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The Domains of Life

How the evolutionary tree branches over time forms the basis for biological classification. As our understanding of evolutionary history has improved, classification has gone from a two kingdom system (plants and animals), to five kingdoms (plant, animal, fungi, protist, and monera--the kingdom of prokaryotic cells), the classification found in many biology textbooks. Molecular techniques have now clarified the early branching of life, resulting in a useful new overview that splits life into three domains: Archaea (bacteria-like in appearance, but with different biochemistry), Bacteria, and Eucarya, the domain of organisms having cells with nuclei and membrane-bound organelles. This program introduces the three domains and focuses on the main events in the evolution of eukaryotic cells.
  • Title ID 135-BDL
  • Science, Biology
  • 1 Program
  • 8 Supplemental Files
  • 10th Grade through Post Secondary
  • Released in 2006 by BioMEDIA Associates
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Included Programs
Supplemental Files

Included Programs

Life's Three Great BranchesRunning time is 28 minutes

Chapter List
Chapter 1: Self-Replicating Molecules Evolve
Early Cells: A cell containing DNA becomes the ancestor for the three existing lines of life.
Chapter 2: Domain Bacteria
Domain Bacteria: Anatomy of the bacterial cell and the roles bacteria play in the biosphere.
Chapter 3: Domain Eucarya
Domain Eucarya: Complex nucleated cells get their start by engulfing their neighbors.
Chapter 4: The Evolution of Mitochondria
The Evolution of Mitochondria: Symbiotic bacteria evolve into the eukaryotic cell's energy transformers.
Chapter 5: The Eukaryotic Cell Evolves
The Eukaryotic Cell Evolves: Further developments in cell evolution.
Chapter 6: Motor Proteins Get Cells Moving
Motor Proteins Get Cells Moving: Microtubules and other proteins move materials around cells and provide cell locomotion.
Chapter 7: The Evolution of Plastids
The Evolution of Plastids: Light harvesting bacteria, living symbiotically with eukaryotic cells, evolve into chloroplasts.
Chapter 8: The Invention of Sex
The Invention of Sex: Mixing of genetic material between individuals creates variety and speeds up evolution.
Chapter 9: Eucarya Becomes Multicellular
Eucarya Becomes Multicellular: Simple colonies bridge the gap between single cells and multicellular organisms.

Supplemental Files

MARC Records for BDL
MARC records for the series The Domains of Life
Domains of Life - Educators Guide Part 1
Domains of Life - Educators Guide Part 2
Domains of Life - Activities
Domains of Life - Quizes
Three Domains of Life - Table of Comparison
Very Brief Timeline of Life on Earth
Glossary