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FEMS Microbiology Reviews

Hadar Neuman, Paul Forsythe, Atara Uzan, Orly Avni, Omry Koren
Antibiotics are the most common type of medication prescribed to children, including infants, in the Western world. While use of antibiotics has transformed previously lethal infections into relatively minor diseases, antibiotic treatments can have adverse effects, as well. It has been shown in children, adults and animal models that antibiotics dramatically alter the gut microbial composition. Since the gut microbiota plays crucial roles in immunity, metabolism, and endocrinology, the effects of antibiotics on the microbiota may lead to further health complications...
June 25, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Christopher T Straub, James A Counts, Diep M N Nguyen, Chang-Hao Wu, Benjamin M Zeldes, James R Crosby, Jonathan M Conway, Jonathan K Otten, Gina L Lipscomb, Gerrit J Schut, Michael W W Adams, Robert M Kelly
Although the extremely thermophilic archaea (Topt ≥ 70°C) may be the most primitive extant forms of life, they have been studied to a limited extent relative to mesophilic microorganisms. Many of these organisms have unique biochemical and physiological characteristics with important biotechnological implications. These include methanogens that generate methane, fermentative anaerobes that produce hydrogen gas with high efficiency, and acidophiles that can mobilize base, precious and strategic metals from mineral ores...
June 25, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Emilia M F Mauriello, Christopher Jones, Audrey Moine, Judith P Armitage
The bacterial cytoplasm is not a homogeneous solution of macromolecules, but rather a highly organized and compartmentalized space where the clustering and segregation of macromolecular complexes in certain cell regions confers functional efficiency. Bacterial chemoreceptors represent a versatile model system to study the subcellular localization of macromolecules, as they are present in almost all motile bacterial and archaeal species, where they tend to form highly ordered arrays that occupy distinct positions in cells...
June 25, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Mechthild Pohlschroder, Friedhelm Pfeiffer, Stefan Schulze, Mohd Farid Abdul Halim
Cell surfaces are critical for diverse functions across all domains of life, from cell-cell communication and nutrient uptake to cell stability and surface attachment. While certain aspects of the mechanisms supporting the biosynthesis of the archaeal cell surface are unique, likely due to important differences in cell surface compositions between domains, others are shared with bacteria or eukaryotes or both. Based on recent studies completed on a phylogenetically diverse array of archaea, from a wide variety of habitats, here we discuss advances in the characterization of mechanisms underpinning archaeal cell surface biogenesis...
June 15, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Callum J D Lee, Phillip E McMullan, Callum J O'Kane, Andrew Stevenson, Inês C Santos, Chayan Roy, Wriddhiman Ghosh, Rocco L Mancinelli, Melanie R Mormile, Geoffrey McMullan, Horia L Banciu, Mario A Fares, Kathleen C Benison, Aharon Oren, Mike L Dyall-Smith, John E Hallsworth
NaCl-saturated brines such as saltern crystallizer ponds, inland salt-lakes, deep-sea brines, and liquids-of-deliquescence on halite are commonly regarded as a paradigm for the limit-of-life on Earth. There are, however, other habitats that are thermodynamically more extreme. Typically, NaCl-saturated environments contain all domains-of-life and perform complete biogeochemical cycling. Despite their reduced water activity, ∼0.755 at 5 M NaCl, some halophiles belonging to the Archaea and Bacteria exhibit optimum growth/metabolism in these brines...
June 11, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Fatemeh Askarian, Theresa Wagner, Mona Johannessen, Victor Nizet
Early recognition of pathogens by the innate immune system is crucial for bacterial clearance. Many pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as Toll-like (TLRs) and (NOD)-like (NLRs) receptors have been implicated in initial sensing of bacterial components. The intracellular signaling cascades triggered by these receptors result in transcriptional upregulation of inflammatory pathways. Although this step is crucial for bacterial elimination, it is also associated with the potential for substantial immunopathology, which underscores the need for tight control of inflammatory responses...
June 8, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Zhichao Zhou, Jie Pan, Fengping Wang, Ji-Dong Gu, Meng Li
Bathyarchaeota, formerly known as the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group, is a phylum of global generalists that are widespread in anoxic sediments, which host relatively high abundant archaeal communities. Until now, 25 subgroups have been identified in the Bathyarchaeota. The distinct bathyarchaeotal subgroups diverged to adapt to the marine and freshwater environments. Based on the physiological and genomic evidence, acetyl-CoA centralized heterotrophic pathways of energy conservation have been proposed to function in Bathyarchaeota; these microbes are able to anaerobically utilize (i) detrital proteins, (ii) polymeric carbohydrates, (iii) fatty acids/aromatic compounds, (iv) methane (or short chain alkane) and methylated compounds, (v) and/or potentially other organic matter...
May 21, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Hirotaka Hiyoshi, Connor R Tiffany, Denise N Bronner, Andreas J Bäumler
Typhoid and paratyphoid fever are severe systemic infections caused by human-adapted typhoidal Salmonella serovars that are indistinguishable in their clinical presentation, but differ from human gastroenteritis caused by zoonotic non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars. Typhoidal Salmonella serovars evolved from ancestral gastrointestinal pathogens through genetic changes that supported a change in pathogen ecology. Typhoidal Salmonella serovars share virulence properties that were acquired through convergent evolution and therefore this group is not defined by the presence of shared virulence genes that are absent from non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars...
May 21, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Jorge Barriuso, Deborah A Hogan, Tajalli Keshavarz, María Jesús Martínez
Microbial cells do not live in isolation in their environment, but rather they communicate with each other using chemical signals. This sophisticated mode of cell-to-cell signalling, known as quorum sensing, was first discovered in bacteria, and coordinates the behaviour of microbial population behaviour in a cell-density dependent manner. More recently, these mechanisms have been described in eukaryotes, particularly in fungi, where they regulate processes such as pathogenesis, morphological differentiation, secondary metabolite production and biofilm formation...
May 18, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Christelle Bressuire-Isoard, Véronique Broussolle, Frédéric Carlin
Bacterial spores are resistant to physical and chemical insults, which make them a major concern for public health and for industry. Spores help bacteria to survive extreme environmental conditions that vegetative cells cannot tolerate. Spore resistance and dormancy are important properties for applications in medicine, veterinary health, food safety, crop protection, and other domains. The resistance of bacterial spores results from a protective multilayered structure and from the unique composition of the spore core...
May 17, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Malcolm F White, Thorsten Allers
There has long been a fascination in the DNA Repair pathways of archaea, for two main reasons. Firstly, many archaea inhabit extreme environments where the rate of physical damage to DNA is accelerated. These archaea might reasonably be expected to have particularly robust or novel DNA repair pathways to cope with this. Secondly, the archaea have long been understood to be a lineage distinct from the bacteria, and to share a close relationship with the eukarya, particularly in their information processing systems...
May 5, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Katy Poncin, Sébastien Gillet, Xavier De Bolle
The α-proteobacteria are a fascinating group of free-living, symbiotic and pathogenic organisms, including the Brucella genus, which is responsible for a worldwide zoonosis. One common feature of α-proteobacteria is the presence of a conserved response regulator called CtrA, first described in the model bacterium Caulobacter crescentus, where it controls gene expression at different stages of the cell cycle. Here, we focus on Brucella abortus and other intracellular α-proteobacteria in order to better assess the potential role of CtrA in the infectious context...
July 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Gerold Stanek, Franc Strle
Lyme borreliosis is caused by certain genospecies of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, which are transmitted by hard ticks of the genus Ixodes. The most common clinical manifestation is erythema migrans, an expanding skin redness that usually develops at the site of a tick bite and eventually resolves even without antibiotic treatment. The infecting pathogens can spread to other tissues and organs, resulting in manifestations that can involve the nervous system, joints, heart and skin. Fatal outcome is extremely rare and is due to severe heart involvement; fetal involvement is not reliably ascertained...
May 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Béatrice Clouet-d'Orval, Manon Batista, Marie Bouvier, Yves Quentin, Gwennaele Fichant, Anita Marchfelder, Lisa-Katharina Maier
RNA processing pathways are at the center of regulation of gene expression. All RNA transcripts undergo multiple maturation steps in addition to covalent chemical modifications to become functional in the cell. This includes destroying unnecessary or defective cellular RNAs. In Archaea, information on mechanisms by which RNA species reach their mature forms and associated RNA-modifying enzymes is still fragmentary. To date, most archaeal actors and pathways have been proposed in light of information gathered from Bacteria and Eukarya...
April 19, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Kelly M Zatopek, Andrew F Gardner, Zvi Kelman
DNA replication and repair are essential biological processes needed for the survival of all organisms. Although these processes are fundamentally conserved in the three domains, Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya, the proteins and complexes involved differ. The genetic and biophysical tools developed for archaea in the last several years have accelerated the study of DNA replication and repair in this domain. In this review, the current knowledge of DNA replication and repair processes in archaea will be summarized, with emphasis on the contribution of genetics and other recently developed biophysical and molecular tools, including capillary gel electrophoresis, next-generation sequencing and single-molecule approaches...
April 18, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Rachel M Wheatley, Philip S Poole
The attachment of bacteria to roots constitutes the first physical step in many plant-microbe interactions. These interactions exert both positive and negative influences on agricultural systems depending on whether a growth-promoting, symbiotic, or pathogenic relationship transpires. A common biphasic mechanism of root attachment exists across agriculturally important microbial species, including Rhizobium, Agrobacterium, Pseudomonas, Azospirillum and Salmonella. Attachment studies have revealed how plant-microbe interactions develop, and how to manipulate these relationships for agricultural benefit...
April 17, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Eric Martinez, Fernande Ayenoue Siadous, Matteo Bonazzi
Co-evolution of bacterial pathogens with their hosts led to the emergence of a stunning variety of strategies aiming at the evasion of host defences, colonisation of host cells and tissues and, ultimately, the establishment of a successful infection. Pathogenic bacteria are typically classified as extracellular and intracellular, however intracellular lifestyle comes in many different flavours: some microbes rapidly escape to the cytosol whereas, other microbes remain within vacuolar compartments and harness membrane trafficking pathways to generate their host-derived, pathogen-specific replicative niche...
March 27, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Sarah Willkomm, Kira Makarova, Dina Grohmann
Argonaute (Ago) proteins are encoded in all three domains of life and are responsible for the regulation of intracellular nucleic acid levels. Whereas some Ago variants are able to cleave target nucleic acids by their endonucleolytic activity others only bind to their target nucleic acids while target cleavage is mediated by other effector proteins. Although all Ago proteins show a high degree of overall structural homology, the nature of the nucleic acid binding partners differs significantly. Recent structural and functional data have provided intriguing new insights into the mechanisms of archaeal and bacterial Ago variants demonstrating the mechanistic diversity within the prokaryotic Ago family with astonishing differences in nucleic acid selection and nuclease specificity...
March 20, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Francesca Micoli, Paolo Costantino, Roberto Adamo
Cell surface carbohydrates have been proven optimal targets for vaccine development. Conjugation of polysaccharides to a carrier protein triggers a T-cell dependent immune response to the glycan moiety. Licensed glycoconjugate vaccines are produced by chemical conjugation of capsular polysaccharides to prevent meningitis caused by meningococcus, pneumococcus and Haemophilus influenzae type b. However, other classes of carbohydrates (O-antigens, exopolysaccharides, wall/teichoic acids) represent attractive targets for developing vaccines...
March 14, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Liselot Dewachter, Natalie Verstraeten, Maarten Fauvart, Jan Michiels
Bacterial proliferation depends on the cells' capability to proceed through consecutive rounds of the cell cycle. The cell cycle consists of a series of events during which cells grow, copy their genome, partition the duplicated DNA into different cell halves and, ultimately, divide to produce two newly formed daughter cells. Cell cycle control is of the utmost importance to maintain the correct order of events and safeguard the integrity of the cell and its genomic information. This review covers insights into the regulation of individual key cell cycle events in Escherichia coli...
March 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
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