Recent Advances in Understanding Microbial Systematics
Radhey S. Gupta and Beile Gao
from: Microbial Population Genetics (Edited by: Jianping Xu). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)
The higher taxonomic groups within prokaryotes are presently distinguished mainly on the basis of their branching in phylogenetic trees. In most cases, no molecular, biochemical or physiological characteristics are known that are uniquely shared by species from these groups. Analyses of genome sequences are leading to discovery of novel molecular characteristics that are specific for different groups of bacteria and archaea and provide more precise means for identifying and circumscribing these groups of microbes in clear molecular terms and for understanding their evolution. These new approaches and their limited applications for clarifying microbial systematics are described here. Because of their taxa specificities, further studies on these newly discovered molecular characteristics should lead to discovery of novel biochemical and physiological characteristics that are unique to different groups of microbes read more ...