Chapter

The Eukaryote Tree of Life

Lipscomb Diana

in Beyond Cladistics

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520267725
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947993 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267725.003.0012
The Eukaryote Tree of Life

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By the early 1990s, it was becoming clear that the commonly used five kingdom classification schemes were oversimplified and simply inadequate for describing the major divisions of life. At this critical point in time, when morphological data from electron microscopy was beginning to be supplemented with information from DNA sequences, Chris Humphries organized a Linnean Society conference entitled “Modern Views of Kingdoms and Domains” in the spring of 1994 to discuss the new, emerging picture of eukaryotic relationships. This chapter reviews the general history of the debate over the eukaryote tree of life and describes the progress that has been made since that historic conference. When Carl Linnaeus presented the catalog of all life using his binomial system of nomenclature in 1758, he described two kingdoms: Plantae and Animalia. The unicellular eukaryotes were discovered approximately 300 years ago by Antony van Leeuwenhoek, who considered them to be tiny animals that he called simply “animalcules.” This chapter also describes Opisthokonta, Amoebozoa, Archaeplastida, alveolates and stramenopiles, Rhizaria, and excavates.

Keywords: Carl Linnaeus; kingdoms; tree of life; classification; eukaryotes; Opisthokonta; Amoebozoa; Archaeplastida; alveolates; stramenopiles

Chapter.  7960 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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