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Hierarchy of Categories / Groups

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Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia

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Hierarchy Classification- Formation of Kingdoms:

Linnaeus proposed a classification system by arranging organisms into taxonomic groups at different levels according to the characteristics they have. The groups or the levels from top to bottom are:

Classification System

1. Two kingdom classifications: Carolus Linnaeus in 1758 classified the living organisms into two groups as plants and animals.

2. Five kingdom classification: H. Whittaker in 1959 further classified the organisms into five kingdoms as Kingdom Monera, Kingdom Protista, Kingdom Fungi, Kingdom Plantae, and kingdom Animalia.

The five kingdoms and their key characteristics are given below:

1. Monera:

  • These are prokaryotes; which means nuclear materials are not membrane bound in them.

  • They may or may not have cell wall.

  • They can be autotrophic or heterotrophic.

  • All organisms of this kingdom are unicellular.

  • Examples: Bacteria, blue green algae (cyanobacteria) and mycoplasma.

2. Protista:

  • These are eukaryotes and unicellular.

  • Some organisms use cilia or flagella for locomotion.

  • They can be autotrophic or heterotrophic.

  • Examples: Plants like unicellular algae, diatoms; animals like protozoans (Amoeba, Paramecium, Euglena)

3. Fungi:

  • These are eukaryotic organisms with cell wall, made up of Chitin. They do not perform Photosynthesis (Heterotrophs).

  • They may be unicellular (yeast) or filamentous (most fungi).

  • They feed on decaying organic materials. Such a mode of nutrition is called saprophytic. Some fungi live in symbiotic relationship with other organisms (Lichens), while some are parasites as well.

  • Examples: Mushrooms(Agaricus), green mold(Penicillium), smut(Aspergilus).

4. Plantae:

  • These are multicellular and autotrophs.

  • Presence of chlorophyll is a distinct characteristic of plants, because of which they are capable of taking out photosynthesis.

  • Cell wall is present.

5. Animalia:

  • These are eukaryotic, multicellular and heterotrophic organisms.

  • Cell wall is absent.

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