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Science. 2015 May 29;348(6238):1019-23. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa4456.

Microbial diversity. Fine-scale diversity and extensive recombination in a quasisexual bacterial population occupying a broad niche.

Author information

1
Applied Physics Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
2
Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
3
Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. dbhaya@stanford.edu dsfisher@stanford.edu.
4
Applied Physics Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Bioengineering Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. dbhaya@stanford.edu dsfisher@stanford.edu.

Abstract

Extensive fine-scale genetic diversity is found in many microbial species across varied environments, but for most, the evolutionary scenarios that generate the observed variation remain unclear. Deep sequencing of a thermophilic cyanobacterial population and analysis of the statistics of synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms revealed a high rate of homologous recombination and departures from neutral drift consistent with the effects of genetic hitchhiking. A sequenced isolate genome resembled an unlinked random mixture of the allelic diversity at the sampled loci. These observations suggested a quasisexual microbial population that occupies a broad ecological niche, with selection driving frequencies of alleles rather than whole genomes.

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PMID:
26023139
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaa4456
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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