Frequent Recombination in a Saltern Population of Halorubrum

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Science  10 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5703, pp. 1928-1929
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103289

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Sex and recombination are driving forces in the evolution of eukaryotes. Homologous recombination is known to be the dominant process in the divergence of many bacterial species. For Archaea, the only direct evidence bearing on the importance or natural occurrence of homologous recombination is anecdotal reports of mosaicism from comparative genomic studies. Genetic studies, however, reveal that recombination may play a significant role in generating diversity among members of at least one archaeal group, the haloarchaea. We used multi-locus sequence typing to demonstrate that haloarchaea exchange genetic information promiscuously, exhibiting a degree of linkage equilibrium approaching that of a sexual population.

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