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Assessment of the bimodality in the distribution of bacterial genome sizes

Gweon, H. S., Bailey, M. J. and Read, D. S. (2017) Assessment of the bimodality in the distribution of bacterial genome sizes. The ISME Journal, 11 (3). pp. 821-824. ISSN 1751-7370

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2016.142

Abstract/Summary

Bacterial genome sizes have previously been shown to exhibit a bimodal distribution. This phenomenon has prompted discussion regarding evolutionary forces driving genome size in bacteria and its ecological significance. We investigated the level of inherent redundancy in the public database and the effect it has on the shape of the apparent bimodal distribution. Our study reveals that there is a significant bias in the genome sequencing efforts towards a certain group of species, and that correcting the bias using species nomenclature and clustering of the 16S rRNA gene, results in a unimodal rather than the previously published bimodal distribution. The true genome size distribution and its wider ecological implications will soon emerge as we are currently witnessing rapid growth in the number of sequenced genomes from diverse environmental niches across a range of habitats at an unprecedented rate.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:75764
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group

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