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Adaptation is a genetically determined characteristic that improves an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment. Without mechanisms that cause genetic variation no adaptation to new selection pressures would be possible.

Because of their small size and asexual reproduction prokaryotes have a rapid growth rate and will generate a large number of clones. Therefore an adaptation in any one individual will very soon spread to the entire population.

Acquired metal resistance and salt tolerance are examples of adaptations of use for prokaryotes and other microbes that thrive in an AMD, ARD or bioleaching environment.

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