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  • I fully recognize the problems here. One way it could be handled is to put in parentheses after Protista in the taxobox something like - (metakingdom) to indicate it's not really normal, and let people go to the Protista page for further breakdown. What both classical taxonomy and cladistics do clearly share is hierarchy, and I think we should do our best to blend these. The reasons are these:
    • First, people mentally organize information logically, and when there are certain fixed categories, it's easier for people to conceptualize information.
    • Second, it makes for greater ease of navigation thru the system.
    • Third, it's adapting a system in long usage that's not about to go out of business any time soon, so forcing it to better adapt to reality is a good thing.
  • Now, the classification of the various unicellular organisms are certainly outside my area of core expertise, so I certainly welcome any good modifications to anything I've done. jaknouse 16:03 Apr 2, 2003 (UTC)
The Kingdom Protista was never anything more than a wastebasket taxon, and it's polyphyletic. Now that we as biologists are beginning to reveal the true (either monophyletic or paraphyletic) kingdoms of the organisms formerly considered members of the Kingdom Protista, the Kingdom Protista is now a discarded taxon.
As for logic and fixed categories, there are many more thresholds of genetic similarity than there are named ranks, but the use of named ranks makes taxonomy a lot easier to navigate than it would be otherwise, which is exactly why we use them. Based on how it makes things easier to wrap one's mind around, there are many such as myself who see no need for use of named ranks ever to cease, let alone "any time soon" as you put it. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 08:49, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Browser formatting[edit]

I see the taxobox on the left margin overwritten by text. Is this a formatting problem or my browser? Skeetch

It looks like the div tags around tables break them on older browsers. Since the tables can be placed on the right without them, is there any reason not to get rid of them?

That fixed it for me. I'm using a current, MS-WIN2000 version of IE. Skeetch

Ok. It looks like the tags were added to create margins, but if they don't work on even newer browsers, they should definitely be removed in all cases. I will notify the author who had put them in.


A quick note on some reverts. It was added that some eukaryotes - for instance diplomonads and microsporidia - do not have organelles. These groups are unusual in lacking mitochondria, but all eukaryotes have nuclei and an internal membrane system, and diplomonads have other organelles such as flagella. I also changed back the passage explicitly calling the protists a kingdom; not everyone classifies the eukaryotes that way, I don't think it makes things any more clear.

Also, someone changed the eukaryotes share a common origin to the eukaryotes are thought to share a common origin, and I've changed it back. There is no serious doubt on the matter, and we shouldn't treat all biology as a matter of opinion. Thanks, Josh

Surface to Volume ratio[edit]

Question: the reproduction part mentions that eukaryotes have a *smaller* volume to surface ratio than prokaryotes. It seems to me that since they can be a thousand times as big that they should have a *larger* volume to surface ratio, or, conversely, *smaller* surface to volume ratio? Cheers, Frank.


If you click on the link for Mesomycetozoa, it will say it is a class of Choanozoa. I think it should be replaced w/ Nucleariids. (talk) 01:48, 24 April 2009 (UTC)


how do you say it GrimRepr39 22:58, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

'You-carry-oat' Wikinterpreter


The article needs to mention the modern three-domain system eukarya/archaea/bacteria very early on (say, in the second sentence). As it is, the article reads like the distinction between eukaryotes and prokaryotes is still thought of as the basic division of life; this view is obsolete. Archaea are more closely related to eukaryotes than to bacteria. In the article they are barely mentioned at all. --mglg(talk) 23:39, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

well, i went and revised the intro. then saw your request, so i cleared up the fact that the three domains made up all of life, with link to domain biology. Wikiskimmer 02:16, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Crista shapes[edit]

It's impossible to tell from the illustration whether the crista folds are shaped like condoms or toadstools (such as those that grow off the side of a tree). MaxEnt 15:50, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

if your question is serious, the answer is that mitochondrial crista have DIFFERENT shapes in different groups of eukaryotes.Wikiskimmer 18:44, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Eukaroyte intro[edit]

he following is confusing: "Finally, reproduction involves a complex way of separating the duplicated chromosomes, called mitosis, which is also mediated by arrangements of microtubules."

When seeing "reproduction" I think of sexual reproduction, which is meiotic. I would clarify and expand using the concept of cell division such as

Eukaroytes utilized two types of cell division, each starting with DNA replication and separation of Chromosome pairs within a nucleus. In mitosis one diploid cell divides to produce two genetically identical cells. In meiosis, which is required in sexual reproduction, one diploid cell undergoes two stages of cell division, resulting in four haploid cells (gametes) each of which is genetically different. Kant58 19:15, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Be bold! Bendž|Ť 20:05, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

that was my sentence, i merely wanted to succinctly describe the diff between euks and proks for the intro. to me that involves chromosomes and complex assemblies of microtubules. do you think it should be spelled out more in the intro or put in the body? ok, i tried it. Seems too complex now!Wikiskimmer 22:54, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Cytoskeletal Structures[edit]

The description of the structure of microtubles is both confusing and misleading. "They are supported by a bundle of microtubules arising from a basal body, also called a kinetosome or centriole" This implies all three are the same and that Basal body is the superior term, which is contradicted first by the links for basal body, centriole & kinetosome, and the later sentences on centrioles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:33, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Animal cells[edit]

An animal cell is a form of eukaryotic cell that makes up many tissues in animals.

Well, duh? Jack the Stripper (talk) 17:14, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

An update:[edit]

This is how the Eukariote tree looks like today (only four branches):

  • Plants (red and green algae, including land plants)
  • Unikonta (Animalia, Fungi and Amoebozoa)
  • SAR (Stramenopiles+Alveolates+Rhizaria)
  • Excavata (the remaining free living and parasitic organisms)

For the moment it is not possible to place Chromalveolate in any of these four groups, but it is most likely it belongs in the SAR-group, which will probably be confirmed in just a few years time (Kamran Shalchian and Kjetill S. Jakobsen).

Just wanted to mention it. (talk) 09:53, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

The phylogeny proposed above appears in this paper:
Burki et al. 2007. Phylogenomics Reshuffles the Eukaryotic Supergroups. PLoS ONE 2(8): e790.
By the way, chromalveolates consist mostly of stramenopiles + alveolates, so they are a major part of the "SAR" group by definition.
While some agreement has emerged recently on the membership of eukaryotic supergroups, this paper shows that there is still much disagreement on how these groups are related to each other. We may be better off leaving contentious taxa like Cabozoa, Corticata, and Bikonta out of the taxoboxes until these are better resolved.

Cephal-odd (talk) 14:13, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Hopefully there will be some answers in not too long. A few supergroups are better then a huge number of smaller groups. If Telonemia (in the Chromalveolata) belongs in the SAR group, then perhaps SAR and Unikonta are mest closely related, as Telonemia is said to remind a lot about basic animal cells. I also notice the list already mentioned does not include the glaucophyte algae, but i guess they belongs to the plant group anyway. (talk) 13:54, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
My reading of the Burki et al paper is that there is a lot about this stuff which isn't certain yet. If you aren't sure of the monophyly of, say, the Chromalveolata (or one of the subgroups within it, or whatever), it is hard to sample enough different species to make sure that your cladogram really makes any sense. I agree with Cephal-odd that Cabozoa and Corticata are to be treated as hypotheses (and perhaps not even the favored ones) rather than as established. I'm not sure about Bikonta; at least as far as I could tell from the Burki et al paper their data seems to support bikont versus unikont distinctions. As for glaucophytes, yes those are part of Archaeplastida (at least according to our articles). Kingdon (talk) 20:35, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Eukaryotes and the evolution of sex[edit]

Bernt Walther has proposed that the origin of eukaryotes occured at the same time as the origin of sex. Is this something we should mention in the article?--Gunnar Mikalsen Kvifte (talk) 22:25, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

I would think that Evolution of sex would be the place for any discussion of this. It is hardly an area I know much about, but I see a lot of speculation and not so much well-established fact, which might make it difficult for us to say much about it. Kingdon (talk) 03:22, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Fossil record[edit]

A few months ago, the start of the fossil_range parameter was changed from Proterozoic to Mesoproterozoic. It's true that the Mesoproterozoic saw a big increase in eukaryote like fossils, including Bangiomorpha, the first fossil to fit into a modern group (red algae in this case). But there is some evidence of eukaryotes going back before 1600 million years ago, into the Paleoproterozoic, including acritarchs and the possible alga Grypania. Because these claims are not without controversy, I think it best to leave the starting time as Proterozoic, and have made it so in the taxobox. Cephal-odd (talk) 05:34, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Fossil_range is for the fossil record only. We don't have a field for molecular divergence yet, but we're discussing at at WP:TOL. Perhaps you'd like to share some input there. Now the big just said that the oldest fossil is from Mesoproterozoic, but in the article you indicate quite clearly the Paleoproterozoic...which one is actually the oldest fossil? Bob the Wikipedian (talk) 20:56, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed about the fossil_range value. So far I haven't even attempted to address the molecular clock estimates of divergence times between eukaryotes and whatever prokaryotes they're most closely related to. Such an estimate would probably have a huge margin of error. The Knoll et al. paper cited in the article clearly argues for the presence of Eukaryote body fossils going back to the Paleoproterozoic. The Mesoproterozoic just has a lot more such fossils, including ones that have convinced almost everyone that eukaryotes were around then. Also, the oldest fossil that can be assigned to a specific modern group of eukaryotes is Bangiomorpha from the Proterozoic.
Biomarkers are another issue again. These are quite different from molecular clock estimates of divergent times; they are chemical traces that are thought to be left by a particular kind of organism -- in this case, steranes from eukaryotes dating to 2700 Ma. These biomarkers are not usually considered fossils, but with a little stretching they could be considered trace fossils, since they are an observable remnant of the organisms' activity, in contrast with a theoretical divergence date. Cheers, Cephal-odd (talk) 22:45, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
You've inspired me to go look up the word "sterane". :) Bob the Wikipedian (talk) 12:24, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
According to the cited MIT webpage, Steranes are biomarkers of modern Eukaryotes, because Eukaryotes employ Steranes in their cell membranes (whereas bacteria employ other molecules). But, the original pre-Eukaryote host cell may have been an Archaea (Thermoplasma?). If Archaea employ Steranes; then Steranes may only imply the presence of Archaea. (talk) 08:34, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Fossil Record 2[edit]

There is a problem here:"and the possible alga Grypania has been found as far back as 2.1 billion years ago.[69]" The reference cited CONTRADICTS the claimed age of 2.1 Gya! It states these are problematic but their date has been revised (also see ref. found in Diskagma article) from 2.1 down to 1.8 Gya. It isn't clear to me why this hasn't been cleaned up. It remains in the article on Grypania, in this article, and possibly others on evolution and life, IDK.Abitslow (talk) 19:36, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

9+2 arrangement[edit]

Eukaryotes often have unique flagella made of microtubules in a 9+2 arrangement

The phrase "9+2 arrangement" should either have an explanation or have a link (to a new brief article describing the 9+2 structure) or be dropped.Originalname37 (talk) 15:06, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

There is an explanation at Flagellum#Structure that can be incorporated here, but I'd drop it, or at least move it down from the lede. Narayanese (talk) 17:36, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I got rid of the whole sentence. It's all in the "Cytoskeletal structures" section. Flagella are not central enough to the subject to be in the lede.Originalname37 (talk) 04:14, 12 August 2008 (UTC)


This article states that the taxon authority of the domain Eukaryota is "Whittaker & Margulis,1978". However, it is very common to see "Chatton 1925" instead of it. Why is it so?-- (talk) 14:01, 7 September 2008 (UTC)


Does Neomura really belong in the taxobox? It seems like (a) an unresolved area of research, and (b) even if it were well-established, wouldn't belong in the taxobox (after all, there are only three domains). It is better to cover this in the text with suitable caveats, and as far as I can tell the text starting with "some place them with Archaea in the clade Neomura. In other respects, such as membrane composition, they are similar to eubacteria" does a good job of it. So I'd propose to simply get rid of the unranked_superdomain line in the taxobox and delete the sentence "But eukaryotes do share some aspects of their biochemistry with archaea, and so are grouped with archaea in the clade Neomura." from the lead. Comments? Kingdon (talk) 23:14, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree. We follow the mainstream, and the mainstream view is Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota. Alternative hypotheses that have not become widely-accepted belong as brief mentions in the text. Tim Vickers (talk) 23:19, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I have made this change. Kingdon (talk) 15:36, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

It seems that Neomura had crept into the taxobox again, and someone hid it yesterday. I think that for now it should stay hidden or deleted. -- Donald Albury 10:59, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

It is still there because the taxbox is an automatic taxbox. Even though always show is set to false for Neomura it still shows up for some reason. Nog642 (talk) 17:15, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

The algorithm controlling the display of higher groups in the automated taxobox system is complicated; as a summary, it always displays one parent and all "major ranks" above the target taxon. The way to turn off the display of the parent is to set |display_parents=0 in {{Automatic taxobox}}, etc. To permanently prevent Neomura from appearing in taxoboxes, change the parent in {{Taxonomy/Eukaryota}} to "Life". I'm not commenting here on whether this would be right or not. I have turned off the display of Neomura here. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:18, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

Fungi most similar to animals?[edit]

The article currently states: "Fungal cells are most similar to animal cells, with the following exceptions:" It seems to me as though they are actually more similar to plant cells - having a cell wall, vacuole, septa (~ to plasmodesmata) and being multinucleated. Should this be changed? Smartse (talk) 16:42, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

The cell wall is different in composition (cellulose in plants; chitin in fungi). As for multinucleated, if this occurs in plants, perhaps Multinucleate should be updated. Right now it mentions fungi, certain animal cells, and Proteus mirabilis swarmer cells (which I don't understand, as P. mirabilis is a bacterium and I'm not sure what a swarmer cell is). While I can see the resemblence between plasmodesmata and the septa (discussed at Hypha) of fungi, there is just as close an analogy to membrane nanotubes of animals. Vacuole similarities are perhaps the strongest case, although vacuoles exist in many groups and I assume the similarity is one of similar use rather than similar details (although I don't really know). Perhaps it is easiest to just discuss the structure of fungal cells without an explicit "like X except" statement; the list of traits wouldn't really be much longer than the list of exceptions the way things are arranged now. Kingdon (talk) 00:51, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree - I think it would be best to describe fungal cells without any "like X except" statement. If this is the case the first sentence about plant cells needs to be changed as well. Should we do this? The vacuoles in plants and fungi serve similar functions (maintaining turgor, storage, cell expansion) but in other groups are effectively a dustbin. I've been trying to update vacuole too - help would be appreciated. Some plant cells can be multinucleate - the article has been changed accordingly. Thanks Smartse (talk) 18:48, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

what is the importance of the eukaryote cell —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:20, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Fungi are most similar to aminalia cells.--Dannymilliren (talk) 22:43, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

"Most living organisms"[edit]

Most living organisms, including all animals, plants, fungi, and protists, are eukaryotes.

Is this true? Much of the world's biomass consists of prokaryotes, and according to the bacteria article "there are approximately five nonillion (5×10^30) bacteria on Earth". Surely that's much more than the number of eukaryotes?

-- (talk) 10:57, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Good question - although when I read that I think of species rather than the absolute number of distinct organisms. I think that this is the point that is trying be got across as this (almost certainly) is the case. It could be changed to make it more clear. Smartse (talk) 15:35, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that is almost certainly wrong. Most species and most cells are prokaryotes. Tim Vickers (talk) 15:49, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Well we don't really have any clue how many prokaryotes there are do we? There are many millions of species of insects and plants however. Smartse (talk) 15:53, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
That is discussed in the bacteria article, as I remember the estimates range over several order of magnitude. I've reworded this article to state "Almost all species of large organisms are eukaryotes, including animals, plants and fungi, although most species of eukaryotic protists are microorganisms." The exceptions are a few species of bacteria that are just visible to the naked eye. Tim Vickers (talk) 15:56, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
PMID 12097644 and PMID 15590780 discuss bacterial species number. Tim Vickers (talk) 15:59, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
How about "Virtually all macroscopic organisms are eukaryotes, though colonies of cyanobacteria may form films and sheets."--Wetman (talk) 16:04, 24 September 2012 (UTC)


i think you should explane every think some what better so if a liitle kide wants to know what this stuff is then they can read and find out what this stuff is... just saying.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:41, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

What don't you understand? Smartse (talk) 16:52, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Read Darklife by Michael Ray Taylor if you need it explained in such a mannor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:21, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

The kid (I assume) has a point; this is supposed to be an encyclopaedia, not chat space for boffins. I have the same reaction and I'm 70+ years old with a degree in Chemical Engineering.
This is a mammoth, marvellous piece of work but it is aimed at--as so often happens at Wikipedia--the wrong audience. There's no way that a kid, or even an adult looking for simple explanations to simple questions can find much here, and me and the kid are supposed to be the audience you are writing for. This stuff belongs in specialists' textbooks.
I'm here because I keep coming across the term 'Eukaryote' everywhere I look. I would guess that this structure is what enabled the subsequent emergence of plants, animals etc. But unexplained (or lost in the dense material) is whether this is a single step change, whether there are gradations of complexity in eukaryotes, and my particular interest, at what point organisms started moving in order to find and consume food. Some of these questions are undoubtedly answered under other topics but the question of where eukaryotes figure in the scheme of things is among the central questions an article should address. -- (talk) 16:26, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
As Smartse has already suggested, it would be helpful to know specifically which part(s) of the article you found difficult to understand. Suggesting that editors should read Darklife by Michael Ray Taylor, which I assume is easy reading, isn't very helpful. Specific suggestions are very helpful.
You have to bear in mind that this article is not really an entry-level subject, and does require some background knowledge of the field to be accessible. It isn't really aimed at children, in the same way that Lorentz transformations and their application to General Relativity should not be expected to be understood by someone who doesn't already have a good grasp of mathematics and physics.
In answer to your question (and I am by no means an expert, so forgive me if I'm talking rubbish here!), as I understand it the evolution of the first eukaryotic cell involved a succession of symbiogenic events. In laymen's terms, a single-celled organism (a bacterium) swallowed, or engulfed, another single-celled organism, but instead of digesting its prey both organisms remained living in symbiosis, one within the other and, more importantly, able to reproduce as a single organism. This happened again (probably after millions of years) and then once more, resulting in a cell with three other cells (or organelles) living inside it. This collection of organisms, now living as a single organism, continued to evolve, eventually producing the first multicellular organisms. At least that's how I understand it.
Wikipedia is more of a reference work than book. If you'd like to learn more and you're interested in further reading I highly recommend Microcosmos, by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan, which I read when I was around 21 years old and found very easy to read and understand. nagualdesign 17:26, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
...Here's a YouTube video which you may find enlightening: How we think complex cells evolved - Adam Jacobson (TED Ed)

Fill in the Blank Cell Diagrams[edit]

I do not know where these may be most helpful. I personally found myself coming to wikipedia in search of a good fill in the blank diagram of cells. I could not find one on the internet (of good resolution), so I decided to draw and scan my own. I propose inclusion as an external link at the bottom of the article. I already released the image freely for personal and educational use.

Generic fill in the blank animal cell picture. [1] Generic fill in the blank plant cell picture. [2]

I know they are large. I created them and kept them at high resolution to provide a clear print out for practice as a biology student. If this would be better used elsewhere on wikipedia, I'm open to at too. I want to help people learn about a subject I enjoy, and put forth time and effort to do so.

Liberum Vir (talk) 07:44, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the links but we already have blank copies the animal and plant cell diagrams that you could have used: File:Plant cell structure no text.png and File:Anima cell notext.svg. Smartse (talk) 12:36, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Expansion of "Six supergroup model and two clade model" section[edit]

I've expanded (and hopefully clarified) this section. I'm not sure whether the detail in the two cladograms should be included or not. I did so because (a) they explain how the old 6 supergroups get split up in more modern approaches (b) they illustrate the unikont/bikont split (c) their differences make clear the uncertainties which exist at present. On the other hand, perhaps their inclusion gives undue weight to the two papers on which they are based compared to other possible cladograms in the literature. Any views? Peter coxhead (talk) 22:02, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Kingdoms, Kingdoms Not[edit]

Cavalier-Smith (2004) Only six kingdoms of life determined that there are only 6 kingdoms of life: one, Bacteria, in the Empire (Domain) Prokaryota. and five, Protozoa, Anamalia, Fungi, Plantae, and Chromista in the Eurkaryota; for which the list in the taxobox is partly in conflict.

Three of the taxa listed, Amimlia, Fungi, and Plantae are generally recongnized as kingdoms, as might be Chromaveola if synonymous with Chromista. On the other hand, according to Cavalier-Smith, Ameobozoa, Rhizaria and Excavata are not. Rhizaria and Excavata are infrakingdoms and Ameobozoa is a phylum in the subkingdom Sarcomastigota; all within the Kingdom Protozoa. No other taxonomy as I recall seriously conflicts with this overall perspective.

Ameobozoa, Rhizaria and Excavata should be discontinued as kingdoms; they could actually fit well at the phylum level. Infrakingdom does not a kindom make any more than does suborder make something an order or subfamily make it a family.

In conclusion, the kingdoms should be listed as Protozoa, Animalia, Fungi, Plantae, and Chromista. J.H.McDonnell (talk) 01:31, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

That's 2004. More recent literature reveals the 3-Domain system, where the Domain Eukarya alone has more than 6 kingdoms. See the sources already cited by the Article that are newer than 2004. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 07:01, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
There are two different issues here: (1) the 'philosophy' of biological classification and (2) the status of research into the evolution of the eukaryotes.
  • Cavalier-Smith does not accept the need for Kingdoms to be monophyletic, that is to include an ancestor and all of its descendants. There's no right or wrong answer to whether Kingdoms should be monophyletic or not; there are valid arguments either way. The current fashion, and hence the current consensus, appears to be that formal taxa should be monophyletic so that Cavalier-Smith's kingdoms are out of fashion and hence not at present likely to be the basis of a consensus. The specific problem is his Kingdom Protozoa, which contains the ancestors of Animalia, Fungi, Plantae and Chromista. (There's a diagram showing this in this paper [3], but unfortunately it's not public access.) Personally, I really like Cavalier-Smith's classification, but this is irrelevant; as a Wikipedia editor I have to look for a consensus and at present I conclude it's against him.
  • At one time Cavalier-Smith's Chromista was significantly different from the Chromalveolata of other workers in the field. However, this paper [4] (which is public access) shows that he is now in line with others in this respect (and it's Cavalier-Smith who has changed, not Burki et al.). However, there is still a big difference. Cavalier-Smith does not accept that the Archaea-Eubacteria division is fundamental. My reading of the literature is that the majority of workers do not agree with him and that this is supported by evidence (see e.g. this recent paper [5].)
So although the Cavalier-Smith model has its merits, it can't be regarded as currently acceptable as a consensus classification. There just isn't one, although research does seem to be moving in that direction. If there were an accepted consensus at present it would probably be to divide cellular life into two prokaryote Kingdoms, Archaea and (Eu)Bacteria, and five eukaryote Kingdoms, Excavata, Amoebozoa, Opisthokonta, Chromalveolata and Archaeplastida (=Plantae s.l.). But the reality is that the evidence isn't all in yet (e.g. where do the Apusozoa fit?) and there isn't a consensus that I can discover, however annoying this is. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:54, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Linking to this Article from all species and taxa[edit]

This matter has been relocated to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tree of life for further discourse there, not here.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

It would not be easy, but since Domain is now considered a major rank, all Articles on eukaryotic species and taxa should link to this Article via "Domain: Eukarya" in the TaxoBox. It was actually announced a few years ago that Kingdom was no longer the highest major rank, what with Domain being no longer considered a minor rank. Besides, this has already been done for Articles on species and taxa within the other 2 taxa at this highest rank, the Domains Bacteria and Archaea. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 03:51, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

This should probably be discussed at the tree of life wikiproject rather than here, where more people will see your post. Smartse (talk) 12:08, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you! The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 03:24, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

All large complex organisms are eukaryotes[edit]

WP:Not a forum.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Are there any large purely non-eukaryote organisms that aren't non-differentiated colonies? Hcobb (talk) 04:42, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

This isn't related to improving the article, as far as I can tell. You'd probably be better off asking at the science reference desk. Smartse (talk) 10:05, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Hcobb, all multicellular organisms are members of the Domain Eukarya. However, the Domain Eukarya does include several single-celled kingdoms (Kingdom Excavata, for example). The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 08:37, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Spelling correction[edit]

According to Prescott's Microbiology, the domain name is correctly spelled Eukarya, not Eukaryota (note how the "ot" is extra) as the Article currently has it in the InfoBox. Here is my source:

Prescott's Microbiology, by Joanne M. Willey, Linda M. Sherwood, and Christopher J. Woolverton, 8th Edition. Copyright date: 2011. Publisher: McGraw Hill.

Yes, it's a textbook, but it's a 300-level textbook as opposed to a 100-level or high school textbook. Besides, it's a lot more recent than Whittaker and Margulis (1978).

Not only is my source quite reliable, but the simpler spelling is also more aesthetically pleasing and more consistent with the other 2 domains (IE Bacteria, not Bacteriota; and Archaea, not Archaeota). So, can we please make this change in the InfoBox? The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 22:05, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

The lede indicates that both Eukarya and Eukaryota are in formal use. A quick Google search also shows both forms in widespread use. Which form to use in the taxobox should not be decided by a single source, no matter how reliable, if other reliable sources use a different form. As for consistency in naming, we have singular bacterium, plural bacteria, domain Bacteria; singular archaeon, plural archaea or archaeans, domain Archaea; and singular eukaryote, plural eukaryotes, domain Eukaryota or Eukarya. Taxonomy is sometimes messy. -- Donald Albury 01:22, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
If they are both used, but this one is referenced in a recent, respected tertiary text, it seems like using Eukarya in the taxobox is appropriate, even preferred to a much older source in a subject where our knowledge of phylogenetic relationships has changed so dramatically due to advances in technology after 1978. 03:07, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
My point is that we need to look at which, if either, form is more prevalent in recent reliable sources. Both forms are in use on web sites that I would consider reliable. I don't have easy access to recent books and scientific articles to judge which form is more prevalent in print. I don't think the change should be made on the basis of one book. It does look like something to be settled by consensus on this talk page. -- Donald Albury 12:37, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I consider making a change on the basis of a current, reliable, tertiary resource to be preferable to keeping an old statement. After the change, if editors have time to research multiple sources a decision about which is preferable can be made. But, currently, it's based on a source that does not have modern era molecular phylogenetics evidence. It's like referencing D. melanogaster on Woodworth where modern texts say something different until you find agreement among modern texts. This is a highly accessed article, and it's irresponsible to base taxonomic names on on data pre-computation, pre-molecular genetics. After changing it, a literature search can be done and arguments made for a preference one way or the other. But without a modern reference (not a google search) for the other choice, the referenced choice is preferable to potentially out-of-date science. You could check a modern Margulis reference. Pseudofusulina (talk) 16:25, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Woese, Kandler, and Wheelis in their proposal for division of all organisms in three domains spelled it Eucarya, not Eukarya (Carl R. Woese, Otto Kandler, Mark L. Wheelis: Towards a natural system of organisms: Proposal for the domains Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Vol. 87, 1990, pp. 4576-4579.) -- 2003:56:CD06:FE01:F5A0:4462:BEC0:6F83 (talk) 21:54, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Cavalier-smith, really?[edit]

The phylogeny section is informative, but omits what methods were used to establish the trees: only by looking at the reference is it clear that some of them were not obtained by molecular phylogeny, but put toghter by guesswork by Cavalier-Smith, which Wikipedia seems to overly pay heed to. -- (talk) 00:20, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Remember, molecular phylogeny is the new boy on the block, and not yet trusted by all biologists. Morphological analysis has been used to construct phylogenies for much longer, and should not be dismissed as "guesswork". Cladistics, another fairly new boy on the block, arose out of morphological analysis. Moreover, molecular phylogeny does not yet yield unchallengeable trees; see Molecular phylogenetics#Limitations of molecular systematics. -- Donald Albury 11:04, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I think that it is possibly true that Cavalier-Smith gets a bit too much attention in Wikipedia in comparison to the acceptance of his views among other biologists. For example, I'm not happy that the {{biological systems}} template ends with his set of kingdoms as if it's "last word" but there isn't an alternative at present – at least he has produced formal classifications, which most of the molecular guys don't, and these are needed in Wikipedia to create taxoboxes, categories, etc.
Molecular phylogenetics is very out of date (the last reference is 1998, which is back in the dark ages for this topic). As a former statistician I share the critisms of much of the early work, which had poor sampling of genes and taxa and which did not explicitly compare and test alternative models using appropriate methods of statistical inference. Most recent papers are vastly improved in this respect. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:28, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

It is not only Wikipedia that follows Cavalier-Smith like sheep, it is most people. He is a gradist so he likes to mix polyphyletic groups with monophyletic ones (And paraphyly is a form of polyphyly). And he does mostly guess work bu some of his guesses are right like Bikonta, Unikonta, Chromista, Retaria, and Chromalveolata. His Archeoplastida is flat out, obviously wrong because it is based on plesiomorphies. And its molecular support is weak and contradicted by at least 9 molecular (Hori and Osawa, 1987; Hori et al, 1990; Luttke, 1991; Nozaki et al, 2007; Yoon et al, 2008; Tekle et al, 2008; Kim and Graham, 2008; Nozaki et al, 2009; Parfrey et al, 2010) and 3 classical cladistic analyses(Lipscomb, 1985, 1989, 1991) as well as combined evidence (Goloboff, 2009). --Trouveur de faits (talk) 13:28, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

As an individual, I might well agree with you. However, in Wikipedia we must maintain WP:NPOV, which does require Cavalier-Smith's views to be presented, although in a balanced way. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:08, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Lynn Margulis' endosymbiotic theory[edit]

"no mechanism for their development, presumably from prokaryotic cells, has been suggested" Lynn Margulis' endosymbiotic theory has certainly been suggested, even though some biologists (and Wikipedians?) still resist it.--Wetman (talk) 16:11, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Good catch; this is nonsense, and entirely contrary to later subsections of the section. I've removed these words. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:12, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
It is almost universally accepted that the genetically autonomous organelles (mitochondria and plastids) are of endosymbiotic origin. However, the nucleus itself might be somehow derived from the rest of the endomembrane system (especially seeing how there's 1 rather exceptional bacterial phylum with a "false nucleus," simpler than the eukaryotic true nucleus in being only a single membrane, not a double membrane), rather than an even earlier endosymbiosis event from which the endosymbiont's DNA has been entirely lost. Honestly, though I've read both, the former explanation for the nucleus' origin makes a lot more sense to me than the latter. That being said, the sentence you removed was indeed misleading, since mitochondria (and in some groups plastids) are definitely part of the development of modern eukaryotic cells, even though early Eukarya would not have had them. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 15:58, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Eukaryotes have a nucleus with a double bilayer membrane, not a triple membrane as you state. Plantsurfer (talk) 18:46, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Right, I had to get something wrong sometime. That bacterial phylum I was referring to has a single membrane false nucleus. I apologize for that. Come to think of it, a double membrane would be easier to derive from the endomembrane system than a hypothetical triple membrane would be. So, this is all the more argument that while mitochondria and plastids are of endosymbiotic origin, the nucleus itself evolved from the endomembrane system with a selective pressure to provide that much more physical protection for the cell's genome. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 04:18, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Discussion about Endosome and its function needed[edit]

There is no mention of endosome in the current article. It is very critical for instance with Toll Like Receptors. I propose that a section about endosome is added to the main article. I also think that the endosome should be included in the picture of the eukaryotic cell. SaminTietokirja (talk) 22:49, 20 December 2012 (UTC)


I deleted the ugly pronunciation respelling of eukaryote; as i explained in the talk for Wikipedia:Pronunciation respelling key, pronunciation respellings are undesirable. Any reader who doesn't know IPA can learn it in no time. Okay?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 14:27, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Cell Division in Eukaryotes[edit]

This section needs work from an actual biologist. The paragraph begins "Cell division in eukaryotes is different from that in organisms without a nucleus (Prokaryote)." and then proceeds to describe cell division in eukaryotes without specifying how the process of eukaryotic mitosis differs from the corresponding prokaryotic process. Plantsurfer (talk) 19:06, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Prokaryotic binary fission does not require the decay of the nucleus before the cell divides (since there is no nucleus to decay), and likewise it does not require the formation of new nuclei in the daughter cells shortly after division. Eukaryotic cell division (also called mitosis) requires both these things. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 04:24, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Alternative Views[edit]

Someone reverted many authors and data supporting the polyphyly of Archeoplastida. There's no reason for this revert. They include both classical and molecular evidence: Lipscomb, 1985, 1989, 1991; Hori and Osawa, 1987; Hori et al, 1990; Luttke, 1991; Olsen, 1994; Bhattacharya, 1995; Baldauf et al, 2000; Stiller et al, 2001; Stiller and Harrell, 2005; Nozaki et al, 2007; Parfrey et al, 2007; Yoon et al, 2008; Kim and Graham, 2008; Tekle et al, 2008; Goloboff et al, 2009; Parfrey et al, 2010.--Trouveur de faits (talk) 17:09, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

I didn't make the revert, but I see why it was made – not because of the content, but because it was very badly formatted: the English was poor, but worse, all the refs appeared as a badly set out list in the body of the text.
I doubt that it's worth adding any sources prior to 2009; the existing text sets out a range of alternative views and notes that as of 2009 the position was uncertain. Is there a consensus in the literature post-2009, or is it a case of adding more support to the various views? Peter coxhead (talk) 20:28, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

It was not badly formatted; it was formatted in the usual way, but not in the Wikipedia style. I have reformatted it in that style. Also, THE ENGLISH WAS CERTAINLY NOT POOR. Explain how it was supposedly poor? Can you give any examples? As well, the article says nothing about the position being uncertain or not. This is not the question. It is a question of being comprehensive and balanced. And excluding evidence prior to 2009 would be arbitrary, groundless, and illogical.--Trouveur de faits (talk) 12:41, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Don't SHOUT! Let's concentrate on your latest addition.
  • The first sentence begins with "and". This is wrong in a formal style of writing.
  • The format is still not correct for Wikipedia (e.g. spaces between refs are wrong).
  • Wikipedia is not a scientific journal. One reliable source for each added piece of information is almost always fine.
  • This is a complex topic but we are trying to write for an educated but non-expert readership. So try not to introduce terms, names, etc. without explanation.
Peter coxhead (talk) 21:33, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Spaces between citations and starting a paragraph with "And" are minor matters, but I have corrected them. Multiple references are sometimes necesssary for comprehensiveness. The fact that there are many studies contradicting Archeoplastida must be properly referenced instead of simply stated. Also, I have provided links for the technical terms, although this is a minor point as well because they can still be easily looked up. But your contribution to the discussion has helped improve my contribution to the article.--Trouveur de faits (talk) 16:29, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Certainly the fact that many studies contradict Archaeplastida needs to be sourced, and I'm always delighted to see a new editor who understands the need for sources! A far more common problem in Wikipedia is new editors who add unsourced material. However, I still don't accept that in a Wikipedia article, meant for a general readership, there is a need for 10 references at the end of a sentence. Also, this runs the risk of violating WP:NPOV – implying that the evidence against a monophyletic Archaeplastida is overwhelmingly stronger than the evidence for it, which isn't my reading of the literature.
The issue of technical language is a very difficult one. I'm as guilty as any other editor of using terms familiar to me but not to the average educated reader. Needing to look up the odd term is fine, but if there are too many, it makes the article impossible to read – it's very disruptive to keep having to jump around articles.
Anyway, on to a different issue. I now wonder if the material you added should be here at all. Shouldn't it be in the Archaeplastida article, with only a brief summary here? The Archaeplastida are only a small part of eukaryotes, and shouldn't be given undue importance. What do you think? Peter coxhead (talk) 11:23, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

Prior content in this article duplicated one or more previously published sources. The material was copied from: Copied or closely paraphrased material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or published material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use copyrighted publications as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. Sbluen (talk) 21:38, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Google Books (nonsensically) lists the author of that book "Wikimedia Foundation". It's a book by eM Publications, a known republisher of Wikipedia content. The text has already been restored. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 23:28, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Sorry about that. I thought it was a copyright violation because of the formatting and the fact that there was a purchasable e-book. There still is a problem with the formatting. I'll probably decide what to do about that later. Sbluen (talk) 06:06, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
No worries, easily done. Errr... now that I've looked at the text, I see it was a clumsy copy-paste from Plant cell introduced in this edit. Not the sort of detail that belongs in this article, so I've re-removed it. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 06:54, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Rerated as C class[edit]

Due to unreferenced sections. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:46, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Broken paragraph[edit]

There is a broken paragraph under Differences among eukaryotic cells, Animal cell: stypes of cell. For instance, there are approximately 210 distinct cell types in the adult human body.

Can someone please get this fixed? JohnSHicks (talk) 22:46, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

 Done Peter coxhead (talk) 19:46, 17 January 2015 (UTC)


For some reason, Brown algae and Diatoms were kept under a scientific name instead of a common one like everything else. Also, Fungi were considered plants well until the 1980s.Ericl (talk) 19:24, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Re fungi: yes, that's what the paragraph above the list of 4 kingdoms explains, if you read it. The 4 kingdoms are a summary of that paragraph, so fungi should be listed as a separate kingdom. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:51, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Sexual reproduction[edit]

This section was added by a user who was citing their own theory in multiple articles (see here for more details) and while the content looks ok, I would appreciate if someone with more expertise could review the remaining content to ensure that it is not representing an obscure view of the literature. SmartSE (talk) 14:13, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Classification and phylogeny of Cavalier-Smith[edit]

The classification and phylogeny of Cavalier-Smith 2009 in taxobox and template are obsoletes. The author himself abandoned them in his most recent publications. For example, the unikonta, biconta, and Chromalveolata terms. See

Cavalier-Smith, T. (2013). Early evolution of eukaryote feeding modes, cell structural diversity, and classification of the protozoan phyla Loukozoa, Sulcozoa, and Choanozoa. European journal of protistology, 49(2), 115-178.

Ruggiero, M. A., Gordon, D. P., Orrell, T. M., Bailly, N., Bourgoin, T., Brusca, R. C., Cavalier-Smith, T., Guiry, M.D. y Kirk, P. M. (2015). A Higher Level Classification of All Living Organisms.

Franciscosp2 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 13:45, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

I think we should avoid Cavalier Smith as much as possible. Although he has done exemplary work on the details, he has shifted conclusions/positions/definitions more frequently than an amoeba and it basically contaminates the encyclopedic articles J mareeswaran (talk) 16:08, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
@J mareeswaran: I agree that we should be careful not to give Cavalier Smith undue prominence, but WP:NPOV prevents us from avoiding him, since he has been influential – if only to give others something to argue against at times. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:29, 8 March 2016 (UTC)


Chromalveolata is an obsolete taxon, it should be avoided. Franciscosp2 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 08:51, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Not quite accurate[edit]

In the introduction: "Eukaryotes represent a tiny minority of all living things;[7] even in a human body there are 10 times more microbes than human cells.[8]". However some microbes are actually Eukaryotes i.e. single celled fungi such as yeasts. Thus this sentence could be better worded, removing the (broad) term "microbes". — Preceding unsigned comment added by JVB15RUGBY (talkcontribs) 07:44, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks JVB15RUGBY. I've replaced the old sentence, citing a better source that uses "bacteria". Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 10:29, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Supergroups in taxobox[edit]

The use of the word "Kingdoms" for unranked high-level taxa is potentially confusing. The citations for "Kingdoms" referred the reader to Adl et al.(2005) and Adl et al. (2012); however the first article notes only that the "six clusters of eukaryotes" are "similar to traditional 'kingdoms'"; and the second article does not use the word "kingdom" at all. In the decade since the first "Revised Classification of Eukaryotes" was published, the term "supergroups" has become conventional, and is used throughout the Wikipedia article itself, so there is really no need to shoehorn these (deliberately unranked) supergroups into formal ranked taxa.

While the major phylogenetic supergroups (SAR, Archaeplastida, etc) are sometimes recognized as being, in some sense, equivalent to the traditional "kingdoms", many have never been formally erected as ranked taxa; and those that have were generally created at a lower rank. For instance, Amoebozoa and Opisthokonta feature as phyla in every ranked classification scheme I've seen, and Excavata was created as an infrakingdom (Cavalier-Smith 2002, infraregnum nov.) In any case, when unranked phylogenetic nomenclature (as in Adl et al.) is superimposed on traditional ranked taxonomy (as practiced by Cavalier-Smith, and Ruggiero et al. in their recent revision of all living organisms) strange inconsistencies result. For instance, if Amoebozoa is a kingdom, what phylum sits below it? It can only be Amoebozoa, again...but that would put two taxa of the same name and identical composition within a single hierarchy (which is, of course, a nomenclatural error). Deuterostome (talk) 15:07, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

I agree. All of these should be treated as unranked. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:13, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

Animals - all but missing from the branching tree models?[edit]

Looking at the diagrams at the "Phylogeny" section, it does look, to anyone who isn't a trained micobiologist or taxonomist, as if multicellular animals (every kind of animal life beyond single-cell protozoans) would be absent from those branching models. I checked the first two, clicked on all the linked supergroups and had to look around a great deal before it finally emerged that 'Animalia would come under Opisthokontha. Come on, folks: the target group of people who are likely to use this article is not going to be advanced students in microbiology; they have recourse to much more in-depth texts, but laymen or beginners in academic biology, and they are certainly going to be thinking "where are the animals and plants here?". For the sake of clarity ,the positions of Animalia and Plantae should be clearly indicated in all of those diagrams, so it won't look as if they're only about single-cell organisms.

Also, how firmly anchored, how uncontested is Cavalier-Smith's view of Animalia and Fungi as part of the same larger monophyletic group in the wider biological community? The article on Opisthokonta doesn't mention any discussion about this hypothesis, though it's just thirty years old; it is simply treated as fact. (talk) 07:58, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Second point first: the monophyly of Opisthokonta seems very well established. Some more recent sources which support or assume this position include:
So it's perfectly reasonable to treat this as a fact.
On the first point, the table at the top of Eukaryote#Classification shows that "plants" are included in Archaeplastida and "animals" and "fungi" in Opisthokonta. At this level of analysis, the terms "Animalia" and "Plantae" are misleading, since their traditional uses differ significantly from the modern understanding of monophyletic groups. I suppose we could add "(including 'plants')" and "(including 'fungi' and 'animals')" to the tree diagrams – it seems a bit over-the-top to add it to all of them. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:27, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
How are "Animalia" and "Plantae" misleading? They are monophyletic groups.
Well, they can be defined to be monophyletic groups, but then they aren't the traditional kingdoms, each of which included single-celled eukaryotes. That's what I had in mind. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:53, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Huh? Since when was Opisthkonta a kingdom? I thought fungi and animals where separate kingdoms under the larger clade opisthkonta. Maybe could broaded them a little to holozoa and holomycota, but I'v never head of demoting the kingdom status of animals and fungi.

Origin of Eukaryotes[edit]

According to serial endosymbiotic theory (championed by Dr. Lynn Margulis), a union between a motile anaerobic bacterium (like Spirochaeta) and a thermoacidophilic crenarchaeon (like Thermoplasma which is sulfidogenic in nature)

I don't know about serial endosymbiotic theory; what I do know is that Thermoplasma is an euryarchaeon, and not a crenarchaeon. One of the two at least has to be wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Januoaxe (talkcontribs) 13:19, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Total biomass of eukaryotes vs prokaryotes[edit]

At the end of the lede there's the following:

Eukaryotes represent a tiny minority of all living things.[7] However, due to their much larger size, eukaryotes' collective worldwide biomass is estimated at about equal to that of prokaryotes

I've checked with the source and those statements here at WP seem to rest on a misunderstanding. The source article (from PNAS 1998) makes estimates about the total amount of carbon and nitrogen in the global populations of these classes of organisms, but not the total weight of their bodies. This is a critical difference, since most of the biomass of animals or even plants is not made up of carbon or nitrogen - water makes up a huge proportion (about 65% in humans, more than that in many trees and flowers) and obviously larger plants and complex animals will contain much more water than bacteria. (talk) 18:16, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

Age of oldest eukaryotes[edit]

The main page states, "Biomarkers suggest that at least stem eukaryotes arose even earlier. The presence of steranes in Australian shales indicates that eukaryotes were present in these rocks dated at 2.7 billion years old." However, in an article of 2015-06-01[1], researchers from Max Planck Gesellschaft challenge the view that eucaryotes are more than 2.5 by old. Former samples are supposed to be contaminated. There is only acknowledged evidence of eucaryotes going back to 1.5 bya.

I suggest changing the paragraph to:

Biomarkers suggest that at least stem eukaryotes arose even earlier. The presence of steranes in Australian shales indicates that eukaryotes were present in these rocks dated at 2.7 billion years old.[ref][ref] However, recent analyses challenge that view, attributing the steranes to contaminations in former samples[2]. --Stiip (talk) 20:27, 25 August 2016 (UTC)


Earlier theories[edit]

An editor has just deleted the 'Alternative views' section, including theories up to 2009, which might not seem specially long ago, as 'dated views'. Should we perhaps keep that section (perhaps modified) as a 'History' section? Chiswick Chap (talk) 22:17, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, I think that would be the right thing to do. Simply deleting the material isn't right, in my view. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:26, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
OK, I've put it back, renamed it to 'Historical views', and tweaked it very slightly to indicate that it's dated. It needs rewriting as a proper history in slower time by someone with the necessary knowledge. Chiswick Chap (talk) 23:03, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, I still think the section should be deleted. I think it violates WP:DUE. It's inappropriate for this Level-3 article. The area is developing fast, and old opinions which get no following should be deleted. I can create "History of eukaryote classification" stub and move it there, if you think it's helpful. Teaktl17 (talk) 04:13, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Another text to delete: "A classification produced in 2005 .... lack of evidence for several of the supposed six supergroups". In essence, the text just says that a classification was suggested in 2005 and it was wrong. This is useless info for target reader. Teaktl17 (talk) 04:20, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I think this should be deleted as well: "In an article published in Nature Microbiology .... based on their genes alone". The article cited is not about eukaryota, and the text is mostly irrelevant to the eukaryota classification. It may be moved to biodiversity or metagenomics. Teaktl17 (talk) 04:25, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes another candidate for deletion: "It has been estimated that there may be 75 distinct lineages of eukaryotes. Most of these lineages are protists." What does it mean? "Distinct lineage" is used in Wikipedia to describe a subgenus. It's very confusing here without explanation. Teaktl17 (talk) 04:32, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
If claims are actually wrong then deletion is in order. However the article currently lacks a proper history (from the first use of "Eukaryote" onwards) and it should certainly have one. I suspect that many of these texts you wish to delete would rightly belong there, but I wouldn't wish to prejudge those decisions. It is usual for articles on major evolutionary biology topics to begin with a history of the science involved, and the history of research into the eukaryotes is definitely of interest. As for WP:UNDUE, in an article of 84,000 bytes, a history of 5,000 – 10,000 bytes would be reasonable, and that would be far longer than what is there now. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:18, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
A thoughtfully-written historical overview of eukaryote classification, would be a good thing. However, the material Teakt117 deleted doesn't provide a very good starting place for that. Phylogenetic trees like the ones in those two articles from 2009, have been produced by the dozens in recent decades, and there is nothing especially notable about the two included here. The papers by Rogozin et al. and Nozaki et al. (with 71 and 66 citations, respectively) are not particularly important or influential. It looks to me as if these were added simply because an editor had the articles at hand and enjoys building trees. The paragraphs following the trees are cluttered with undigested phylogenetic matter. For the lay reader, I suspect that reading this stuff would be like eavesdropping on parts of an old (and rather jargon-heavy) debate, but only hearing every fifth word. It might be easier to write a "history of classification" section from scratch than to build on these scraps.  Deuterostome  (Talk) 13:57, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough, and a fine username for the subject by the way. I'll see if I can't start a decent historical overview. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:06, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Ok, I've drafted a history (Eukaryote#History of the eukaryote concept). I'd be pleased to hear what people think, and to know what should be added to it. At the moment it extends to the 1990s, which may be close enough to the present for the time being. Chiswick Chap (talk) 10:07, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Great work, done with admirable speed! A lot has changed since the 90s, so it will need to expanded at some point (I might have time, in a week or two). Current thinking leans toward an autogenous origin of the nucleus (especially since the discovery of archaea possessing genomic elements associated with cytoskeletal features, euk-like membrane-trafficking, and so on). Interesting hypotheses continue to be proposed (e.g. DA Baum's "inside-out" origin for the euk cell, and Sven Gould's notion of the endomembrane system arising from "outer membrane vesicles" secreted by the ancestral mitochondrion).  Deuterostome  (Talk) 16:26, 21 March 2017 (UTC)


Asgard Archaea? Odinarchaeota? Thorarchaeota? What is the source of the addition? I know previously that Lokiarchaeota exists, but it makes me think about the Norse mythology and Asgard (comics). The sources are behind paywall, so I can't access them. Hanif Al Husaini (talk) 14:26, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it does sound a bit overheated. However, Asgard Archaea, Odinarchaeota, Lokiarchaeota and Thorarchaeota are certainly pukka. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:34, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying, but why are there so many citations preceding the cladogram? Hanif Al Husaini (talk) 14:43, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Your guess as good as mine. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:44, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
That "proposed cladogram" appears to have been patched together from multiple sources by Jmv2009, as an attempt to represent a consensus view of eukaryote phylogeny under Archaea. The root of the eukaryote tree remains unsettled (Cavalier-Smith puts it between Euglenozoa and the rest of the euks, but not everyone agrees), so this synthesis strikes me as speculative, bordering on a violation of WP:NOR. Since the context here is the relationship of eukaryotes to the archaea, it is hard to see why we need a big sprawling tree containing all those clades under Eukaryota. Within the Asgard group itself, Jmv2009's "proposed cladogram" seems to have been generated by combining information from Fig. 1a and Figs. 1b and 1c in Zaremba-Niedzwiedzka et al. (or perhaps from one of their extended data figures?). Relationships within the group have not yet been satisfactorily resolved, as Zaremba-Niedzwiedzka et al. note on p. 355, and trees vary depending on the analysis used, so it might be better to replace the cladogram with a brief verbal synopsis of the findings in this important paper.  Deuterostome  (Talk) 18:32, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
It may or may not be WP:OR but it's undoubtedly WP:SYNTH, as the multiplicity of refs shows, and I agree it should be removed. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:40, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

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Ongeluk fossils[edit]

Have there been any conclusion about how these fossils fit in? [1] Jamieoglethorpe (talk) 05:25, 17 August 2017 (UTC)


Maintaining NPOV[edit]

In the Origin of eukaryotes section, I think we aren't maintaining an entirely neutral point of view; thus Eukaryote#Hypotheses for the origin of eukaryotes assumes some kind of endosymbiotic process was definitely involved. Now it's true that many source write things like "it is now clear from phylogenetics that the eukaryotes are a derived domain: the outcome of an endosymbiosis between an archaeal host cell and a bacterial endosymbiont" (Lane, 2017 doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2017.04.031), but although this may be the current majority view, there are dissenters (see e.g. the papers authored by Ajith Harish and Charles G. Kurland in the references to the article), whose views should be included, albeit with limited weight. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:40, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

I'd say we are right to take the great majority's view that it did happen (we follow reliable secondary sources, after all), but that we should have a short dissenting paragraph (maybe at the end) to say that minority views exist. Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:45, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
If we just followed secondary sources, there wouldn't be much left of this section, let alone the article, since it's all very new. :-) But, yes, I agree that all that is needed at present is a dissenting note, although maybe at the beginning of Eukaryote#Hypotheses for the origin of eukaryotes would be clearer? Peter coxhead (talk) 20:07, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

Archeozoa hypothesis[edit]

Archeozoa hypothesis would be a good addition

It's pretty discredited now; so I think it's not really notable. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:17, 25 January 2018 (UTC)