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Three domains of life, as defined by Carl Woese

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Describe the characteristics of the various domains of living things. Do you notice any similarities or differences between the domains' characteristics? What are some of the similarities or differences you notice?

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First let's start with a definition of "domain". A domain is the highest taxonomic rank in the hierarchiac system that organizes living things. Domains are sometimes called superkingdoms. The entire hierarchy is as follows: Domain (there are 3) - Kingdom (there are 5) - Phylum (approx. 50) - Class - Order - Family - Genus - Species (millions)

The domain system was introduced just recently, in 1990, by Carl Woese. Prior to the three domain system, organisms were typically grouped into two high level groups - prokaryotes and eukaryotes. With advances in molecular biology, however Carl Woese and other realized that prokaryotes should be ...

Solution Summary

In this solution, I briefly describe classification systems. Then I list the three domains of live and describe each, comparing and contrasting similarities and differences between the three domains, archaea, bacteria, and eukarya.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Principles of Taxonomy: Prokaryotic Organisms

Analyze the paper by Urakawa et al. (2012) by considering the characteristics that allow us to classify the prokaryotic organisms in this study as belonging to different domains. Use the website: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibit/phylogeny.html

Review the definitions of Archaea and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Begin at http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibit/phylogeny.html, webpage titled "Welcome to the Phylogeny Wing. Select the link "Phylogeny of Life" within the first of the "four ways to get started." Look at the relationship between DNA and the Three Domains of Life.

1. What general characteristics determine whether a prokaryote belongs to the Archaea or Bacteria domain?

2. Define DNA and RNA. What role do DNA and RNA play in this determination?

3. What role does the metabolism play in classifying Nitrosococcus oceani and Nitrosopumilus maritimus as Archaea or Bacteria?

4. Do either of these organisms normally thrive in an environment where crude oil is abundant? What other microbes live in this type of environment?

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