About this Research Topic
Environmental factors and biogeochemical controls structure microbial occurrence patterns and activity on land, in the oceans, and in the subsurface. Archaea respond strongly to organic matter availability, redox status and temperature, just to name a few critical factors. Many branches of the archaeal tree are currently uncultured, and – if at all – are only known from gene-based surveys and metagenomic reconstruction. Herein lies a particular challenge, but also an opportunity to define biologically informative characteristics of the archaeal world.
This Research Topic will introduce habitat surveys, genome-based investigations and meta-analyses that highlight the linkages between archaea and the natural environments where they thrive. Archaea reflect the physical and chemical characteristics of their habitat in many ways, in terms of abundance, community composition, gene expression patterns, and metabolic activity. Since many extreme microbial habitats show distinct gradients, boundaries and geographical patterns, they should reflect an analogous change within archaeal communities that yield insights into their physiological preferences. This perspective should in particular improve our understanding of uncultured archaea and contribute to a “road map” of the archaeal biome that explains who lives where and why.
This Research Topic welcomes Original Research papers, Hypothesis articles and Reviews on the following thematic areas:
• Archaeal distribution patterns.
• Archaeal gene expression in environmental context.
• Habitats preferences for understudied archaeal groups.
• Archaeal physiology in relation to environmental change.
• Site- or organism-specific case studies.
Keywords: Archaea, habitat, extreme, uncultured microorganisms, diversity
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.