Define Genus.

Define Genus.

Source: NCERT Class 11 Biology Chapter 1 – The Living World Question 9 (v)

A genus is a level of classification in the Linnaean system of taxonomy. It is used to group closely related species that have many similarities in their characteristics. The genus level is one step below the family level and above the species level in the classification hierarchy.

For example, within the animal kingdom, the genus Canis includes dogs, wolves, and coyotes, which share certain characteristics such as a similar skull shape and dentition. Similarly, within the plant kingdom, the genus Rosa includes roses, which share certain characteristics such as having a distinctive rose hip.

It is important to note that the number and content of genera can change as new information becomes available, and different systems of classification may use different criteria for grouping species into genera. Also, the definition and content of a genus can change as new discoveries and research updates the classification system.

In summary, a genus is a level of classification in the Linnaean system of taxonomy, used to group closely related species that have many similarities in their characteristics. This level of classification is widely used across different branches of the tree of life, like animals, plants, fungi, algae and microorganisms, and it is an important part of the classification hierarchy that allows us to organize and communicate information about different groups of organisms, and make predictions about their characteristics and behavior.

In addition, it is worth noting that the genus is often used as the first part of a scientific name for an organism, known as binomial nomenclature, where the genus is followed by the species name. For example, the scientific name for the domestic dog is Canis lupus familiaris. This system is used to provide a unique and specific name for each organism, and it is widely used in all fields of biology, including botany, zoology, and microbiology.

Furthermore, just as with the other levels of classification, the classification of organisms into different genera is based on a combination of various characteristics, not only morphological but also molecular and genetic characteristics, that help to infer evolutionary relationships between different groups of organisms.

It's also worth mentioning that the concept of genus is not static, as new data and research can change the classification of some organisms into different genera, and also sometimes taxonomists may split or join genus based on the new data. So, the classification of organisms into different genera is an ongoing process, new information and techniques can lead to changes in classification, new discoveries can lead to new genera being described or the redefining of existing genera.

Other questions from NCERT Class 11 Biology Chapter 1 The Living World Solutions:

Question 1: Why are living organisms classified?

Question 2: Why are the classification systems changing every now and then?

Question 3: What different criteria would you choose to classify people that you meet often?

Question 4: What do we learn from the identification of individuals and populations?

Question 5: Given below is the scientific name of Mango. Identify the correctly written name. Mangifera Indica or Mangifera indica

Question 6: Define a taxon. Give some examples of taxa at different hierarchical levels.

Question 7: Can you identify the correct sequence of taxonomical categories? (a) Species Order Phylum Kingdom (b) Genus Species Order Kingdom (c) Species Genus Order Phylum

Question 8: Try to collect all the currently accepted meanings for the word ‘species’. Discuss with your teacher the meaning of species in the case of higher plants and animals on the one hand and bacteria on the other hand.

Question 9:  Define and understand the following terms. (i) Phylum (ii) Class (iii) Family (iv) Order (v) Genus

Question 10: How is a key helpful in the identification and classification of an organism?

Question 11: Illustrate the taxonomical hierarchy with suitable examples of a plant and an animal.

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