Geographic Barriers Isolate Endemic Populations of Hyperthermophilic Archaea

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Science  15 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5635, pp. 976-978
DOI: 10.1126/science.1086909

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Barriers to dispersal between populations allow them to diverge through local adaptation or random genetic drift. High-resolution multilocus sequence analysis revealed that, on a global scale, populations of hyperthermophilic microorganisms are isolated from one another by geographic barriers and have diverged over the course of their recent evolutionary history. The identification of a biogeographic pattern in the archaeon Sulfolobus challenges the current model of microbial biodiversity in which unrestricted dispersal constrains the development of global species richness.

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