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Monera is a now-obsolete taxonomic group in biological classification originally understood as one of five biological kingdoms. The Monera kingdom included most organisms with a prokaryotic cell organization (that is, no nucleus). For this reason, the kingdom was sometimes called Prokaryota or Prokaryotae.

Under the three-domain system of taxonomy established in 1991, the organisms formerly within Monera have been divided into two domains, Archaea and Bacteria (with Eukaryote as the third domain).

Contents

History

Traditionally the natural world was classified as animal, vegetable, or mineral as in Systema Naturae. After the discovery of microscopy, attempts were made to fit microscopic organisms into either the plant or animal kingdoms. In 1866 Ernst Haeckel proposed a three kingdom system which added the Protista as a new kingdom that contained most microscopic organisms.[1]. One of his eight major divisions of Protista was called Moneres. Haeckel's Moneres included known bacterial groups such as Vibrio. Haeckel's Protista kingdom also included eukaryotic organisms now classified as Protist. It was later decided that Haeckel's Protista kingdom had proven to be too diverse to be seriously considered one single kingdom.

Although it was generally accepted that one could distinguish prokaryotes from eukaryotes on the basis of the presence of a nucleus, mitosis versus binary fission as a way of reproducing, size, and other traits, the monophyly of the kingdom Monera (or for that matter, whether classification should be according to phylogeny) was controversial for many decades. Although distinguishing between prokaryotes from eukaryotes as a fundamental distinction is often credited to a 1937 paper by Édouard Chatton (little noted until 1962), he did not emphasize this distinction more than other biologists of his era.[2] Roger Stanier and C. B. van Niel believed that the bacteria (a term which at the time did not include blue-green algae) and the blue-green algae had a single origin, a conviction which culminated in Stanier writing in a letter in 1970, "I think it is now quite evident that the blue-green algae are not distinguishable from bacteria by any fundamental feature of their cellular organization".[3] Other researchers, such as E. G. Pringsheim writing in 1949, suspected separate origins for bacteria and blue-green algae. In 1974, the influential Bergey's Manual published a new edition coining the term cyanobacteria to refer to what had been called blue-green algae, marking the acceptance of this group within the Monera.[2]

In 1969, Robert Whittaker published a proposed five kingdom system for classification of living organisms.[4] Whittaker's system placed most single celled organisms into either the prokaryotic Monera or the eukaryotic Protista. The other three kingdoms in his system were the eukaryotic Fungi, Animalia, and Plantae. Whittaker, however, did not believe that all his kingdoms were monophyletic.[2]

In 1977, a PNAS paper by Carl Woese and George Fox demonstrated that the archaea (initially called archaebacteria) are not significantly closer in relationship to the bacteria than they are to eukaryotes. The paper received front-page coverage in The New York Times and great controversy initially, but the conclusions have since become accepted, leading to replacement of the kingdom Monera with the two kingdoms Bacteria and Archaea.[2]

Summary

Linnaeus
1735[5]
2 kingdoms
Haeckel
1866[1]
3 kingdoms
Chatton
1925[6][7]
2 empires
Copeland
1938[8][9]
4 kingdoms
Whittaker
1969[4]
5 kingdoms
Woese et al.
1977[10][11]
6 kingdoms
Woese et al.
1990[12]
3 domains
(not treated) Protista Prokaryota Monera Monera Eubacteria Bacteria
Archaebacteria Archaea
Eukaryota Protista Protista Protista Eukarya
Vegetabilia Plantae Fungi Fungi
Plantae Plantae Plantae
Animalia Animalia Animalia Animalia Animalia

See also

References

  1. ^ a b E. Haeckel (1867). Generelle Morphologie der Organismen. Reimer, Berlin. 
  2. ^ a b c d Jan Sapp (June 2005). "The Prokaryote-Eukaryote Dichotomy: Meanings and Mythology". Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 69 (2): 292–305. doi:10.1128/MMBR.69.2.292-305.2005. PMID 15944457. http://mmbr.asm.org/cgi/content/full/69/2/292. 
  3. ^ Roger Stanier to Peter Raven, 5 November 1970, National Archives of Canada, MG 31, accession J35, vol. 6, as quoted in Sapp, 2005
  4. ^ a b Robert Whittaker (1969). "New concepts of kingdoms or organisms. Evolutionary relations are better represented by new classifications than by the traditional two kingdoms". Science 163: 150–160. doi:10.1126/science.163.3863.150. PMID 5762760. 
  5. ^ C. Linnaeus (1735). Systemae Naturae, sive regna tria naturae, systematics proposita per classes, ordines, genera & species. 
  6. ^ É. Chatton (1925). "Pansporella perplexa. Réflexions sur la biologie et la phylogénie des protozoaires". Ann. Sci. Nat. Zool 10-VII: 1–84. 
  7. ^ É. Chatton (1937). Titres et Travaux Scientifiques (1906–1937). Sette, Sottano, Italy. 
  8. ^ H. Copeland (1938). "The kingdoms of organisms". Quarterly review of biology 13: 383–420. doi:10.1086/394568. 
  9. ^ H. F. Copeland (1956). The Classification of Lower Organisms. Palo Alto: Pacific Books. 
  10. ^ C. R. Woese, W. E. Balch, L. J. Magrum, G. E. Fox and R. S. Wolfe (August 1977). "An ancient divergence among the bacteria". Journal of Molecular Evolution 9 (4): 305–311. doi:10.1007/BF01796092. PMID 408502. 
  11. ^ Woese CR, Fox GE (November 1977). "Phylogenetic structure of the prokaryotic domain: the primary kingdoms". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 74 (11): 5088–90. PMID 270744. 
  12. ^ Woese C, Kandler O, Wheelis M (1990). "Towards a natural system of organisms: proposal for the domains Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya.". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 87 (12): 4576–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.87.12.4576. PMID 2112744. PMC 54159. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/87/12/4576. 

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Etymology

Greek - moneres single, solitary

Proper noun

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Monera

  1. (historical) a former taxonomic kingdom, within domain Prokaryota - the bacteria, blue-green algae and archebacteria

Usage notes

This is an alternate taxonomy, now abandoned

See also

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