Taxonomy and Phylogeny

Taxonomy and Phylogeny:

Taxonomy is a biology branch that deals with identification and nomenclature (i.e., naming) of living organisms and their categorization on the basis of their similarities and differences. It was the Swiss-French botanist Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle (1778-1841) who coined the term Taxonomy, the science of naming and categorizing of organisms.


Species is the fundamental unit of Classification. It is stated as the group of individuals that resemble in their reproductive and morphological characters and interbreed among themselves and generate fertile offspring’s.

The species are then grouped into more inclusive taxa that are grouped into larger taxa so that the categorization is a hierarchy of a system of units which rise in inclusiveness from each level to the next higher level. The main seven categories employed in any plan of classification are specified below:

A. Kingdom
B. Phylum or Division
C. Class
D. Order
E. Family
F. Genus
G. Species


The evolutionary history of a specific taxon such as species is termed as phylogeny. The categorization based on the basis of evolution is termed as phylogenetic categorization. Phylogenetic categorization is not always possible as there are some gaps in the fossil records that form the basis of phylogenetic studies and as well the evolution is never unidirectional. Classification is not explicitly based on evolutionary relationships and is termed as artificial, for illustration, organisms are grouped according to usefulness (i.e., economic plants) size (i.e., herbs, shrubs) color (i.e., flowers) ecological role (i.e., ground cover) and so on. Nonetheless many biologists make utilization of this non-systematic categorization.


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