Special Issue "Archaea in Astrobiology: Experiments, Methods, and Applications"

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Astrobiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2023 | Viewed by 136

Special Issue Editors

Space Research Institute (IWF) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria
Interests: astrobiology; icy moons; methanogens; habitability
Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat, Expérimentations et Approches Numériques (LOCEAN) – CNRS, Paris, France
Interests: astrobiology; marine ecology; microbial ecology
Space Research Institute (IWF) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria
Interests: exoplantes; atmospheres; clouds

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For almost 50 years, archaea have been known to be the third domain of life on Earth. At first, they were considered to be extremophiles which only thrived under very harsh conditions. This view has changed over the last 25 years, and archaea are now seen as a major part of life on Earth. Archaea can be found in almost all habitats on Earth and have been identified as a major part of global ecosystems. In addition, they are also known for their biotechnological potential, e.g., for the production of lipids or squalene, or for bio-hydrogen and -methane production. Due to their high resistance against various kinds of environmental stresses, organisms of this domain of life became very attractive models for astrobiology. Over the past few decades, archaea have served as model organisms for life on (early) Mars or the icy moons of the outer Solar System, have been detected in clean rooms or on the ISS, and have played a major role in studies regarding the origin of life. The study of archaea might help us to re-revaluate the definition and search for biosignatures and habitability, not only within the Solar System but also beyond. On Earth, archaea are the main source of atmospheric methane, thereby largely influencing our planet’s climate. Archaea’s ability to influence the atmosphere of our own planet shows that the detection of methane in the atmospheres of exoplanets could be an indirect sign that organisms with similar metabolisms live on their surface. Similarly, other products of archaeal metabolisms could be used as potential, but not yet established, biosignatures.

In this Special Issue, we would like to highlight the most recent astrobiological studies that deal with these extraordinary organisms. We invite the astrobiological community to submit articles dealing with any kind of experimental studies (in situ/in vivo/in silico) related to the topic, but also presenting, e.g., new methods or theoretical attempts.

Dr. Ruth-Sophie Taubner
Dr. Boris Sauterey
Prof. Dr. Christiane Helling
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. Life 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 1800 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.


  •  archaea
  •  astrobiology
  •  biosignatures
  •  solar systems
  •  exoplanets
  •  origin of life
  •  missions
  •  Mars
  •  icy moons
  •  ISS
  •  planetary protection

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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