Research Topic

Functional Diversity of Aquatic Microorganisms and Their Roles in Water Quality

About this Research Topic

Aquatic microorganisms are a double-edged sword to water quality. On one hand, their function in the nutrient cycling and bioremediation of chemical hazards improve water quality and maintain the health of aquatic ecosystems. On the other hand, the influx and transmission of microbial pathogens, particularly antimicrobial resistant pathogens, and the release and spread of microbial toxins in water impair water quality, harm the health of aquatic ecosystems, and threaten public health. The advance of ‘omic’ technologies offer great opportunities to study a wide range of aquatic microorganisms in situ and understand their functional diversity. Provided the importance of water quality to life and environment, it is in significant need to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the impact of microbial functions on the chemical, physical, and biological properties of water environments.

The goal of this Research Topic is to gain an improved understanding of the diversity of functions performed by microorganisms in an aquatic ecosystem and their causal effects in the freshwater quality. We seek manuscripts which i) enrich our knowledge in the favorable consequences (e.g., metal homeostasis and organic contaminant remediation) and unfavorable consequences (virulence, particularly in combination with antimicrobial resistance) of aquatic microorganisms function on water quality, and/or ii) provide insights or solutions in utilizing genotypic, phenotypic and/or ecological traits of aquatic microorganisms to assess, monitor, and improve water quality and the health of aquatic ecosystem.

The following article types are invited: original research, mini review, review, opinion, perspective, brief research report and case studies, and new methods. Research objectives can be microbial communities sampled from freshwater environments (groundwaters, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs) or a group of microbial taxa particularly important for water quality (e.g., organic contaminant degraders, microplastics degraders, metal detoxifiers, nitrifiers, denitrifiers, nitrate respirers, pathogens such as Cryptosporidium, Pseudomonas, Shigella, E. coli 0157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter jejuni, or the causative agents of toxic blooms, Cyanobacteria).

Topics include but not limited to:
• Structure, diversity, distribution, and dynamics of aquatic microbial taxa important to water quality;
• Genomic and functional traits of microbial communities which contribute to water quality;
• Assessment of antimicrobial resistant genes and virulence genes and their relationship with water properties;
• Role of microbes in nutrient cycling in water;
• Transmission of microbial pathogens in water;
• Ecological and evolutionary processes underlying the influence of microbes on water quality;
• Development of environmental indicators of water quality based on microbial features;
• Microbe-based models assessing and predicting water quality and ecosystem health.


Keywords: water quality, microorganisms, aquatic microorganisms, Diversity, microbial toxins


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.

Aquatic microorganisms are a double-edged sword to water quality. On one hand, their function in the nutrient cycling and bioremediation of chemical hazards improve water quality and maintain the health of aquatic ecosystems. On the other hand, the influx and transmission of microbial pathogens, particularly antimicrobial resistant pathogens, and the release and spread of microbial toxins in water impair water quality, harm the health of aquatic ecosystems, and threaten public health. The advance of ‘omic’ technologies offer great opportunities to study a wide range of aquatic microorganisms in situ and understand their functional diversity. Provided the importance of water quality to life and environment, it is in significant need to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the impact of microbial functions on the chemical, physical, and biological properties of water environments.

The goal of this Research Topic is to gain an improved understanding of the diversity of functions performed by microorganisms in an aquatic ecosystem and their causal effects in the freshwater quality. We seek manuscripts which i) enrich our knowledge in the favorable consequences (e.g., metal homeostasis and organic contaminant remediation) and unfavorable consequences (virulence, particularly in combination with antimicrobial resistance) of aquatic microorganisms function on water quality, and/or ii) provide insights or solutions in utilizing genotypic, phenotypic and/or ecological traits of aquatic microorganisms to assess, monitor, and improve water quality and the health of aquatic ecosystem.

The following article types are invited: original research, mini review, review, opinion, perspective, brief research report and case studies, and new methods. Research objectives can be microbial communities sampled from freshwater environments (groundwaters, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs) or a group of microbial taxa particularly important for water quality (e.g., organic contaminant degraders, microplastics degraders, metal detoxifiers, nitrifiers, denitrifiers, nitrate respirers, pathogens such as Cryptosporidium, Pseudomonas, Shigella, E. coli 0157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter jejuni, or the causative agents of toxic blooms, Cyanobacteria).

Topics include but not limited to:
• Structure, diversity, distribution, and dynamics of aquatic microbial taxa important to water quality;
• Genomic and functional traits of microbial communities which contribute to water quality;
• Assessment of antimicrobial resistant genes and virulence genes and their relationship with water properties;
• Role of microbes in nutrient cycling in water;
• Transmission of microbial pathogens in water;
• Ecological and evolutionary processes underlying the influence of microbes on water quality;
• Development of environmental indicators of water quality based on microbial features;
• Microbe-based models assessing and predicting water quality and ecosystem health.


Keywords: water quality, microorganisms, aquatic microorganisms, Diversity, microbial toxins


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

15 February 2021 Abstract
14 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

15 February 2021 Abstract
14 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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