This World Microbiome Day consider submitting your manuscripts to Microbial Genomics

Posted on June 27, 2019   by Alan Walker

Today is World Microbiome Day, an event led by APC Microbiome Ireland to recognise and celebrate the impact of the microbiome in human, animal and environmental health. Here, Alan Walker, Senior Editor of Microbial Genomics, explains why the growth of microbiome research shows no sign of slowing down and how the Microbiology Society's journals can support microbiome researchers.


Today's date (27 June), will always be an important one in my calendar, for the sole reason that it was on this day in 1979 that I was first introduced to the world. As a researcher working on the human microbiome, I now have another reason to celebrate this auspicious date as, starting in 2018, it has been designated as World Microbiome Day. This is an initiative led by APC Microbiome Ireland, which aims to celebrate the many important roles that microbial communities play across a whole range of environments, including within our own bodies, and to promote some of the key research in this area. World Microbiome Day has rapidly gained traction, and there is a series of global events planned this year to celebrate the occasion.

Research into microbiomes of all varieties has of course been galvanised in recent years by the widespread adoption of low-cost, high-throughput sequencing techniques. As with many areas of biology, the impact of these techniques on microbiome research has been truly revolutionary, allowing studies to be carried out that simply would not have been possible previously.

Where technological advancements have led, the scientific community has been quick to follow. A quick Pubmed search suggests that back in the year of my birth (1979), there were a mere 74 published manuscripts on gut microbiota, and this level of annual output showed only a very gradual rate of increase until the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies in the mid-2000s. Since then, there has been an exponential increase in published literature in this area, as emphasised by the fact that in the first six months of 2019, there have already been over 3500 gut microbiota manuscripts published. This leaves me with two main thoughts – first, it used to be so much easier to keep up with the literature in this field, and secondly, there are clearly lots of microbiome manuscripts looking for a good home… which brings me neatly and seamlessly to my role as Senior Editor of the journal Microbial Genomics!

Microbial Genomics is part of the Microbiology Society’s portfolio of journals and was launched in 2015. The journal is fully open access and welcomes high-quality submissions that include a genomic approach across the broad discipline of microbiology. The Microbial Communities section publishes novel research that makes use of either marker gene, whole shotgun metagenomic or metatranscriptomic sequencing in order to better understand microbiomes across a range of environmental and host-associated niches. We are particularly keen to publish articles where the sequence data contributes to meaningful biological insights that move beyond simple correlative results.

More information about Microbial Genomics is available on our website, but it is particularly important to emphasise that all publishing surplus is invested right back into supporting the efforts of the Microbiology Society. This includes activities such as scientific conferences, grants to support members, and engagement activities to communicate the importance of microbes to key stakeholders such as the general public, policy-makers, journalists, teachers and students.

So, as a birthday present to your humble blogger, if you have an exciting microbiome paper that you are looking to publish please consider submitting it to Microbial Genomics. And for those of you that aren’t currently thinking of submitting an article, then I will happily accept gifts of beer instead. Happy World Microbiome Day!