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Trends Ecol Evol. 1993 Mar;8(3):86-90. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(93)90057-V.

Diversity of bacterioplankton.

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Carlos Pedrós-Alió is at the Marine Sciences Institute, CSIC Passeig Nacional s/n, 08039 Barcelona, Spain.


We do not know how many bacterial species exist in the world, or in any particular environment, because bacteria cannot be differentiated under the microscope; we do not even know the right order of magnitude. Thus, up to a few years ago, discussions of bacterial diversity were unwarranted. However, the development of a phylogenetic system based on rRNA sequences has provided tools to approach bacterial diversity and ecology in situ for the first time.

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