I would like to know what are the possible approaches a scientist could use to identify a given bacterial strain as a new species.
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closed as off-topic by Shadowzee, Willk, Renan, JohnWDailey, Dubukay Dec 13 '18 at 3:01
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The main criteria for two organisms becoming different species is that they can no longer successfully mate. In scientific terms, a successful mating produces offspring that are viable and can mate themselves, which is why mules are not classified as independent species.
While most bacteria reproduce asexually, some strains can undergo conjugation, a form of sexual reproduction in which the two bacteria fuse momentarily and exchange genetic information. While conjugation does not produce any offspring, the two bacteria involved are altered in such a way that they are no longer the same organism.
If your two bacteria cannot undergo conjugation successfully (i.e., they both die in the process), then they are independent species.