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Basic Knowledge of Five Kingdom Classification

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Five kingdom system of classifictaion - definition

Robert H. Whittaker, in 1969 proposed a new five kingdom system of classification of organism. They are
  • Monera includes unicellular, prokaryotic and autotrophic organism. For example - cyanobacteria.
  • Protista includes unicellular, eukaryotic organism. They are autotrophic as well as heterotrophic. For example - Euglena
  • Fungi are generally heterotrophic. They have a cell wall made up of chitin and have a symbiotic mode of nutrition. For example - Aspergillus.
  • Plantae includes eukaryotic and autotrophic organism. For example - ferns.
  • Animalia includes eukaryotic and heterotrophic. For example - sycon.

Advantages and disadvantages of five kingdom classification - definition

  • It is largely the most accepted system of modern classification mainly because of the phylogenetic placing of different groups of living organisms.
  • Separation of prokaryotes into an independent kingdom is justifiable because they differ from all other organisms in their general organisation.
  • Grouping of all unicellular eukaryotes under the kingdom Protista has solved many problems, particularly related to the position of an organism like Euglena.
  • Classifying fungi in separate groups due to its distinguishing feature add a convenience for studying.
  • The kingdoms Metaphyta and Metazoa are now more homogenous groups than they were in the two kingdom classification as it shows the phylogeny of different lifestyles.
  • The five-kingdom classification gives a clear indication of cellular organization and modes of nutrition, the characters which appeared very early in the evolution of life.
  • Slime moulds differ totally from other members of Protista in their general organisation.
  • Viruses have not been given proper place in this system of classification.
  • Unicellular green algae like Volvox and Chlamydomonas have not been included under Protista because of their resemblance to other green algae.

Related Concepts

Features of Plant and Animal Kingdom


Hierarchy of Classification