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In this book, leading scientists from around the world explore current concepts in molecular phylogeny and their application with respect to microorganisms. The authors describe the different approaches applied today to elucidate the molecular phylogeny of prokaryotes (and eukaryotic protists) and review current phylogenetic methods, techniques and software tools. Topics covered include: a historical overview, computational tools, multilocus sequence analysis, 16S rRNA phylogenetic trees, rooting of the universal tree of life, applications of conserved indels, lateral gene transfer, endosymbiosis and the evolution of plastids.