HOME

TheInfoList




In
biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowl ...

biological
taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only about biological ...
, a domain ( or ) (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
: ''regio''), also dominion, superkingdom, realm, or empire, is the highest
taxonomic rank In biological classification, taxonomic rank is the relative level of a group of organisms (a taxon) in a Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic hierarchy. Examples of taxonomic ranks are species, genus, family (biology), family, order (biology), order, ...
of
organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological me ...

organism
s in the
three-domain system The three-domain system is a biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
of taxonomy devised by
Carl Woese Carl Richard Woese (; July 15, 1928 – December 30, 2012) was an American microbiologist A microbiologist (from Greek ) is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an B ...

Carl Woese
et al. in 1990. According to this system, the
tree of life#REDIRECT Tree of life The tree of life is a fundamental widespread mytheme or archetype in many of the world's mythology, mythologies, religion, religious and philosophy, philosophical traditions. It is closely related to the concept of the s ...
consists of three domains:
Archaea Archaea ( ; singular archaeon ) constitute a domain Domain may refer to: Mathematics *Domain of a function, the set of input values for which the (total) function is defined **Domain of definition of a partial function **Natural domain of a pa ...

Archaea
,
Bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of biological cell The cell (from Latin ''cella'', meaning "small room") is the basic structural, functional, and biological unit of all known organisms. Cells are the sm ...

Bacteria
, and
Eukarya Eukaryotes () are organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classified by taxonomy (biology), tax ...
. The first two are all
prokaryotic A prokaryote () is a single-celled organism A unicellular organism, also known as a single-celled organism, is an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual conti ...
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s, or mostly single-celled organisms whose cells have a distorted or non-membrane bound
nucleus ''Nucleus'' (plural nuclei) is a Latin word for the seed inside a fruit. It most often refers to: *Atomic nucleus, the very dense central region of an atom *Cell nucleus, a central organelle of a eukaryotic cell, containing most of the cell's DNA ...

nucleus
. All life that has a cell nucleus and eukaryotic membrane-bound
organelle In cell biology Cell biology (also cellular biology or cytology) is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, ...
s is included in Eukarya.
Non-cellular life Non-cellular life, or acellular life is life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such func ...
is not included in this system. Alternatives to the
three-domain system The three-domain system is a biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
include the earlier
two-empire system The two-empire system (two-superkingdom system) was the top-level biological classification system in general use before the establishment of the three-domain system The three-domain system is a biological classification In biology Bi ...
(with the empires Prokaryota and Eukaryota), and the
eocyte hypothesis The Eocyte hypothesis is a biological classification that indicates eukaryotes emerged within the prokaryotic Crenarchaeota (formerly known as eocytes), a phylum within the archaea Archaea ( ; singular archaeon ) constitute a domain of ...

eocyte hypothesis
(with two domains of Bacteria and Archaea, and Eukarya included within Archaea).


Terminology

The term "domain" was proposed by
Carl Woese Carl Richard Woese (; July 15, 1928 – December 30, 2012) was an American microbiologist A microbiologist (from Greek ) is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an B ...

Carl Woese
,
Otto Kandler Otto Kandler (23 October 1920 in Deggendorf - 29 August 2017 in Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the ...
and
Mark WheelisMark L. Wheelis is an American microbiologist A microbiologist (from Greek ) is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, area of interest. In class ...
(1990) in a
three-domain system The three-domain system is a biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
. This term represents a synonym for the category of dominion (Lat. ''dominium''), introduced by Moore in 1974.


Characteristics of the three domains

Each of these three domains contains unique
rRNA Ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) is a type of non-coding RNA A non-coding RNA (ncRNA) is an RNA Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymer A polymer (; Greek '' poly-'', "many" + '' -mer'', "part") is a substance or material consis ...
. This forms the basis of the three-domain system. While the presence of a nuclear membrane differentiates the Eukarya from the Archaea and Bacteria, both of which lack a nuclear membrane, distinct
biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical process In a scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. L ...
and
RNA Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-mer, -mer'', "part") is a Chemical substance, substance or material consisting of very large molecules, or macromolecules, composed of many Re ...

RNA
markers differentiate the Archaea and Bacteria from each other.


Archaea

Archaea are prokaryota cells, typically characterized by membrane lipids that are branched
hydrocarbon In organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, prop ...
chains attached to glycerol by ether linkages. The presence of these ether linkages in Archaea adds to their ability to withstand extreme temperatures and highly
acid An acid is a or capable of donating a (hydrogen ion H+) (a ), or, alternatively, capable of forming a with an (a ). The first category of acids are the proton donors, or s. In the special case of , proton donors form the H3O+ and are ...
ic conditions, but many archaea live in mild environments.
Halophile The halophiles, named after the Greek word for "salt-loving", are extremophiles that thrive in high salt concentrations. While most halophiles are classified into the domain Archaea, there are also bacterial halophiles and some Eukaryote, eukaryotic ...
s, organisms that thrive in highly salty environments, and
hyperthermophiles A hyperthermophile is an organism that thrives in extremely hot environments—from 60 °C (140 °F) upwards. An optimal temperature for the existence of hyperthermophiles is often above 80 °C (176 °F). Hyperthermophiles are often within the domai ...
, organisms that thrive in extremely hot environments, are examples of Archaea. Archaea evolved many cell sizes, but all are relatively small. Their size ranges from 0.1 μm to 15 μm diameter and up to 200 μm long. They are about the size of bacteria, or similar in size to the
mitochondria A mitochondrion (; ) is a double-membrane Image:Schematic size.jpg, up150px, Schematic of size-based membrane exclusion A membrane is a selective barrier; it allows some things to pass through but stops others. Such things may be molecules, i ...

mitochondria
found in eukaryotic cells. Members of the genus
Thermoplasma In taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only abo ...
are the smallest of the Archaea.


Bacteria

Even though bacteria are prokaryotic cells just like Archaea, their membranes are made of phospholipid bilayers.
Cyanobacteria Cyanobacteria (), also known as Cyanophyta, are a of that obtain energy via . The name ''cyanobacteria'' refers to their color (), giving them their other name, "blue-green algae", though modern botanists restrict the term ' to s and do not ...

Cyanobacteria
and mycoplasmas are two examples of bacteria. They characteristically do not have ether linkages like Archaea, and they are grouped into a different category—and hence a different domain. There is a great deal of diversity in this domain. Confounded by that diversity and
horizontal gene transfer Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) or lateral gene transfer (LGT) is the movement of genetic material between unicellular A unicellular organism, also known as a single-celled organism, is an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient G ...
, it is next to impossible to determine how many species of bacteria exist on the planet, or to organize them in a tree-structure, without cross-connections between branches.


Eukarya

Members of the domain Eukarya—called eukaryotes—have membrane-bound organelles (including a nucleus containing genetic material) and are represented by five kingdoms:
Plantae Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and included algae and fungi; however, all current definitions ...
,
Protozoa Protozoa (singular protozoon or protozoan, plural protozoa or protozoans) is an informal term for a group of Unicellular organism, single-celled eukaryotes, either free-living or Parasitism, parasitic, that feed on organic matter such as other mi ...

Protozoa
,
Animalia Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

Animalia
,
Chromista Chromista is a biological kingdom consisting of single-celled and multicellular eukaryotic Eukaryotes () are organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual conti ...
, and
Fungi A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...

Fungi
.


Exclusion of viruses and prions

The three-domain system does not include any form of
non-cellular life Non-cellular life, or acellular life is life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such func ...
. Stefan Luketa proposed a five-domain system in 2012, adding
Prion Prions are misfolded protein Protein folding is the physical process Physical changes are changes affecting the form of a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matte ...

Prion
obiota (acellular and without nucleic acid) and
Virus A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecu ...

Virus
obiota (acellular but with nucleic acid) to the traditional three domains.


Alternative classifications

Alternative classifications of
life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities A bubble of exhaled gas in water In common usage and classical mechanics, a physical object or physical body (or simply an object or body) is a collection of matter within a ...

life
include: * The
two-empire system The two-empire system (two-superkingdom system) was the top-level biological classification system in general use before the establishment of the three-domain system The three-domain system is a biological classification In biology Bi ...
or superdomain system, with top-level groupings of Prokaryota (or
Monera Monera (/məˈnɪərə/) (Greek - μονήρης (monḗrēs), "single", "solitary") is a biological kingdom that is made up of prokaryote A prokaryote () is a Unicellular organism, single-celled organism that lacks a cell nucleus, nucleus, a ...
) and Eukaryota. * The
eocyte hypothesis The Eocyte hypothesis is a biological classification that indicates eukaryotes emerged within the prokaryotic Crenarchaeota (formerly known as eocytes), a phylum within the archaea Archaea ( ; singular archaeon ) constitute a domain of ...

eocyte hypothesis
, first proposed by James A. Lake ''et al''. in 1984, which posits two domains (
Bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of biological cell The cell (from Latin ''cella'', meaning "small room") is the basic structural, functional, and biological unit of all known organisms. Cells are the sm ...

Bacteria
and
Archaea Archaea ( ; singular archaeon ) constitute a domain Domain may refer to: Mathematics *Domain of a function, the set of input values for which the (total) function is defined **Domain of definition of a partial function **Natural domain of a pa ...

Archaea
, with
Eukaryota Eukaryotes () are organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interact ...
included in Archaea).


See also

* Biological dark matter * Neomura, which is the two domains of life of Archaea and Eukaryota *
Phylogenetics In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanism ...

Phylogenetics
*
Protein structure Protein structure is the three-dimensional arrangement of atoms in an amino acid Amino acids are organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains with other carbon ...

Protein structure
*
Realm (virology) In virology Virology is the scientific study of virusessubmicroscopic, parasitic organisms of genetic material contained in a protein coatand virus-like agents. It focuses on the following aspects of viruses: their structure, classification and ...
, an equivalent rank for non-cellular life *
Systematics Biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), o ...


References


External links

* {{Portal bar, Biology, Evolutionary biology, Science