<figcaption> Credit: © Eye of Science / Photo Researchers, Inc.</figcaption>
Credit: © Eye of Science / Photo Researchers, Inc.

The paper:
S. Adl et al., "The new higher level classification of eukaryotes with emphasis on the taxonomy of protists," J Eukaryotic Microbiol, 52:399-451, 2005. (Cited in 79 papers)

The need:
"The last classification endorsed by the [International Society of Protozoologists] was published in 1980," says Dennis Lynn at University of Guelph. Since then "there was a huge revolution of information in protistology and systematics."

The work:
Lynn and colleagues assembled an up-to-date classification of eukaryotes using a system of dots dividing species into major groups. They demonstrated what Lynn considers the growing uselessness of ambiguous terms such as phytoplankton and zooplankton, and established groups previously unidentified by morphology but united by molecular phylogenetics.

The reaction:
"Organisms can belong in multiple places [now],"which better represents the natural order of things, says Ford Doolittle at Dalhousie University, who is not an author...

New groups of organisms previously in different classifications:
Archaeplastida (photosynthetic plastid with chlorophyll a)
Chromalveolata (merger of Alveoloata with Cryptophyceae, Haptophyta, and Stramenopiles)
Jakobida (in the Excavata group)

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