Impact Factor 5.640 | CiteScore 7.3
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Extreme Microbiology publishes research on microbial life that flourishes or persists under permanent or periodic extreme environmental conditions. We will work to update the general understanding of extreme microbiology, from a niche specialty focused on a few exotic microorganisms and habitats, to one of the principal fields in microbiology that in itself is rapidly developing and diversifying.
Although an absolute consensus on what counts as “extreme” is hard to find, an initial approximation focuses on environmental conditions that impose physiological stress and growth limitations of increasing severity on the majority of microorganisms; those that have developed strategies and adaptations that allow them to live permanently under these conditions we term extremophiles. Among others, the best known of such extremes exist in form of permanent frost in polar and mountain regions, permanently cold deep sea environments, hot springs and deep sea vents, ultra-dry soils, such as the Atacama Desert, the deep marine and terrestrial subsurface, as well as cosmic space – the final frontier. Over the last decade, our knowledge of and interest in microbial diversity and habitat range of extremophiles has grown exponentially, and has transcended conventional disciplinary boundaries.
While extremophilic microorganisms and their habitats are an important and central topic for Extreme Microbiology, they are not its sole focus. Microorganisms of all types encounter naturally variable conditions that are not permanent, but remain challenging even for short time frames; examples might include the drastic changes of pH during passage through the human intestinal tract, fluctuating thermal gradients that characterize pulsating hydrothermal flow regimes, or the diurnally changing redox regimes within photosynthetic cyanobacterial mats that cycle from oxygen supersaturation during the day to sulfidic anoxia by night. Most microorganisms that undergo these shifts would perish if they were positioned permanently on the wrong side of these cycles, but they thrive within their dynamic environment. This variant of extreme environments and their microbial inhabitants – what for the lack of a better term might be called extremotolerant - is omnipresent in nature, and will be appropriately emphasized by Extreme Microbiology.
Last but not least, some environmental fluctuations are so severe, intense or long-lasting that microbial activity and cell metabolism are temporarily suspended, and the mode and extent of survival becomes the principal issue, as in desiccation, ionic damage, or exposure to intense radiation. Quite often, the limits of life – permanent or fluctuating regimes in nature - are fluid boundaries that may change in surprising and unforeseen ways. Extreme Microbiology will chart these outer reaches of life as we get to know them better over the coming years.
Descriptions of new taxa and/or their genome sequences (with or without associated metadata) may only be reviewed if they demonstrate experimentally that they lead to new biological insights on the studied microorganism in extreme environments. Standard taxon or genome descriptions do not provide a sufficient scientific rationale for consideration in the Extreme Microbiology section, and will not be considered. The authors may want to consider other publication venues that specialize in such descriptions.
Indexed in: Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), CrossRef, DOAJ, Google Scholar, PubMed, PubMed Central (PMC), Scopus
Extreme Microbiology welcomes submissions of the following article types: Correction, Editorial, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge and Technology and Code.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Extreme Microbiology, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
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