Research Topic

Acidobacteria – Towards Unraveling the Secrets of a Widespread, Though Enigmatic, Phylum

About this Research Topic

Since their discovery in the late 90’s, members of the phylum Acidobacteria have been found almost everywhere on Earth. They occur not only in aquatic and terrestrial habitats, but also in harsh environments such as acidic mine drainage, rock faces or desert soil. Despite their ubiquity and high 16S rRNA gene sequence abundance especially in soil habitats, knowledge on the ecology of Acidobacteria is still surprisingly fragmentary. Acidobacterial diversity has just started to be discovered and a better understanding of their (sequence) diversity linked with physiological potential is still warranted.

One, if not the, Achilles’ heel in Acidobacteria research is that members of this phylum have so far widely escaped standard cultivation techniques. Nevertheless, the development of adapted cultivation media and techniques, specific screening methods, in addition to the rise of cultivation-independent, molecular approaches have provided insights into some key characteristics of single isolates and soil acidobacterial communities. Based on existing isolates with validated names and 16S rRNA database sequences from cultivation-independent studies, a provisional taxonomic system has been established, currently comprising 15 class-level units, only five of which contain described members. As such, further efforts are needed to better understand the acidobacterial diversity, phylogeny and taxonomy, functional roles and reasons for the success of Acidobacteria in the environment. This includes, but is not limited to, additional cultivation and characterization of novel isolates, physiological testing of genomic predictions and the in-depth study of single isolates as well as members of whole, mostly complex communities by single-cell genomics and/or metagenomics/-transcriptomics approaches.

This special issue invites scientists to submit manuscripts with their most recent research results and new insights that will advance the understanding of the diversity, ecology and evolution of this wide spread though still elusive phylum by addressing one or more of the following themes:

• Novel techniques for isolation-independent and/or in situ characterization
• Cultivation and isolation of novel species
• Characterization of novel isolates and/or particular attributes
• Exploring the physiology and and/or specific physiological traits of isolates that could help explain their abundance and/or ubiquity
• Novel phylogenetic and taxonomic insights
• Diversity and distribution in the environment
• Ecology of Acidobacteria including their role in global, biochemical nutrient cycling

We accept original research, methods, perspective and mini review articles.


Keywords: Acidobacteria, diversity, ecology, nutrient cycling, soil


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.

Since their discovery in the late 90’s, members of the phylum Acidobacteria have been found almost everywhere on Earth. They occur not only in aquatic and terrestrial habitats, but also in harsh environments such as acidic mine drainage, rock faces or desert soil. Despite their ubiquity and high 16S rRNA gene sequence abundance especially in soil habitats, knowledge on the ecology of Acidobacteria is still surprisingly fragmentary. Acidobacterial diversity has just started to be discovered and a better understanding of their (sequence) diversity linked with physiological potential is still warranted.

One, if not the, Achilles’ heel in Acidobacteria research is that members of this phylum have so far widely escaped standard cultivation techniques. Nevertheless, the development of adapted cultivation media and techniques, specific screening methods, in addition to the rise of cultivation-independent, molecular approaches have provided insights into some key characteristics of single isolates and soil acidobacterial communities. Based on existing isolates with validated names and 16S rRNA database sequences from cultivation-independent studies, a provisional taxonomic system has been established, currently comprising 15 class-level units, only five of which contain described members. As such, further efforts are needed to better understand the acidobacterial diversity, phylogeny and taxonomy, functional roles and reasons for the success of Acidobacteria in the environment. This includes, but is not limited to, additional cultivation and characterization of novel isolates, physiological testing of genomic predictions and the in-depth study of single isolates as well as members of whole, mostly complex communities by single-cell genomics and/or metagenomics/-transcriptomics approaches.

This special issue invites scientists to submit manuscripts with their most recent research results and new insights that will advance the understanding of the diversity, ecology and evolution of this wide spread though still elusive phylum by addressing one or more of the following themes:

• Novel techniques for isolation-independent and/or in situ characterization
• Cultivation and isolation of novel species
• Characterization of novel isolates and/or particular attributes
• Exploring the physiology and and/or specific physiological traits of isolates that could help explain their abundance and/or ubiquity
• Novel phylogenetic and taxonomic insights
• Diversity and distribution in the environment
• Ecology of Acidobacteria including their role in global, biochemical nutrient cycling

We accept original research, methods, perspective and mini review articles.


Keywords: Acidobacteria, diversity, ecology, nutrient cycling, soil


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.

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Submission Deadlines

19 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

19 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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