classifying life ("primitiveness")

B. J. Tindall bti at DSMZ.DE
Wed Apr 19 09:00:13 CDT 2000

Nahara Ayala Sánchez wrote:

>> >* Dr.B.J.Tindall
>Please, explain to me: then, how many Kingdom are accepted by you, and what
>classification is the one that recognizes as more appropriate?
>Thanks a lot.

There is no really easy answer to that question. There are a lot of
contradictions in the literature. While we may accept kingdoms such as
animals, plants, fungi, and protists, codes of nomenclature only work with
either plants (botanical code) or animals (zoological code), which means
that fungi are treated as plants, and that protists are treated either as
plants or animals. Equally we seem to have the five kingdom system
(animals, plants, fungi, protistsa, and monera) running in parallel with
the system eukaryotes-prokaryotes. If there is suitable scientific evidence
for recognising several kingdoms in the eukaryotes, then I also do not have
a problem accepting more than one kingdom in the prokaryotes. I would agree
that some aspects are developing too quickly and that creating higher
taxanomic divisions which need drastic dismantaling with a few years is not
helpful. I much prefer to start with species and work my way via genera
towards higher taxa. However, there seems to be an interesting trend
(particularly in bacteriology) which starts at both ends, with the
consequence that things "do not meet in the middle". There will certainly
be a period of restructuring within prokaryote taxonomy even after the
major re-arrangements which are being incorporated into Bergey. Your
question seems to imply that I can give you a definitive answer, and that
is something which I am not going to do, simply because I do not have prior
knowledge of what the future will bring, and that re-assessing the taxonomy
of the prokaryotes will continue well beyond my active participation in the
Best wishes

* Dr.B.J.Tindall      E-MAIL bti at                           *          
* DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH *
* Mascheroder Weg 1b, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany                *
* Tel.: ++ 531 2616 0 (general)                                    *
* Tel.: ++ 531 2616 224 (direct)                                   *
* Fax:  ++ 531 2616 418                                            *
* Fax:  ++ 531 2616 491 (ISDN)                                     *
*                                                                  *
* Homepage:                          *
* E-MAIL: help at (general enquiries)                         *
*         sales at (sales)                                    *

More information about the Taxacom mailing list