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Opponents of 3-domain hypoth.?

arlin at ac.dal.ca arlin at ac.dal.ca
Thu Oct 20 16:44:08 EST 1994


In article <37udsa$pkp at rebecca.albany.edu>, labonnes at csc.albany.edu (S. LaBonne) writes:
> As a microbial molecular biologist but an amateur in evolutionary
> questions, I wonder if anyone out there has some info as to just
> how universally accepted is Woese's division of living things
> into the three domains Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya.  I know
> that as of fairly recently Lynn Margulis was still arguing for
> the Monera and the five-kingdom system, and I believe Ernst Mayr
> has even continued to argue for the old two-kingdom model.  Does
> anyone know of other prominent holdouts?  Does anyone have a
> reference to a recent paper giving a strong argument for continuing
> to place all prokaryotes in a single kingdom or domain?

A strong statement is made in Cavalier-Smith's recent review on
protist taxonomy (Microbiol. Rev. 57, number 4, p. 954).  The subject
line of this thread suggests that the Woese-Kandler-Wheelis proposal
is a "hypothesis", but it isn't.  Its a taxonomic proposal to rename
the archaebacteria, eubacteria and eukaryotes as "Archaea", "Bacteria",
and "Eukarya", and to establish them as three "Domains", proposed
as a new taxonomic rank higher than Kingdom.  Cavalier-Smith had
already proposed a new taxonomic rank higher than Kingdom (he called
it "Empire"), and argues that there is no reason to change the familiar names
to the new names, which are misleading about the similarities of organisms,
as well as being inconsistent with previous usage (i.e., of the word
"bacteria", which obviously was formerly applied to organisms such
as "archaeBACTERIA" as well as "euBACTERIA").

Arlin



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