Species is the basic unit and most important taxonomic rank in prokaryote classification, represented by a group of microorganisms that have a genotypic relationship and coherent phenotypic features. The concept of species in prokaryotes is quite complex, since it is based on the premises of the species adopted for higher organisms, which are differentiated by the inability of reproduction among the organisms. However, this concept cannot be applied to prokaryotes, able to exchange genetic material easily among different species. Besides, morphologically they are not so diverse, and thus the relative morphologic simplicity of most prokaryotic microorganisms implies that morphology is, in general,...
KeywordsClassification DNA-DNA hybridization Phylogeny Taxonomy
References and Further Reading
- Brenner DJ, Staley JT, Krieg NR (2005) Classification of prokaryotic organisms and the concept of bacterial speciation. In: Brenner DJ, Krieg NR, Staley JT (eds) Bergey’s manual of systematic bacteriology, vol 2, 2nd edn, The Proteobacteria, Part A. Springer, New York, pp 27–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Stackebrandt E, Frederiksen W, Garrity GM, Griment PAD, Kämpfer P, Maiden MCJ, Nesme X, Rosselló-Mora R, Swings J, Trüper HG, Vauterin L, Ward AC, Whitman WB (2002) Report of the ad hoc committee for the re-evaluation of the species definition in bacteriology. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 52:1043–1047CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vandamme P, Pot B, Gillis M, de Vos P, Kersters K, Swings J (1996) Polyphasic taxonomy, a consensus approach to bacterial systematics. Microbiol Rev 60:407–438Google Scholar