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Trends Microbiol. 2000 Sep;8(9):396-401.

Intraspecies variation in bacterial genomes: the need for a species genome concept.

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  • 1Dept of Microbiology, Bldg G08, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Sydney, Australia.


Bacterial populations are clonal. Their evolution involves not only divergence between orthologous genes but also gain of genes from other clones or species, which has only recently been widely appreciated through macrorestriction mapping, genomic subtraction and complete genome sequencing. Genes can also be lost in response to selection or by random mutation after becoming redundant. The bacterial genome is a dynamic structure and intraspecies variation needs to be included in genome analysis if we are to gain insight into the full species genome.

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