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Bob Murray

Certainly it will cost a lot of dollars before we come to terms with the problem of how to assimilate all the genomic information that is accumulating into a rational classification of all the bacteria and archaea and still have a straightforward way of being able to talk and write about particular forms. Up to now a basis on "types" recognized as species have worked. However the boundaries of species as defined up to now get fuzzier and fuzzier, which seems quite reasonable in a mutagenic world with freedom to exchange nucleotide assemblies. So the molecularly inclined are not happy with species as they see them and have expressed this in a recent Colloquium of the American Academy of Microbiology. Interestingly the contributors come to no conclusion of what must be done except to encourage finding a way and seem to state that there will have to b e some choice of genomic sequences as points of reference for whatever is identified as a recognizable form. Sounds like "types" again and like "species". Plus ça change.....!

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