“Caught in the act: Study discovers microbes speciating.” February 21st, 2012.
More information: Cadillo-Quiroz H, Didelot X, Held NL, Herrera A, Darling A, et al. (2012) Patterns of Gene Flow Define Species of Thermophilic Archaea. PLoS Biol 10(2): e1001265. (full text is free).
Speciation sans physical barriers to gene flow suggests determination by the ecological influence of nutrient-associated chemicals and their intracellular metabolism to species-specific pheromones, which enable self / non-self recognition. This extends the model here to speciation associated with physical barriers in cichlid fish and in human endogenous retrovirus (HERV)-infected primates. In theory, viruses epigenetically modify intracellular signaling pathways, which is how they “drive” the emergence of different species. This theory incorporates their pervasive influence across species, chemical ecology, and detailed molecular mechanisms for species survival. It also attests to the biological fact that the study of asexual selection in microbes and sexual selection mechanisms in vertebrates must be approached from the same perspective. It does not allow for asexual selection, sexual selection, or the Creation of new species to be based on spectral input and/or visual perception. There’s no model for that!