BMC Biology Table of Contents – February 2020
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Dear Colleague,

BMC Biology is pleased to share with you our February content update, featuring journal news, selected article highlights, current open series, and our most recent table of contents.

Our new Series “Research Synthesis and Meta-research in Biology” is open for submissions. Read the inaugural Editorial by the Guest Editors Shinichi Nakagawa, Julia Koricheva, Malcolm Macleod, and Wolfgang Viechtbauer discussing how meta-analyses and other research syntheses methodologies support research, and the benefits of embracing them across biological disciplines.

Our latest Review covers the use of x-ray computed tomography in the life sciences; including how recent technique developments are opening the path towards virtual histology, live cell imaging, subcellular imaging and correlative microscopy.


Research this month includes a brace of avian genomic papers. Lawal and colleagues describe the ancestry of domestic chickens, including hybridisation and introgression events; and the quail genome is presented by Morris et al, with insights into social behaviour, seasonal biology, and susceptibility to H5N1.

Autophagy features in another two papers: Alexander-Floyd and colleagues exploit natural variation in C.elegans to show that cryptic variants in genes encoding proteostasis components can have major effects on aggregation-prone proteins; while a Drosophila genetic screen reveals that neurodegeneration defects in the Adar (RNA-editing enzyme) mutant can be rescued by increased autophagy. Also included below, Lizák et al propose that glutathione transport may be important for maintaining redox homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum.

BMC Biology has a number of thematic series that are open and welcoming submissions of research articles, including In the Light of Evolution, Cancer Metabolism, New Tools for Neurobiology, and Engineering Biology. See the full list here – and visit each series’ page for details of how to submit.

Our archived eTOC’s are available on our Goings On page, along with news and announcements from BMC Biology.


BMC Biology supports portable peer review by sharing reviews and evaluating papers based on existing reports. Interested in submitting? Learn more from our Transfers and Portable Peer Review Policy and Editorial.

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Flagship focus

Each month the BMC flagships showcase a Focus collection – this month on Cancer. Follow these links for the featured articles from Genome BiologyGenome MedicineBMC Biology and BMC Medicine

Featured series

Research Synthesis and Meta-research in Biology

Featured articles

How Drosophila gets tanned

John Ewer and colleagues find that the pigmentation and hardening of the Drosophila exoskeleton is regulated via the action of the “tanning hormone” on neurons of the central nervous system, rather than its direct regulation of epidermal cells.

Full text | Download PDF
Natural variation in autophagy genes modifies polyQ aggregation

Tali Gidalevitz and colleagues show that natural variants in genes encoding proteostasis components, although not causing detectable phenotypes, have profound and cell-type dependent effects on aggregation-prone proteins.

Full text | Download PDF

The genetic ancestry of the Afrikaner population

Carina Schlebusch and colleagues perform a genome-wide analysis of the Afrikaner population, finding predominant northern European contributions, but also non-European admixture, arising from people brought as slaves and from local ethnic groups.

Full text | Download PDF

A global pangenome of a wheat pathogen

Daniel Croll and colleagues present a reference-quality pangenome of the wheat fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici, characterizing the conservation of genomic sequences, variation at loci relevant for pathogenicity, and the contribution of transposone content across 19 worldwide isolates.

Full text | Download PDF

Table of contents

Commissioned Content


X-ray computed tomography in life sciences
Shelley D. Rawson et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:21

Research Articles

Research article
A 19-isolate reference-quality global pangenome for the fungal wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici
Thomas Badet et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:12

Research article
The wild species genome ancestry of domestic chickens
Raman Akinyanju Lawal et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:13

Research article
The quail genome: insights into social behaviour, seasonal biology and infectious disease response
Katrina M. Morris et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:14

Research article
Membrane and synaptic defects leading to neurodegeneration in Adar mutant Drosophila are rescued by increased autophagy
Anzer Khan et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:15

Research article
The tanning hormone, bursicon, does not act directly on the epidermis to tan the Drosophila exoskeleton
Justin Flaven-Pouchon et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:17

Research article
Patterns of African and Asian admixture in the Afrikaner population of South Africa
N. Hollfelder et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:16

Research article
Unexpected cell type-dependent effects of autophagy on polyglutamine aggregation revealed by natural genetic variation in C. elegans
J. Alexander-Floyd et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:18

Research article
Ca2+ mobilization-dependent reduction of the endoplasmic reticulum lumen is due to influx of cytosolic glutathione
Beáta Lizák et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:19

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Best regards,

The BMC Biology Editorial Team

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