About this Research Topic
Genomes are central to the biology of unicellular organisms, embodying both the history and the functional potential of each microbial lineage. Preserving genome integrity over many generations is a basic requirement of biological success, and involves co-operation among several distinct enzymatic systems. Conversely, genome alterations, which represent the first step of evolutionary adaptation and speciation, reflect phenomena ranging from spontaneous chemical alteration to sophisticated genetic transactions.
Many mechanisms of genetic preservation or alteration have been analyzed in bacteria or eukaryotes, but much less is known about the mechanisms that have functional relevance for archaea. Consistent with their evolutionary history, Archaea share certain features only with Eucarya, others only with Bacteria, and yet other features with neither of the other two domains. Archaea employ proteins homologous to those of eukaryotes to replicate DNA, whereas the organization of that DNA and its cellular context are more bacterial in nature. Analyzing the processes which shape the genomes of archaea therefore promises to yield new insights into early cellular evolution and a clearer understanding of how modern archaea diversify. It also provides a route to improved genetic methods for archaea and technological applications based on archaeal proteins.
This Research Topic focuses on molecular processes in archaea that determine or influence the content or integrity of their genomes. Examples include:
- avoidance, repair, or tolerance of DNA damage
- the processes of DNA replication, partitioning, mutagenesis, transfer or recombination
- CRISPR-Cas or other systems of genetic defense
- the activity of mobile genetic elements
Submitted manuscripts, whether original research or review articles, should provide new insight into the functional or mechanistic aspects of such processes in archaea.
Keywords: genetic exchange, DNA replication, genome defense, mutation, DNA repair
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.