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GENETIC DIVERSITY IN MICROORGANISMS

GENETIC DIVERSITY IN MICROORGANISMS
Edited by Mahmut Caliskan .
382 pages .

So far as we know all life in the universe exists at or near the surface of planet Earth.
The life forms on Earth connected through shared history are a DNA-based life.
Reconstruction of this history, known as phylogeny, is one of the most difficult 
challenges in contemporary biology. However it is well worth the effort, because of 
the considerable benefits that robust phylogenetic hypotheses can provide for 
diverse fields of biology, both basic and applied. Because even distantly related life 
forms are perfectly similar genetically and share the same regulatory genes, it would 
be counterproductive not to take advantage of the full range of variation produced 
by this great experiment conducted over billions of years. Robust phylogenetic trees 
are essential tools for displaying this variation efficiently. Genetics, the science of 
heredity, deals with the factors that are responsible for the similarities and 
differences between life forms and generations. These factors affect form and 
function at every level, from the molecules that compose each living cell, through 
the organismal and population levels of biological organization. The concepts of 
genetics are therefore fundamental to all biological disciplines and serve as the 
unifying core in the study of modern biology.
Biological evolution is the dual process of genetic change and diversification of 
organisms through time. By this process related populations can diverge from one 
another in their genetic characteristics and give rise to new species. The idea that 
populations can change over time and produce different species, and that all present 
day species (approximately 2100 million species) were derived in this manner from a 
common ancestor, provides a rational framework for organizing the vast array of 
biological knowledge. Through evolution, new species arise through the process of 
speciation. New varieties of organisms arise and thrive when they have the ability to 
find and exploit an ecological niche, however, species become extinct when they are 
no longer able to survive in changing conditions or against superior competition. Most 
of extinctions have occurred naturally and it is estimated that 99.9% of all species that 
have ever existed are now extinct. Mass extinctions are relatively rare events.
However, isolated extinctions are quite common and scientists have become alarmed 
at the high rates of recent extinctions. Most species that become extinct are never 
scientifically documented. Some scientists estimate that up to half of presently existing 
species may become extinct by 2100. Genetic diversity is required for populations to 
evolve and cope with environmental changes, new diseases, and pest epidemics.
Genetic variability also provides the opportunity for tracing the history of populations, 
species, and their ancestors. Therefore, the assessment of genetic variation in species 
and among populations is important for conservation of genetic resources. The genetic 
diversity determination can be based on morphological, biochemical, and molecular 
types of data. As a matter of fact, molecular markers (RFLP, RAPD, mtDNA, RFLP, 
SNP etc.) are superior to both morphological and biochemical markers because they 
are relatively simple to detect, abundant throughout the genome, completely 
independent of environmental conditions, and can be detected at virtually any stage of 
development.
Genetic diversity is the fundamental source of biodiversity. In 1989, the World Wildlife 
Fund defined biodiversity as “the richness of life on Earth – millions of plants, animals 
and microorganisms, including the genes which they carry, and complex ecosystems 
that create the environment”. Currently, the issue of maintaining the genetic diversity 
as a component of the conservation of biodiversity has been accepted at an 
international level. FAO has included the issue of conservation, evaluation, and use of 
animal genetic resources, in its fields of interest since 1970s. In this context, one of the 
main concerns of scientific research activities is conserving the genetic diversity of 
local breeds, especially those of economic interest. Genetic diversity among
individuals reflects the presence of different alleles in the gene pool, and hence, 
different genotypes within populations. Genetic diversity should be distinguished 
from genetic variability, which describes the tendency of genetic traits found within 
populations to vary. There is a considerable genetic variability within or between 
natural populations. Population geneticists attempt to determine the extent of this 
variability by identifying the alleles at each locus and measuring their respective 
frequencies. This variability provides a genomic flexibility that can be used as a raw 
material for adaptation. On the other hand, one of the consequences of low genetic 
variability could be inability to cope with abiotic and biotic stresses. From the growing 
knowledge on the genome sequences of organisms it becomes evident that all forms of 
diversity have their origin at genetic level. In this context genetic diversity analysis 
provides vital and powerful data that helps for better understanding of genetic 
variation and improved conservation strategies.
The purpose of these books is to provide a glimpse into the dynamic process of genetic 
variation by presenting the thoughts of some of the scientists who are engaged in 
development of new tools and ideas used to reveal genetic variation, often from very 
different perspectives. These books should prove useful to students, researchers, and 
experts in the area of conservation biology, genetic diversity, and molecular biology.
The year 2010 has been celebrated as the international year of biodiversity by the 
United Nations and it has been a unique opportunity to realize the vital role that 
biodiversity plays in sustaining the life on Earth. Let us all wish much success to all 
projects and initiatives dealing with the conservation of diversity of life because rich 
genetic resources are a prerequisite for future generations to be able to breed crop 
varieties and face new challenges.

Mahmut Caliskan
Mustafa Kemal University,
Department of Biology, Hatay,
Turkey

CONTENTS :

Part 1 Microbial Genetic Diversity 1


Chapter 1 Diversity of Heterolobosea 3
Tomáš Pánek and Ivan Čepička

Chapter 2 Archaeal Diversity and Their 
Biotechnological Potential 27
Birgül Özcan

Chapter 3 Genotyping Techniques for Determining 
the Diversity of Microorganisms 53
Katarzyna Wolska and Piotr Szweda

Chapter 4 DNA Based Techniques for 
Studying Genetic Diversity 95
Ahmed L. Abdel-Mawgood

Chapter 5 Patterns of Microbial Genetic Diversity and 
the Correlation Between Bacterial Demographic History and Geohistory 123
Pei-Chun Liao and Shong Huang

Chapter 6 Microsatellites as Tools for 
Genetic Diversity Analysis 149
Andrea Akemi Hoshino, Juliana Pereira Bravo, Paula Macedo Nobile and Karina Alessandra Morelli

Chapter 7 HIV-1 Diversity and Its Implications 
in Diagnosis, Transmission, Disease Progression, and Antiretroviral Therapy 171
Inês Bártolo and Nuno Taveira
Chapter 8 Using Retroviral Iterative Genetic Algorithm to Solve Constraint Global Optimization Problems 215
Renato Simões Moreira, Otávio Noura Teixeira, Walter Avelino da Luz Lobato, Hitoshi Seki Yanaguibashi and Roberto Célio Limão de Oliveira

Part 2 Phylogenetics 233


Chapter 9 Genetically Related Listeria Monocytogenes 
Strains Isolated from Lethal Human
Cases and Wild Animals 235
Ruslan Adgamov, Elena Zaytseva, Jean-Michel Thiberge, Sylvain Brisse and Svetlana Ermolaeva

Chapter 10 Issues Associated with Genetic Diversity 
Studies of the Liver Fluke, Fasciola Heptica (Platyhelminthes, Digenea, Fasciolidae) 251
Denitsa Teofanova, Peter Hristov, Aneliya Yoveva and Georgi Radoslavov

Chapter 11 Genetic Diversity of Brazilian Cyanobacteria 
Revealed by Phylogenetic Analysis 275
Maria do Carmo Bittencourt-Oliveira and Viviane Piccin-Santos

Chapter 12 Pre-Columbian Male Ancestors for 
the American Continent, Molecular
Y-Chromosome Insight 291
Graciela Bailliet, Marina Muzzio, Virginia Ramallo, Laura S. Jurado Medina, Emma L. Alfaro, José E. Dipierri and Claudio M. Bravi

Chapter 13 Approaches for Dissection of the 
Genetic Basis of Complex Disease Development in Humans 309
Nicole J. Lake, Kiymet Bozaoglu, Abdul W. Khan and Jeremy B. M. Jowett

Chapter 14 Genetic Diversity and the Human 
Immunodeficiency Virus Type-1: Implications and Impact 339
Orville Heslop .


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