This short text highlight the work of Zeevi et al., which shows that variations in gene content and organization between different strains of the same microbial species are widespread in the human gut microbiota and could be linked to many health factors. This is a cool paper that comes in two parts. First, it describes a tool that highlights Structural variant (SVs) in different strains of the same bacterial species. Those variations are not only based on presence-absence but most importantly take account of the changes in gene organization, e.g what is the genetic neighborhood composition, between two bacterial strains.
Then beyond simply presenting a new tool, the authors showcase it in a nice study that shows that SVs are widespread in the human gut microbiota and could be linked to many health factors. But no spoiler! Go have a short read here.