Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Savory, Skylar Fuller, and Dr. Alex Weisberg
A paper by these three co-first authors was published today in Elife. There are three main take home messages in this paper: 1) A virulence plasmid is sufficient to transition beneficial Rhodococcus to pathogenic Rhodococcus, 2) In a nursery setting, the movement of plasmids and the movement of pathogenic cells explain transmission patterns, and 3) The conclusion that virulence gene-lacking Rhodococcus are the causative agent of a newly described syndrome of pistachio may have been incorrectly diagnosed. This was a exceptionally rewarding project to be a part of, as it couples basic and applied biology. It was amazing how the story and paper came together, some of which can be found in the authors' response to review.