Environmental Microbes: From Distribution Exploration to Biosignatures Analysis

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 243

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Science, University of South Africa—Florida Campus, Roodepoort 1709, South Africa
Interests: environmental microbiology; ecotoxicology; green chemistry; bioprospecting; bioinformatics

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Guest Editor
Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 28, Luhuitou Road, Sanya 572000, China
Interests: environmental microbiology; metagenomics; metabolomics; bioremediation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental microbes are crucial components of ecosystems, as they play essential roles in biogeochemical cycling, nutrient cycling, and waste degradation. Understanding the distribution and diversity of environmental microbes and their functional roles in various ecosystems is essential for unraveling the complex processes that govern the biotic interactions of the biosphere. On the other hand, microbial biosignatures are indicators of microbial activity or presence that can be used as proxies for microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, and evolution. Biosignatures can be physical, chemical, or isotopic, and can provide evidence of microbial life or past life in a given environment. Microbial biosignatures can be used in a variety of fields, including astrobiology, geology, and environmental science. Recent technological advances have made detecting and characterizing microbial biosignatures a key area of research in astrobiology. In geology, these biosignatures help to identify ancient microbial communities and reconstruct past environments. Similarly, in environmental science, microbial biosignatures provide a tool for monitoring ecosystem health and identifying potential sources of pollution.

Despite the progress made in the study of environmental microbial diversity and distribution in different ecosystems, the theoretical and experimental frameworks for the interpretation of microbial biosignatures in various environments, particularly as a tool for astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial life, are complex and still under development. In order to gain a deeper understanding, we seek submissions from cutting-edge researchers working in various cross-cutting fields, including microbiology, geochemistry, astrophysics, and planetary science, to submit original research and review articles on the broad topic of “Environmental Microbes: From Distribution Exploration to Biosignatures Analysis”. In this Special Issue, original research articles, short communications and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but not limited to) the following:

  • Role of microbial communities in biogeochemical cycling, and understanding the biotic interactions that govern the biosphere.
  • Development and application of new techniques for the detection and analysis of microbial biosignatures.
  • Microbial biosignatures as a tool for monitoring ecosystem health and identifying potential sources of pollution in environmental science.
  • Processes that affect the preservation of microbial biosignatures over time, and how these processes affect the interpretation of biosignatures in different environments.
  • Case studies of microbial biosignatures in various environments, including Earth analogs and extraterrestrial environments.
  • Challenges and limitations of using microbial biosignatures as a tool for astrobiology and the search for extra-terrestrial life.

All submissions will undergo a timely and rigorous peer-review process, and accepted papers will be published online as soon as they are ready.

Dr. Henry Joseph Oduor Ogola
Dr. Ramganesh Selvarajan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • environmental microbes
  • biogeochemical cycling
  • microbial biosignatures
  • astrobiology
  • geology
  • ecosystem health
  • microbial ecology
  • extremophiles
  • taphonomy

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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