Travel, sex, and food: What's speciation got to do with it?

Valeria Souza, Luis E. Eguiarte, Michael Travisano, James Elser, Christine Rooks, Janet L. Siefert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We discuss the potential interactions among travel (dispersal and gene flow), bacterial "sex" (mainly as horizontal gene transfer), and food (metabolic plasticity and responses to nutrient availability) in shaping microbial communities. With regard to our work at a unique desert oasis, the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin in Coahuila, Mexico, we propose that diversification and low phosphorus availability, in combination with mechanisms for nutrient recycling and community cohesion, result in enhanced speciation through reproductive as well as geographic isolation. We also discuss these mechanisms in the broader sense of ecology and evolution. Of special relevance to astrobiology and central to evolutionary biology, we ask why there are so many species on Earth and provide a working hypothesis and a conceptual framework within which to consider the question.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-640
Number of pages7
JournalAstrobiology
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

Fingerprint

oases
gene transfer
evolutionary biology
oasis
nutrients
cohesion
nutrient availability
conceptual framework
food
genes
travel
gene flow
recycling
availability
plasticity
microbial communities
deserts
microbial community
desert
Mexico

Keywords

  • Evolution
  • Horizontal gene transfer
  • Metabolism
  • Microbial ecology
  • Microbial mats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Souza, V., Eguiarte, L. E., Travisano, M., Elser, J., Rooks, C., & Siefert, J. L. (2012). Travel, sex, and food: What's speciation got to do with it? Astrobiology, 12(7), 634-640. https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2011.0768

Travel, sex, and food : What's speciation got to do with it? / Souza, Valeria; Eguiarte, Luis E.; Travisano, Michael; Elser, James; Rooks, Christine; Siefert, Janet L.

In: Astrobiology, Vol. 12, No. 7, 01.07.2012, p. 634-640.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Souza, V, Eguiarte, LE, Travisano, M, Elser, J, Rooks, C & Siefert, JL 2012, 'Travel, sex, and food: What's speciation got to do with it?', Astrobiology, vol. 12, no. 7, pp. 634-640. https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2011.0768
Souza V, Eguiarte LE, Travisano M, Elser J, Rooks C, Siefert JL. Travel, sex, and food: What's speciation got to do with it? Astrobiology. 2012 Jul 1;12(7):634-640. https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2011.0768
Souza, Valeria ; Eguiarte, Luis E. ; Travisano, Michael ; Elser, James ; Rooks, Christine ; Siefert, Janet L. / Travel, sex, and food : What's speciation got to do with it?. In: Astrobiology. 2012 ; Vol. 12, No. 7. pp. 634-640.
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