The use of next-generation DNA sequencing methods is leading to exponential increases in available microbial genome data, which presents the microbiology research community with an exciting opportunity and responsibility to assign biological meaning to these data. Under ideal conditions, this process occurs through the collaborative efforts of researchers in multiple disciplines, including those with expertise in the particular organism or microbiome under investigation, those specializing in bioinformatics analysis, and those interested in experimental testing of the hypotheses generated from genome data. We are also privileged to now have access to a rich source of molecular chronometers for the reconstruction of microbial phylogenies. This allows us to not only generate improved representations of phylogenetic relationships among particular lineages of Bacteria and Archaea, but to develop new analysis methods suited to the specific properties of these genomes that distinguish them from one another and from eukaryotic genomes. This treasure-trove of phylogenetic markers also promises to revolutionize microbial systematics, and we envision Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology as a vehicle for communicating exciting new applications of genomic data for microbial and molecular systematics. Standard descriptions of new taxa, while not explicitly discouraged, are probably best targeted toward existing journals catering to such descriptions. Our ultimate goal is to accelerate communications in the field and to stimulate research in evolutionary and genomic microbiology. We believe strongly that the novel features of the Frontiers publishing platform will facilitate both of these goals.
Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology aims to publish significant research findings on all aspects of evolutionary and genomic microbiology for Bacteria and Archaea; similar information on eukaryotic microbes and viruses will be considered, but it is likely better placed in Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology’s sister sections, "Fungi and their Interactions" and "Virology", respectively. Specifically, Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology welcomes papers that describe i) the evolutionary history of particular bacterial or archaeal lineages; ii) bacterial or archaeal systematic studies that include analysis of single genes or whole genomes; iii) analysis of single genome sequences or comparative analysis of multiple genomes from pathogens, symbionts, or free-living microbes; iv) global expression profiles determined at the RNA or protein level; v) the results of metagenomic, metatranscriptomic or metaproteomic analysis of both human-associated and environmental niches; vi) analysis of genome structure and maintenance; vii) synthetic genomics and metabolic engineering; viii) systems microbiology; ix) advances in genome sequencing approaches relevant to Bacteria and Archaea including single-cell methods; and x) new or improved tools for the analysis of genomes.