Twyman Research Management
Specialist consultants in
scientific project development,
management and presentation
to Twyman Research Management
Twyman Research Management Ltd is a UK company that specializes in scientific project development, management and presentation, including the preparation of research proposals, project management and reporting, project dissemination and complementary activities, and expert assistance with the preparation, editing and revision of scientific manuscripts.
We have been working for more than 20 years to develop and manage research projects and improve the quality of scientific publications.
Article of the Month
Pathogens diversify as they spread, resulting in a range of variant strains differing in host specificity, virulence and biochemical properties. This is the case for Pseudomonas syringae, a bacterial phytopathogen that exists as more than 50 different pathovars defined according to their pathogenicity on different host plants. Within each pathovar, there may be multiple biovars with varying degrees of virulence. It is important to understand how the virulence of different pathovars and biovars is controlled in order to develop suitable countermeasures. In December's article of the month, Vandelle et al. describe a new whole-genome microarray that can characterize different biovars of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae and identify the molecular basis of their differing virulence. Psa3, the most aggressive biovar, showed a rapid and extreme reaction to the plant apoplast, establishing virulence before the plant was able to mount an effective defense response. Identifying the specific signaling molecules involved could facilitate the development of new strategies to prevent or control plant diseases.
Article details: Vandelle E et al. (2021) Transcriptional profiling of three Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae biovars reveals different responses to apoplast-like conditions related to strain virulence on host. Mol Plant Microbe Interact (online first, 23/12/2020).
Image shows bacterial leaf canker caused by Pseudomonas syringae.
Image credit: Rosser1954 (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Species that have evolved to deal effectively with pathogens offer a potential rich source of new antimicrobial drugs. Social insects such as termites fall into this category because they live in colonies that consist of large numbers of individuals living in close contact with each other (and with their food and nesting material), an ideal environment for diseases to spread. Termites carry beneficial microbes that help to prevent the spread of pathogens in the colony, and the investigation of these microbes could provide a source of new antibiotics for humans. In November's article of the month, Oberpaul et al. describe the systematic analysis of the core microbiome at different nest levels for three species of termites, enriching for the underrepresented microbes to find out more about the microbial community and their contribution to colony fitness. The more we learn about the microbes associated with social insects, the closer we come to finding out how they inhibit pathogens and how we can use them to produce new antimicrobial drugs.
Article details: Oberpaul M et al. (2020) High-throughput cultivation for the selective isolation of Acidobacteria from termite nests. Front Microbiol 11, 597628.
Image shows a subterranean termite nest with workers and soldiers of the species Coptotermes formosanus.
Image credit: Scott Bauer, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
Human breastmilk contains complex sugars known as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) that do not provide energy but instead improve the health of breastfed infants by preventing infections, promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria, and supporting normal development. HMOs are not present in typical formula products so bottle-fed infants miss out on these benefits. In October's article of the month, Parschat et al. describe a new way to produce 2'-fucosyllactose (the most abundant HMO) by bacterial fermentation, starting from sucrose. Although this HMO has been produced by fermentation before, the process required lactose, which is more expensive to source. The new method involves the introduction of a metabolic pathway for 2'-fucosyllactose and can easily be adapted to produce other HMOs. In the future, this could allow the development of formula products that provide a balanced selection of HMOs.
Article details: Parschat K et al. (2020) High-titer de novo biosynthesis of the predominant human milk oligosaccharide 2'-fucosyllactose from sucrose in Escherichia coli. ACS Synth Biol 9 (10) 2784–2796.