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nester10 - Important Point Taxonomy is the science that...

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1 Chapter 10: ID & Classification of Prokaryotes Important Point: Principles of Taxonomy “Taxonomy is the science that studies organisms in order to arrange them into groups; those organisms with similar properties are grouped together and separated from those that are different.” “Taxonomy can be viewed as three separate but interrelated areas: Identification--the process of characterizing organisms Classification--the process of arranging organisms into similar or related groups, primarily to provide easy identification and study Nomenclature--the system of assigning names to organisms.” We’ll consider each in turn. Taxonomy: Identification We’ll spend quite a bit of time in this chapter and in lab on methods of bacterial identification. In practical terms, bacterial identification usually is done for reasons of health, either in the course of treating infectious disease or to prevent disease e.g., to identify fecally contaminated water. e.g., to identify organisms associated with food spoilage or contamination. e.g., to identify pathogens in the clinical microbiology laboratory. It is important to keep in mind that the appropriate tests to employ will depend on the organisms likely present plus time, skills of the tester, and budgetary concerns. In the clinic, patient symptoms help to define what organisms of interest are likely present. Taxonomy: Classification The goal of classification is to determine genetic similarity, though in the past genetic similarity had to be inferred based on phenotypic similarity. As a consequence of the sequencing of organism genomes, the science of classification is very much in flux (classifications are changing often) as phenotype-based classification is augmented by genotype-based classification.
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