About this Research Topic
Genetic adaptations and phenotypic traits that enable microorganisms to tolerate long periods of energy limitation have increasingly attracted scientific interest in recent years. Laboratory-based cultivation experiments have shown that the potential to survive weeks to months in the absence of energy inputs occurs across a phylogenetically wide range of microbes. Studies on natural environments have shown that energy limitation is pervasive across most habitats on Earth, from highly metabolically active surface habitats to subsurface environments that have been cut off from new energy inputs for thousands of years. Yet, much remains to be learned about the evolutionary adaptations and life history traits that enable microorganisms to live under low-energy conditions. This Special Topic is devoted to the study of life near the lower energetic limit, and aims to bring together cutting-edge contributions from fields as diverse as biochemistry, geochemistry, geology, genetics, microbiology, ecology, and biotechnology – fields which are collectively transforming our understanding of life in its predominant physiological state.
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