Taxonomy: Meaning of Taxonomy, Nomenclature, Binomial Nomenclature, Ranks Used for Classifying an Organism (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Meaning of Taxonomy

  • The science of naming, describing, and classifying organisms.
  • This also includes plants, animals, and microorganisms of the world.
  • It identifies and enumerates the components of biological diversity.
  • In other words, we can say that it is a branch of science dealing with the nomenclature, identification and classification of living organisms including the extinct ones.

Other Taxonomies

  • ACM Computing Classification System
    • For computing devised by the Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Military taxonomy
    • A set of terms for describing various types of military operations and equipment.
  • Legal Taxonomy
    • A subject classification for law devised by Elizabeth Moys.

Nomenclature

  • To know the nomenclature of an organism it is important to know all the specifications of the organism.
  • In other words, a nomenclature can be defined as that system which is used to give distinct name to organisms, including plants, animals, microorganisms, and other living things.
  • There are two parts in the name of an organism:
    • Generic name
    • Specific epithet
  • It is the process of describing an organism.

Nomenclature Codes or Codes of Nomenclature

  • The various rulebooks that govern biological taxonomic nomenclature.
  • At present the nomenclature codes govern the naming of:
Nomenclature Codes or Codes of Nomenclature

Binomial Nomenclature

  • Carl Linnaeus (A Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician) gave this system of nomenclature.
  • For e. g. , the scientific name of an apple is Pyrus malus. Pyrus indicates the ‘genus’ while malus represents a particular specie.

Rules for the Binomial Taxonomy Nomenclature

  • Biological names are written in Italics with the first word denoting the genus and the second word denoting specific epithet.
  • Genus should start with a capital letter.
  • The specific epithet starts with a small letter.
  • In the abbreviated form, the name of the author is written after the specific epithet.
  • The genus name and species name n to be underlined.
  • Some of the examples are:
    • Homo sapiens (Human Beings)
    • Panthera tigris (Tiger)
    • Mangifera indica (Mango Plant)
    • Canis lupus familiaris (Dog)

Ranks Used for Classifying an Organism

Ranks Used for Classifying an Organism

Example

Modern Humans

Classification of Modern Humans
DomainEukaryota
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderPrimates
FamilyHominidae
GenusHomo
SpeciesHomo sapiens

Botanical Nomenclature

  • It is the formal, scientific naming of plants.
  • It is distinct from taxonomy.
  • It is governed by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) . This replaces the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) .

Gene Nomenclature

  • It is the scientific naming of genes, the units of heredity in living organisms.
  • In the 1960՚s, the need to develop formal guidelines for human gene names and symbols was recognized.
  • Gene nomenclature and protein nomenclature are the aspects of the same whole.

International Code of Zoological Nomenclature

  • It is a widely accepted convention in zoology that rules the formal scientific naming of organisms.
  • Informally it is known as the ICZN Code (the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature) .
  • This system of nomenclature is independent of other systems of nomenclature, for example botanical nomenclature.

Chemical Nomenclature

  • It is a set of rules to generate systematic names for chemical compounds.
  • To ensure that a spoken or written chemical name leaves no ambiguity is the primary function of chemical nomenclature.

Principles

  • Principle of binominal nomenclature
  • Principle of priority
  • Principle of coordination
  • Principle of the first reviser
  • Principle of homonymy