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Contribution to Book
A theory-based pragmatism for discovering and classifying newly divergent species of bacterial pathogens
Genetics and Evolution of Infectious Disease, 2nd edition (2017)
  • Frederick M Cohan
  • Sarah Kopac, Wesleyan University
Abstract
Bacterial systematics has integrated an increasing diversity of phenotypic and molecular characteristics into the demarcation of bacterial species. Most species recognized in bacteria taxonomy are extremely diverse in physiology, genome content, and ecology. We propose a universal approach to identifying the fundamental ecotype units of bacterial diversity—the newly divergent populations that are ecologically distinct from one another and are each ecologically homogeneous. We consider the splitting of one ecotype into two to be the fundamental diversity-creating process of speciation in bacteria. Whether it is sensible to comprehensively classify all ecotypes within a bacterial species taxon depends on the rate of ecotype formation, and bacterial groups are widely different in their rates of ecotype formation. We propose a new pragmatism for bacterial systematics, which would recognize the ecologically homogeneous units of bacterial diversity where practical to do so.
Keywords
  • species,
  • speciation,
  • ecotype,
  • recombination,
  • periodic selection,
  • cohesion,
  • systematics,
  • bacteria
Publication Date
2017
Editor
Michel Tibayrenc
Publisher
Elsevier
Citation Information
Frederick M Cohan and Sarah Kopac. "A theory-based pragmatism for discovering and classifying newly divergent species of bacterial pathogens" SecondGenetics and Evolution of Infectious Disease, 2nd edition (2017) p. 25 - 49
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/frederick_cohan/71/