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Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Vol. 54 (11), 2016, Pages: 1946-1948

A genomics driven taxonomy of Bacteria and Archaea: are we there, yet?

George M. Garrity

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.


Taxonomy is often criticized for being too conservative, too slow and of limited relevance because it has not taken into consideration the latest methods and findings. Yet the cumulative work product of its practitioners underpins contemporary microbiology and serves as a principal means of shaping and referencing knowledge. Using methods drawn from the field of exploratory data analysis, this mini-review examines the current state of the field as it transitions from a taxonomy based on 16S rRNA gene sequences to one based on whole genome sequences and tests the validity of some commonly held beliefs.


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