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Am Nat. 1999 Oct;154(S4):S96-S124. doi: 10.1086/303287.

The Diversity of Eukaryotes.


The discipline of evolutionary protistology has emerged in the past 30 yr. There is as yet no agreed view of how protists are interrelated or how they should be classified. The foundations of a stable taxonomic superstructure for the protists and other eukaryotes lie in cataloging the diversity of the major monophyletic lineages of these organisms. The use of common patterns of cell organization (ultrastructural identity) seems to provide us with the most robust hypotheses of such lineages. These lineages are placed in 71 groups without identifiable sister taxa. These groups are here referred to as "major building blocks." For the first time, the compositions, ultrastructural identities, synapomorphies (where available), and subgroups of the major building blocks are summarized. More than 200 further lineages without clear identities are listed. This catalog includes all known major elements of the comprehensive evolutionary tree of protists and eukaryotes. Different approaches among protistologists to issues of nomenclature, ranking, and definitions of these groups are discussed, with particular reference to two groups-the stramenopiles and the Archezoa. The concept of "extended in-group" is introduced to refer to in-groups and the most proximate sister group and to assist in identifying the hierarchical location of taxa.


eukaryotes; evolutionary protistology; extended in‐group; protist diversity; protozoa


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