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The classification of bacteria aims to satisfy two objectives:

1. The description of taxa such that strains and isolates can be reliably identified with a particular genus or species – phenetic classification. This forms the basis of diagnostic bacteriology and can be regarded as a practical or working classification that emphasises pragmatism.

2. The description of relationships between taxa that reflect their origins and evolution – phylogenetic classification. This only became possible with the advent of sequencing technology for macromolecules, principally nucleic acids, which if properly targetted can reveal homology between taxa that are phenetically remote.

In this session, we aim to explore the diversity and inter-relationships of bacterial genera from both standpoints.

Each student will give a short (5 minutes) oral presentation of the properties of the genus assigned and also establish the phylogenetic position of that genus (10%). Each student will also submit a ca.1000 word written report on that genus (10%). The written report must be submitted via Turnitin in Vital by Thursday 1st November.

Use the genus description given in Bergeys Manuals of either Determinative or Systematic Bacteriology if possible. Failing this, you should be able to discover the basic properties of your assigned genus by reference to Journal papers and reviews, or alternative reference texts such as “The Prokaryotes” (2006, ed. M. Dworkin) which is available as an E-book on the university library website.

I already did the presentation, what is left is the written report of 1000 words.

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