About this Research Topic
Comprehensive genomic analyses of extreme environments are uncovering novel bacterial and archaeal lineages together with their functional gene repertoire and metabolic potential. Thus, -omics approaches are coming of age where they connect meaningfully with the microbial ecology and physiology of extremophiles. Together, the genome-encoded activities of extremophilic microbial communities shape the biogeochemical environment and modulate the physical and chemical selection pressures that in turn impact community structure and activity. With this Research Topic, we welcome genomic studies of a wide range of extreme environments that may use different approaches: wide-ranging metagenomic surveys of complex microbial communities; genomic reconstructions of specific uncultured microbial lineages, or single-cell analyses of specific bacterial, archaeal or eukaryotic targets. These tool boxes are not an end in themselves, but they can be used effectively to complement other strategies, such as manipulations of extreme environments and their communities in the field, laboratory-based studies of extremophilic enrichments and co-cultures, and bio(geo)chemical verification of omics-based predictions and hypotheses on extremophile function and ecosystem roles.
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