Please note that original articles must contain the following components. Please see below for further details.Cover letterTitle page (excluding acknowledgements)AbstractIntroductionMaterials (or Subjects) and MethodsResultsDiscussionAcknowledgementsConflict of InterestReferencesFigure legendsTablesFiguresReports of clinical trials must adhere to the registration and reporting requirements listed in theEditorial Policies.Cover Letter:The uploaded covering letter must state the material is original research, has not been previously published and has not been submitted for publication elsewhere while under consideration. If the manuscript has been previously considered for publication in another journal, please include the previous reviewer comments, to help expedite the decision by the Editorial team. Please include a Conflict of Interest statement.Title Page:The title page should bear the title of the paper, the full names of all the authors and their affiliations, together with the name, full postal address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address of the author to whom correspondence and offprint requests are to be sent (this information is also asked for on the electronic submission form). The title page must also contain a Conflict of Interest statement (see Editorial Policy section).The title should be brief, informative, of 150 characters or less and should not make a statement or conclusion.The running title should consist of no more than 50 letters and spaces. It should be as brief as possible, convey the essential message of the paper and contain no abbreviations.Authors should disclose the sources of any support for the work, received in the form of grants and/or equipment and drugs.If authors regard it as essential to indicate that two or more co-authors are equal in status, they may be identified by an asterisk symbol with the caption ‘These authors contributed equally to this work’ immediately under the address listSubject Categories:The Subject Categories are used to structure the current and archived online content of The ISME Journal and to help readers interested in particular areas of microbial ecology find relevant information more easily. Subject Categories are also indicated in the table of contents and on the title page of the published article. Authors should suggest an appropriate Subject Category for the submitted manuscript. One category may be selected from the following list:Microbial population and community ecologyMicrobe-microbe and microbe-host interactionsEvolutionary geneticsIntegrated genomics and post-genomics approaches in microbial ecologyMicrobial engineeringGeomicrobiology and microbial contributions to geochemical cyclesMicrobial ecology and functional diversity of natural habitatsMicrobial ecosystem impactsAbstract:Original Articles must be prepared with an unstructured abstract designed to summarise the essential features of the paper in a logical and concise sequence.Materials/Subjects and Methods:This section should contain sufficient detail, so that all experimental procedures can be reproduced, and include references. Methods, however, that have been published in detail elsewhere should not be described in detail. Authors should provide the name of the manufacturer and their location for any specifically named medical equipment and instruments, and all drugs should be identified by their pharmaceutical names, and by their trade name if relevant.Results and Discussion:The Results section should briefly present the experimental data in text, tables or figures. Tables and figures should not be described extensively in the text, either. The discussion should focus on the interpretation and the significance of the findings with concise objective comments that describe their relation to other work in the area. It should not repeat information in the results. The final paragraph should highlight the main conclusion(s), and provide some indication of the direction future research should take.Acknowledgements:These should be brief, and should include sources of support including sponsorship (e.g. university, charity, commercial organisation) and sources of material (e.g. novel drugs) not available commercially. Conflict of Interest: Authors must declare whether or not there are any competing financial interests in relation to the work described. Thisinformation must be included at this stage and will be published as part of the paper. Conflict of interest should be noted in the cover letter and also on the title page. Please see the Conflict of Interest documentation in the EditorialPolicy section for detailed information.References:Only papers directly related to the article should be cited. Exhaustive lists should be avoided.References should follow the Harvard format. In the text of the manuscript a reference should be cited by author and year of publication e.g. (Bailey & Kowalchuk 2006) and (Heidelberg et al 1994) and listed at the end of the paper in alphabetical order of first author. References should be listed and journal titles abbreviated according to the style used by Index Medicus examples are given below. All authors should be listed for papers with up to six authors; for papers with more than six authors the first six only should be listed followed by et al. Abbreviations for titles of medical periodicals should conform to those used in the latest edition of Index Medicus. The first and last page numbers for each reference should be provided. Abstracts and letters must be identified as such. Papers in press may be included in the list of references. Personal communications must be allocated a number and included in the list of references in the usual way or simply referred to in the text;the authors may choose which method to use. In either case authors must obtain permission from the individual concerned to quote his/her unpublished work.