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Classification of Microorganisms

Topic Review on "Title":
  • Traditional classification schemes were based on overt morphology of an organism, its habitat, method of getting energy, nutrition and method of replication.  With the advent of DNA and protein sequencing many of the old categories were modified and new ones created.  In the 18th century when classification was first formalized all living things were placed into two kingdoms, Plants or Animals likewise there were two Domains: Prokaryota and Eukaryota.
  • The three-domain system was introduced by Carl Woese in 1970’s.  Based on 16S rRNA gene sequences he split the Prokaryota domain into Eubacteria and Archaebacteria.  Their genetic sequences indicated that each of these Domains arose separately from an ancestor. The Domains were renamed: Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya.
  • The biochemistry of Archaea and Bacteria is a significant parameter in their classification.  The microbes that are currently in the kingdom archaea was originally grouped with Bacteria.  The gross morphology of these two Kingdoms are similar.  However the creation of a new kingdom (Archaea) was necessary when information  from gene and protein sequencing was combined with the unique demands of the niche these organisms occupy. 
  • One of the fundamental functions of classification and taxonomy is to determine how organisms are related both physically and in time.  One way to do this is to monitor the rate of change in a shared trait, like ribosome sequences.
  • A major goal of classification and taxonomy is describe how organisms are related physically and evolutionarily. One method to do this is to monitor the rate of change in a shared trait, like ribosome sequences.

Rapid Study Kit for "Title":
Flash Movie Flash Game Flash Card
Core Concept Tutorial Problem Solving Drill Review Cheat Sheet

"Title" Tutorial Summary :

Taxonomy is a dynamic and important field of biology.  Taxonomy attempts to create order out of a great deal of diverse information to enable biologists to draw conclusions and make fact based decisions about organisms. 

Original classification schemes were based on apparent morphology of an organism, its habitat, method of getting energy and nutrition and replication.  With the advent of DNA and protein sequencing many of the old categories were modified and new ones created. The concept of sequencing of the 16s rRNA as a method to determine evolutionary and taxonomic relationships are introduced.


Tutorial Features:
Specific Tutorial Features:
  • Description of the process of classification.
  • The vocabulary of classification is presented.
  • Understand, use and create a taxonomic key.
  • Nomenclature of scientific naming of organisms.
  • Understand and describe the differences between the traditional and current methods of classification.
  • Ribosomes as a chronometer of evolution and tool for determining genetic relatedness. 
Series Features:
  • Concept map showing inter-connections of new concepts in this tutorial and those previously introduced.
  • Definition slides introduce terms as they are needed.
  • Visual representation of concepts
  • Animated examples—of concepts are used to step wise breakdown a concepts.
  • A concise summary is given at the conclusion of the tutorial.

"Title" Topic List:

Classical and 21st Century procedures for classifying organisms.
Graphical representations of taxonomic relationships.
Nomenclature of taxonomy
Developing and use taxonomic keys.
Understand the major kingdoms: Bacteria, Archaea and Eucarya



See all 24 lessons in Anatomy and Physiology, including concept tutorials, problem drills and cheat sheets:  Teach Yourself Microbiology Visually in 24 Hours


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