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BIODESERT: Exploring and Exploiting the Microbial Resource of Hot and Cold Deserts

Call for Papers

Despite the general awareness of extremophilic microorganisms, deserts are generally thought as lifeless and inhospitable ecosystems. An amazing microbial diversity and a huge biotechnological potential were, however, unraveled during the last decade. Hot and cold deserts were shown to host peculiar microbial communities able to cope with hostile environment and/or rapidly adapt to changing conditions. This adaptation is inferred to particular community structure behavior and specific metabolic capacities allowing cells to overcome water stress, fluctuating temperature and high salinity. Hence, such microbes could constitute a source of novel metabolites, biomolecules, and enzymes potentially useful for environmental biotechnologies. With the global climate change, the creeping desertification, and the growing food demands, desert microorganisms could hold the key for future applications into soil bioreclamation and plant growth promotion for vulnerable regions across the world.

This special issue will mainly focus on exploring and exploiting the microbial resource of hot and cold deserts. Research and review manuscripts on the microbial diversity and community structure behavior in desert environments, identification of novel extremophiles, soil degradation, soil bioreclamation and reverse desertification, mechanism of adaptation, and application of plant growth promoting microbes are welcome. Also, manuscripts reporting plant-microbes interaction under extreme or changing conditions are of great interest. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Microbiology of hot and cold deserts
  • Effects of temperature, water scarcity, drought, saline, and osmotic stresses on microbial communities in arid soils
  • Microbiology of cryosphere
  • Microbiology of lithosphere
  • Endolithic microorganisms
  • Primary colonization
  • Microbes in the biological soil crusts
  • Role of microbes in desertification and reverse desertification
  • Biotechnological potential of desert microorganisms
  • Plant growth promoting microorganisms and drought/osmotic stress
  • Desert rhizosphere symbiont bacteria
  • Methods to study desert microbial communities (metagenomics)

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal’s Author Guidelines, which are located at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/guidelines/. Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at http://mts.hindawi.com/submit/journals/bmri/microbiology/hcd/ according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 4 April 2014
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 27 June 2014
Publication DateFriday, 22 August 2014

Lead Guest Editor

  • Ameur Cherif, Biotechnology and Bio-Geo Resources Valorization (LR11-ES31), Higher Institute for Biotechnology, University of Manouba, BiotechPole Sidi Thabet, Ariana, Tunisia

Guest Editors

  • Sara Borin, Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS), University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  • George Tsiamis, Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management, University of Patras, Agrinio, Greece
  • Stéphane Compant, Bioresources Unit, Health 8 Environment Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Tulln, Austria