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Covering All the Bases: The Promise of Genome-Wide Sequence Data for Large Population Samples of Bacteria

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Evolution from the Galapagos

Abstract

Recent technical advances mean that it is now possible to detect genome-wide variation within large samples of closely related bacterial isolates. When applied to bacterial pathogens, this is set to revolutionise short-term and local epidemiological surveillance and will impact on disease management by facilitating the detailed reconstruction of transmission routes. These data will also address fundamental aspects of short-term evolutionary dynamics in pathogenic and environmental bacteria. Here, we illustrate the potential of next-generation sequencing using the important pathogen Staphylococcus aureus as an example. We discuss the apparent accelerated rate of mutation at the very tips of the trees because of the lag of purifying selection and how this effect provides a framework for understanding the dynamic interplay between molecular evolution and ecology.

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Acknowledgments

SCR is funded by the TROCAR consortium (FP7-HEALTH #223031). We are grateful to colleagues present at the first international PERMAFROST meeting, Bormio, Italy; March 5–8, 2010, for fruitful discussions.

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Castillo-Ramírez, S., Feil, E. (2013). Covering All the Bases: The Promise of Genome-Wide Sequence Data for Large Population Samples of Bacteria. In: Trueba, G., Montúfar, C. (eds) Evolution from the Galapagos. Social and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands, vol 2. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6732-8_5

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