Francisco Rodriguez-Valera is an outstanding microbiologist. Very early he applied genomics and metagenomics to the study of aquatic ecosystems including hypersaline, marine and freshwaters, reservoirs and even the Amazon River or the Caspian Sea. He has also used genomics and metagenomics to dissect the population genomics of prokaryotic populations. His studies have led to a proposal of how the populations of aquatic prokaryotes are structured at the level of genomic diversity. The model of Constant-Diversity claims that aquatic microbes, even when belonging to a single species, form concurrent meta-clonal populations. These clones are different in their ecological properties (for example they can use different substrates) and in their phage (viral) receptors. Both sets of genomic features are linked together at the ecological time-scale and allow the population to exploit resources optimally. The viral component equalizes the different clonal sub-populations by a “kill the winner” feed-back control.
Abstracts this author is presenting: