Special Issue "Untangling Host-Symbiont Coevolutionary History in the High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) Era"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jorge Doña
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
2. Departamento de Biología Animal, University of Granada, 18001 Granada, Spain
Interests: molecular ecology; host-symbiont interactions; speciation; hybridization; feather mites; feather lice; population genetics; cophylogenetics; macroecology; DNA Barcoding; DNA metabarcoding; microbiomes; molecular taxonomy; species delimitation; high-throughput sequencing; bioinformatics
Dr. Andrew D. Sweet
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological Sciences, Arkansas State University, State University, AR 72467, USA

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

High-throughput sequencing (HTS) and “-omics” datasets play an increasingly prominent role in most subfields of ecology and evolution. One of the areas profoundly impacted by these high-throughput sequencing approaches is the study of host–symbiont coevolution (“coevolution” used here in a broader sense encompassing any comparison of hosts and their symbionts in an evolutionary framework). In recent years, there has been a particular increase in the use of “-omics” datasets to understand how hosts and their symbionts interact over evolutionary time. This work has certainly progressed the field of host–symbiont coevolution, but there remain many avenues yet to be investigated. For example, genomic introgression, which can be easily detected in multi-gene datasets, may impact cophylogenetic reconstructions, but it is poorly studied in host–symbiont systems.

In this Special Issue, we seek to bring together empirical, methodological, or theoretical papers that will advance our overall knowledge of host–symbiont coevolutionary history, especially on cutting-edge topics that utilize HTS data. HTS data include, but are not limited to, genomes/transcriptomes/epigenomes, multi-gene datasets, SNPs, or symbiont-associated microbial metagenomes. Examples of preferential topics include cophylogenetic methods, epigenetics, gene expression, genome architecture, genome evolution, hybridization, microbiomes, phylogenomics, phylogeography, phylosymbiosis, population genomics, and transcriptomics.

The scope is very broad, and we encourage any submissions that are useful to the field of host–symbiont coevolution, including preliminary results or small-scale studies. Additionally, there is an updated deadline for submissions (December 2021). Please do not hesitate to inquire about whether an idea may fit in the Special Issue.

Dr. Jorge Doña
Dr. Andrew D. Sweet
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 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. 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 1600 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.


  • cophylogenetic methods
  • ectosymbionts
  • endosymbionts
  • epigenetics
  • introgression
  • long-read sequencing
  • genome architecture
  • genome evolution
  • hybridization
  • microbiomes
  • mutualist
  • parasite
  • phylogenomics
  • phylogeography
  • phylosymbiosis
  • population genomics
  • transcriptomics

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Untangling the Coevolutionary History of Lice using Genome Sequencing
Authors: Kevin P. Johnson
Affiliation: Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
Title: How might symbiont biology affect coevolutionary signal? An exploration using mites (Arachnida: Acariformes, Parasitiformes) associated with birds (Aves)
Authors: Heather Proctor
Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9, Canada
Title: Tree reconciliation methods for host-symbiont cophylogenetic analyses
Authors: Ran Libeskind-Hadas
Affiliation: Dept. of Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College
Title: A Network Approach to the Chessboard of Bird-feather Mite and Feather Mite-feather Mite Interactions
Authors & Affiliation: 
Roger Jovani; Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC), Sevilla, Spain;
Jorge Doña; Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, United States, & Departamento de Biología Animal, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain; Alicia Montesinos; Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación (CSIC-UV-GV), Carretera Moncada-Náquera, Valencia, Spain;
Miguel Verdú; Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación (CSIC-UV-GV), Carretera Moncada-Náquera, Valencia, Spain; 
David Serrano; Department of Conservation Biology, Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC), Sevilla, Spain.
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