Exploring prokaryotic diversity in the genomic era
ComBinE group, Advanced Computational Modelling Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Hilgard Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Genome Biology 2002, 3:reviews0003-reviews0003.8 doi:10.1186/gb-2002-3-2-reviews0003Published: 29 January 2002
Our understanding of prokaryote biology from study of pure cultures and genome sequencing has been limited by a pronounced sampling bias towards four bacterial phyla - Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes - out of 35 bacterial and 18 archaeal phylum-level lineages. This bias is beginning to be rectified by the use of phylogenetically directed isolation strategies and by directly accessing microbial genomes from environmental samples.