ACE researchers Steven Robbins, Lauren Messer, Caitlin Singleton, Aileen Geers, and Alex Baker authored a new publication in Nature Microbiology, entitled “A genomic view of the reef-building coral Porites lutea and its microbial symbionts.” By sequencing the genomes of the coral Porites lutea, its algal symbiont, and 52 bacterial and archaeal genomes, we could look at the whole library of genes each organism has to work with to see how their metabolisms interlink. This is very exciting in a number of ways. Researchers have studied the symbiosis between corals and their algal symbionts (Symbiodinium) for many years, but the role of the bacteria and archaea in coral health is just now being recognized. This is the first bacterial/archaeal community from corals to be sequenced and the first time we’re getting to look under the hood to see what these microbes do. It’s also the first time each member of the coral community (i.e. the coral, algae, and bacteria/archaea) have been looked at as a unit, which we think will be integral if we are to properly understand coral biology.
Our method for experimental testing of a phage host-range without the need for culturing the host has been just published in Nature Microbiology. It involves fluorescent staining of anonymous phages collected from an environment which are combined with anonymous environmental bacteria, and the subset of bacteria tagged by fluorescent viruses is collected by fluorescence activated cells sorting and analysed on single-cell level. This "viral tagging" method has been demonstrated on human gut microbiome to explore possible interactions between phages and their hosts coming from different human volunteers which can have implications for faecal microbiota transplant therapy. The resulting host-phage network revealed hosts for hundreds of previously unknown viruses and it showed that the phages are mostly species-specific (and not strain-specific as previously though), and only a smaller number of phages have a wider host-range. In addition, we found out that the phages in the human gut have possibly low burst sizes and that the prophage induction in the gut is common, thus the phages do not perturb the human gut microbiome composition heavily on a daily basis.
ACE members Soo Jen Low, Mária Džunková, Pierre-Alain Chaumeil, Donovan Parks and Philip Hugenholtz published "Evaluation of a concatenated protein phylogeny for classification of tailed double-stranded DNA viruses belonging to the order Caudovirales" in Nature Microbiology.
We have an exciting PhD opportunity (stipend included) available at ACE starting in July working on non-photosynthetic Cyanobacteria using metagenomics, culturing and cryo-EM with Dr. Rochelle Soo and Prof. Phil Hugenholtz. For more details contact Dr Rochelle Soo – email@example.com. Please include a copy of your CV and academic transcript.
ACE members Paul Evans, Joel Boyd, Andy Leu, Ben Woodcroft, Donovan Parks, Philip Hugenholtz and Gene Tyson published "An evolving view of methane metabolism in the Archaea" in Nature Reviews Microbiology.
Clarivate Analytics' annually published list recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.
The Australian Research Council's (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) recognizes promising early career researchers and provides them with up to three years of support. It is a highly competitive award, with only 200 being awarded nationwide. Congratulations Rochelle!