Three and four kingdom classification, Biology

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Three and Four Kingdom Classification

The two-kingdom classification, while solving many of the problems of classification, failed to establish clear-cut distinction between plants and animals. It also could not indicate correct relationships among organisms. Difficulty was particularly felt at the unicellular level. There are forms like Euglena and Volvox which possess both plant and animal like characters. On the one had like plants they contain chlorophyll and manufacture their food by photosynthesis.

On the other Kind the" actively swim like animals. Due to this reason zoologists classified them with animals under phylum protozoa while botanists included them as plants under Thallophyta. In addition to this, there are some other organisms like Peranema which closely resemble Euglena in structure but lack chlorophyll. These are not included among plants but were always classified under Protozoa. In order to overcome such difficulties, Haeckel (1866) proposed setting up of a third kingdom under the name Protista (meaning the very first) to include all thallophytes and protozoans. This kingdom also included bacteria and blue-green algae. According to this system the old kingdom Plantae included only the members of Embryophyta while Animalia was left only with Parazoa and Metazoa. However, many forms such as blue-green algae and bacteria of Protista lack membrane- bound nuclei. So, a fourth kingdom, Monera, was later established by Whittaker in order to accommodate these forms. From the evolutionary point of view the kingdom Monera is regarded as the most primitive.


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