Microbial 'omics

a post by A. Murat Eren (Meren)

I am very pleased to announce that Frontiers in Microbiology is now hosting a research topic on oligotyping, which is open for submissions! Please visit the research topic page, “New insights into microbial ecology through subtle nucleotide variation“, for more information.

I will be editing this research topic with Loïs Maignien (University of Western Brittany), and Mitchell L. Sogin (Marine Biological Laboratory).

Scope is very flexible. We will consider any submission that uses oligotyping: it could be a study that shows its advantages or caveats over canonical approaches, highlights novel findings through the use of oligotyping, or it could be a perspective that discusses why it may be important or misleading to rely on subtle nucleotide variations to make sense of microbial community data.

If you have a high-throughput sequencing dataset that you would like to revisit with oligotyping, or if you have an idea about the application of oligotyping to amplicon data, or if you have a novel idea no one seems to have thought about yet, you are most welcome to submit an abstract. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me (via meren at mbl.edu) if you have any questions or comments.


Frontiers is a very progressive publisher with many original ideas to empower researchers and improve the communication of science. I think the interest of Nature Publishing Group in Frontiers partially confirms that. You can read their broad perspective from their intro page, but I especially am very excited about their “research topics”. This is what Frontiers says about it:

Research Topics aim at creating an online dialogue on a focused research area, with manuscripts encompassing recent advancements from various groups, the latest methods, opinions, and more. It is an opportunity for you to highlight your research focus, intensify collaborations and drive the next research in your field.

In a nut shell, research topics allow researchers to be guest editors of a Frontiers journal to put together a collection of peer-reviewed articles that are coherently reflect a grand idea. This could be an emerging method or technology, or a controversial topic of interest. The importance of this missing aspect in today’s science publishing is rather obvious, and I am thankful for Frontiers to take a stab at it.


The deadline for abstract submission is 15 Mar 2014. I hope this research topic is going to be a gratifying example of how efficient these collections can be.