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Open Tree of Life Project List

Last updated almost 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.

  • 74477_88_88 Pucciniaceae

    Puccinia graminis

    Wheat Rust

    Puccinia graminis|Wheat Rust||No Description Available|E

  • 47738_88_88 Fungi > Saccharomycetaceae

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Baker's Yeast, Brewer's Yeast

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae|Baker's Yeast||Also known as Baker’s Yeast or Brewer’s Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a single-celled fungus that consumes sugar.  The name Saccharomyces cerevisiae even means “sugar fungus of the beer”. Baker’s yeast can 'breathe' with or without oxygen, which is also called aerobic respiration (breathing with oxygen) and anaerobic respiration (breathing without oxygen).  When baker’s yeast 'breathes' using oxygen and sugar, the yeast will release carbon dioxide, water and energy.  This is useful for making bread, hence the name baker’s yeast, because when yeast is added to dough and baked, the yeast will release the carbon dioxide gas that makes the dough rise.  When yeast is deprived of oxygen, it will take glucose and convert it into carbon dioxide gas, energy, and ethanol.  This is useful for producing alcoholic beverages such as beer or wine, because ethyl alcohol, is the form of alcohol that is used in alcoholic beverages.  Researchers are trying to make a more efficient yeast cell that produces ethanol even more efficiently, which would drive the costs of producing alcoholic beverages down. There is some production of alcohol in bread, but the ethanol is usually burn off due to the high baking temperatures. Creating alcohol in anaerobic respiration is an efficient mechanism for baker’s yeast, because not only does it allow the organism to survive in environments with or without oxygen, but the alcohol, which is deadly for many microbes, keeps a lot of microorganisms from getting too close to their food source.  This is an advantage for brewers as well, since the presence of brewer’s yeast means their beverages will not be contaminated by bacterial organisms. Baker’s yeast can reproduce through sexual or asexual reproduction.  If the environment the yeast is in has enough nutrients, the number of yeast cells can double within 100 minutes.|E

  • 99924_88_88 Ustilaginaceae

    Ustilago maydis

    Corn Smut

    Ustilago maydis|Corn Smut||Corn smut (Ustilago maydis) is a pathogenic plant fungus that causes smut disease on maize and teosinte (Euchlena mexicana). The fungus forms galls on all above-ground parts of corn species, and is known in Mexico as huitlacoche; it is eaten, usually as a filling, in quesadillas and other tortilla-based foods, and soups.|E

  • Thermococcus sibiricus

    Thermococcus sibiricus|T. SIbiricus|NOIMAGE|Thermococcus sibiricus is a hyperthermophilic anaerobic archaeon isolated from a well of the never flooded oil-bearing Jurassic horizon of Samotlor (Western Siberia) high-temperature oil reservoir. Representatives of the Order Thermococcales are widely distributed in terrestrial and marine hydrothermal areas, as well as in deep subsurface oil reservoirs. These are coccoid organisms with a fermentative metabolism that grow on peptide, polysaccharids or sugar at the optimal temperature 80-85°C. Recently obtained genomic data, confirmed by physiological experiments revealed that T.sibiricus posesses novel, unusual for other Thermococcus species metabolic features. Indeed, in addition to proteinaceous compounds known previously to be present in oil reservoirs at limiting amounts, T.sibiricus capable of using for its growth cellulose, agarose, triacylglycerids, as well as alcanes. This data indicate the ability of T,sibiricus to metabolize the buried organic matter from the original oceanic sediments and explain its survival and proliferation over geologic time in this habitat.|A

  • Desulfurococcaceae

    Desulfurococcus mobilis

    Desulfurococcus mobilis|D. Mobilis|NOIMAGE|from "Desulfurococcus mobilis is an extreme thermophile, living up to temperatures of 97° C and at a pH between 2.2 and 6.5. The species ranges in size from about 0.5 microns to 10 microns, and is covered with a unique, tetragonally-arrayed surface protein which forms a mesh of cross-shaped units. It is an anaerobe and is dependent upon sulfur for respiration. D. mobilis is found in solfataric (volcanic and sulfur emitting) hot springs and is most commonly isolated under these conditions in the country of Iceland. Its ability to survive in extreme conditions makes this archaeon valuable for uses in biotechnology, since thermostable and thermoactive enzymes can be isolated from this organism, like the restriction enzyme I-Dmol. Interestingly, the first known prokaryotic rRNA intron was discovered in D. mobilis, helping to give insights on the evolutionary relationship between archaea, bacteria and eukaryotes. Further, this organism is not a known pathogen."A

  • 34404_88_88 Phytophthoraceae

    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

  • Planctomyces limnophilus

    Planctomyces limnophilus|P. Limnophilus|NOIMAGE|From "Planctomyces is a marine bacterium that can be found in various habitats around the world. Planctomycetes in general are intriguing because they are the only free living bacteria known to lack peptidoglycan in their cell walls. In many cases their DNA is surrounded by a membrane similar to a eukaryotic "nuclear membrane," but evolved independently. Although no Planctomyces bacteria have been sequenced, a physical map of the circular chromosome of Planctomyces limnophilus DSM 3776 was made using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis techniques. From this it was deduced that the size of the genome is 5.204 Mb as determined by restriction enzyme digests - this is significantly larger than the 4.2 Mb that was determined by thermal renaturation methods. Relatively large genomes are thought to be necessary for adaptation to changing conditions in nutrient-poor or fluctuation environments; since the P. limnophilus was isolated from a eutrophic lake, which could be considered a demanding environment, it has been suggested that a number of the genes in its genome assist in environment adaptation (Ward-Rainey et al. 1996). Planctomyces brasiliensis was originally isolated from a hypersaline lake in Brazil, but it, as well as other species of Planctomyces, can be found in many different types of geographical regions and habitats. It has been found in freshwater, saltwater, acid bog water, cattle manure, garbage dumps, and rice paddies. Though they tend to flourish in the summer and fall back in the winter. This is partially due to the need for Planctomyces need for algae, which is not as prevelant in winter. Planctomyces and other planctomycetes are also often encountered in tissue cultures of aquatic invertebrates. Several studies of planctomycetes have included isolating Planctomyces, Pirellula, Gemmata, or related organisms from giant tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) samples. Both the samples of the healthy prawn postlarvae and the samples of the postlarvae infected with monodon baculovirus (making them more susceptible to diseases and bacterial infections) had planctomycete populations. Planctomycetes may exist free living or associated with invertebrates in marine habitats rich with organic nutrients (Fuerst et al. 1997). |B

  • 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

  • 65399_88_88 Fungi > Kickxella

    Kickxella alabastrina

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

  • Rhizobium radiobacter

    Rhizobium radiobacter|Crown Gall Bacterium||This is the most widely studied species in the genus. Strains of Agrobacterium are classified in three biovars based on their utilisation of different carbohydrates and other biochemical tests. The differences between biovars are determined by genes on the single circle of chromosomal DNA. Biovar differences are not particularly relevant to the pathogenicity of A. tumefaciens, except in one respect: biovar 3 is found worldwide as the pathogen of gravevines. This species causes crown gall disease of a wide range of dicotyledonous (broad-leaved) plants, especially members of the rose family such as apple, pear, peach, cherry, almond, raspberry and roses. Becazusde of the way that it infects other organisms, this bacterium has been used as a tool in plant breeding. Any desired genes, such as insecticidal toxin genes or herbicide-resistance genes, can be engineered into the bacterial DNA, and then inserted into the plant genome. This process shortens the conventional plant breeding process, and allows entirely new (non-plant) genes to be engineered into crops.|B

  • 39112_88_88 cellular organisms > Lactobacillaceae

    Lactobacillus acidophilus 30SC

    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

  • 31728_88_88 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

  • 85678_88_88

    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

  • Archaeoglobus fulgidus

    Archaeoglobus fulgidus|A. Fulgidus|NOIMAGE|Archaeoglobus fulgidus was the first sulphur-metabolizing organism to have its genome sequence determined. Growth by sulphate reduction is restricted to relatively few groups of prokaryotes; all but one of these are Eubacteria, the exception being the archaeal sulphate reducers in the Archaeoglobales. These organisms are unique in that they are only distantly related to other bacterial sulphate reducers, and because they grow at extremely high temperatures. The known Archaeoglobales are strict anaerobes, most of which are hyperthermophilic marine sulphate reducers found in hydrothermal environments. High-temperature sulphate reduction by Archaeoglobus species contributes to deep subsurface oil-well 'souring' by iron sulphide, which causes corrosion of iron and steel in oil-and gas-processing systems. Archaeoglobus fulgidus VC-16 is the type strain of the Archaeoglobales. Cells are irregular spheres with a glycoprotein envelope and monopolar flagella. Growth occurs between 60 and 95 degrees C, with optimum growth at 83 degrees C and a minimum division time of 4 hours. The organism grows organoheterotrophically using a variety of carbon and energy sources, but can grow lithoautotrophically on hydrogen, thiosulphate and carbon dioxide. We sequenced the genome of A. fulgidus strain VC-16 as an example of a sulphur-metabolizing organism and to gain further insight into the structure and content of archaeal genomes. The genome of A. fulgidus consists of a single, circular chromosome of 2,178,400 base pairs with a predicted total of 2,436 coding sequences.|A

  • Thermofilaceae

    Thermofilum pendens W. Zillig & A. Gierl, 1983

    Thermofilum pendens|T. Pendens|NOIMAGE|from "Thermofilum pendens was first isolated from a solfataric hot spring in Iceland in the early 1980s by Wolfram Zillig (1,10). Since its discovery, T. pendens have also been isolated in solfatara environments, such as Yellowstone National Park (U.S.) and Vulcano Island (Italy). Thus, this archeabacteria can sustain life in a hot and slightly acidic environment making it a hyperthermophile and acidophile, or a thermoacidophile (2). Its optimum growth conditions are 85-90 degree C with a pH of 5-6 and 0.1 – 2% salinity (3, 7). However, it has been found in sites with temperature ranging from 67 -93 degree C and pH ranging from 2.8 - 7.6 (9). Being an archea, T. pendens has the ability to provide heat resistance enzymes which can be applied in biotechnology. Furthermore, T. pendens is important to the evolutionary process because it the deepest branching lineage to the Eukaryote domain (6). According to a parsimonious phylogenetic tree for 16S rRNA, T. pendens is the out-group of the Crenarchaeota making it the closest evolutionary branch to the Eurakyota domain (7,9). In addition, it is one of four Crenarchaeota species sequenced. Thus, T. pendens provide the ideal genome for comparative studies to distinguish between Thermoproteales from other Crenarchaeotes"|A

  • 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

  • Thermoplasma volcanium

    Thermoplasma volcanium|T. Volcanium|NOIMAGE|Thermoplasma volcanium is an archaeon.[1] Many T. volcanium strains have been isolated from solfatara fields throughout the world. It is highly flagellated, motile, cell wall-deficient, thermoacidophilic, facultatively anaerobic and organotrophic. Its genome has been sequenced.|A

  • Ferroplasma acidiphilum

    Ferroplasma acidiphilum|F. Acidiphilum|NOIMAGE| From "Ferroplasma acidiphilum is a species of an iron-oxidizing, acidophilic, chemolithoautotrophic archaea. It is non-motile as it lacks flagella [1].It lives in a metal-heavy environment containing high levels of iron and sulfur at a very acidic pH. It has been categorized as an extremophile as it grows optimally at a pH of 1.7. It was first isolated from a bioreactor pilot plant in Tula, Russia [1]. The bioreactor was used to leach gold from pyrite-ore, a chemical reaction that F. acidiphilum plays a role in. It is part of the order Thermoplasmata that contains other acidophilic genera including Picrophilus and Thermoplasma. F. acidiphilum and its sister species F. acidarmanus play a large role in geochemical cycling of iron and sulfur in very acidic, metal-heavy habitats both natural and man-made [1]. It has been found that some of its intracellular enzymes function optimally at pH levels as low as 1.7, much lower than what the actual cytoplasmic pH level of 5.6 [2]. Another recent discovery has found that F. acidiphilum is dominated by iron-centered proteins with the iron suspected to act as 'iron rivets' (detailed under Metabolism section). While the low pH cytoplasm and the iron supported protein structures could be the potential reason for its low pH tolerance, these discoveries have led to research aimed at determining how this "pH anomaly" exists and whether the 'iron rivet' protein is an ancient mechanisms possibly evolved in early earth life"|A

  • Verrucomicrobium spinosum

    Verrucomicrobium spinosum|V. Spinosum|NOIMAGE|From "The prosthecobacterium (having multiple appendages on its cell surface) Verrucomicrobium is an obscure bacterium found in eutrophic ponds and lakes. Verrucomicrobium spinosum are heterotrophic, Gram-negative, nonmotile bacteria with appendages called prosthecae that can be wart-like or long and extended in shape. The wart-like prosthecae are an average of 0.5 micrometers in length, and the less-common, extended prosthecae are generally up to 2 micrometers long. Some prosthecae have bundles of fimbriae extruding from their tips. V. spinosum is facultatively anaerobic and can ferment sugars without making gas as a product; however, V. spinosum can not reduce nitrate anaerobically (Prokaryotes). V. spinosum also can not grow on amino or organic acids, only sugars. V. spinosum also contains menaquinones. A related bacterium, strain VeGlc2 of the order Verrucomicrobiales, was shown to ferment glucose to acetate, propionate, succinate, and CO2 through the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway (Janssen 1998)."|B

  • Thermotogaceae

    Thermotoga maritima

    Thermotoga maritima|T. Maritima||No Description Available|B

  • 35090_88_88

    Borrelia burgdorferi

    Lyme Disease Spirochete

    Borrelia burgdorferi|Lyme Disease Spirochete||No Description Available|B

  • 90730_88_88 Archaea > Methanococcaceae

    Methanococcus maripaludis

    Methanococcus maripaludis|M. Maripaludis||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 Vibrionaceae

    Vibrio cholerae

    Epidemic Cholera

    Vibrio cholerae|Epidemic Cholera||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 Bacteria > Enterobacteriaceae

    Escherichia coli

    E. Coli

    Escherichia Coli|E. Coli||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||No Description Available|E

  • 07454_88_88

    Euglena gracilis

    Euglena gracilis|E. Gracilis||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 Plantae > Polyphysaceae

    Acetabularia acetabulum (Linnaeus) P. C. Silva

    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

  • 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 Animalia > Edwardsiidae

    Nematostella vectensis

    Starlet Sea Anemone

    Nematostella vectensis|Starlet Sea Anemone||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 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

  • 11452_88_88

    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

  • Biota > Sagittidae Claus and Grobben, 1905

    Aidanosagitta bedfordii

    Aidanosagitta bedfordii|A. Bedfordii||No Description Available|E

  • 11204_88_88 Fungi > Glomus Tul. & C. Tul. 1844

    Glomus macrocarpum Tul. & C. Tul. 1844

    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

  • 11722_88_88 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

  • 66288_88_88

    Dictyostelium discoideum

    Dictyostelium discoideum|Slime Mold||No Description Available|E

  • 33057_88_88 Fungi

    Scutellinia scutellata

    Common Eyelash

    Scutellinia scutellata|Common Eyelash||Also known as the common eyelash, Scutellinia scutellata is a reddish-brown mushroom that has been recorded on every continent apart from Antarctica.  The common eyelash is 5 millimeters in diameter and prefers a damp habitat such as decomposing wood.  Growing in clusters, this fungus is very common in North America and Europe.  Scutellinia scutellata gets its name from the small, eyelash-like fringes on the circumference of the reddish-orange head of the mushroom.  The purpose of the “eyelashes” is to protect the cap of the mushroom from debris.   Scutellinia scutellata produces sexual spores through meiosis that are stored on the top of the fungus.  These spores are stored in a sac called an ascus.  This distinction typically is found in members of the phylum Ascomycota, or sac fungi.|E

  • 36135_88_88

    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

  • 09975_88_88 Chlamydiaceae

    Chlamydophila abortus

    Chlamydophila abortus|C. Abortus||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 Gromiidae

    Gromia oviformis

    Gromia oviformis|G. Oviformis||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 Plantae > Zygnemataceae

    Spirogyra majuscula

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

  • 06989_88_88 Plantae


    Lepidodendron|Lepidodendron||No Description Available|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

  • 18062_88_88



    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

  • Guillardia theta

    Guillardia theta|G. Theta||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

    Hydrogenobacter acidophilus

    Hydrogenobaculum acidophilum|H. Acidophilum||No Description Available|B

  • Fungi Bartling > Prototaxites Dawson

    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 cellular organisms > Thermotogaceae

    Mesotoga prima

    Mesotoga prima|M. Prima||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

  • Eucarya Woese et al. 1990 > Succinipatopsidae Poinar, 2000

    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