Recent work shows that genetic exchange in prokaryotes is less frequent but more promiscuous than that in eukaryotes. As a result, genetic exchange plays very different roles in determining the patterns of evolutionary divergence in these major groups. Because sexual isolation is not a prerequisite for divergence in the prokaryotic world, the biological species concept is not appropriate for bacteria. However, there is a species concept that may apply universally.
Copyright © 1994. Published by Elsevier Ltd.