S

Presence of Introns

Sometimes

No

Yes

Membrane-Bound Nucleus

No

No

Yes

a single kingdom into two separate domains, permitting the designation of multiple new kingdoms within each domain.

Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology While there is no "official'' classification of prokaryotes, microbiologists generally rely on the reference text Bergey's Manual ofSystematic Bacteriology as a guide. All known species are described here, including those that have not yet been cultivated. If the properties of a newly isolated organism do not agree with any description in Bergey's Manual, then presumably a new organism has been isolated. The newest edition of this comprehensive manual is being published in five volumes and classifies prokaryotes according to the most recent information on their genetic relatedness. In some cases, this classification differs substantially from that of the previous edition, which grouped organisms according to their phe-notypic characteristics.

In addition to containing descriptions of organisms, all volumes contain information on the ecology, methods of enrichment, culture, and isolation of the organisms as well as methods for their maintenance and preservation. However, the heart of the work is a description of all characterized prokary-otes and their groupings.

Nomenclature

Bacteria are given names according to an official set of internationally recognized rules, the International Code for the Nomenclature of Bacteria. Bacterial names may originate from any language, but they must be given a Latin suffix. In some cases the name reflects a characteristic of an organism such as its habitat, but often bacteria are named in honor of a prominent researcher.

Just as classification is always in a state of flux, so is the assignment of names to taxonomic groups of bacteria. While revision of names is desirable from a scientific perspective, practically it is often a great source of confusion, particularly when the names of medically important bacteria are changed. To ease the transition of nomenclature changes, the former name is sometimes included in parentheses. For example, LLactococcus lactis, a bacterium that until recently was included in the genus Streptococcus, is often indicated as Lactococcus (Streptococcus) lactis.

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