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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Towards a balanced view of the bacterial tree of life


The bacterial tree of life has recently undergone significant expansion, chiefly from candidate phyla retrieved through genome-resolved metagenomics. Bypassing the need for genome availability, we present a snapshot of bacterial phylogenetic diversity based on the recovery of high-quality SSU rRNA gene sequences extracted from nearly 7000 metagenomes and all available reference genomes. We illuminate taxonomic richness within established bacterial phyla together with environmental distribution patterns, providing a revised framework for future phylogeny-driven sequencing efforts.

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