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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1992 Dec;2(6):937-42.

Population genetics of microbial organisms.

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Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri.


Population data suggest that many parasitic protozoa (e.g. Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Entamoeba and Giardia) reproduce clonally, but this hypothesis has been highly controversial for Plasmodium falciparum. Although reproduction is predominantly clonal in the enteric bacteria Escherichia coli and Salmonella, the level of recombination affecting short (< 1 kb) regions of the chromosome is sufficient such that many genes are obviously mosaics of different ancestries. Transposable insertion sequences in E. coli are examples of selfish DNA whose short-term population dynamics are determined mainly by transposition and horizontal transmission among strains balanced against the regulation of transposition as a function of copy number, and negative effects on fitness. Occasional advantageous effects of transposable elements have also been documented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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