The bacterial species challenge: making sense of genetic and ecological diversity.
ABSTRACT The Bacteria and Archaea are the most genetically diverse superkingdoms of life, and techniques for exploring that diversity are only just becoming widespread. Taxonomists classify these organisms into species in much the same way as they classify eukaryotes, but differences in their biology-including horizontal gene transfer between distantly related taxa and variable rates of homologous recombination-mean that we still do not understand what a bacterial species is. This is not merely a semantic question; evolutionary theory should be able to explain why species exist at all levels of the tree of life, and we need to be able to define species for practical applications in industry, agriculture, and medicine. Recent studies have emphasized the need to combine genetic diversity and distinct ecology in an attempt to define species in a coherent and convincing fashion. The resulting data may help to discriminate among the many theories of prokaryotic species that have been produced to date.
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ABSTRACT: Recombination plays an important role in the divergence of bacteria, but the frequency of interspecies and intraspecies recombination events remains poorly understood. We investigated recombination events that occurred within core genomes of 35 Vibrio strains (family Vibrionaceae, Gammaproteobacteria), from six closely related species in the so-called 'Harveyi clade.' The strains were selected from a collection of strains isolated in the last 90 years, from various environments worldwide. We found a close relationship between the number of interspecies recombination events within core genomes of the 35 strains and the overall genomic identity, as inferred from calculations of the average nucleotide identity. The relationship between the overall nucleotide identity and the number of detected interspecies recombination events was comparable when analyzing strains isolated over 80 years apart, from different hemispheres, or from different ecologies, as well as in strains isolated from the same geographic location within a short time frame. We further applied the same method of detecting recombination events to analyze 11 strains of V. campbellii, and identified disproportionally high number of intraspecies recombination events within the core genomes of some, but not all, strains. The high number of recombination events was detected between V. campbellii strains that have significant temporal (over 18 years) and geographical (over 10,000 km) differences in their origins of isolation. Results of this study reveal a remarkable stability of 'Harveyi clade' species, and give clues about the origins and persistence of species in the clade. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.Genome Biology and Evolution 12/2014; · 4.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: AimsThe response of microbial metagenome to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) degradation in the rice rhizosphere remains poorly understood. We investigated the spatial and temporal variations of microbial communities and reconstructed metagenomes along the rice rhizosphere gradient during PAHs degradation.Methods and ResultsThe experiment was performed in rhizoboxes, in which the rhizosphere region was divided into five 1-mm thick layers. Based on denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis profiling and sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes, predicted metagenomes were reconstructed. The microbial communities in the rice rhizosphere were influenced by the PAHs concentration and distance from the root surface during PAHs degradation. Correlation network analysis showed that archaea played an important role in PAHs degradation. Predicted metagenomes can be clustered into two groups with high and low PAHs degrading potential, respectively. The relative abundance of genes for defense mechanisms, replication, recombination and reparation was significantly higher in samples with high PAHs degrading potentials. The relative abundance of the dioxygenase gene was greater near the root surface of the rice. However, the abundance of aldolase and dehydrogenase was constant in rhizosphere soils at different distances from the root surface.Conclusions Distance from root surface and PAH concentrations affected the microbial communities and metagenomes in rice rhizosphere. The abundance of dioxygenase genes relating to PAH degradation in metagenomes mirrored the PAH degradation potential in rice rhizosphere.Significance and Impact of the StudyOur findings suggested that the predicted metagenomes reconstructed from 16S rRNA marker gene sequences provide further insights into the spatial variation and dynamics of microbial functioning that occur during bioremediation.Journal of Applied Microbiology 01/2015; · 2.39 Impact Factor
- Journal of Plankton Research 03/2012; 34(5):416-431. · 2.26 Impact Factor