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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2005 Jun;8(3):240-52.

Molecular screening of free-living microbial eukaryotes: diversity and distribution using a meta-analysis.

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Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK.


Numerous environmental gene library studies have shown that eukaryote microbial diversity is much greater than expected. Molecular surveys of several 'extreme' and some more anthropomorphically commonplace environments have revealed many previously unsampled micro-eukaryotic lineages. However, it cannot be assumed that all of the sequences recovered from these studies are derived from real organisms, and for those that are, many questions remain about their distribution and ecology. Integrating all available sequence data from these studies reveals patterns of distribution, diversity and evolutionary relationships that are not accessible from independent analyses of the individual surveys and enables us to review the wider implications of such studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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