Editor’s Selections: Evolving from pathogen to symbiont, protective bacteria on your skin, and a plethora of MRSA sequencesJanuary 22nd, 2010 Editor's Selections 10 Comments
Vincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He blogs at virology blog.
- Symbiotic bacteria that live in the roots of a host plant provide essential nitrogen in the form of ammonia. A pathogenic bacterium can be converted into something resembling a plant symbiont by introduction of the genes for nitrogen fixation, followed by natural selection.
- Staphylococcus epidermidis is more than just an innocuous coloniser of healthy skin. The bacteria produce lipotechoic acid (LTA), which prevents an excessive inflammatory response during wound repair, and antimicrobial peptides that kill pathogenic group A streptococci.
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, often acquired in health care facilities, constitute a serious health issue. By sequencing multiple MRSA genomes, it is possible to track pathogen evolution during hospital transmission and intercontinental spread, enabling better control measures.
I’ll be back next Friday with more selections.