Research Topic

Exploring the Insect Microbiome: The Potential Future Role in Biotechnology Industry

About this Research Topic

Insects are the most diverse and the most ecologically dominant animals on land since arthropods conquered land. The recipe for success was a breakthrough innovation in the association with microbial mutualists, which gave rise consequently to the emerged insects’ even more diverse innovative traits, such as feed on recalcitrant plant material, protect against pathogens, and enhance the inter-and intraspecific communications etc. Apparently, insights from these natural applications of microbiome represent a particularly promising source of novel enzymes for lignocellulosic biofuel production, bioactive compounds with therapeutic potential, natural products for pest control and other biotechnology applications. Especially, the vast majority of the diversity of insects and microbial symbionts remains unexplored, suggesting that the vast majority of the repertoire with biotechnological interests also remains untouched. The identities and functions of enzymes/chemicals derived from insect symbionts have yet to be discovered and elucidated - all with promising potential for biotechnology applications.


The goal of this research topic is to cover the multi-disciplinary research subjects for insect microbiome and its potential biotech applications, by using multi-omics tools include genomics, metagenomics, metatranscriptome, metaproteomics, and metabolomics etc. The traditional focus on the ecological and evolutionary contexts for insect microbial symbionts, in particular, with emerging lessons about enzymatic and chemical diversity from these niches, therefore undoubtedly hold lessons for informing current efforts in the biotechnological industry. We believe this research topic will eventually guide resurgent novel bioactive compounds, enzymes discovery and synbiotics from insect microbiome.


This Research Topic includes the following but not limited to:

• Computational tools for genome mining of secondary metabolism genes/gene clusters/lignocellulolytic enzymes

• Systems biology and multi-omics integration of secondary metabolism in insect microbial symbionts

• Genetics and synthetic biology tools for complex biosynthetic pathway/enzymes in industrial strains

• Pathway engineering and metabolic engineering of industrial strains for enhancing natural products/enzymes production derived from microbial symbionts

• Downstream strategies for large-scale production of microbial natural products/enzymes

• Application of microbial symbionts for future lignocellulose and other domestic waste treatment

• Synthetic synbiotics for economic insect cultivation

• Other challenges in exploring insect microbiome for biotech applications


Keywords: Insect-Microbe interactions, Bioenergy, Drug discovery, Chemical ecology, Enzyme


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.

Insects are the most diverse and the most ecologically dominant animals on land since arthropods conquered land. The recipe for success was a breakthrough innovation in the association with microbial mutualists, which gave rise consequently to the emerged insects’ even more diverse innovative traits, such as feed on recalcitrant plant material, protect against pathogens, and enhance the inter-and intraspecific communications etc. Apparently, insights from these natural applications of microbiome represent a particularly promising source of novel enzymes for lignocellulosic biofuel production, bioactive compounds with therapeutic potential, natural products for pest control and other biotechnology applications. Especially, the vast majority of the diversity of insects and microbial symbionts remains unexplored, suggesting that the vast majority of the repertoire with biotechnological interests also remains untouched. The identities and functions of enzymes/chemicals derived from insect symbionts have yet to be discovered and elucidated - all with promising potential for biotechnology applications.


The goal of this research topic is to cover the multi-disciplinary research subjects for insect microbiome and its potential biotech applications, by using multi-omics tools include genomics, metagenomics, metatranscriptome, metaproteomics, and metabolomics etc. The traditional focus on the ecological and evolutionary contexts for insect microbial symbionts, in particular, with emerging lessons about enzymatic and chemical diversity from these niches, therefore undoubtedly hold lessons for informing current efforts in the biotechnological industry. We believe this research topic will eventually guide resurgent novel bioactive compounds, enzymes discovery and synbiotics from insect microbiome.


This Research Topic includes the following but not limited to:

• Computational tools for genome mining of secondary metabolism genes/gene clusters/lignocellulolytic enzymes

• Systems biology and multi-omics integration of secondary metabolism in insect microbial symbionts

• Genetics and synthetic biology tools for complex biosynthetic pathway/enzymes in industrial strains

• Pathway engineering and metabolic engineering of industrial strains for enhancing natural products/enzymes production derived from microbial symbionts

• Downstream strategies for large-scale production of microbial natural products/enzymes

• Application of microbial symbionts for future lignocellulose and other domestic waste treatment

• Synthetic synbiotics for economic insect cultivation

• Other challenges in exploring insect microbiome for biotech applications


Keywords: Insect-Microbe interactions, Bioenergy, Drug discovery, Chemical ecology, Enzyme


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

31 May 2021 Abstract
30 September 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

31 May 2021 Abstract
30 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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