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Darwin and Microbiology

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Darwin and Microbiology, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Charles Darwin spent a few weeks during September and October of 1835 exploring the Galapagos Islands. His observations during that time reverberate deeply in the history of science because the features of the plants and animals that Darwin saw there contributed greatly to the development of his ideas of evolution by natural selection. Of these islands he remarked in (1939), “The natural history of this archipelago is very remarkable: it seems to be a little world within itself….” But compared to the myriad microscopic worlds present in every handful of Galapagos soil that Darwin set foot on, the archipelago would not be a “little world within itself” but a vast universe containing countless worlds of unimaginable diversity. For every grain of soil, every drop of water of our planet is rich with microbial life that lies there, waiting to be discovered.

Citation: Kolter R, Maloy S. 2012. Darwin and Microbiology, p 1-7. In Kolter R, Maloy S (ed), Microbes and Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818470.ch0

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Staphylococcus aureus
0.49339977
Ribosomal RNA
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Figure 1

Relationship tree that connects the five kingdoms. doi:10.1128/9781555818470.ch0f1

Citation: Kolter R, Maloy S. 2012. Darwin and Microbiology, p 1-7. In Kolter R, Maloy S (ed), Microbes and Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818470.ch0
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

A small segment of the over 1,500 bases constituting the gene encoding one of the rRNAs. The alignment shows the sequences from an animal, a fungus, a plant, and several microbes that were all considered to be bacteria. Sequences highlighted in yellow are identical among all the organisms. doi:10.1128/9781555818470.ch0f2

Citation: Kolter R, Maloy S. 2012. Darwin and Microbiology, p 1-7. In Kolter R, Maloy S (ed), Microbes and Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818470.ch0
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Image of Figure 3
Figure 3

Map of biodiversity reflecting the current worldview. doi:10.1128/9781555818470.ch0f3

Citation: Kolter R, Maloy S. 2012. Darwin and Microbiology, p 1-7. In Kolter R, Maloy S (ed), Microbes and Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818470.ch0
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