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New understandings in microbial (bacterial) evolution - A review

Nandasena, K.G. and O'Hara, G.W. (2009) New understandings in microbial (bacterial) evolution - A review. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 92 (4). pp. 453-459.

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This review addresses the impact of the coming avalanche of genomic data and the convergence of fresh ideas on evolution on the pre-genetic concepts on bacterial evolution. The context is set with a brief historical account of the discovery of microbes and what Darwin wrote about them. The need to view bacterial evolution afresh in the 21st century is discussed. Current understanding of evolutionary forces and evolutionary mechanisms occurring in bacteria are outlined and secrets to the rapid evolution of bacteria are revealed. We conclude that the budding image of bacteria as gene-swapping entities stipulates a revision of such concepts as organism, species and evolution itself and propose a hypothesis that a bacterium is a 'composite entity' with a multiple decent of origin.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Centre for Rhizobium Studies
Publisher: Royal Society of Western Australia
Copyright: © 2009 Royal Society of Western Australia
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