CLASSIFICATION OF MICROORGANISMS The science of classification is called taxonomy. The objective is to find how groups of organisms are alike and how they are different. Scientists believe that most living organisms have not yet been discovered or classified. When possible new species are discovered, we need a standard to use to determine whether the organism is sufficiently different from known species to establish a new species or possibly a new genus for it, or whether it should be placed into an existing group. STUDY OF PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS About 1.5 million living organisms have been identified. All of them share certain characteristics: Composed of cells Plasma membrane ATP for energy DNA carries genetic information That is not to say that all 1.5 million are alike, because of course there are major differences. We classify organisms into groups called taxa. Systematics, or phylogeny, is the study of the
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