Re-evaluating prokaryotic species

D Gevers, F M Cohan, J G Lawrence, B G Spratt, T Coenye, E J Feil, E Stackebrandt, Y Van de Peer, P Vandamme, F L Thompson, J Swings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

725 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is no widely accepted concept of species for prokaryotes, and assignment of isolates to species is based on measures of phenotypic or genome similarity. The current methods for defining prokaryotic species are inadequate and incapable of keeping pace with the levels of diversity that are being uncovered in nature. Prokaryotic taxonomy is being influenced by advances in microbial population genetics, ecology and genomics, and by the ease with which sequence data can be obtained. Here, we review the classical approaches to prokaryotic species definition and discuss the current and future impact of multilocus nucleotide-sequence-based approaches to prokaryotic systematics. We also consider the potential, and difficulties, of assigning species status to biologically or ecologically meaningful sequence clusters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-739
Number of pages7
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Volume3
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Re-evaluating prokaryotic species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this