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Are there multiple distinct genetic lineages of asexual species that are closely enough related to not be considered distinct or does any genetic change result in a new species?

I would assume there's tolerance for variety as much genetic material has either no phenotypical expression, or a very subtle one. It's also consistent with my understanding of differential antibiotic resistance. Normally I'd expect a large degree of acceptable differences as long as there could be reproduction that makes viable offspring, but that's obviously not applicable here.

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    $\begingroup$ It is a widely held misunderstanding that species are defined by reproduction. (Mayr's biological species concept.) This species concept works for ecologists and high school biology teachers because it roughly describes how species come to be. However, taxonomists, the people who actually define and describe species, almost all use some form of the evolutionary species concept, which does not define species based on reproduction academic.oup.com/sysbio/article-abstract/27/1/17/…. , but on lineage patterns or fixed character states. $\endgroup$ – Karl Kjer May 7 at 14:24

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