What is the difference between strain and species?
Classification of living organisms is based on taxonomic units. The science of classification help to group living organisms in kingdoms, classes, order, family, and species.
The core difference between species and strain is that species is the largest group of organisms whereas a strain is a subtype or a genetic variant.
Comparison Table between Strain and Species
|Description||It is a genetic variant or subtype of biological species||It is the largest group of organisms that can reproduce with one another and produce a fertile offspring|
|Correspondence||Subtype of species||The basic taxonomic unit of classification|
|Genetic Makeup||It is an isolate of a give species with specific genetic characteristics||Organisms have genetic similarities hence can reproduce a fertile offspring|
|Identification||Functional traits, serotyping, enzyme type, and protein plasmid characterization||Genetic, biochemical and phenotypic criteria|
What Is a Strain?
It is a subtype, genetic variant, and culture of biological species. Strains tend to originate from a single cell colony and microorganisms.
Influenza is an example of flu strain marked by their differing isoforms of surface proteins. They carry specific genetic traits that do not occur to other members of the same strains
Genetic mutation tends to bring out the variation in a strain and this normally occurs during sexual reproduction.
Other causes of genetic variations are gene flow, random mating, random fertilization, and crossing over between homologous chromosomes.
What Is a Species?
Species refers to organisms that are closely related and they can interbreed to produce fertile offspring. It is also a fundamental unit of classification.
Species have similar DNA sequences, morphological, and ecological features. Natural selection is the origin of species.
Species that originated from a common ancestor tend to live in the same habitat. However, there are some that have different breeds with great variation.
Main Difference between Strain and Species in Point Form
- A strain is a genetic variant or subtype of biological species whereas species is a group of organism that can reproduce and produce a fertile offspring
- A strain is a subtype of species whereas species is a basic taxonomic group of classification
- Strains have specific genetic characteristics whereas species have genetic similarities to produce fertile offspring
- Identification of strains is based on serotyping, enzyme type, functional traits, and protein plasmid characterization while that of species is based on genetic, biochemical and phenotypic criteria.
Similarities between Strain and Species
- Both are classified depending on their usages
- Organisms show similar genetic, morphological, and behavioral characteristics.
- The organism in each group can successfully breed to produce fertile offspring
Frequently Asked Questions (Strain Vs Species)
What Is a Type Strain of Bacteria?
A bacterial species invariably includes multiple strains that are of common origin and show more similarity to each other than to any other strain.
What Is a Pure Strain?
A group of identical individuals that always produce offspring of the same phenotype when intercrossed.
What is Genetic Strain?
It is a genetic variant or subtype of a microorganism. New viral strains can be created due to mutation or swapping of genetic components when two or more viruses infect the same cell in nature.
What is Mutant Strain?
A strain is a designated group of offspring that are either descended from a modified plant or which result from a genetic mutation.
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The main difference between strain and species is that strain is an isolate of specific species bearing particular genetic traits in comparison to other species whereas species is a group of organisms that can successfully breed to produce fertile offspring.
More Sources and References
- Strains. Wikipedia
- Strains, Clone and Species. Microbiology Research