EXPLOSIVE RADIATION OF A BACTERIAL SPECIES GROUP
Article first published online: 12 MAR 2012
© 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 66, Issue 8, pages 2577–2586, August 2012
How to Cite
Morlon, H., Kemps, B. D., Plotkin, J. B. and Brisson, D. (2012), EXPLOSIVE RADIATION OF A BACTERIAL SPECIES GROUP. Evolution, 66: 2577–2586. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01598.x
- Issue published online: 26 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 12 MAR 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 17 FEB 2012 05:10PM EST
- Received October 11, 2011 , Accepted January 23, 2012
- microbial macroevolution;
The current diversity of life on earth is the product of macroevolutionary processes that have shaped the dynamics of diversification. Although the tempo of diversification has been studied extensively in macroorganisms, much less is known about the rates of diversification in the exceedingly diverse and species-rich microbiota. Decreases in diversification rates over time, a signature of explosive radiations, are commonly observed in plant and animal lineages. However, the few existing analyses of microbial lineages suggest that the tempo of diversification in prokaryotes may be fundamentally different. Here, we use multilocus and genomic sequence data to test hypotheses about the rate of diversification in a well-studied pathogenic bacterial lineage, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (sl). Our analyses support the hypothesis that an explosive radiation of lineages occurred near the origin of the clade, followed by a sharp decay in diversification rates. These results suggest that explosive radiations may be a general feature of evolutionary history across the tree of life.