A comparison of homologous recombination rates in bacteria and archaea

ISME J. 2009 Feb;3(2):199-208. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2008.93. Epub 2008 Oct 2.


It is a standard practice to test for the signature of homologous recombination in studies examining the genetic diversity of bacterial populations. Although it has emerged that homologous recombination rates can vary widely between species, comparing the results from different studies is made difficult by the diversity of estimation methods used. Here, Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) datasets from a wide variety of bacteria and archaea are analyzed using the ClonalFrame method. This enables a direct comparison between species and allows for a first exploration of the question whether phylogeny or ecology is the primary determinant of homologous recombination rate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Archaea / physiology*
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • DNA, Archaeal / chemistry
  • DNA, Archaeal / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Archaeal
  • DNA, Bacterial