Talk:Bacteria

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Number of Species suggestion[edit]

This was originally written for the Species page, but was only added in a very abreviated form. I would like to propose inserting it into this article, following the "Classification and identification" section.


Number of Species[edit]

Total number of bacterial species (estimated): 5–10[1], or even 1,000 million[2] (identified and unidentified) bacteria worldwide.

Of the 6,000 to 170,000 identified prokaryotic species there are:

  • 16,000 prokaryotic species "seen by science", based on the number of different 98% unique 16S_ribosomal_RNA sequences in databases as of 2004[2]. This analysis was based on a total of 56,215 16S rRNA gene sequences, the total number of 16S rRNA gene sequences in 2010 was 1,483,016, almost 30 times as many[3].
  • 6,728 bacteria Type_strains that are fully described, currently stored in culture collections, and with a sequenced 16S_ribosomal_RNA gene (as of 2008)[4].
  • 165,676 bacteria species with some genetic sequence known (of which 10,045 were in Microbiological_culture)), as of 2011[5]
  • 4,794 Archaea species with some genetic sequence known (of which 395 were in Microbiological_culture)), as of 2011[5]


Number of Species suggestion rational[edit]

Here is my reasoning for the above values:

This paper: The All-Species Living Tree project. Yarza et al. 20008 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18692976 [4] provides a lower-bound estimate of 6728, since the Type Species they are describing are a subset of named species, almost all of which have been grown in pure culture and are in collections (see article).

While the estimates of 5–10 million bacteria are still current, and probably better supported (as pointed out elsewhere, the species concept is even more difficult for these organisms) the paper listed below [2] cites a range from 10^7 to 10^9 (10 to 1,000 million) for the estimated number of species on the planet.

There is also published estimates of 35,498 total species richness, based on the 16,000 species that have been "seen by science". This latter value is based on the number of different 16S_ribosomal_RNA or RRNA genes (also see Molecular_phylogenetics) that are 98% or more divergent as described in this paper: Status of the Microbial Census. Schloss and Handelsman. 2004 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15590780 [2]. However, the data they were basing their estimate on was much less than is in current databases, so I referenced release 10 to the RDP for a current number.

I've included values from the NCBI GenBank database's Taxonomy section since it is current, and the repository for all sequences. NCBI also has a taxonomic identifier for each sequence. [5]


Major issue with first sentence[edit]

Domain does not equal kingdom. Domain is a level of classification above kingdom. The eubacteria represent a monophyletic domain and are comprised of several kingdoms. Please fix this immediately.

Theropod — Preceding unsigned comment added by 149.160.139.227 (talk) 19:38, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

I fixed the first sentence and changed part of the first paragraph. The introductory portion of this article needs major revisions though. The information is helpful, but the first and second paragraphs duplicate their efforts. They could be consolidated. Secondly, I like including the history, and some of it may be useful to introduce the reader to the topic. I'll continue working on the introduction. If you see improvements make them; I've given my opinion on the topic. Theropod (talk) 23:53, 26 June 2013 (UTC)Theropod
Ah, taxonomy. As of right now, there is both a domain and kingdom named "Bacteria" and they're basically the same thing. Some of this problem is that splitting things into these sort of groups is going to always have some subjectivity. But because the terminology is still used as a kingdom, I'd argue to keep that term in. Scaldwell17 (talk) 17:33, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

vs. Archaea?[edit]

1. The Wikipedia article on archaea says they are "prokaryotes, meaning that they have no cell nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelles within their cells." The present article on bacteria says that bacteria are prokaryotes that "rarely harbour membrane-bound organelles." This is confusing. Are there bacteria that harbour membrane-bound organelles? If yes, the archaea article is wrong, and the phrase quoted here should be corrected. If no, the text in this article containing "rarely harbour membrane-bound organelles" should be modified to be clearer. The Wikipedia article on prokaryote says that "prokaryotes are a group of organisms whose cells lack a membrane-bound nucleus". This sounds like the archaea text is misleading. I'm confused.

2. Is there a succinct summary of the difference between bacteria and archaea? I don't see one either here or in the article on archaea. I'd like something that is easy for a lay person to remember. The Wikipedia article on eukaryote says they all have a membrane-bound nucleus. That's easy for me to remember. It would also help to know what is positive or "pro" about prokaryotes. That, too, would make it easier for people to learn. I remember hearing that prokaryotes were originally distinguished from eukaryotes on the basis of a certain test in which prokaryotes accepted a stain and eukaryotes did not, although that may no longer be consistent with current usage. I don't find the word "stain" in either the eukaryote or the prokaryote article, so I don't know. However, I think it would help people remember some explanation is provided of what's "pro" about "prokaryotes". Perhaps a section on "History" could be added to the eukaryote and prokaryote articles explaining this.

3. Is there some reason bacteria, archaea, and eukaryota are spelled in some places with an initial capital, like Bacteria? If yes, is this explained in the current article and I missed it? If no, could this please be changed to conform with Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters?

Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 18:35, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 2 January 2014[edit]

Error in structure of sentence in first paragraph, should read:

Bacteria also live in plants and animals (see symbiosis), and have flourished in manned space vehicles. 86.169.36.101 (talk) 21:48, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Fixing, thanks. Materialscientist (talk) 23:52, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 16 January 2014[edit]

I thought the discovery of bacteria occurred in 1676 not 1683. 68.111.75.96 (talk) 05:30, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. --Anon126 (talk - contribs) 23:12, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Done. The cited source says 1676. --Anon126 (talk - contribs) 23:14, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Fungi is smelly stuff that grew on your Nan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 5.64.243.207 (talk) 19:55, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Bacteria also live in symbiotic and parasitic relationships with plants and animals.[edit]

This sentence from the first paragraph maybe should be re-written. Parasitism is a type of symbiosis. I would suggest "Bacteria also live in mutualistic, commensualistic, and parasitic relationships with plants, animals, and other organisms." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.149.237.104 (talk) 14:53, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Bacteria also live in symbiotic and parasitic relationships with plants and animals.[edit]

This sentence from the first paragraph maybe should be re-written. Parasitism is a type of symbiosis. I would suggest "Bacteria also live in mutualistic, commensualistic, and parasitic relationships with plants, animals, and other organisms." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.149.237.104 (talk) 14:58, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 July 2014[edit]

I suggest a small grammar change in the section Classification and Identification. In the sentence "Once a pathogenic organism has been isolated, it can be further characterised by its morphology, growth patterns such as (aerobic or anaerobic growth, patterns of hemolysis) and staining." the open parentheses needs to be moved to replace the comma currently inside it, and another comma added after the end of the parentheses. This is the last sentence in the second to last paragraph in the section. 155.41.91.189 (talk) 17:45, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Anon126 (notify me of responses! / talk / contribs) 05:33, 26 July 2014 (UTC)