Microorganisms including bacteria, viruses and fungi comprise a vast variety of microbiomes – ranging from isolated streams in the Amazonian rainforest to the villi found in the human gastrointestinal tract. As ever-present communities, these microbiota are integrated into all aspects of both life and death, playing important roles that can influence the immunity of their hosts, affect environmental conditions and even introduce pressures in natural selection. The complexity of understanding how microbiomes function as well as their impact is studied in multiple research disciplines, utilising some of the most advanced technologies.
This Channel curates the latest research into the microbiome in humans, animals, plants and the environment, and how it impacts and is impacted by these different systems, highlighting and providing access to tools and models used to improve our understanding of these systems.
The Editors are grateful to Steven Lakin for his contributions to this Channel.