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Recent advances in the biology of planctomycetes and verrucomicrobia

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Planctomycetes and verrucomicrobia exhibit distinctive cellular properties, widespread environmental distribution, unique physiologies, and unusual associations with eukaryotic hosts. Recently the planctomycete and verrucomicrobia research community has begun to expand, stimulated by several key discoveries. ...

Planctomycetes and verrucomicrobia exhibit distinctive cellular properties, widespread environmental distribution, unique physiologies, and unusual associations with eukaryotic hosts. Recently the planctomycete and verrucomicrobia research community has begun to expand, stimulated by several key discoveries. These include the skillful application of cultivation methodologies to obtain a more diverse culture collection, the determination that planctomycetes are uniquely capable of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (a globally important nitrogen transformation), and the finding that planctomycetes and verrucomicrobia share a distinctive compartmentalized cell plan. In addition, tools enabling the acceleration of experimental work, such as multiple genome sequences and the ability to carry out genetic manipulation, have emerged. Lastly, the discovery of some planctomycetes and verrucomicrobia within the human microbiome raises intriguing questions about their contributions to health and disease. Now, the time is right to assemble important new findings on planctomycetes and verrucomicrobia in a single place. We encourage the submission of contributions describing work on planctomycetes and verrucomicrobia that feature genomic, evolutionary, or systematics/taxonomy approaches, e.g., descriptions of new species or higher taxa, characterization of new genomes, description of metagenomes or metatranscriptomes in which planctomycetes or verrucomicrobia feature prominently, genome-level characterization of transcriptional responses to environmental change, or studies that examine evolutionary history or processes in planctomycete and verrucomicrobia lineages. In addition, we welcome studies describing experimental verification or exploration of hypotheses predicted from genome features.


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