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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2003 Sep;26(3):323-6.

Opinion: the species problem, can we achieve a universal concept?

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Grup d'Oceanografia Interdisciplinar, Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats (IMEDEA, CSIC-UIB), Mallorca, Spain.


One of the so called 'species problems' is that no universal concept exists. There is a tendency among microbiologists to criticize the hitherto devised concept. It is considered by some researchers as being too conservative and not suitable to be compared with those for eukaryotes. However, such problem is not only restricted to prokaryotes, but among other taxonomies comparisons seem to be impossible. As it is argued, the underlying cause to this problem is the reductionistic and monistic use of taxonomy. Analyzing the more than 22 devised concepts it seems possible to achieve a universal species concept. However, this might not be pragmatic. For the time being, a pluralistic sense of the species concept might be accepted, and one will have to recognize that any comparison among different taxonomies will be difficult.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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