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The small genomes of obligate intracellular bacteria are often presumed to be impervious to mobile DNA and the fluid genetic processes that drive diversification in free-living bacteria. Categorized by reductive evolution and streamlining, the genomes of some obligate intracellular bacteria manifest striking degrees of stability and gene synteny. However, recent findings from complete genome sequences of obligate intracellular species and their mobile genetic associates favour the abandonment of these wholesale terms for a more complex and tantalizing picture.
Released October 22, 2019