About this Research Topic
The Frontiers in Microbiology Research Topic on “Photobiology of Extremophiles” aims to capture current research and future challenges on this fascinating subject within the field of environmental photobiology.
Environmental photobiology has largely focused on the responses and adaptations of organisms to their light environment, together with other abiotic and biotic factors, from the individual to the community levels. Environmental photobiology in extreme environments, where microbial communities exist under the pressure of severe physical and chemical conditions, remains a poorly understood subset of this field, with a high potential for diverse and novel light-microbe interactions.
In addition, based on the promising biotechnological applications of extremophiles in diverse fields such as new bioactive compounds or non-traditional biofuels, there is a growing interest in elucidating the fundamental mechanisms underlying light usage and the effects on these environmental communities living at the edge of life. Of particular interest is the study of the response of organisms or communities to multiple environmental stresses; the effects of temperature, water, nutrients, or toxic elements can affect, or be affected by, the light environment. However, a comprehensive compendium highlighting this topic is still lacking from the literature.
We intend “Photobiology of Extremophiles” to be a complete and attractive Research Topic with a high impact in the broader field of photobiology, by combining cutting-edge knowledge on both extremophiles and molecular photobiology.
This Research Topic focuses on studies that investigate the mechanisms by which extremophilic microbes respond to light in their natural environment and welcomes contributions performed at the various scales, ranging from the atomic-molecular level (i.e., photoreceptors and chromophores) to the community level. Special attention will be given to studies that apply the latest molecular techniques and the “omics” disciplines to describe microbial metabolism and composition with respect to light intensity and quality, including ecological and modeling concepts, to provide an integrative perspective of the response of extremophiles to environmental light changes. Scientific reviews are welcome that discuss the responses and adaptations of polyextremophiles as well as specific groups of extremophiles, such as halophiles, acidophiles, thermophiles, psychrophiles, and uveophiles.
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.