17. Major advances in the study of mutator mechanisms have been made in microbiology research, in particular on some species of bacteria (Escherichia coli, Neisseria meningitidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa). There are two main reasons for this: first, growth rate of microorganisms is very high, therefore experiments can be realized in relatively short time; second, bacteria often live in changing environmental conditions, therefore they represent a particularly appropriate case-study for research on mutator mechanisms. My analysis is focused on mutations due to mutator mechanisms in microorganisms. Analogous mechanisms have been studied in other prokaryotes, and in unicellular and multi-cellular eukaryotes too. For examples and bibliography, see Jablonka and Lamb 1995.

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