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Stephen Gere

This may have been first reported 15 years ago by Marcelino Suzuki and his co-authors, Suzuki et al. (1997) Bacterial diversity among SSU rDNA gene clones and cellular isolates from the same seawater sample. Appl Environ Microbiol 63:983-989. The same year, Norbert Palleroni wrote an excellent review of the importance of culturing, Palleroni (1997) Prokaryotic diversity and the importance of culturing. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 72:3–19. Such observations, among others, were summarized by Donachie et al. (2007) Culture clash: Challenging the dogma of microbial diversity. The ISME Journal 1:97-102. There you'll even see the histogram version of the Venn diagram shown above.

During the Talisman Expedition of 1884, Certes must have been cultivating the 'rare biosphere' at depths to 5000 m; the rare biosphere then was just called something else. Claude ZoBell, the father of modern marine microbiology, cultivated plenty of bacteria, as anyone reading his 1946 treatise would know. The fact that the more recent 'deep sequencing' doesn't detect some bacteria means we now have to use a new name for those bacteria... the 'rare biosphere'. Sounds good for calling for funding to do what we've been doing, albeit by another name, for decades. Lastly, that "...61% of those that grew in culture were from the rare biosphere and were not detected by the 16S rRNA analysis..." is not new news, and it's not surprising at all, as the authors above show.

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