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Microbial biogeography: putting microorganisms on the map.

Nature reviews. Microbiology

Fungi, Archaea, Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Bacteria, Geography

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      Abstract

      We review the biogeography of microorganisms in light of the biogeography of macroorganisms. A large body of research supports the idea that free-living microbial taxa exhibit biogeographic patterns. Current evidence confirms that, as proposed by the Baas-Becking hypothesis, 'the environment selects' and is, in part, responsible for spatial variation in microbial diversity. However, recent studies also dispute the idea that 'everything is everywhere'. We also consider how the processes that generate and maintain biogeographic patterns in macroorganisms could operate in the microbial world.

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      Ecological Diversity and Its Measurement

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        Species diversity in space and time

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          Environmental genome shotgun sequencing of the Sargasso Sea.

          We have applied "whole-genome shotgun sequencing" to microbial populations collected en masse on tangential flow and impact filters from seawater samples collected from the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda. A total of 1.045 billion base pairs of nonredundant sequence was generated, annotated, and analyzed to elucidate the gene content, diversity, and relative abundance of the organisms within these environmental samples. These data are estimated to derive from at least 1800 genomic species based on sequence relatedness, including 148 previously unknown bacterial phylotypes. We have identified over 1.2 million previously unknown genes represented in these samples, including more than 782 new rhodopsin-like photoreceptors. Variation in species present and stoichiometry suggests substantial oceanic microbial diversity.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.1038/nrmicro1341
            16415926

            Chemistry

            Fungi, Archaea, Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Bacteria, Geography

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