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How have mutations and horizontal gene transfer, with immense variety of microenvironments, selected for a huge diversity of microorganisms?

Topic

Evolution

Framing Question

How have mutations and horizontal gene transfer, with immense variety of microenvironments, selected for a huge diversity of microorganisms?

Learning Objectives

  • List three mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer in bacteria.
  • State two processes by which mutations can occur.
  • Describe how mutations and horizontal gene transfer, together with selective pressure, can lead to a rise of antibiotic resistance (or xenobiotic bioremediation).
  • Give an example of a bacterial pathogen that devolved naturally or artificially to become attenuated (e.g., vaccine strains, intracellular pathogens, etc.). Support the example with evidence.
  • Analyze and interpret sequence data to determine if horizontal gene transfer, mutation, or recombination has occurred.
  • Give an example of a trait (e.g., N2 fixation, pathogenicity island, type III secretion, etc.) that is found in diverse bacteria, and provide evidence that explains how that trait came to be.

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