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minimum 16S rRNA sequence requirement

davadav at bitwise.net davadav at bitwise.net
Tue Jan 14 13:52:57 EST 1997


In article <5bfqeg$555 at mserv1.dl.ac.uk>, "g.clark" <g.clark at lshtm.ac.uk> wrote:

>>>Perhaps the 'rules' are different for bacteria but I do not think species
>>>should be described on the basis of rDNA alone. In eukaryotes there are
>>>examples of bona fide biological species (i.e. unable to interbreed) of 
>>>the ciliate Tetrahymena that have identical small subunit ribosomal RNA
>>>sequences. Therefore identical sequence does not mean same species. 

>>>
>>>IMHO you need more than just sequence variation to warrant the 
>>>recognition of a new species. But perhaps bacteriologists feel differently.
>>>

Graham,
Thanks for your comments....I am indeed interested in BACTERIA.
My impression of the situation with bacteria is that the 16S rRNA
sequence is the "GOLD STANDARD" for designating (or identifying) a
bacterium at the species level.   I'm just not sure how much of the
16S rRNA sequence one needs to be able to accomplish this task (as I
queried in my original posting).
-David



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