Benoit Jennifer

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    Genotypic diversity within a natural coastal bacterioplankton population
    ( 2005-01-04) Thompson, Janelle R. ; Pacocha, Sarah E. ; Pharino, Chanathip ; Klepac-Ceraj, Vanja ; Hunt, Dana E. ; Benoit, Jennifer ; Sarma-Rupavtarm, Ramahi ; Distel, Daniel L. ; Polz, Martin F.
    The genomic diversity and relative importance of unique genotypes within natural bacterial populations has remained largely unknown. Here, we analyze the diversity and annual dynamics of a group of coastal bacterioplankton (>99% 16S rRNA identity to Vibrio splendidus). We show that this group consists of at least a thousand distinct genotypes, each occurring at extremely low environmental concentrations (on average <1 cell/ml). Overall, the genomes show extensive allelic diversity and size variation. Individual genotypes rarely recurred in samples and allelic distribution did not show spatial or temporal substructure. Ecological considerations suggest that much genotypic and possibly phenotypic variation within natural populations should be considered neutral.