A Combinatorial Kin Discrimination System in Bacillus subtilis.
Current Biology 26(6):733 (2016)
Multicellularity inherently involves a number of cooperative behaviors that are potentially susceptible to exploitation but can be protected by mechanisms such as kin discrimination. Discrimination of kin from non-kin has been observed in swarms of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, but the underl...
Horizontal Gene Acquisitions, Mobile Element Proliferation, and Genome Decay in the Host-Restricted Plant Pathogen Erwinia Tracheiphila.
Genome Biology and Evolution 8(3):649 (2016)
Modern industrial agriculture depends on high-density cultivation of genetically similar crop plants, creating favorable conditions for the emergence of novel pathogens with increased fitness in managed compared with ecologically intact settings. Here, we present the genome sequence of six strai...
Bacterial influence on alkenones in live microalgae.
Journal of Phycology 52(1):125 (2016)
The microalga Emiliania huxleyi produces alkenone lipids that are important proxies for estimating past sea surface temperatures. Field calibrations of this proxy are robust but highly variable results are obtained in culture. Here, we present results suggesting that algal-bacterial interactions...
Motility, Chemotaxis and Aerotaxis Contribute to Competitiveness during Bacterial Pellicle Biofilm Development.
Journal of Molecular Biology 427(23):3695 (2015)
Biofilm formation is a complex process involving various signaling pathways and changes in gene expression. Many of the sensory mechanisms and regulatory cascades involved have been defined for biofilms formed by diverse organisms attached to solid surfaces. By comparison, our knowledge on the b...
Kin discrimination between sympatric Bacillus subtilis isolates.
PNAS 112(45):14042 (2015)
Kin discrimination, broadly defined as differential treatment of conspecifics according to their relatedness, could help biological systems direct cooperative behavior toward their relatives. Here we investigated the ability of the soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis to discriminate kin from nonkin...
Planet of the Microbes
Cell 163(1):15 (2015)
Correction: Biofilm Formation As a Response to Ecological Competition.
PLoS Biology 13(8):e1002232 (2015)
Biofilm Formation As a Response to Ecological Competition.
PLoS Biology 13(7):e1002191 (2015)
Bacteria form dense surface-associated communities known as biofilms that are central to their persistence and how they affect us. Biofilm formation is commonly viewed as a cooperative enterprise, where strains and species work together for a common goal. Here we explore an alternative model: bi...
Natural products in soil microbe interactions and evolution.
Natural Product Reports 32(7):956 (2015)
In recent years, bacterial interspecies interactions mediated by small molecule natural products have been found to give rise to a surprising array of phenotypes in soil-dwelling bacteria, especially among Streptomyces and Bacillus species. This review examines these interspecies interactions, a...
On the evolution of bacterial multicellularity.
Current Opinion in Microbiology 24:21 (2015)
Multicellularity is one of the most prevalent evolutionary innovations and nowhere is this more apparent than in the bacterial world, which contains many examples of multicellular organisms in a surprising array of forms. Due to their experimental accessibility and the large and diverse genomic ...
From cell differentiation to cell collectives: Bacillus subtilis uses division of labor to migrate.
PLoS Biology 13(4):e1002141 (2015)
The organization of cells, emerging from cell-cell interactions, can give rise to collective properties. These properties are adaptive when together cells can face environmental challenges that they separately cannot. One particular challenge that is important for microorganisms is migration. In...
Division of Labor in Biofilms: the Ecology of Cell Differentiation.
Microbiology spectrum 3(2):MB (2015)
The dense aggregation of cells on a surface, as seen in biofilms, inevitably results in both environmental and cellular heterogeneity. For example, nutrient gradients can trigger cells to differentiate into various phenotypic states. Not only do cells adapt physiologically to the local environme...
New tools for comparing microscopy images: quantitative analysis of cell types in Bacillus subtilis.
Journal of Bacteriology 197(4):699 (2015)
Fluorescence microscopy is a method commonly used to examine individual differences between bacterial cells, yet many studies still lack a quantitative analysis of fluorescence microscopy data. Here we introduce some simple tools that microbiologists can use to analyze and compare their microsco...
Draft Genome Sequence of Erwinia tracheiphila, an Economically Important Bacterial Pathogen of Cucurbits.
Genome Announcements 3(3) (2015)
Erwinia tracheiphila is one of the most economically important pathogens of cucumbers, melons, squashes, pumpkins, and gourds in the northeastern and midwestern United States, yet its molecular pathology remains uninvestigated. Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of an E. tracheiphil...
Morphological Heterogeneity and Attachment of Phaeobacter inhibens.
PLoS ONE 10(11):e0141300 (2015)
The Roseobacter clade is a key group of bacteria in the ocean exhibiting diverse metabolic repertoires and a wide range of symbiotic life-styles. Many Roseobacters possess remarkable capabilities of attachment to both biotic and abiotic surfaces. When attached to each other, these bacteria form ...
Directed natural product biosynthesis gene cluster capture and expression in the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis.
Scientific reports 5:9383 (2015)
Bacilli are ubiquitous low G+C environmental Gram-positive bacteria that produce a wide assortment of specialized small molecules. Although their natural product biosynthetic potential is high, robust molecular tools to support the heterologous expression of large biosynthetic gene clusters in B...
Sporulation during growth in a gut isolate of Bacillus subtilis.
Journal of Bacteriology 196(23):4184 (2014)
Sporulation by Bacillus subtilis is a cell density-dependent response to nutrient deprivation. Central to the decision of entering sporulation is a phosphorelay, through which sensor kinases promote phosphorylation of Spo0A. The phosphorelay integrates both positive and negative signals, ensurin...
Structural and functional analysis of Bacillus subtilis YisP reveals a role of its product in biofilm production.
Chemistry & Biology 21(11):1557 (2014)
YisP is involved in biofilm formation in Bacillus subtilis and has been predicted to produce C30 isoprenoids. We determined the structure of YisP and observed that it adopts the same fold as squalene and dehydrosqualene synthases. However, the first aspartate-rich motif found in essentially all ...
Mutualistic interaction between Salmonella enterica and Aspergillus niger and its effects on Zea mays colonization.
Microbial Biotechnology 7(6):589 (2014)
Salmonella Typhimurium inhabits a variety of environments and is able to infect a broad range of hosts. Throughout its life cycle, some hosts can act as intermediates in the path to the infection of others. Aspergillus niger is a ubiquitous fungus that can often be found in soil or associated to...
Hybrid biosynthesis of roseobacticides from algal and bacterial precursor molecules.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 136(43):15150 (2014)
Roseobacticides regulate the symbiotic relationship between a marine bacterium (Phaeobacter inhibens) and a marine microalga (Emiliania huxleyi). This relationship can be mutualistic, when the algal host provides food for the bacteria and the bacteria produce growth hormones and antibiotics for ...