By Roberto Kolter, Stanley Maloy

Explore the elemental position of microbes within the common heritage of our planet…

  • Inspired through a 2009 colloquium on microbial evolution convened on the Galapagos Islands, Microbes and Evolution keeps to have fun Charles Darwin and his landmark booklet at the starting place of Species.
  • Features forty first-person essays written via microbiologists with a fondness for evolutionary biology, whose pondering and occupation paths in technology have been motivated by way of Darwin’s seminal work.
  • Includes own viewpoints at the significance of evolutionary rules within the research of a number of points of lifestyles technology, from taxonomy, speciation, variation, social constitution, and symbiosis to antibiotic resistance, genetics, and genomics.

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Extra info for Microbes and evolution : the world that Darwin never saw

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Systematic attempts to identify essential genes through gene inactivation experiments have been carried out in Escherichia coli (620 out of 3,746), Bacillus subtilis (271 out of ~4,100), and Mycoplasma genitalium (382 out of 482). The recent synthesis of the complete genome sequence of an M. genitalium strain is also an effort towards engineering simpler biological systems, taking present-day cells as a starting point. Naturally Evolved Reduced Genomes The study of minimal cells can benefit enormously from the study of present-day organisms with small genomes by showing how relatively simple biological systems have evolved and currently operate.

Happy anniversary, Mr. Darwin! Over 150 years ago you revealed your ideas to the world, and evolution continues to fascinate. ” Microbes and Evolution: The World That Darwin Never Saw Edited by R. Kolter and S. ch2 2 Minimal Genomes and Reducible Complexity Andrés Moya Minimal Cells: from Aristotle to Plato A review of Aristotelian reality, represented by the diversity of bacterial cells with small and reduced genomes which evolved naturally, can help delineate the Platonic idea of a hypothetical minimal cell.

The hyperthermophilic bacterium Aquifex aeolicus (1,613 genes), a chemolithoautotroph, can grow on a very simple chemical menu of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and mineral salts. Among archaean prokaryotes, I. hospitalis is another chemolithoautotroph that couples CO2 fixation with sulfur respiration using molecular hydrogen in high-temperature hydrothermal vents. Methanococcus aeolicus (1,555 genes) is a CO2-reducing methanogenic marine member of the Euryarchaeota. Another member of the Euryarchaeota, the strictly aerobic extremophile Picrophilus torridus (1,605 genes), is a heterotroph that can use propionate as well as many types of sugar as an energy source and can grow at pH 0 and up to 65ºC, thus representing one of the most thermoacidophilic organisms known.

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