Most Valuable Paper of The Year 2017

The research paper by Yoko Masuda, Hideomi Itoh, Yutaka Shiratori, Kazuo Isobe, Shigeto Otsuka and Keishi Senoo titled “Predominant but Previously-overlooked Prokaryotic Drivers of Reductive Nitrogen Transformation in Paddy Soils, Revealed by Metatranscriptomics” (Vol. 32, No. 2, p. 180-183) wins The Most Valuable Paper (MVP) of The Year 2017 in Microbes and Environments!

The MVP of The Year in Microbes and Environments, formally called as The M&E Research Paper Award, is annually chosen from all the research papers published in the previous year in Microbes and Environments, by the selection committee of which chair is appointed by the editor-in-chief and members are nominated by the chair. The selection committee members for 2017 M&E MVP consisted of Kiwamu Minamisawa (Chair and Senior Editor, Tohoku University), Hiroyuki Futamata (Senior Editor, Shizuoka University), Ryo Shikematsu (Associate Editor, Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences), Ken-Ichi Kucho (Associate Editor, Kagoshima University), Yoshiteru Aoi (Associate Editor, Hiroshima University), Yuichi Hongoh (Associate Editor, Tokyo Institute of Technology) and Akihiro Saito (Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology).

Throughout the review of the selection committee members, The MVP of The Year 2017 in Microbes and Environments was awarded to the paper by Yoko Masuda, Hideomi Itoh, Yutaka Shiratori, Kazuo Isobe, Shigeto Otsuka and Keishi Senoo, showing that the transcripts of reductive nitrogen transformation (RNT) (denitrification, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) and nitrogen fixation) are derived from Deltaproteobacteriain anoxic zones of waterlogged paddy soils. In the present study, a shotgun RNA sequencing analysis (metatranscriptomics) of paddy soil samples revealed that most RNT gene transcripts in paddy soils were derived from Deltaproteobacteria, particularly the genera Anaeromyxobacterand Geobacter. Despite the frequent detection of the rRNA of these microbes in paddy soils, their RNT-associated genes have rarely been identified in previous PCR-based studies. This metatranscriptomic analysis provides novel insights into the diversity of RNT microbes present in paddy soils and the overlooked ecological functions of Deltaproteobacteriapredominating in these soils. These findings provide novel insights into the diversity and functions of RNT of Deltaproteobacteriain the environments. In fact, since this paper was cited early in AEM and Scientific Reports within one year of publication, it has strong impacts on RNT functions of Deltaproteobacteriain microbial ecology. Although this paper is Short Communication, it is backed up by a lot of data in Supplementary Materials, and embodies an excellent style of a fast report with important findings published in M&E.