Domain (biology)

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This article is about the "domain" rank in biological classification. For other uses, see Domain (disambiguation).
Australian green tree frog (Litoria caerulea)
Scanning electron micrograph of S. aureus; false color added
Electron micrograph of Sulfolobus infected with Sulfolobus virus STSV1.
The three-domain system includes Eukarya (represented by the Australian green tree frog, left), Bacteria (represented by S. aureus, middle) and Archaea (represented by Sulfolobus, right).

In biological taxonomy, a domain (also superregnum, superkingdom, empire, or regio) is the highest taxonomic rank of organisms in the three-domain system of taxonomy designed by Carl Woese, an American microbiologist and biophysicist. According to the Woese system, introduced in 1990, the Tree of Life consists of three domains: Archaea (a term which Woese created), Bacteria, and Eukarya.[1] The first two are all prokaryotic microorganisms, or single-celled organisms whose cells have no nucleus. All life that has a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles, and most multi-cellular life is included in the Eukarya.

Alternative classifications[edit]

Bacteria Archaea Eucaryota Aquifex Thermotoga Cytophaga Bacteroides Bacteroides-Cytophaga Planctomyces Cyanobacteria Proteobacteria Spirochetes Gram-positive bacteria Green filantous bacteria Pyrodicticum Thermoproteus Thermococcus celer Methanococcus Methanobacterium Methanosarcina Halophiles Entamoebae Slime mold Animal Fungus Plant Ciliate Flagellate Trichomonad Microsporidia Diplomonad
A speculatively rooted tree for rRNA genes, showing major branches Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryota

Alternative classifications of life so far proposed include:

Exclusion of viruses[edit]

Main article: Virus

None of the three systems currently include non-cellular life. As of 2011 there is talk about Nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses possibly being a fourth branch domain of life, a view supported by researchers in 2012 who explain in their abstract:

The discovery of giant viruses with genome and physical size comparable to cellular organisms, remnants of protein translation machinery and virus-specific parasites (virophages) have raised intriguing questions about their origin. Evidence advocates for their inclusion into global phylogenomic studies and their consideration as a distinct and ancient form of life. [...] Results call for a change in the way viruses are perceived. They likely represent a distinct form of life that either predated or coexisted with the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) and constitute a very crucial part of our planet’s biosphere.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Woese C, Kandler O, Wheelis M (1990). "Towards a natural system of organisms: proposal for the domains Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya.". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 87 (12): 4576–9. Bibcode:1990PNAS...87.4576W. doi:10.1073/pnas.87.12.4576. PMC 54159. PMID 2112744. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Mayr, Ernst (1998). "Two empires or three?". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95 (17): 9720–9723. Bibcode:1998PNAS...95.9720. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.17.9720. PMC 33883. PMID 9707542. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Cavalier-Smith, T. (2004). "Only six kingdoms of life". Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 271 (1545): 1251–62. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2705. PMC 1691724. PMID 15306349. Retrieved 2010-04-29 
  4. ^ Archibald, John M. (23 December 2008). "The eocyte hypothesis and the origin of eukaryotic cells". PNAS 105 (51): 20049–20050. 
  5. ^ Lake, James A.; Henderson, Eric; Oakes, Melanie; Clark, Michael W. (June 1984). "Eocytes: A new ribosome structure indicates a kingdom with a close relationship to eukaryotes". PNAS 81: 3786–3790. 
  6. ^ Williams, Tom A.; Foster, Peter G.; Cox, Cymon J.; Embley, T. Martin (December 2013). "An archaeal origin of eukaryotes supports only two primary domains of life". Nature 504 (7479): 231–236. doi:10.1038/nature12779. PMID 24336283. 
  7. ^ Nasir, Arshan; Kim, Kyung Mo; and Caetano-Anolles, Gustavo, "Giant viruses coexisted with the cellular ancestors and represent a distinct supergroup along with superkingdoms Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya." BMC Evol Biol. 2012; 12: 156. Published online 2012 August 24. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-12-156