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Definition of species

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BIOL 201
Elaine Power

Definition of species (basic unit of classification):  Members of a species are similar (phenotype) to each other but different from other species o Similarity of organisms in same species can be  physical (branching pattern of trees)  biochemical (haemoglobin structure)  immunological (antibody against an antigen equally effective)  development (similar growth of embryos)  ecological (occupy identical ecological niche)  (Group of) organisms able to interbreed/reproduce giving fertile offspring o Each species is reproductively isolated from every other species The five-kingdom classification of organisms  Nomenclature: Naming of organisms  Binomial: Biological name of an organism → Genus species  Taxon: Set of organisms within a category / Taxonomy / Study of biological classification  Different levels of taxons: SPECIES, GENUS, FAMILY, ORDER, CLASS, PHYLUM, KINGDOM o Most number of species on right o Most similar organisms on left  Unicellular: Single cell; Colonial: Groups of cells; Multicellular: Many cells  Autotrophs produce energy from inorganic sources o Phototrophs from photosynthesis/sunlight o Chemotrophs from simple inorganic (oxidative) processes  Heterotrophs digest and absorb organic molecules Prokaryotae (prokaryotes)  Cell structure: o Prokaryotes, unicellular o Prokaryotes lack cytoplasmic organelles found in eukaryotes  Cell wall: murein  Nutrition: autotrophic (photosynthesis, chemosynthesis), aerobic heterotrophs  Divide by binary fission, not by mitosis  ≈10μm in size (bacterial cell, filaments of blue-green bacteria)  Mutualistic nitrogen-fixing bacteria live in nodules on the root of legumes / symbiotic Protoctista (protoctists)  Cell structure: eukaryotes, unicellular and multicellular  Cell wall: (sometimes) polysaccharide  Nutrition: autotrophic, h
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