BMC Biology Table of Contents – April 2020
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Dear Colleague,

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

In addition to the highlights below, articles this month include research on how the abundance of ribosomal RNA fragments depends on a person’s sex and population origin, and the possible roles of m5C modifications in mRNA and translation.


You can also find a Comment article on the importance and best practices of storing reference genomes for metagenomics and microbiome studies; and research describing the insights into animal origins that we can glean from the life-cycles of predatory unicellular holozoans.


BMC Biology has a number of thematic series that are open and welcoming submissions of research articles, including Research Synthesis and Meta-research in Biology,  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.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to inquire about the potential suitability of a manuscript for publication in BMC Biology, don’t hesitate to contact us at

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Flagship focus

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

Featured articles

New horns for an old head
New horns for an old head

David Linz and Armin Moczek study the emergence of novel traits in conserved structures, by dissecting the mechanisms of horn formation in dung beetles.

Full text | Download PDF
Tuning the ribosomal crowd for maximal growth
Tuning the ribosomal crowd for maximal growth

Didier Mazel and colleagues find in Vibrio cholerae that the genomic location of ribosomal protein genes ensures optimal ribosome dosage, and sustains optimal macromolecular crowding essential for maximizing growth.

Full text | Download PDF

Dynamic self-organization of microtubules
Dynamic self-organization of microtubules

Bailly and colleagues show that microtubules in Arabidopsis undergo changes in organization during seed germination, which may be triggered by release of dormancy, and reorient under compressive stress.

Full text | Download PDF

RNA transport from the brain to the germline
RNA transport from the brain to the germline

Guy Barry and colleagues demonstrate that RNA can be transported from somatic tissue to the germline and passed on to embryos, providing evidence of a role for RNA in somatic-derived intergenerational effects.

Full text | Download PDF

Table of contents

Commissioned Content

Improving the usability and comprehensiveness of microbial databases

Caitlin Loeffler et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:37

Research Articles


Integrating evolutionarily novel horns within the deeply conserved insect head
David M. Linz and Armin P. Moczek
BMC Biology 2020 18:41

Insights into the origin of metazoan multicellularity from predatory unicellular relatives of animals
Denis V. Tikhonenkov et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:39


Ribosomal RNA fragmentation into short RNAs (rRFs) is modulated in a sex- and population of origin-specific manner
Tess Cherlin et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:38

Multiple links between 5-methylcytosine content of mRNA and translation
Ulrike Schumann et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:40

Nucleus size and DNA accessibility are linked to the regulation of paraspeckle formation in cellular differentiation
Markus Grosch et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:42

Macromolecular crowding links ribosomal protein gene dosage to growth rate in Vibrio cholerae
Alfonso Soler-Bistué et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:43

Direct evidence for transport of RNA from the mouse brain to the germline and offspring
Elizabeth A. O’Brien et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:45



Microtubule self-organisation during seed germination in Arabidopsis
Huifang Yan et al.
BMC Biology 2020 18:44


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Scoop protectionBMC Biology offers "scoop protection", meaning that if other researchers publish similar findings after submission, or post them on a preprint server, this will not be a reason for rejection.

Portable peer review. We support authors who wish to transfer a paper reviewed at BMC Biology to a journal of their choice. We are also able to consider manuscripts on the basis of reviews rejected at other journals, including those outside of BMC and Springer Nature. Find out more at our peer review policy page.

Co-submissions to other BMC ‘flagship’ journals. If a paper is potentially appropriate in scope for BMC Biology and Genome Biology or Genome Medicine authors have the opportunity to submit a manuscript for joint consideration at two of these journals at the same time. Learn more here.


Innovative practices and policies. Our re-review opt out policy allows authors to choose whether reviewers see their revisions, minimizing the time to publication. The innovative Registered Reports article format supports transparency and minimizes research and publication bias.

bioRxiv transfers. BMC Biology is happy to consider manuscripts that have been, or will be, posted on a preprint server. Authors are able to submit their manuscripts directly from bioRxiv, without having to re-upload files.

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Best regards,

The BMC Biology Editorial Team

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