Special Issue "Evolution and Ecology of Soil Invertebrates"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Nico M. Van Straalen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Ecological Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interests: evolution; molecular ecology; ecological genomics; zoology; toxicology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Invertebrates living in the soil experience a selection regime different from animals living aboveground or in the water. The physical conditions in the soil, including the strong gradients of pore space, moisture and temperature, and possibly relaxed predation pressure, create an environment different from any aboveground ecosystem. It is therefore likely that the study of soil invertebrate adaptations can contribute to evolutionary science with ideas that do not easily emerge when focusing on common systems of study.

The adaptive responses of soil invertebrates (earthworms, potworms, nematodes, land snails, flatworms, insects, springtails, mites, spiders, woodlice, etc.) have been described up to now mostly in morphological terms and for some species also in terms of physiology. Molecular analysis of these adaptations is lagging greatly behind since few soil invertebrates were model species in the beginning of the genomics revolution. This Special Issue of Genes is calling from the field high-quality papers with recent work that can contributes to filling this gap. Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • Phylogenetic reconstruction of soil invertebrate adaptation;
  • Evolution of parthenogenesis and reproductive strategies;
  • Mechanisms of cold hardiness and drought tolerance in relation to the soil profile;
  • Genomic signatures of soil life, relative to aquatic or terrestrial life;
  • Interactions between invertebrates and microbial agents, as well as horizontal gene transfer;
  • Defense against microbial pathogens affecting soil invertebrates;
  • Stress responses in relation to soil contaminants or disturbance.

Prof. Dr. Nico M. Van Straalen
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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. Genes 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 2000 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.


  • soil invertebrates
  • evolution
  • adaptation
  • genomics
  • stress
  • microbial interactions

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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