About this Research Topic
Ciliated protists (Ciliophora) are widely used for studying evolution processes, mainly because of their early evolutionary branching and successful radiation to almost all aquatic ecosystems worldwide, even under extreme ecological conditions like in polar regions and hydrothermal vents. Marine ciliates are a highly specialized protist lineage, which plays an essential role in energy flow and microbiological cycles in marine ecosystems. However, some important phylogenetic events in the evolutionary history of ciliates and the interactions of ciliates with other marine organisms remain poorly understood. This is mainly due to the lack of high-throughput morphologic and genetic data. In this Research Topic we encourage researchers to present the results of high-throughput morphological (image vision, AI-based species determination etc.), genomic and epigenomic analyses of ciliates on species, population and/or single-cell levels to gain a better understanding of ciliate biodiversity and evolution from an unbiased perspective. By taking this opportunity, we hope that the evolutionary research community will benefit from the large scale and systematic work that we promote.
Keywords: Ciliate, Biodiversity, Evolution, Genomics, Epigenomics
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