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Open Tree of Life Project List

Last updated 10 months 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.

  • 55526_88_88 Plantae > Ulvaceae

    Ulva lactuca

    Sea Lettuce

    Ulva lactuca|Sea Lettuce||Very similar in appearance to lettuce found on land, Ulva lactuca is a six to 24 inch wide alga that grows in flat blades. Also known as sea lettuce, Ulva lactuca grows in flat, strong sheets. Sea lettuce is a vivid green color and grows in both low and high intertidal zones. Sea lettuce, which typically attaches to a substrate via a holdfast, can survive in very choppy waters. However, if a blade of sea lettuce is removed from the holdfast, it is still capable of living and photosynthesizing by free-floating. Sea lettuce requires a large amount of moisture, and if left to dry out, the organism will turn white or black and may not survive. Sea lettuce can be used in place of normal lettuce like in salads. The blades, also known as leaves, are rich in protein, iron, and iodine. To reproduce, sea lettuce first goes through a process of meiosis, or asexual reproduction, where spores are released that eventually become male and female plants. In the second phase, male and female sea lettuce release gametes that when joined develop into a new plant in sexual reproduction. Sea lettuce is a great indicator of pollution, because the more polluted the area, the more sea lettuce there is. Since sea lettuce is an alga, the limiting nutrient that inhibits growth is nitrogen and phosphorus. Through the input of fertilizers and other pollutants that contain an abundance of nitrogen and phosphorus, sea lettuce is free to grow without being limited by lack of these nutrients. Since sea lettuce can live by free-floating on the surface of water, sunlight filtering to deeper regions of the ocean will be blocked by sea lettuce floating on the top. As a result, many plant species located in deeper ocean regions will die off because they cannot photosynthesize without sunlight.|E

  • 58744_88_88 Eucarya Woese et al. 1990 > Sachitida He 1980


    Wiwaxia|Wiwaxia|| Wiwaxia is a genus of Animalia that is extinct. Wiwaxia was discovered in 1899 and lived during the early Cambrian and middle Cambrian period. The name Wiwaxia came from a mountain in British Columbia called Wiwaxy, or windy. Wiwaxia are usually about 5 centimeters long and live on the sea floor. Wiwaxia were bottom feeders that depended on microbial mats on the ocean floor, where the organism would consume bacteria. Wiwaxia has a mouth complete with two rows of teeth on the underside of the organism. Since the organism did not have eyes, it is believed that it relied on chemicals to sense its environment. Wiwaxia resembled mollusks in appearance, however they have a hard shelled surface composed of sclerites that look scale-like. Wiwaxia must shed their sclerites regularly. The organism moved by expanding and contracting muscles, essentially crawling along the ocean floor. The classification of Wiwaxia has been debated by taxonomists. Some believe that Wiwaxia is related to polychaetes and annelids, also known as marine worms that are commonly found today. Disagreements exist between taxonomists that argue that Wiwaxia may in fact be related to a different group.|E

  • 54548_88_88 Bacteria > Anaplasmataceae

    Wolbachia pipientis

    Wolbachia pipientis|W. Pipientis||Wolbachia pipientis are gram-negative bacteria that form intracellular inherited infections in many invertebrate hosts. They are extremely common with at least 20% of all insects being infected. Since insect species comprise ~85% of all animal species on the planet, Wolbachia pipientis are one of the most common bacterial endosymbionts in the biosphere and can be of major importance in ecological and evolutionary processes. Moreover they infect numerous non-insect invertebrates including filarial nematodes, terrestrial crustaceans, mites, and spiders. They are predominantly transmitted through females to developing eggs, but can also undergo some horizontal transmission between host species. The limits of the host range are not fully appreciated at this time. Much of the success of Wolbachia can be attributed to the diverse phenotypes that result from infection. These include classical mutualism in nematodes in which the bacteria are required for fertility and larval development; and reproductive parasitism in arthropods as characterized by the ability of Wolbachia to override chromosomal sex determination, induce parthenogenesis, selectively kill males, influence sperm competition and generate cytoplasmic incompatibility. Reproductive parasitism enhances the spread of Wolbachia through host arthropod populations by increasing the number of infected females, the transmitting sex of this bacterium. Wolbachia are present in mature eggs, but not mature sperm. It is thought that the phenotypes caused by Wolbachia, especially cytoplasmic incompatibility, may be important in promoting rapid speciation events in insects. The unique biology of Wolbachia has attracted a growing number of researchers and science educators interested in questions ranging from the evolutionary implications of infection to the use of this endosymbiont for human disease control and discovery-based projects in high school classrooms.|B

  • 34404_88_88 Chromista > Peronosporaceae

    Phytophthora infestans

    Potato Late Blight Fungus

    Phytophthora infestans|Potato Late Blight Fungus||Phytophthora infestans is a pathogen of potatoes and tomatoes and is most famous for causing the Irish potato famine from 1845 to 1860. Phytophthora infestans can migrate very easily from plant to plant through a mechanism called zoospores. After rainy periods, large amounts of water in the soil allows zoospores to travel to other potato plants. These zoospores are more commonly known as “swimming spores”. The ability for Phytophthora infestans to release zoospores allows the pathogen to take over an entire potato field in only a matter of days. The Irish potato famine of 1845 caused nearly 1 million deaths and 1.5 million Irish citizens to relocated to the United States. Potatoes were an Irish staple crop due to how filling potatoes are along with their high crop yield. Wet and cold conditions aggravated the spread of the pathogen. Before the Irish potato famine, Phytophthora infestans was not known except for parts of South America where it was eaten sometimes as a staple food. Phytophthora infestans appears on potato plant leaves as light green or grey spots that eventually grow larger and turn black, spreading to the rest of the potato plant. Phytophthora infestans is often combated in crops through the use of fungicides. This pathogen was once considered to be a fungus, however the species was reclassified as a member of the kingdom Stramenopila. There are three reasons why the Phytophthora infestans was removed from the fungal kingdom: firstly the cell walls are composed of cellulose, whereas the cell walls of fungi are composed of chitin, second, Phytophthora infestans stores its energy as starch like most plants, whereas fungi store energy as glycogen much like humans do, and thirdly, diploid filaments develop inside the nuclei of the cell, whereas with fungi have haploid filaments inside their cell nuclei.|E

  • 44938_88_88 Bacteria > Deinococcaceae

    Deinococcus radiodurans

    Deinococcus radiodurans|D. Radiodurans||Deinococcus radiodurans is a polyextremophile bacterium that can withstand large amounts of radiation, drought, lack of nutrients, and acid baths. This bacterium was discovered in 1956 when a can of meat that had been through radiation still became spoiled. Deinococcus radiodurans was discovered to have the ability to withstand radiation nearly 1000 times the radiation it would take to kill a human. Even its scientific name means “strange berry that can withstand radiation”. This primitive bacterium has been declared the toughest bacterium in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. It is circular and red; its color comes from carotenoid pigmentations. The natural environment of Deinococcus radiodurans is unknown, though it has been found in feces and arctic dry valleys. Scientists question where the organism’s ability to withstand radiation was developed, since the environments it has been found in do not contain anywhere close to the amount of radiation it can withstand. Researchers have speculated that the ability may come from withstanding dehydration, as it has about the same effect as radiation. Deinococcus radiodurans DNA is composed of plastids, or circular rings of genetic material typically found in primitive organisms. The answer to Deinococcus radiodurans’s ability to withstand radiation may come from the bacterium carrying more than four copies of its genome within its cell. Along with also having special proteins to help it reassemble broken DNA strands, this organism can repair its genetic material to its original form even after being hit with extraordinarily high amounts of radiation. Living up to its namesake, strains of this bacterium have been created to break down toluene and mercury. This bacterium has also been used to help clean up radioactive sites from the Cold War. NASA has even dabbled with the idea of studying this organism to find out where - and if - life on Mars could exist, as the planet has evidence of carrying water. The organization has even expressed interest in creating strains of this bacterium that can create medications that astronauts could use while in space. Since the organism is highly resistant to radiation - which is bountiful in outer space - there would be no worry of the organism not being able to survive in multiple extreme environments, including space.|B

  • 18062_88_88 Metazoa > Arthropoda



    Trilobita|Trilobites||Fossil arthropod, one of the dominant forms of life during the Cambrian and Ordovician periods. Still abundant and diverse through the end of the Devonian period. Attained spectacular morphologic and taxonomic diversity over 300 million years of evolutionary history. |E

  • 01385_88_88 cellular organisms > Clostridiaceae

    Clostridium botulinum

    Clostridium botulinum|Botulism Bacteria||Clostridium botulinum is a gram-positive bacteria that produces a nerve toxin called botulin. In the human body, the presence of this toxin causes a condition called botulism that in some cases can be fatal. Clostridium botulinum is often found in soil and water and can breathe anaerobically, meaning without the use of oxygen. Despite having preferred environmental conditions, Clostridium botulinum can survive in poor environmental conditions, such as environments with an acidic pH or high heat. This bacterium can produce spores that can withstand poor environmental conditions and remain dormant until the conditions it is surrounded in have improved. This rod-shaped bacterium has a genome that is larger than most genomes for other gram-positive bacteria. There are seven strains of Clostridium botulinum. One of the most challenging parts about preventing the contraction of botulism is that the spores are able to survive a variety of poor environmental conditions, making the spores difficult to kill. Methods like extremely high temperatures and high oxygen levels have been used to kill off Clostridium botulinum spores in food. There are five types of botulism disease: food borne, wound botulism, infant botulism, adult intestinal toxemia, and iatrogenic botulism. Iatrogenic botulism is the most rare and occurs when a researcher or lab technician contracts the bacteria spores when working on a specimen. Food borne botulism most commonly occurs when home-canned goods are produced and the substrate Clostridium botulinum was on had not been properly killed through high temperatures. The best way to avoid this form of botulism is by thoroughly cooking canned goods. Symptoms of botulism include slurred speech, paralysis, blurred vision, and muscle fatigue. If untreated, any of the five forms of botulism could be fatal. Clostridium botulinum’s botulin toxin has been used in some cases to treat involuntary muscle spasms.|B

  • 29206_88_88 Bacteria > Bacillaceae

    Bacillus anthracis

    Anthrax Bacterium

    Bacillus anthracis|Anthrax Bacteria||Bacillus anthracis is the etiologic agent of anthrax — a common disease of livestock and, occasionally, of humans — and the only obligate pathogen within the genus Bacillus. B. anthracis is a Gram-positive, endospore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium, with a width of 1–1.2µm and a length of 3–5µm. It can be grown in an ordinary nutrient medium under aerobic or anaerobic conditions. Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and animals. There are now effective vaccines against anthrax, and some forms of the disease respond well to antibiotic treatment. Like many other members of the genus Bacillus, Bacillus anthracis can form dormant endospores (often referred to as "spores" for short, but not to be confused with fungal spores) that are able to survive in harsh conditions for decades or even centuries.[1] Such spores can be found on all continents, even Antarctica.[2] When spores are inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with a skin lesion on a host, they may become reactivated and multiply rapidly.|B

  • 14897_88_88 cellular organisms > Trichomonadidae

    Trichomonas vaginalis

    Trichomonas vaginalis|T. Vaginalis||Trichomonas vaginalis is a unicellular parasitic eukaryote that causes the sexually transmitted disease Trichomoniasis in males and females. Trichomonas vaginalis is most commonly spread through sexual contact. The parasite can even be spread through swimming pools and toilet seats, though the chances of contracting Trichomonas vaginalis are more rare in those instances. Trichomonas vaginalis has five flagella, with four on the outside of the organism and one contained within the cell membrane. When environmental conditions are unfavorable, the organism will bring all of its flagella inside the cell until conditions improve. Without a host, Trichomonas vaginalis is oval shaped, but when attached to a host cell, Trichomonas vaginalis has more of an amoeboid structure. Since Trichomonas vaginalis cannot produce many of the nutrients it needs, it will obtain them from consuming cells or bacterial cells either inside the male urethra or the female vagina. When the parasite enters the host, it will attach to host cells and immediately cause inflammation and make the area painful for the host. There are 170 million cases of Trichomoniasis worldwide, and only 30 percent of those infected will actually display symptoms. Researchers are still unsure as to why some will exhibit symptoms, while others will not. Metronidazole is used to cure an infection from Trichomonas vaginalis, but there are reports of some strains that may be resistant to the drug. Trichomonas vaginalis reproduces through binary fission, although not much else is known about the life cycle of the parasite. Trichomonas vaginalis grows best in an environment with a pH of 6.0, however since it exists in some environments such as a vagina where the pH will change, Trichomonas vaginalis may be able to survive drastic changes in pH. Trichomonas vaginalis has six chromosomes and the entire genome of the organism has been sequenced. The organism itself is very similar to the animal kingdom in regards to cell structure. Research has shown that there may be a correlation between Trichomonas vaginalis and cervical cancer. Pregnant women with Trichomonas vaginalis may give birth to a child with a low birthweight. Trichomonas vaginalis may also cause infertility in both men and women.|E

  • 71107_88_88 Plantae > Palmariaceae

    Palmaria palmata


    Palmaria palmata|Dulse||Palmaria palmata is a red algae that also goes by the name of dulse. Commonly found in Europe, North America, Japan and Korea, dulse can be found in colder water temperatures. Named for its resemblance to the palm of a hand and growing in flat blades with “finger-like” extensions, dulse ranges from deep red to purple in color. This red algae is 20 centimeters long and has only one type of chlorophyll, also known as chlorophyll a. Dulse will grow on rocks or even other organisms like mussels or other species of algae. In Northern Ireland, dulse is eaten as a snack, not unlike eating chips. At one time, it was a tradition for the red algae to be harvested and then left to dry out on walls, where it would be consumed afterwards. There is evidence that suggests that dulse has been eaten for centuries, possibly even thousands of years. Dulse is a very nutritional algae that is rich in protein and iron. Considered one of the most delectable forms of seaweed, dulse plants that are closer to the surface are usually considered better in taste. In Northern Ireland, dulse is eaten similar to the way chips are eaten. Dulse can reproduce sexually or asexually. Male plants can produce gametes called spermatia after about nine months, whereas females are fertile after only a few days. Female plants do not release gametes; instead males release spermatia, which land on female plants and become fertilized. The plant is highly intolerant of hydrocarbons and synthetic compounds. Dulse has about 34 times greater concentration of potassium than a banana.|E

  • 06989_88_88 Eucarya Woese et al. 1990 > Lepidodendraceae


    Lepidodendron|Lepidodendron||No Description Available|E

  • 85678_88_88 Bacteria > Streptococcaceae

    Streptococcus pneumoniae

    Streptococcus pneumoniae|S. Pneumoniae||Streptococcus pneumoniae is a species of bacteria that is responsible for pneumonia, meningitis and bone infections. Also called pneumococcus, the most common form of pneumonia that Streptococcus pneumoniae causes is lobar pneumonia. Lobar pneumonia affects the lobes of the lungs. Discovered in 1881, this bacteria is immotile and gram-positive. Despite having a strong cell wall of peptidoglycan and a capsule for protection, Streptococcus pneumoniae is considered to be a delicate bacteria. Thriving in very mild temperature conditions, Streptococcus pneumoniae can live in the human body without causing illness or disease. Though harmless in small populations, this bacteria can become pathogenic when present in large populations. Since it is unable to move of its own accord, Streptococcus pneumoniae can be found commonly in pairs and uses small appendages called pili to adhere to the surface of things. Streptococcus pneumoniae have circular chromosomes and can reproduce very quickly. Some strains have become somewhat resistant to antibiotics, which are used to treat illnesses like pneumonia. Scientists have found that the more resistant the strain is to the antibiotic penicillin, the higher the mortality rate for people who are infected by that strain. Young children under the age of five and the elderly are more susceptible to infection and disease from this bacteria. The bacteria, which resides in the human respiratory tract, can be spread person-to-person through close contact and swapping saliva. Several strains of the Streptococcus pneumoniae genome have been mapped, however scientists are still searching for an effective vaccine. |B

  • 76324_88_88 cellular organisms > Chlamydomonadaceae

    Chlamydomonas nivalis

    Snow Alga

    Chlamydomonas nivalis|Snow Alga||Chlamydomonas nivalis, also known as watermelon snow, is a species of microscopic unicellular algae that thrives in high altitudes over 10,000 feet high. For a long time, it was believed that this organism was actually an oxidized mineral. This fungus is actually red in color because of a carotenoid pigment, but as it grows in the snow, the white and red produce a pink color. Chlamydomonas nivalis loves the cold. Since the organism prefers such high altitudes closer to the sun, higher ultraviolet radiation can damage the thylakoid membrane of chlorophyll, which would be very harmful to the organism. Flavenoids protect the organism from ultraviolet radiation. When Chlamydomonas nivalis germinates, it releases green swimming cells with flagella. These cells will migrate towards the top of the snow, where the swimming cells will lose their flagella, start growing a thick wall and begin to grow colonies of the red algae. During the winter months, this algae lies dormant until the spring and summer months where it will grow blooms. This algae will photosynthesize in the snow.|E

  • 11722_88_88 Fungi > Entomophthoraceae

    Entomophthora muscae

    Entomophthora muscae|E. Muscae||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

  • 36022_88_88 Fungi > Not assigned

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Amphibian Chytrid

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis|Amphibian Chytrid||Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a species of fungus that is pathogenic to only amphibians. Also known as frog chytrid or Bd for short, this pathogen infects the top layer of skin in frogs and causes the skin to harden by producing too much of the compound keratin. Since frogs and other amphibians typically depend on their skin to breathe and intake water and salts, the hardening of their skin is lethal. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is considered to be a chytrid, or a fungus under the phylum Chytridiomycota. Once considered to be protozoans, chytrids are the most primitive fungi and consist of about 1000 species. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the only chytrid that infects only vertebrate organisms; other chytrids usually affect invertebrate organisms. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis can also secrete toxins, which also contributes to the death of the amphibian. This pathogen causes very severe population declines, and was called by the ICUN as being one of the most devastating pathogens in terms of potential to drive a species towards extinction. Symptoms of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis include seizures, the amphibian will sit or squat in awkward positions, the skin will be red and shed excessively, and nocturnal species will begin coming out during the day. In some cases, the infected amphibian will exhibit no symptoms. To determine if an amphibian is infected with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a small skin sample can be taken and examined under a microscope. Found on every continent apart from Antarctica, scientists are still trying to determine whether this fungus is relatively new, or if the species has recently changed to infect amphibians. Some frog populations are somewhat resistant to the fungus. Though the exact reasons why some populations may be resistant to the pathogen are not known, symbiotic bacteria, genetic resistance, and temperature may contribute to protecting the amphibian from the fungus. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis produces zoospores, which are flagellated cells, to infect other amphibians. Zoospores need moist and cool temperatures. When the environment gets hot and dry, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis’s zoospores will not survive for more than a few hours. It is possible to treat Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis with anti-fungal medications, however an effective method to treating amphibians in the wild has not yet been developed.|E

  • 37998_88_88 Bacteria > Mycobacteriaceae

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis|M. Tuberculosis||Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a complex of six subspecies of pathogenic bacteria that causes the disease tuberculosis. Mycobacterium tuberculosis requires a human host in order to survive. About 32 percent of the human population is infected with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. Mycobacterium tuberculosis has a thick cell wall that makes it difficult to diffuse nutrients through, as well as for the bacteria to reproduce. The bacteria uses glucose as its primary nutrient. Mycobacterium tuberculosis has plasmids that contain the bacteria’s 4,000 gene entire genome. The bacteria requires large amounts of oxygen, which is why the bacteria requires living in the lungs of its host. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infects the lungs of humans and is spread through air contact. Mycobacterium tuberculosis cannot be spread through kissing, sharing food, or swapping fluids, since the pathogen resides in the lungs. Once a human host has been infected, the bacteria begins to reproduce. A healthy human immune system does not begin to devour and destroy the bacteria for several days. The bacteria can spread to other portions of the lung, and eventually spread to other parts of the body. Mycobacterium tuberculosis can create lesions in the bones and lymph nodes of its host as well. However, despite the large number of infections, only a small percentage of infections turn into the tuberculosis disease. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is neither gram negative nor gram positive. Gram negative and positive bacteria are so named because the makeup of their peptidoglycan cellular membrane. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is resistant to a large number of antibiotics. Typically, when a human host is infected, the disease or infection must be treated with multiple antibiotics. In some cases, a person can be infected with no symptoms or pain. However, when the infection progresses into the tuberculosis disease, symptoms will be present. In the United States, about ten antibiotics are used to treat Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis infection is not infectious from person to person; however, tuberculosis disease is infectious from person to person. There are approximately eight million new cases of Tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis every year. |B

  • 48908_88_88 cellular organisms > Lumbricus rubellus complex

    Lumbricus rubellus

    Red Earthworm

    Lumbricus rubellus|Red Earthworm||Lumbricus rubellus is a species of earthworm native to Great Britain but found all around the world. Also known by the names red wriggler, european earthworm, and common marsh worm, these earthworms are reddish in color with deep purple at the posterior end and can reach up to 150 centimeters in length. Lumbricus rubellus feeds on organic matter and benefits the soil by helping decompose larger soil particles. Like all members of the class Oligochaeta, these worms have about 100 body segments with each segment outfitted with bristles called chaetae to help the earthworm move through the soil. To create tunnels through the soil, Lumbricus rubellus use a type of movement called peristalsis, or a series of contracting and expanding movements. Lumbricus rubellus prefers loose, moist soil with plenty of organic matter to feed upon. Lumbricus rubellus can be seen throughout all months of the year. Also like all other earthworms, Lumbricus rubellus is hermaphroditic, but since the organism cannot self-fertilize, each earthworm still requires a mate to reproduce. The egg sacs of Lumbricus rubellus are drought resistant. It takes about 90 days for Lumbricus rubellus to reach sexual maturity, and typically the number of offspring from each egg sac is very low. Though Lumbricus rubellus contributes to soil health in many areas, the earthworm may carry organisms that can spread pathogens to plants and animals by moving them through the soil. The earthworm can also contribute to removing nitrogen from the soil, which removes an essential nutrient that plants need to grow, as well as assisting with erosion. A rare plant in the great lakes region called a goblin fern, or Botrychium mormo, has decreased significantly in population, with Lumbricus rubellus suspected as the root cause. The decrease in goblin fern populations has lead to legislation being passed in the United States that makes importing Lumbricus rubellus more regulated.|E

  • 97594_88_88 Protozoa > Amoebidae

    Amoeba proteus

    Amoeba proteus|Amoeba||Amoeba proteus is a unicellular amoeba that lives in freshwater. Amoeba, meaning change, and proteus, meaning “sea god”. Amoeba proteus moves by using pseudopodia, or false feet. The organism expands and contracts, using its “feet” to move around. Amoeba proteus can sense light and will move away from it. When found in the wild, Amoeba proteus can often be found in the shade underneath lily pads in fresh water. This protozoan is an omnivore and consumes both smaller bacteria and plants. Amoeba proteus reproduces asexually through binary fission, the most common method, encystment, conjugation (where genetic material between two Amoeba proteus is swapped), and regeneration. Though Amoeba proteus is non-pathogenic, other amoebas may be pathogenic. Amoeba proteus can be seen with the naked eye, as it is 3 mm in diameter. Amoeba proteus and another amoeba species, Chaos carolinensis, are often mistaken for one another. The difference between the two is that Chaos carolinensis has multiple nuclei, while Amoeba proteus has only one nucleus. Amoeba proteus consumes its prey by wrapping two pseudopodia around the food source, careful not to touch the organism until there is no possible way for it to escape. Once the food source has been trapped, Amoeba proteus will release digestive enzymes into the enclosed space, effectively digesting it. One of the most interesting things about Amoeba proteus is that it has different eating mechanisms depending on what type of organism its prey is. This fact has led researchers to believe that there may be chemical sensory involved which helps Amoeba proteus locate prey. |E

  • 84365_88_88 Bacteria > Caulobacteraceae

    Caulobacter crescentus

    Caulobacter crescentus|Gram-negative Bacteria||Caulobacter crescentus is a species of gram-negative bacteria that can be found in both saline and fresh water, as well as soil. Caulobacter crescentus is rod-shaped and has a dimorphic lifestyle, meaning the organism takes on two forms during different periods in its lifetime. One form includes producing stalked cells that are capable of dividing, and the other form includes flagellated swarmer cells that cannot divide. Caulobacter crescentus possesses a stalk at one end, and at the end it has a flagellum, where it produces a holdfast to attach to a substrate. Caulobacter crescentus requires oxygen and is mesothermic, meaning stable temperatures around 35 degrees Celsius. One of the most interesting facts about this organism is the material Caulobacter crescentus releases is one of the strongest stickiest substances known to the natural world. The sugary “glue” material has a force of five tons per square inch, or 70 Newtons per square millimeter. Bioengineers have been researching this organism’s remarkable ability to produce this material in order to replicate it for commercial and medical use.|B

  • 47796_88_88 Protozoa > Vahlkampfidae

    Naegleria gruberi

    Naegleria gruberi|N. Gruberi||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

  • 80280_88_88 Plantae > Anthocerotaceae

    Anthoceros agrestis

    Field Hornwort

    Anthoceros agrestis|Field Hornwort||Anthoceros agrestis, also known as field hornwort, is a plant species native to the United Kingdom, but has also been found along the east coast of the United States. This aquatic perennial is considered to be an herb and prefers living in damp fields and marshy grasslands. At one time, before plant classifications had become more sophisticated, Anthoceros agrestis and Anthoceros punctatus were commonly mistaken for one another. Anthoceros agrestis has green shoots called thalli that are frilly and circular, as well as about 3 centimeters wide. The flowers of Anthoceros agrestis are unisexual. Anthoceros agrestis has no roots because it lives in an aquatic location. |E

  • 57017_88_88 Plantae > Cyatheaceae

    Cyathea corcovadensis

    Cyathea corcovadensis|C. Corcovadensis||No Description Available|E

  • 91719_88_88 Bacteria > Enterobacteriaceae

    Salmonella enterica

    Salmonella enterica|S. Enterica||Salmonella enterica is a rod-shaped gram-negative species of bacteria. There are only two species under the genus Salmonella, of which can cause Salmonella poisoning in animals. Salmonella enterica is anaerobic, and can survive in environments with or without oxygen. This organism is parasitic, and Salmonella the disease is considered zoonotic, which means it can pass between animals and humans. Typically, animals like cattle, chickens, reptiles, cats, dogs and humans can all become infected by Salmonella enterica through ingesting the bacteria. However, the bacteria can also be spread by consuming raw or uncooked meat or eggs, as well as fruits and vegetables harboring the organism. Salmonella cannot be killed through freezing, and the organism can survive in feces. Salmonella enterica can be killed through high temperatures, and cooking raw foods well will kill off the bacteria. Though there are only two species of Salmonella (Salmonella enterica and Salmonella bongori) there are over 2,000 variations of the bacteria. Within the species Salmonella enterica, there are six subspecies, with subspecies I being the only one to cause disease in warm-blooded organisms, and three serovars, or variations, to cause greater than 70 percent of infections. The other five subspecies of Salmonella enterica can cause disease in some cold-blooded organisms. In some cases, genetic variation between serovars can be useful because it can be used to trace a Salmonella outbreak back to the source. Healthy organisms can typically kill Salmonella enterica if it has been digested with just stomach acid, but if large amounts of the bacteria have been consumed, then stomach acid may not be enough to kill it off. If Salmonella enterica is able to get to the intestines, it will begin to burrow in the cells of the intestines and release toxins that cause the intestinal cells to release fluids. This explains the cause of diarrhea in Salmonella victims. The toxin also causes a fever in the host. Once Salmonella enterica has thoroughly infiltrated the intestines, it will move to the spleen and liver, alternating between those two organs and the intestines. Salmonella enterica requires glucose, which it takes in from its host. The bacteria releases carbon dioxide and hydrogen as a byproduct of respiration, which are released into the intestines and can cause irritation for the host. Symptoms of Salmonella include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting. Typically, symptoms of Salmonella kick in between 12 hours and three days after ingesting the bacteria, and can last between four to seven days. There are typically 1.4 million Salmonella infections in humans every year in just the United States.|B

  • 82207_88_88 Fungi > Blastocladiaceae

    Allomyces macrogynus

    Allomyces macrogynus|A. Macrogynus||Allomyces macrogynus is considered to be a primitive species of fungi. A member of the class Cytridiomycetes, or Chytrids, this fungus is commonly found in tropical regions. Allomyces macrogynus cycles between sexual and asexual periods, producing asexual spores called zoospores and sexual male or female gametes. Relying on decaying organic matter for a food source, Allomyces macrogynus is also a homothallic organism, meaning it has the ability to produce male and female gametes. Allomyces macrogynus thrives in a temperature of 24 degrees Celsius (about 75 degrees Fahrenheit) and can be commonly found in pond soil.|E

  • 15474_88_88 cellular organisms > Reticulomyxidae

    Reticulomyxa filosa

    Reticulomyxa filosa|R. Filosa||No Description Available|E

  • 31728_88_88 Bacteria > Thermaceae

    Thermus aquaticus

    Thermus aquaticus|T. Aquaticus||Thermus aquaticus is an archaean that lives in hot springs such as Yellowstone National Park. A special enzyme called Taq polymerase makes this bacterium unique, as most enzymes cannot function past 105 degrees fahrenheit. However, Taq polymerase functions at the optimal temperature of 158 degrees fahrenheit. This gram-negative, thermophilic bacterium is rod-shaped and long, almost worm-like in shape. Thermus aquaticus sometimes has flagella. Thermus aquaticus is heterotrophic in nature,meaning this organism consumes some form of organic matter and lives in temperatures too hot for photosynthesis to be possible. Though Thermus aquaticus can live in high temperatures and weakly acidic water, very small changes in salt content can drastically affect the organism, as it is sensitive to salinity. Taq polymerase is useful in medicine and technology such as DNA amplification, DNA sequencing, forensic science, and detecting AIDS. Taq is also used in something called polymerase chain reaction. Thermus aquaticus’s enzyme Taq polymerase is controversial in usage because it is often used in commercial industries.|B

  • 96488_88_88 Animalia > Philodinidae

    Philodina roseola

    Common Rotifer

    Philodina roseola|Common Rotifer||Philodina roseola, also known as common rotifer, is a species of microscopic freshwater rotifer. An asexual organism that has a clear, soft body, Philodina roseola can also be found in soil as well as freshwater. This species falls under the subclass Bdelloidea, which also falls under the common name “Wheeled animacules” due to the strange “revolving” appearance of the corona, or ciliated “crown” the rotifer has. Like all other members of the phylum Rotifera, Philodina roseola do not have a respiratory system or excretory system. There are no males in Philodina roseola, and all the females reproduce new embryos without fertilization. One of the most unique things about this organism is that it can survive extreme temperatures and dryness for several years by creating a cyst. This cyst is pink and encases the entire organism until environmental conditions improve. Philodina roseola has a brain and nerve cords that are connected to the brain. The corona, or “ciliated crown” assists in capturing food. The corona moves the food into the buccal tube, which also typically has cilia, which then moves to the mastax, then the intestines, and waste is released out of the anus. The entire body of Philodina roseola is larger than most Rotifera, usually spanning a body length of no longer than 1 millimeter.|E

  • 12449_88_88 Animalia > Niphatidae

    Amphimedon queenslandica

    Amphimedon queenslandica|A. Queenslandica||Amphimedon queenslandica is a sponge from the phylum Porifera that is native to the great barrier reef. It was first discovered in 1998, but was first described in 2006. Amphimedon queenslandica was the first member of the phylum Porifera to have its genome completely sequenced. Amphimedon queenslandica has a larval stage and a benthic stage. It is a hermaphroditic species that fertilizes its eggs through the release of sperm into the ocean. The Amphimedon queenslandica genome is studied to understand the evolution of Metazoa and complexity of the animal genome. Amphimedon queenslandica is considered to be a primitive sponge species.|E

  • 33264_88_88 Platyhelminthes > Dugesiidae Ball 1974

    Schmidtea mediterranea

    Freshwater Planarian

    Schmidtea mediterranea|Freshwater Planarian||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

  • 75914_88_88 Plantae > Polyphysaceae

    Acetabularia acetabulum

    Mermaid's Wine Glass

    Acetabularia acetabulum|Mermaid's Wine Glass||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

  • 54610_88_88 Bacteria > Bacteroidaceae

    Bacteroides fragilis

    Bacteroides fragilis|B. Fragilis||Bacteroides fragilis is an anaerobic gram-negative bacteria that can be commonly found in the colon and small intestines of humans and other animals. Bacteroides fragilis is gram-negative and is usually symbiotic with its host. However, if the bacteria leaves the intestines and enters a different part of the body, it can become parasitic and cause an infection. Bacteroides fragilis, when outside the intestines or colon, will begin infecting an area and paralyze leukocytes,which are used by the human body to heal an infection. Bacteroides fragilis makes up about 80 percent of bacterial infections and is curable with antibiotics. The bacteria can also produce enterotoxins, or toxins that target the intestines. Bacteroides fragilis can survive in a variety of environments, and is just as versatile as E. coli bacteria. Bacteroides fragilis produces acetic acid, iso-valeric acid and succinic acid, while competing for nutrients with other bacteria that live in the intestines. Bacteroides fragilis has also been found in patients with meningitis, and can cause abscess formations. Some strains of Bacteroides fragilis are resistant to antibiotics like penicillin. Researchers are studying the genomes of Bacteroides fragilis in order to discover a better antibiotic to treat this bacteria.|B

  • 77469_88_88 Eucarya Woese et al. 1990 > Polysporangiomorpha


    Aglaophyton|Aglaophyton Major||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

  • 06212_88_88 Bacteria > Frankiaceae

    Frankia alni

    Frankia alni|F. Alni||Frankia alni is a species of gram-positive bacteria that is closely associated with plants. This bacteria can have symbiotic relationships with actinorhizal, or flowering plants. This mutual relationship allows the host plant to grow in areas with low nitrogen. In exchange for fixing nitrogen for the host plant, Frankia alni is supplied with nutrients by its host. Frankia alni forms nodules in the roots of actinorhizal plants and converts dinitrogen, which plants are unable to use as a nitrogen source, into ammonia which plants can then use. In return, Frankia alni receives some of the products of photosynthesis from the host plant. Frankia alni produces special types of cells called diazo-vesicles that are responsible for supplying nitrogen to the host. Frankia alni is not known to be pathogenic to plants. Scientists began sequencing the genome of Frankia alni in 2003 and completed the genome sequencing in 2006. As one of the twelve species under the Frankia genus, all of these bacteria are known to have symbiotic relationships with various types of plants. Frankia alni has been found on all continents except for Australia and Antarctica. Without this bacteria supplying fixed nitrogen to a host plant, many actinorhizal plants would be incapable of surviving in low-nitrogen soils.|B

  • 36135_88_88 Bacteria > Corynebacteriaceae

    Corynebacterium diphtheriae

    Corynebacterium diphtheriae|C. Diphtheriae||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

  • Archaea > Sulfolobaceae

    Sulfolobus solfataricus

    Sulfolobus solfataricus|S. Solfataricus|NOIMAGE|Description from "Members of the group Sulfolobales are found in solfataric fields, acidophilic mud springs and thermal active areas all around the world. Famous strains include e.g. Sulfolobus acidocaldarius from Yellowstone Nationalpark, described by T. Brock as the first hyperthermophilic microorganism (Brock et al. 1972), and Sulfolobus solfataricus strain P2, which was isolated from a solfataric field near Naples, Pisciarelli (Italy; Zillig et al. 1980). Sulfolobus strains are hyperthermophilic crenarchaea that optimally grow around 75-80°C and a pH between 2.5 - 3.5. Since Sulfolobus spp. are grown aerobically and are quite easy to cultivate in a laboratory scale, these organisms have developed into a model system for studies on different aspects of microbial adaptation to extreme environments in metabolism, DNA translation and transcription, cell division and many other cellular aspects. Membranes of Sulfolobus strains contain tetraether lipids and their content can be up to 98% of all lipids. These lipids have been found to be highly proton impermeable allowing Sulfolobus to keep an internal pH of 6.5 in an acidic surrounding (Van de Vossenberg et al. 1995; Moll & Schäfer 1988). Some Sulfolobus strains are able to oxidize iron in the presence of sulphur; however most of them can also grow heterotrophically. S. solfataricus grows on a variety of different carbon sources like trypton, various sugars or amino acids (Grogan 1989). The organism has been chosen as a model system for our study not only because the whole genome sequence information (She et al. 2001) is available, but it also harbors special metabolic features like an unusual branched Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathway for glucose catabolism (Ahmed et al. 2005). Furthermore, the strain is attractive as genetic tools like a deletion mutant strain and a virus based vector system are available (Wagner et al. 2009)."|A

  • Biota > Nitrosopumilaceae

    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

  • Chromista > Thalassiosiraceae Lebour

    Thalassiosira pseudonana

    Thalassiosira pseudonana|T. Pseudonana||Thalassiosira pseudonana is a species of diatom, which is a group of phytoplankton, or algae. This unicellular, round organism lives in marine environments, but may have had freshwater ancestors. Thalassiosira pseudonana was the first diatom to have its genome sequenced, which it was found to have an unusually small amount of genetic material. Researchers hope that by sequencing the genome of Thalassiosira pseudonana, it will be easier to understand the interactions diatoms have with their environments. Thalassiosira pseudonana has had three name changes and is often confused for other species of diatom. Thalassiosira pseudonana has also been cloned, where cultures of the clone are still kept in labs today. Scientists chose to clone this particular species of diatom because the genome was relatively small and less complex than other diatom genomes. Diatoms are one of the smallest and diverse class of Eukaryotes. Diatoms in general are responsible for about 20 percent of the world’s primary productivity, which means that these photosynthetic organisms are responsible for producing much of the world’s food source.|E

  • 34607_88_88 cellular organisms > Histionidae

    Reclinomonas americana

    Reclinomonas americana|R. Americana||Reclinomonas americana is a species of unicellular eukaryote that lives in only freshwater. Being only 5 μ long, Reclinomonas americana is the only member of the genus Reclinomonas. Reclinomonas americana has both an anterior and posterior flagellum. This species of eukaryote was one of the first to have its mitochondrial genome sequenced. Reclinomonas americana is sessile, meaning the organism does not move around during its lifetime, however they do release free-swimming zoospores that can move around. Reclinomonas americana is considered to be a bacteriovorous organism, which consumes species of bacteria to obtain energy. Reclinomonas americana reproduce asexually through binary fission. Reclinomonas americana appears to ‘recline’ not in the shape unlike a wine glass, which is how the species got its name. |E

  • 41895_88_88 Protozoa > Pleuronematidae

    Pleuronema coronatum

    Pleuronema coronatum|P. Coronatum||Ciliate, 60-90 x 30-50 microns, outline elongate oval to elliptical, widest at or behind mid-body; anteriorly and posteriorly broadly rounded; ventral margin almost straight and dorsal side conspicuously convex. Dorso-ventraly about 3:2 f1attened. Pellicle rigid and slightly notched; extruomes about 4 microns long, closely arranged beneath pellicle. Cytoplasm colourless and hyaline, often containing several to many refractile globules which are mostly 3-5 microns across and located in the posterior half of the cell. Contractile vacuole small, located slightly dorsally in posterior 1/5-1/6 of the cell length (at about level of cytostome). Food vacuoles usually large, with indefinable contents (possibly bacteria). Macronucleus roundish, usually with many globular nucleoli. In some speciemens only one large, centrally located nucleolus to be observed. Single oval to spherical micronucleus closely adjacent to macronucleus. Somatic cilia about 10 microns long, about 10-15 caudal cilia about 3 times as long as somatic ones, stretching always in radial manner; cilia of buccal apparatus 20-40 microns length. Movement moderately fast, somewhat drifting and wobbly, and then motionless for short periods on detritus. About 40 somatic kinetics extending over entire length of cell, which are shortened anteriorly and form thus an inconspicuous suture, while others terminate at the apical end and compose one large bold apical plate. Caudally one cilia-free area to recognise posterior to buccal field. all kineties in anterior 2/3 of body composed of (mainly) paired basal bodies, monokinetids posterioly. Left of buccal field mostly 4-5 shortened kineties. Adoral membranelle short, anteriorly with two rows of basal bodies: membranelle 2 bipartite - one part posteriorly hook-like, anteriorly and posteriorly distinctly 2-rowed, middle portion zig-zag shaped, second part V-shaped; membranelle 3 consistmg of 3 rows of basal bodies, which are arranged densely. Paroral membrane prominent and genus characteristic, about 4/5 of cell length with its posterior end strongly curved.|E

  • 54557_88_88 Protozoa > Codonosigaceae

    Monosiga ovata

    Monosiga ovata|M. Ovata||Monosiga ovata is a species of unicellular eukaryotic choanoflagellate that can live in both marine and fresh water. These “collared-flagellates” have a collar of microvilli, used to trap food and protect the cell against detritus, that surround the flagellum, a characteristic found in all choanoflagellates. The nucleus of the cell is located on the anterior region, while the contractile vacuole is located in the posterior region. Without including the collared region, the length of the body is about 5μ. Monosiga ovata reproduces through longitudinal cell division. Monosiga ovata has a spherical or ovoid shape.|E

  • 11204_88_88 Fungi > Glomeraceae

    Glomus macrocarpum

    Glomus macrocarpum|G. Macrocarpum||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

  • 89624_88_88 Animalia > Bugulidae

    Bugula pacifica

    Bugula pacifica|B. Pacifica||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

  • 27331_88_88 Archaea > Methanospirillaceae

    Methanospirillum hungatei

    Methanospirillum hungatei|M. Hungatei|NOIMAGE|From "Methanospirillum hungatei was first found in sewage sludge and was named in honor of R.E. Hungate. This genus and species name was first proposed in 1974 by Ferry et. al. The cultures are usually yellow in color, circular in shape, and convex with lobate margins (Ferry et. al. 1974). The cells are spiral shaped (curved rods) and range from 0.5-7.4 microns in diameter and 15 to several hundred microns long and have tufts of polar flagella that provide a small amount of motility (Ferry et. al. 1974). The optimum habitat for these organisms has a temperature range of 30-37° Celsius (mesophilic) and a pH range of 6.6-7.4 (Ferry et. al. 1974). This microorganism is very important to the waste treatment and bioenergy industries because it can break down organic wastes and produces methane in the process."|A

  • 44003_88_88 Protozoa > Acanthamoebidae

    Acanthamoeba castellanii

    Acanthamoeba castellanii|A. Castellanii||Acanthamoeba castellanii is an amoeba that is found in air, soil and water. There are eight species of Acanthamoeba that are considered parasitic, with Acanthamoeba castellanii being one of them. This species of amoeba can cause infections in the cornea of the eye called keratitis. Typically it is found in contact users, especially those with improper contact lens care. The amoeba will enter the cornea through a lesion or opening in the eye. The eye will naturally produce antibodies, but in some Acanthamoeba castellanii, the protozoa can degrade the antibodies that the eye releases. However, if this bacterium infects the human brain, it can be fatal and cause programmed cell death. Acanthamoeba castellanii can be active, or during environmental stress, become inactive and encase itself in a cyst. This cyst can survive acidity and even medication for several years before exiting the cyst. Acanthamoeba castellanii reproduces via binary fission, a form of sexual reproduction where genetic information is swapped between two organisms and recombined.|E

  • 85420_88_88 Plantae > Zygnemataceae

    Spirogyra majuscula

    Spirogyra majuscula|S. Majuscula||No Description Available|E

  • 39112_88_88 Bacteria > Lactobacillaceae

    Lactobacillus acidophilus

    Lactobacillus acidophilus|L. Acidophilus||The genus Lactobacillus contains a number of phenotypically and genotypically diverse species. Lactobacilli are Gram-positive, nonsporulating rods that produce lactic acid as their primary byproduct of carbohydrate metabolism. Some species of Lactobacillus are utilized by the food industry for their ability to ferment foods, and others are recognized for their proposed probiotic benefits. Some species of lactobacilli are natural inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and vagina of humans and other mammals.|B

  • 96939_88_88 Fungi > Kickxellaceae

    Kickxella alabastrina

    Kickxella alabastrina|K. Alabastrina||No Description Available|E

  • 16667_88_88 cellular organisms > Nanoarchaeota

    Nanoarchaeum equitans

    Nanoarchaeum equitans|N. Equitans||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

  • 98341_88_88 Animalia > Schizasteridae

    Abatus agassizii

    Abatus agassizii|A. Agassizii||Abatus agassizii is a species of sea urchin that can be found in benthic waters, or the bottom of the ocean. This organism can be found near the southern coast of South America as well as the Antarctic ocean. Abatus agassizii is very well distributed along the Antarctic peninsula and prefers to live in relatively undisturbed shallow areas. Abatus agassizii produces offspring by raising them inside of a pouch within the sea urchin. A member of the phylum of invertebrates called Echinoderms, this invert is related to starfish, sea cucumbers, and sand dollars and is among one of the best studied invertebrate phylums in the world. There is very little known about the genetic diversity of the species.|E

  • Archaea > Sulfolobaceae

    Metallosphaera sedula

    Metallosphaera sedula|M. Sedula|NOIMAGE|Metallosphaera sedula is an extremely thermoacidophilic archaeon (Topt 73°C, pHopt 2.0), originally isolated from a volcanic hot spring near Mt. Vesuvius, Italy. It belongs to the phylum Crenarchaeota and order Sulfolobales. M. sedula exhibits broad physiological diversity (‘metabolic goldmine’), as it can grow heterotrophically on peptides, autotrophically on reduced metals, sulfur or molecular hydrogen, and mixotrophically on both organic and inorganic energy sources. This archaeon can oxidize iron pyrite, chalcopyrite, ferrous sulfate or elemental sulfur to generate ATP, while fixing carbon dioxide into biomass through the novel 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate cycle. The M. sedula genome sequence, reported in 2006, revealed many details concerning the pathways and enzymes underlying its metabolic versatility. In addition to the unusual biology associated with M. sedula, it also is a biotechnologically important microorganism. The capacity to mobilize heavy metals from ores makes M. sedula a prime candidate for high temperature biomining or metal bioleaching, whereby microorganisms are utilized to breakdown the ore matrix, and thus release the metal of interest (e.g., gold, copper and uranium) into solution where it can be recovered. Metallosphaera species have now been isolated from hot, acidic biotopes world-wide, including in China and Yellowstone National Park (USA). |A