Exploring prokaryotic diversity in the genomic era
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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.