Our view of bacteria is overwhelmingly shaped by their diminutive nature. The most ancient of organisms, their very presence was not appreciated until the 17th century with the invention of the microscope. Initially, viewed as “bags of enzymes,” recent advances in imaging, molecular phylogeny, and, most recently, genomics have revealed incredible diversity within this previously invisible realm of life. Here, we review the impact of size on bacterial evolution, physiology, and morphogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere18801
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalCold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


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