Microbial ecology

Microbial ecology is the study of the interactions of microorganisms with their environment, each other, and plant and animal species. It includes the study of symbioses, biogeochemical cycles and the interaction of microbes with anthropogenic effects such as pollution and climate change.

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News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Iron-scavenging molecules called siderophores that are produced by the native microbial residents of plant roots fend off plant pathogens such as Ralstonia solanacearum.

    • Shaul Pollak
    •  & Otto X. Cordero
    Nature Microbiology 5, 978-979
  • News and Views |

    Marine bacteria that produce an enormous panoply of glycan-degrading enzymes are identified as having a role in releasing fixed carbon present in glycan-rich cell walls of brown algae.

    • Fiona Cuskin
    •  & Elisabeth C. Lowe
    Nature Microbiology 5, 980-981
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The atmosphere has undergone extensive physico-chemical change due to anthropogenic emissions. The impact on the ecology of the atmospheric microbiome has so far not been considered. Here, we define the scope of change to the atmosphere and identify potential microbial responses.

    • Stephen D. J. Archer
    •  & Stephen B. Pointing
    Nature Microbiology 5, 229-231
  • News and Views |

    The pools of the geothermal Dallol Dome and surrounding area (in the Danakil Depression of Ethiopia) are an extreme example of complex brines: many lack evidence of life, but others are habitats for archaea and other extremophiles, prompting questions about the biophysical limits for microbial function.

    • John E. Hallsworth
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Researchers are debating whether habitability is a binary concept or not. We propose that the habitability of environments is a continuum defined by a series of binary questions.

    • Charles S. Cockell
    • , Adam H. Stevens
    •  & R. Prescott
    Nature Astronomy 3, 956-957