Editorial: Community series-extremophiles: microbial genomics and taxogenomics, volume II

Paru dans Frontiers In Microbiology

Antunes, A., de La haba, R.R., Jebbar, M., Hedlund, B.P. (2024)

The importance of extreme environments and their microbial inhabitants has been gaining visibility. Such environments account for most of Earth's habitable zone by volume (Gold, 1992; Charette and Smith, 2010) and they are sources of valuable new strains and bio-products that will fuel the bioeconomy and will provide new solutions to the current challenges we face in the in areas of human health, energy, environment, and agriculture (Antunes et al., 2016; Corral et al., 2019). Developments in extremophile microbiology are increasingly linked with technological improvements in sequencing, bioinformatics, and other upcoming technologies that are opening new paths for scientific breakthroughs and promises to change our understanding of life on Earth. The evolution and physiology of extremophiles remain relevant to investigate the universal ancestor and the limits of life (Merino et al., 2019). The study of extremophiles is also vital to both Astrobiology and Space Microbiology and will support humanity's next steps into space (e.g., Antunes and Meyer-Dombard, 2023; Simões et al., 2023).

Within this setting, we hosted the special Research Topic entitled Extremophiles: Microbial genomics and taxogenomics (de la Haba et al., 2022). Based on its success, we then launched a second volume as the start of a community series dedicated to this topic. Our new volume includes 14 manuscripts, covering a wide range of areas within the field, with contributions on: (i) the discovery of new taxa and genomic-based analysis of their properties; (ii) new community-based studies in previously overlooked extreme and poly-extreme environments; and (iii) new insights into high taxonomic ranks of extremophiles. The volume was well received, with a total of 77 contributing authors from institutions in 14 different countries spread across the globe, namely Australia, Belgium, Botswana, China, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America. At the time of writing, over 190,000 views and downloads have been recorded for both volumes of the series.