at the various levels of the central dogma, or metabolism (stringent response). Recently, researchers at Stanford University discovered a mechanism that allows bacteria to sense and rapidly adapt to nutrient fluctuations by simply tuning protein self-assembly as a function of nutrient availability. Termed membraneless organelles or condensates, these proteinaceous assemblies can dynamically sequester key signaling enzymes within them in response to environmental cues. Biophysical adaptation mediated by organelles is fast, reversible, and facile; thereby representing a crucial step in the mechanistic understanding of microbial adaptation.
     
    Journal Paper:
    Saurabh S, Chong TN, Bayas C, Dahlberg PD, Cartwright HN, Moerner WE, Shapiro L. 2022. ATP-responsive biomolecular condensates tune bacterial kinase signaling. Sci Adv 8:eabm6570.


    Other interesting stories:
    Bacteria produce biofuel from carbon dioxide, light, and solar power-generated electricity Vine that can mimic leaves of different trees may get info from bacteria (paper)
     
    Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!
    Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.

    • 15 min
    Phage Fight Foils Fitness

    Phage Fight Foils Fitness

    This episode: A phage both kills bacterial pathogens and selects for reduced virulence!
    Download Episode (6.3 MB, 9.9 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Helminthosporium victoriae 145S virus
     
    News item
     
    Takeaways
    Using bacteria-killing viruses to treat bacterial infections, or phage therapy, can be a good alternative to antibiotics in some situations when there are no effective antibiotics for a particular infection. But bacteria can evolve resistance to phages as well as antibiotics, often with little cost to their fitness.

    In this study, a phage not only could treat an infection by attacking the bacteria, but the bacterial hosts that do evolve resistance to the phage do so by getting rid of certain structures that help them to cause more serious infection. Thus, therapy with this phage may both reduce the bacterial load and also make those remaining less virulent.
     
    Journal Paper:
    Kortright KE, Done RE, Chan BK, Souza V, Turner PE. 2022. Selection for Phage Resistance Reduces Virulence of Shigella flexneri. Appl Environ Microbiol 88:e01514-21.


    Other interesting stories:
    Plastic-eating bacteria could produce biodegradable plastic Harmless variant of acne bacteria could help prevent more serious skin infection
     
    Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!
    Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.

    • 9 min
    Super Small Symbionts Soothe Symptoms

    Super Small Symbionts Soothe Symptoms

    This episode: Tiny bacteria that live on larger bacteria reduce the inflammation and gum disease the bigger microbes cause in the mouths of mice!
    Download Episode (6.3 MB, 9.2 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Actinomadura viridilutea
     
    Takeaways
    Even bacteria can be hosts to smaller symbionts living on them. Some kinds of these extremely tiny bacteria live in various parts of our bodies, and are sometimes associated with inflammation and the resulting disease. But being associated with something isn't necessarily the same as causing that thing.

    In this study, tiny bacteria living on other bacteria in the mouths of mice were found to reduce the inflammation caused by their bacterial hosts, resulting in less gum disease and bone loss in the jaw. Even when the tiny bacteria were no longer present, their former bacterial hosts were still less disruptive to the mouse mouth.
     
    Journal Paper:
    Chipashvili O, Utter DR, Bedree JK, Ma Y, Schulte F, Mascarin G, Alayyoubi Y, Chouhan D, Hardt M, Bidlack F, Hasturk H, He X, McLean JS, Bor B. 2021. Episymbiotic Saccharibacteria suppresses gingival inflammation and bone loss in mice through host bacterial modulation. Cell Host Microbe 29:1649-1662.e7.

    Other interesting stories:
    Anti-tumor bacteria: engineered E. coli colonizes tumors and attracts immune response Cats have skin bacteria that could inhibit drug resistant pathogens
     
    Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!
    Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.

    • 9 min
    Prophage Provides Partial Protection

    Prophage Provides Partial Protection

    This episode: A virus lurking in a bacterial genome protects its host population from infection with other phages, by killing off infected cells!
    Download Episode (7.6 MB, 11.0 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Olive latent ringspot virus
     
    Takeaways
    Many bacteriophages just go in and gobble up all their host's resources to make a bunch of new viruses right away. Others play a longer game, splicing into and lurking in the host's genome across multiple generations until conditions are right to multiply more rapidly. It is beneficial to these latter kind when their host is resistant to the fast-killing variety, but how can bacteria be resistant to some phages but not others?
     
    In this study, one prophage (the phage genome integrated into the bacterial genome) carries a gene that does this in an interesting way. It prevents invading phages from replicating and kills the host cell so the infection can't spread, protecting the population (and all the other cells containing the prophage). It also contains an immunity element that allows the prophage to replicate itself without interference.

     
    Journal Paper:
    Owen SV, Wenner N, Dulberger CL, Rodwell EV, Bowers-Barnard A, Quinones-Olvera N, Rigden DJ, Rubin EJ, Garner EC, Baym M, Hinton JCD. 2021. Prophages encode phage-defense systems with cognate self-immunity. Cell Host Microbe 29:1620-1633.e8.

    Other interesting stories:
    Migration affects birds' gut microbiota Sometimes E. coli can keep Salmonella from causing problems in the gut
     
    Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!
    Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.

    • 11 min
    Commensal Can Kill Cholera

    Commensal Can Kill Cholera

    This episode: Harmless gut microbes resist cholera with good defense or better offense!
    Download Episode (5.8 MB, 8.4 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Streptomyces corchorusii
     
    News item
     
    Takeaways
    The community of microbes in our guts is highly diverse, yet generally they all coexist relatively peacefully. Some pathogens can invade this community and cause massive disruptions. Cholera is a disease caused by a pathogen that injects its competing bacteria with toxins and disrupts the health of the gut, leading to very watery diarrhea that can quickly dehydrate victims.
     
    This study found that some microbes commonly found harmlessly existing in the gut can resist destruction by the cholera pathogen. One of these resists by striking back with its own toxin injection system; the other creates a barrier of slime around itself that keeps the invader's toxins from reaching it. Such resistant gut microbes could help to reduce the threat of diseases such as cholera.

     
    Journal Paper:
    Flaugnatti N, Isaac S, Lemos Rocha LF, Stutzmann S, Rendueles O, Stoudmann C, Vesel N, Garcia-Garcera M, Buffet A, Sana TG, Rocha EPC, Blokesch M. 2021. Human commensal gut Proteobacteria withstand type VI secretion attacks through immunity protein-independent mechanisms. Nat Commun 12:5751.


    Other interesting stories:
    Producing super-strong fibers with engineered microbes Some gut bacteria store some drugs inside their cells
     
    Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!
    Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.

    • 8 min
    Prion Pivots Productive Pathways

    Prion Pivots Productive Pathways

    This episode: Prions in yeast can allow better adaptation to changing conditions!
    Download Episode (9.5 MB, 13.9 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Hepatovirus F
     
    News item
     
    Takeaways
    Prions can be deadly. They're misshapen proteins that cause a cascade of misfolding of similar proteins if they get into the nervous system, resulting in neurodegeneration in mammals. But in other organisms, they are not always so scary; some fungi use prions to regulate their behavior in varying conditions.
     
    In this study, a prion allows yeast to switch between a fast-growing lifestyle with shorter reproductive lifespan that can be beneficial in conditions where nutrients are often plentiful, and a slower-growing but more enduring lifestyle that helps in more scarce conditions.

     
    Journal Paper:
    Garcia DM, Campbell EA, Jakobson CM, Tsuchiya M, Shaw EA, DiNardo AL, Kaeberlein M, Jarosz DF. 2021. A prion accelerates proliferation at the expense of lifespan. eLife 10:e60917.


    Other interesting stories:
    Modified yeast probiotic could tune its effects as needed by sensing bowel inflammation
     
    Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening!
    Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

~L ,

Interesting topics

This podcast discusses some interesting topics in Microbiology. The production needs a little work, but if you are interested or are studying in Micro this podcast is a good start.

pat from Oak Park Il ,

Such A Helpful Podcast!

Later in my life I fell in love with microbiology. This podcast has enriched my understanding and deepened my fascination. I would like nothing more than to meet Dr. Nour shake his hand and tell him “Thank you, Thank you”.

mkcheshire ,

Nice summaries

I really like how Jesse presents articles in an easy to understand style.
Mike in Oregon

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