Bacterial Microevolution and the Pangenome

In: The Pangenome: Diversity, Dynamics and Evolution of Genomes [Internet]. Cham (CH): Springer; 2020.


The comparison of multiple genome sequences sampled from a bacterial population reveals considerable diversity in both the core and the accessory parts of the pangenome. This diversity can be analysed in terms of microevolutionary events that took place since the genomes shared a common ancestor, especially deletion, duplication, and recombination. We review the basic modelling ingredients used implicitly or explicitly when performing such a pangenome analysis. In particular, we describe a basic neutral phylogenetic framework of bacterial pangenome microevolution, which is not incompatible with evaluating the role of natural selection. We survey the different ways in which pangenome data is summarised in order to be included in microevolutionary models, as well as the main methodological approaches that have been proposed to reconstruct pangenome microevolutionary history.

Publication types

  • Review