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Open Tree of Life Project List

Last updated over 2 years ago

This is a Collection in support of the Open Tree of Life Project.

The tree of life links all biodiversity through a shared evolutionary history. This project will produce the first online, comprehensive first-draft tree of all 1.8 million named species, accessible to both the public and scientific communities.

  • Thermotoga maritima

    Thermotoga maritima|T. Maritima|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/07/18/11/21153_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|B

  • 35090_88_88

    Borrelia burgdorferi

    Lyme Disease Spirochete

    Borrelia burgdorferi|Lyme Disease Spirochete|http://media.eol.org/content/2009/11/25/03/35090_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|B

  • 90730_88_88

    Methanococcus maripaludis

    Methanococcus maripaludis|M. Maripaludis|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/07/18/11/90730_130_130.jpg|Methanococcus maripaludis is a mesophilic, methane producing member of the third Domain of life, the Archaea. Methanogens play important roles in the terminal step of anaerobic decomposition of organic matter. M. maripaludis was originally isolated from a salt marsh in South Carolina, USA. Like all methanogens, it is a stringent anaerobe. It derives energy for growth by the formation of methane gas, an important greenhouse gas, from carbon dioxide and hydrogen and uses CO2 as sole carbon source. It can also fix nitrogen. As the name implies, it has an irregular coccoid shape. Its cell wall is composed solely of a protein coat termed the S-layer. The cells are weakly motile by means of a large number of archaella, the archaeal version of flagella. They also have other surface appendages, called pili, which aid in attachment of cells to surfaces. M. maripaludis is a model for study of Archaea due to its fast growth, high plating efficiency, a completely and publicly available sequenced genome and a comprehensive set of genetic tools.|A

  • 10729_88_88

    Vibrio cholerae

    Epidemic Cholera

    Vibrio cholerae|Epidemic Cholera|http://media.eol.org/content/2009/09/08/01/10729_130_130.jpg|Vibrio cholerae is a gram-negative bacterium responsible for transmitting Cholera.  The bacterium, which can either be rod-shaped or curved, has a single flagellum to move around and can survive in freshwater or saltwater.  Since Vibrio cholerae does not create a food source, the organism depends on a host to obtain sugars and starches. The relationships Vibrio cholerae can have with a host can be pathogenic, parasitic, or even mutualistic.  Vibrio cholerae is highly sensitive to acid and cannot survive in the cold.  There are over 200 strains of Vibrio cholerae, which can make Cholera difficult to treat with antibiotics. Vibrio cholerae causes Cholera by releasing a toxin in the human body.  Humans infected with the bacterium will have very watery diarrhea and abdominal cramps, coma, as well as effects from dehydration.  Vibrio cholerae enters the human body when water that has been contaminated with fecal matter containing Vibrio cholerae has been drunk.  Cholera can be treated through antibiotics and replenishing lost water. If Cholera remains untreated, death can occur between four to six days.  For children and pregnant mothers, the time span can be a matter of hours.  Vibrio cholerae can also infect fish, birds and herbivores. Cholera is rare in industrialized nations, but it continues to be a problem in areas with poor sanitation.  Sometimes, transmission of the bacterium to humans can occur through eating raw shellfish infected with the parasite. The best way to prevent more Cholera cases is to provide sanitary food and drinking water. Another challenge that makes combatting Vibrio cholerae more problematic is that Cholera conditions become more severe when someone who is malnourished or already has pre-existing health problems contracts the bacterium.|B

  • 43940_88_88

    Escherichia coli

    E. Coli

    Escherichia Coli|E. Coli|http://media.eol.org/content/2009/11/25/03/43940_130_130.jpg|Gut bacteria are rod-shaped. Many are found the intestines of animals, including humans. Many strains of E. coli normally live in the human large intestine and cause no harm. A few strains, however, can cause serious illness, including severe diarrhea and kidney failure. |B

  • 45792_88_88

    Chara braunii

    Braun's Stonewort

    Chara braunii|Braun's Stonewort|http://media.eol.org/content/2012/06/14/17/45792_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|E

  • 44356_88_88

    Euglena gracilis

    Euglena gracilis|E. Gracilis|http://media.eol.org/content/2014/01/21/14/41235_130_130.jpg|Euglena gracilis is a species of flagellated freshwater protist. A protist is a unicellular organism with membrane-bound organelles like a nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum. Euglena gracilis is considered to be a cross between a plant and an animal, as it displays behaviors of both. Euglena gracilis uses chloroplasts to produce food, but it is also capable of consuming food like amoebas and other protists. Discovered by G. Klebs in 1883, Euglena gracilis can consume algae and use the algal chloroplasts to become photosynthetic. If Euglena gracilis is surrounded by darkness, it chooses a heterotrophic lifestyle. If Euglena gracilis is surrounded by light, as detected by its red eyespot, it can take up chloroplasts and begin producing its own food. Euglena gracilis is also uniquely capable of living in environments with stresses like some pollutants. Researchers have been studying the organism’s ability to live in these environments and choose from a variety of organic materials to produce energy. Its genome is currently in the process of being mapped. This protist is capable of moving from one fresh body of water to another by sticking on the feet of organisms like birds that move the organism to new areas. Euglena gracilis is also capable of forming giant mats over bodies of water if there are enough resources available. Euglena gracilis has two flagella and an exoskeleton called a pellicle that can protect the organism. Euglena gracilis can produce large amounts of oxygen, as well as remove large amounts of carbon dioxide. The unique ability to take large amounts of carbon dioxide from the environment has led to several proposals using Euglena gracilis as part of a solution to global warming.|E

  • 75914_88_88

    Acetabularia acetabulum

    Mermaid's Wine Glass

    Acetabularia acetabulum|Mermaid's Wine Glass|http://media.eol.org/content/2012/06/13/21/00476_130_130.jpg|Acetabularia acetabulum is a unicellular eukaryotic algae species. The genus Acetabularia is also known as “Mermaid’s Wine Glass,” referring to the long-stemmed appearance of the algae. At the top of the stem is a ring of branches that looks very similar to a cup. This species of algae only has one nucleus and has both haploid and diploid stages of its lifecycle, meaning depending on the stage in life the alga is at, the species may only have one set of chromatids versus two pairs. Acetabularia acetabulum has 20 linear chromosomes. The algae reproduces through the release of flagellated gametes into the environment. Acetabularia acetabulum can be found around the coast of Europe as well as in the Mediterranean Sea near Israel. One remarkable thing about this algae species is that it can regenerate parts of the cell, even when the nucleus containing genetic material is not used. Acetabularia acetabulum can survive in the wild for about one to two years. Joachim Hämmerling used Acetabularia acetabulum to test where genetic information is contained within the cell.|E

  • 99291_88_88

    Klebsormidium bilatum

    Klebsormidium bilatum|K. Bilatum|NOIMAGE|Klebsormidium bilatum is a type of filamentous charophyte alga in the Eukaryotic domain.|E

  • 78734_88_88

    Nematostella vectensis

    Starlet Seanemone

    Nematostella vectensis|Starlet Sea Anemone|http://media.eol.org/content/2010/03/30/04/78734_130_130.jpg|Also known as the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis is a 15 millimeter long sea anemone.  Like other members within the phylum Cnidaria, the starlet sea anemone has nematocysts, or stinging cells, that are used to sting prey.  Starlet sea anemones bury themselves in shallow water and prefer fine sand.  They will bury themselves so that only the oral disc and tentacles are exposed to the surface of the sand or dirt they are buried in.  Starlet sea anemones eat nematodes, snails, crustaceans, and insects by using its tentacles and ingesting their prey through the oral disc.  However, if the starlet sea anemone is threatened, its exposed tentacles will retreat back into the dirt or sand so that very little of the organism is exposed.  Starlet sea anemones prefer brackish lagoons along the east coast of the United States and Canada, as well as California and the south and east coast of England. Starlet sea anemones reproduce sexually during summer months where water conditions are good and food is available, but will reproduce asexually year round.  Starlet sea anemones reproduce sexually by releasing their gametes (egg or sperm) into the water, where new starlet sea anemones will start to develop.   Starlet sea anemones have been used to study fundamental genetics and ecology.  Researchers have also been interested in studying their complex nervous systems.   The International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified this species as vulnerable.  Starlet sea anemones are threatened because populations are usually in very small clusters, which can easily be damaged or eliminated by pollution and development.  Starlet sea anemones are very sensitive to pollution, which is why the species is a good indicator of low oxygen conditions.|E

  • 89624_88_88

    Bugula pacifica

    Bugula pacifica|B. Pacifica|http://media.eol.org/content/2011/08/04/09/52340_130_130.jpg|Bryozoans in this family form erect, branched, unjointed and unilaminar colonies, attached by rhizoids. Zooids long, parallel-sided, with almost all of the frontal surface membranous; lateral walls lightly calcified; marginal spines usually present. Pedunculate “bird’s head” avicularia characteristically present. Ovicells independent and hyperstomial, with ectooecium membranous. (Hayward and Ryland, 1998)|E

  • 47796_88_88

    Naegleria gruberi

    Naegleria gruberi|N. Gruberi|http://media.eol.org/content/2009/11/25/03/87299_130_130.jpg|Naegleria gruberi is a flagellated eukaryote that can survive in soil or in fresh water. Naegleria gruberi is neither parasitic nor pathogenic to humans, however two related species under the same genus are known as “brain-eating amoeba” and can cause a lethal infection in the brain called meningoencephalomyelitis. Naegleria gruberi has a three-stage life cycle, including an amoeboid stage, a flagellated stage, and cyst stage. When environmental conditions are bad for the organism, Naegleria gruberi will enter the flagellated stage and grow two flagella. However, Naegleria gruberi will lose the flagella and return back to its amoeboid form when environmental conditions improve. Naegleria gruberi reproduces asexually, though there may be evidence that some form of genetic material swapping between pairs exists.|E

  • Aidanosagitta bedfordii

    Aidanosagitta bedfordii|A. Bedfordii|http://media.eol.org/content/2012/02/02/03/12296_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|E

  • 35966_88_88

    Glomus macrocarpum Tul. & C. Tul. 1845

    Glomus macrocarpum|G. Macrocarpum|http://media.eol.org/content/2011/11/01/14/11204_130_130.jpg|Glomus macrocarpum is a species of fungi that is considered to be an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus. This means that Glomus macrocarpum has a symbiotic relationship with vascular plants, which it maintains by penetrating and extending the root system of the vascular plant. This creates a symbiotic relationship between the fungus and the vascular plant, where the plant benefits from an extended root system that allows it to take up more minerals, and the fungus receives carbohydrates from the plant. There have been no successful reports of the fungi being grown apart from a vascular plant host, making this species of fungus an obligate symbiont. The genus Glomus is Latin for the word “ball,” referring to the spherical shape of the fungus. Glomus macrocarpum is considered to be the largest extant species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus. Researchers believe that Glomus macrocarpum is the descendant of a genus of mycobiants called Glomites. Like all members of the genus Glomus, Glomus macrocarpum relies on a plant host. In most cases, this relationship is mutualistic, where a nutrient connection develops between the vascular plant and the fungus. Circular yellow spores grow between the root cells of the plant and continue to grow. However some members of the genus Glomus can become parasitic. This species of fungus has been found widely in Poland and distributed randomly in other regions of the world. There is no current evidence that points to Glomus macrocarpum or any members of the phylum Glomeromycota being able to reproduce sexually. Researchers believe that these fungi reproduce asexually, because rates of genetic recombination have been little to nonexistent.|E

  • 11722_88_88

    Entomophthora muscae

    Entomophthora muscae|E. Muscae|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/06/13/14/10540_130_130.jpg|Entomophthora muscae is a species of fungus that is parasitic organism for the order Diptera flies. The name Entomophthora muscae is translated into “insect destroyer of the fly”. The fungus releases a huge number of spores into the air called conidia. Athough only a small number of the spores will be successful in finding a fly host. Once a conidia spore lands on a fly, the fungus will enter through the cracks of the exoskeleton and travel to the brain. Once in the brain, the fungus will affect the mental functions of the fly’s brain, forcing the fly to relocate to high ground. This is why the infected fly will often be seen on high tree branches or in the corners of windows on houses. After the fly has been infected it will live for another five to seven days as the fungus digests the internal organs of the fly. Before the fly passes, it will spread its legs and wings. The purpose of this behavior is to help the fungal spores become airborne. In the fall before cold winter months, Entomophthora muscae will keep its host low to the ground as well as stop producing conidia spores. Instead, it will build up a thick-walled structure around its host to protect itself from the cold. After the winter season, the fungus will resume producing conidia spores. In some cases, Entomophthora muscae is being used as an insecticide, since it targets several species of Diptera flies that are often considered household pests. This organism is prevalent in Great Britain as well as North America.|E

  • 66288_88_88

    Dictyostelium discoideum

    Dictyostelium discoideum|Slime Mold|http://media.eol.org/content/2014/01/21/16/66288_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|E

  • 36135_88_88

    Corynebacterium diphtheriae

    Corynebacterium diphtheriae|C. Diphtheriae|http://media.eol.org/content/2009/11/25/03/36135_130_130.jpg|Four subspecies are recognized: C. diphtheriae mitis, C. diphtheriae intermedius, C. diphtheriae gravis, and C. diphtheriae belfanti. The four subspecies differ slightly in their colonial morphology and biochemical properties, such as the ability to metabolize certain nutrients, but all may be toxigenic (and therefore cause diphtheria) or non-toxigenic. Corynebacterium diphtheriae produces Diphtheria toxin which alters protein function in the host by inactivating elongation factor (EF-2). This causes pharyngitis and 'pseudomembrane' in the throat. The diphtheria toxin gene is encoded by a bacteriophage found in toxigenic strains, integrated into the bacterial chromosome. In order to accurately identify C. diphtheriae, a Gram stain is performed to show gram-positive, highly pleomorphic organisms with no particular arrangement. Special stains like Alberts's stain and Ponder's stain are used to demonstrate the metachromatic granules formed in the polar regions. The granules are called as polar granules, Babes Ernst Granules, Volutin, etc. An enrichment medium, such as Löffler's medium, is used to preferentially grow C. diptheriae. After that, use a differential plate known as tellurite agar, which allows all Corynebacteria (including C. diphtheriae) to reduce tellurite to metallic tellurium. The tellurite reduction is colormetrically indicated by brown colonies for most Cornyebacteria species or by a black halo around the C. diphtheriae colonies.|B

  • 09975_88_88

    Chlamydophila abortus

    Chlamydophila abortus|C. Abortus|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/11/15/02/09975_orig.jpg|Chlamydophila abortus is a species in Chlamydiae that causes abortion and fetal death in mammals, including humans. Chlamydophila abortus was previously classified as Chlamydia psittaci along with all Chlamydiae except Chlamydia trachomatis. This was based on a lack of evident glycogen production and on resistance to the antibiotic sulfadiazine. In 1999 C. psittaci and C. abortus were recognized as distinct species based on differences of pathogenicity and DNA-DNA hybridization. C. abortus is endemic among ruminants and has been associated with abortion in a horse, a rabbit, guinea pigs, mice, pigs and humans. Infected females shed bacteria near the time of ovulation, so C. abortus is transmitted orally and sexually among mammals. All C. abortus strains were isolated or PCR-amplified from placenta or fetal organs after spontaneous abortion. C. abortus infection generally remains inapparent until an animal aborts late in gestation or gives birth to a weak or dead foetus.|B

  • 84184_88_88

    Gromia oviformis

    Gromia oviformis|G. Oviformis|http://media.eol.org/content/2010/12/04/04/84184_130_130.jpg|Gromia oviformis is a common unicellular eukaryote that can be found in the intertidal regions of the British Isles, Western Europe, and on the coast of California. This eukaryote was once researchers are looking in to how Gromia oviformis, a European species of Rhizopoda, made its way to the coast of the United States. Gromia oviformis is spherical in shape and has a transparent test, or a shell found in microorganisms. The organism can range from brown to grey in color. Gromia oviformis has a collar that encircles the oral opening of the organism that catches food and debris. The oral opening itself can be from a half a millimeter to a millimeter wide, while the entire body is about three millimeters in diameter. The oral opening has a ring with villi, though researchers are still looking into how the oral opening works. Gromia oviformis has a very strong ability to attach itself to a substrate, which is useful in intertidal regions, otherwise the organism could be swept away by ocean currents. |E

  • 85420_88_88

    Spirogyra majuscula

    Spirogyra majuscula|S. Majuscula|http://media.eol.org/content/2012/12/04/10/85420_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|E

  • 31279_88_88

    Lepidodendron

    Lepidodendron|Lepidodendron|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/11/14/14/06989_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|E

  • 33264_88_88

    Schmidtea mediterranea

    Freshwater Planarian

    Schmidtea mediterranea|Freshwater Planarian|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/05/14/03/33264_130_130.jpg|Schmidtea mediterranea is a freshwater flatworm native to Europe. Schmidtea mediterranea has been used to study regeneration and development for over 200 years because the organism has remarkable regeneration powers. This invertebrate is commonly found around countries around the Mediterranean Sea and is tolerant of fluctuations in temperature. Schmidtea mediterranea can be found in running water and under rocks in streams. Like all other members of the phylum Platyhelminthes, Schmidtea mediterranea has no body cavity and rely on their flattened shape to absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Like all planarians (or flatworms), Schmidtea mediterranea has a nervous system that includes a very primitive brain. One example of Schmidtea mediterranea's use of regeneration is when the organism is decapitated, the flatworm can regenerate an entirely new brain. Schmidtea mediterranea is triploblastic, meaning the organism has three germ layers including the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. This freshwater flatworm expresses bilateral symmetry, meaning the organism is symmetrical from the dorsal to ventral sides. This diploid species, meaning the organism carries two copies of each of its chromosomes and is non-parasitic. Schmidtea mediterranea can reproduce sexually and asexually, which is another reason why the organism is preferred for genomic study. These flatworms are born with both female and male reproductive parts.|E

  • Guillardia theta

    Guillardia theta|G. Theta|http://media.eol.org/content/2014/01/21/14/67455_130_130.jpg|Geminigeraceae is a family of cryptophytes containing the five genera Geminigera, Guillardia, Hanusia, Proteomonas and Teleaulax. They are characterised by chloroplasts containing Cr-phycoerythrin 545, and an inner periplast component (IPC) comprising "a sheet or a sheet and multiple plates if diplomorphic". The nucleomorphs are never in the pyrenoid, and there is never a scalariform furrow. The cells do, however, have a long, keeled rhizostyle with lamellae (wings).|E

  • 75549_88_88

    Hydrogenobaculum acidophilum

    Hydrogenobaculum acidophilum|H. Acidophilum|http://media.eol.org/content/2014/01/21/14/75549_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|B

  • Prototaxites loganii

    Prototaxites loganii|P. Loganii|NOIMAGE|The genus Prototaxites /ˌproʊtɵˈtæksɨtiːz/ describes terrestrial organisms known only from fossils dating from the Silurian and Devonian, approximately 420 to 370 million years ago. Prototaxites formed large trunk-like structures up to 1 metre (3 ft) wide, reaching 8 metres (26 ft) in height,[1] made up of interwoven tubes just 50 micrometres (0.0020 in) in diameter. Whilst traditionally very difficult to assign to an extant group of organisms, current opinion is converging to a fungal placement for the genus. It might have had an algal symbiont, which would make it a lichen rather than a fungus in the strict sense. An opposing view has been presented that Prototaxites was not a fungus but consisted of enrolled liverwort mats with associated cyanobacteria and fungal tubular elements.|E

  • Leisphaeridia

    Leiosphaeridia|Leiosphaeridia|NOIMAGE|Leiosphaeridia is an extinct genus of algae. The genus of undefined species were found in outcrop Morro do Papaléo in the town of Mariana Pimentel, the geopark Paleorrota.|E

  • Appendishaera grandis

    Appendishaera grandis|A. Grandis|NOIMAGE|A. grandis is an extinct acritarch. Acritarchs are small organic fossils, present from approximately 1,400 to 3,200 million years ago to the present. Their diversity reflects major ecological events such as the appearance of predation and the Cambrian explosion.|E

  • 21153_88_88

    Mesotoga prima

    Mesotoga prima|M. Prima|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/07/18/11/21153_130_130.jpg|Mesotoga prima is the first described mesophilic member of the bacterial phylum Thermotogae. All other lineages in this phylum are either thermophiles or hyperthermophiles, which makes Mesotoga a good model for studying temperature adaptation. These organisms were first detected in anaerobic mesothermic environments using PCR amplification and metagenomic methods. They are common inhabitants of hydrocarbon impacted sites such as low temperature oil reservoirs. They have also been found in several anaerobic enrichment cultures and environmental samples involved in bioremediation of pollutants (e.g. PCBs). They are often only detected when the pollutant is added, suggesting that they might be involved in the bioremediation processes. They are also often observed in biofilms treating wastewater, and can constitute a significant proportion of the mature biofilm in such systems.|B

  • Succinipatopsis balticus

    Succinipatopsis balticus|Velvet Worm|NOIMAGE|S. balticus is an extinct species in the family "Onychophora", and is referred to as a 'velvet worm.' Specimens were discovered in baltic amber in the baltic region.|E

  • Kidstoniella

    Kidstoniella|Kidstoniella|NOIMAGE|Kidstoniella is a marine species and Family Stigonemataceae, the Order Nostocales. It can be further characterized as in the Subclass Nostocophycideae in the Class Cyanophyceae. It forms part of the Cyanobacteria Phylum, which is part of the Subkingdom Gracilicutes that is in the Kingdom Bacteria.|B

  • Synechococcus sp.

    Synechococcus|Synechococcus|NOIMAGE|Synechococcus sp. are cyanobacteria, oxygenic phototrophs that can photolyze either H2O or H2S. Synechococcus is the main source of primary production in oligotrophic, pelagic marine waters. Their can cause destructive blooms, producing neurotoxins. Their growth is generally limited however by the concentration of nutrients and trace metals such as iron and phosphorus. |B

  • Subulatomonas tetraspora

    Subulatomonas tetraspora|S. Tetraspora|NOIMAGE|This taxon is related to Breviata anathema based on microscopical features and phylogenetic analyses of gene sequences.Phylogenetic analyses of these two taxa plus closely related sequences from environmental surveys provide support for a novel clade of eukaryotes that is distinct from the major clades including the Opisthokonta, Excavata, Amoebozoa, Stramenopile, Alveolate, and Rhizaria.|E

  • Wolbachia endosymbiont

    Wolbachia|Wolbachia|NOIMAGE|Wolbachia is a genus of bacteria which infects arthropod species, including a high proportion of insects, as well as some nematodes. It is one of the world's most common parasitic microbes and is possibly the most common reproductive parasite in the biosphere. Its interactions with its hosts are often complex, and in some cases have evolved to be mutualistic rather than parasitic. Some host species cannot reproduce, or even survive, without Wolbachia infection. One study concluded that more than 16% of neotropical insect species carry bacteria of this genus,[4] and as many as 25 to 70 percent of all insect species are estimated to be potential hosts|B

  • 48043_88_88

    Rozella allomycis

    Rozella allomycis|R. Allomycis|NOIMAGE|Rozella allomycis is a fungi, and is considered one of the earliest divergent lineages of fungi, making its study very important in determining the roots of Fungi development.|E

  • Cenarchaeum symbiosum

    Cenarchaeum symbiosum|C. Symbiosum|NOIMAGE|Cenarchaeum symbiosum is a species of Archaea in the genus Cenarchaeum, and is one of the three species contained by the newly proposed phylum Thaumarchaeota in the domain Archaea. C. symbiosum is psychrophilic and is found inhabiting marine sponges.|A

  • Nitrosopumilus maritimus

    Nitrosopumilus maritimus|N. Maritimus|NOIMAGE|Nitrosopumilus maritimus is an archaeon species that was first isolated in the sediment of the Seattle Aquarium by David Stahl. Nitrosopumilus maritimus is a chemoautotrophic organism that oxidizes ammonia for survival. Genomes similar to the Nitrosopumilus maritimus’ genome have been found in soil, marine ecosystems and freshwater. Unlike most archaea, this species is considered to be mesophilic, meaning that it prefers to live in regions where the temperatures stay relatively constant (about 27 degrees Celcius). Most archaea are classified as thermophiles, so the discovery of an archaea that did not fulfill the assumed qualifications changed the way scientists looked at Archaea. It was previously believed that since most Archaea are thermophillic, the domain was confined to a specific type of environment, specifically one of very high temperatures. However, the discovery of Nitrosopumilus maritimus may have changed the way scientists look at the domain.|A

  • 84697_88_88

    Nanoarchaeum equitans

    Nanoarchaeum equitans|N. Equitans|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/11/15/08/03247_130_130.jpg|Nanoarchaeum equitans is a species of marine Archaea that was discovered in 2002 in a hydrothermal vent off the coast of Iceland on the Kolbeinsey Ridge by Karl Stetter. Strains of this microbe were also found on the Sub-polar Mid Oceanic Ridge, and in the Obsidian Pool in Yellowstone National Park. Since it grows in temperatures approaching boiling, at about 80 degrees Celsius, it is considered to be a thermophile. It grows best in environments of a pH of 6, and a salinity concentration of 2%. Nanoarchaeum appears to be an obligate symbiont on the archaeon Ignicoccus; it must be in contact with the host organism to survive. Nanoarchaeum equitans cannot synthesize lipids but obtains them from its host. Its cells are only 400 nm in diameter, making it the next smallest known living organism, excepting possibly nanobacteria and nanobes, whose status as living organisms is controversial. Its genome is only 490,885 nucleotides long, the smallest non-viral genome ever sequenced next to that of Candidatus Carsonella ruddii. N. equitans' genome consists of a single circular chromosome, and has an average G+C content of 31.6%. It lacks almost all genes required for synthesis of amino acids, nucleotides, cofactors, and lipids, but encodes everything needed for repair and replication. 95% of its DNA encodes for proteins for stable RNA molecules. N. equitans has small appendages that come out of its circular structure. The cell surface is covered by a thin, lattice-shaped S-layer, which provides structure and protection for the entire cell. Genetically, Nanoarchaeum is peculiar in that its 16S RNA sequence is undetectable by the most common methods. Initial examination of single-stranded ribosomal RNA indicated that the organism most likely belonged to the Archaea domain. However, its difference from the existing phyla, Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota, was as great as the difference between the phyla. Therefore, it was given its own phylum, called Nanoarchaeota. However, another group (see References) compared all of the open reading frames to the other Archaea. They argue that the initial sample, ribosomal RNA only, was biased and Nanoarchaeum actually belongs to the Euryarchaeota phylum.|A

  • Candidatus

    Candidatus korarchaeum|C. Korarchaeum|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/11/16/20/79179_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|A

  • Methanosphaerula palustris

    Methanosphaerula palustris|M. Palustris|NOIMAGE|Methanosphaerula palustris is the first cultured methanogen of the “E1 group” in the Methanomicrobiales order, which is a commonly abundant phylotype in peatlands. Its energy generation is accomplished through the reduction of carbon dioxide with hydrogen, resulting in the production of methane. Peatlands contain about 30% of terrestrial soil carbon and contribute an estimated 20% of total annual methane flux to the atmosphere. The study of peatland methanogens is of interest in order to understand thei contribution to atmospheric greenhouse gases. M. palustris thrives in highly reduced environments and is very sensitive to oxygen. Its mildly acidic optimum pH for growth (pH 5.5) is interesting given the acidic nature of many peatlands and the fact that most cultured methane producing organisms have pH optima at or near neutral (pH 7.0). It grows well in low-ionic strength environments at moderate temperatures (28-30 OC). M. palustris features an atypical cell envelope that confers resistance to lysis by detergents that other members of the Methanomicrobiales order are sensitive to.|A

  • Halopiger xanaduensis

    Halopiger xanaduensis|H. Xanaduensis|NOIMAGE| H. xanaduensis is an extremely halophilic(salt-loving) archaeon that was isolated from the sediment of Lake Shangmatala, a saline lake in Inner Mongolia (China). |A

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    Haloquadratum walsbyi

    Haloquadratum walsbyi|H. Walsbyi|NOIMAGE|Haloquadratum walsbyi is a species of archaea discovered in a brine pool in the Sinai peninsula of Egypt. It is noted for its flat box-like cells.|A

  • Halobacterium jilantaiense

    Halobacterium jilantaiense|H. Jilantaiense|NOIMAGE| H. jilantaiense is an extremely halophilic(salt-loving) archaeon that was isolated from the sediment of Lake Shangmatala, a saline lake in Inner Mongolia (China). |A

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    Ignicoccus hospitalis

    Ignicoccus hospitalis|I. Hospitalis|NOIMAGE|From microbewiki.kenyon.edu: "I. hospitalis is a newly discovered hyperthermophile with many interesting features. Most unique, however, is its ability to serve as a host for the microbe Nanoarchaeum equitans. [2] This feature of I. hospitalis is striking because it is the first known hyperthermophilic archaeon to have this capability. [3] At present, it is not known whether the relationship between these two species is parasitic or symbiotic. [1] The species name, hospitalis was chosen due to its hosting ability. Besides that unique feature, I. hospitalis is an irregular cocci about 1-6μm in diameter. [1] These microbes are typically found in pairs. They are chemolithoautotrophs that grow exclusively by reducing sulfur. [1] Like the other members of their genus, they exhibit a cell envelope that consists of a plasma membrane, periplasmic space, and an outer membrane."|A

  • Pyrobaculum calidifontis

    Pyrobaculum calidifontis|P. Calidifontis|NOIMAGE|As its Latin name Pyrobaculum (the "fire stick") suggests, the archaeon is rod-shaped and isolated from locations with high temperatures. It is Gram-negative and its cells are surrounded by an S-layer of protein subunits. P. calidifontisis a hyperthermophilic and metabolically versatile organism. Different from other hyperthermophiles, it can live in the presence of oxygen and grows efficiently in microaerobic conditions.|A

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    Mariprofundus ferrooxydans

    Mariprofundus ferrooxydans|M. Ferrooxydans|NOIMAGE|From Wikipedia: "Mariprofundus ferrooxydans is a neutrophilic chemolithotrophic gram-negative bacterium which can grow by oxidising ferrous to ferric iron. It is the sole member of the class Zetaproteobacteria in the phylum Proteobacteria. The bacterium was isolated from iron-rich microbial mats associated with hydrothermal vents at a submarine volcano, Lōʻihi Seamount, near Hawai'i and has only 85.3% 16S similarity to its nearest cultivated species Methylophaga marina. It has a doubling time at 23°C of 12 h and a curved rod (approximately 0.5×2–5 µm) morphology. Despite being validly published, the etymology of the generic epithet is grammatically incorrect, being a concatenation of the Latin neutral mare -is (the sea) with the Latin masculine adjective profundus (deep) intended to mean a deep-sea organism (the neutral form of profundus is profundum). The specific epithet is L. n. ferrum, iron; Gr. adj. oxus, acid or sour and in combined words indicating oxygen; N.L. v. oxydare, to make acid, to oxidize; N.L. part. adj. ferrooxydans, iron-oxidizing.|B

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    Tetrahymena thermophila

    Tetrahymena thermophila|T. Thermophila|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/11/14/23/96923_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|E

  • Nosema apis

    Nosema apis|N. Apis|http://media.eol.org/content/2012/03/01/02/22652_130_130.jpg|Nosema apis is a species of parasitic microsporidia that infects honeybees in the United States. Once considered to be a protozoa, this parasitic organism causes Nosemosis in honey bees. Nosema apis produces spores that, once ingested by the honey bee, will infect cells in the midgut, taking in nutrients until the cell has none left. Once the midgut cell is completely nutrient-deficient, the midgut cell will undergo lysis, or rupture. More and more cells will become infected, which can lead to damaged tissue in the midgut of the honey bee. If infection sets in or if there is a large number of cells produced, dysentery could develop in the honey bee. One of the reasons why the spores spread so quickly between honey bees in a hive is that infected bees with dysentery defecate inside the hive, especially during the winter months. Levels of infection range from year to year, but a badly-infected hive could experience Nosema apis throughout the winter months, which typically results in the death of the entire hive if severe enough. The fungus can be treated with anti-fungal medication, but it is difficult to treat individual, because some honey bees do not demonstrate symptoms until the infection has become relatively severe.|E

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    Trypanosoma brucei

    African Sleeping Sickness Trypanosome

    Trypanosoma brucei|African Sleeping Sickness Trypanosome|http://media.eol.org/content/2011/10/06/00/87043_130_130.jpg|Trypanosoma brucei is a unicellular parasite that is responsible for causing African Sleeping Sickness. This protozoan causes 10,000 cases of African Sleeping Sickness per year, although the number could be higher with the number of unreported cases per year. Trypanosoma brucei uses the tsetse fly as a vector host, where it will then be transferred to a human host when the fly takes a blood meal from a human. Once the parasite enters the bloodstream, it enters stage one of the disease, where the organism begins to reproduce through binary fission. After some time, Trypanosoma brucei will migrate to the central nervous system, where mental functions will begin to deteriorate along with other neurological functions. The rate of progression of the disease depends on the subspecies. If untreated, African Sleeping Sickness can be fatal. Death occurs sometime between six months and six to seven years. There are about 10,000 reported cases of African Sleeping Sickness every year, although the actual number of cases may be significantly greater. There is no vaccine to prevent the spread of African Sleeping Sickness. Trypanosoma brucei have circular DNA called a kinetoplast that is similar in structure to mitochondrial DNA. This ring form is considered to be a very primitive form of DNA compared to the “ladder structure” found in higher organisms, Trypanosoma brucei has flagellum that it uses to move and is unicellular. One of the ways to prevent infection from Trypanosoma brucei is by wearing long sleeve clothing to prevent the tsetse fly from finding a place to bite.|E

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    Aglaophyton

    Aglaophyton|Aglaophyton Major|http://media.eol.org/content/2013/11/25/06/47330_130_130.jpg|Aglaophyton major was the sporophyte generation of a diplohaplontic, pre-vascular, axial, free-sporing land plant of the Lower Devonian (Pragian stage, around 410 million years ago). It had anatomical features intermediate between those of the bryophytes and vascular plants or tracheophytes. A. major was first described by Kidston and Lang in 1920 as the new species Rhynia major.[2] The species is known only from the Rhynie chert in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where it grew in the vicinity of a silica-rich hot spring, together with a number of associated vascular plants such as a smaller species Rhynia gwynne-vaughanii which may be interpreted as a representative of the ancestors of modern vascular plants and Asteroxylon mackei, which was an ancestor of modern clubmosses (Lycopsida). The stems of Aglaophyton were round in cross-section, smooth, unornamented, and up to about 6mm in diameter. Kidston and Lang[2] interpreted the plant as growing upright, to about 50 cm in height, but Edwards[1] has re-interpreted it as having prostrate habit, with shorter aerial axes of about 15 cm height. The axes branched dichotomously, the aerial axes branching at a comparatively wide angle of up to 90°, and were terminated with elliptical, thick-walled sporangia, which when mature, opened by spiral slits, so that the sporangia appear to be spiral in form.[3] Sporangia contained many identical spores (isospores) bearing trilete marks. The spores may therefore be interpreted as meiospores, the product of meiotic divisions, and thus the plants described by Edwards and by Kidston and Lang were diploid, sporophytes. The plant was originally interpreted as a tracheophyte, because the stem has a simple central vascular cylinder or protostele,[2] but more recent interpretations in the light of additional data indicated that Rhynia major had water-conducting tissue lacking the secondary thickening bars seen in the xylem of Rhynia gwynne-vaughanii, more like the water-conducting system (hydrome) of moss sporophytes. Edwards[1] demoted the species to the status of a non-vascular plant and renamed it Aglaophyton major.|E

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    Reticulomyxa filosa

    Reticulomyxa filosa|R. Filosa|http://media.eol.org/content/2014/01/21/15/15474_130_130.jpg|No Description Available|E