Sign up & Download
Sign in

Bacterial species and speciation.

by F M Cohan
Systematic biology ()

Abstract

Bacteria are profoundly different from eukaryotes in their patterns of genetic exchange. Nevertheless, ecological diversity is organized in the same way across all of life: individual organisms fall into more less discrete clusters on the basis of their phenotypic, ecological, and DNA sequence characteristics. Each sequence cluster in the bacterial world appears to correspond to an "ecotype," defined as a population of cells in the same ecological niche, which would all be out-competed by any adaptive mutant coming from the population. Ecotypes, so defined, share many of the dynamic properties attributed to eukaryotic species: genetic diversity within an ecotype is limited by a force of cohesion (in this case, periodic selection); different ecotypes are free to diverge without constraint from one another; and ecotypes are ecologically distinct. Also, ecotypes can be discovered and classified as DNA sequence clusters, even when we are ignorant of their ecology. Owing to the rarity and promiscuity of bacterial genetic exchange, speciation in the bacterial world is expected to be much less constrained than in the world of animals and plants.

Cite this document (BETA)

Readership Statistics

165 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
 
 
 
by Academic Status
 
22% Ph.D. Student
 
17% Post Doc
 
13% Researcher (at an Academic Institution)
by Country
 
8% United States
 
3% Brazil
 
2% Mexico

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Already have an account? Sign in