Acytota - associated kingdom of neglected life

Published: JOURNAL OF BIOMOLECULAR STRUCTURE & DYNAMICS 34, 1641-1648 Authors: Trifonov, EN., Kejnovsky, E. Year: 2016


There is a huge variety of RNA- and DNA-containing entities that multiply within and propagate between cells across all kingdoms of life, having no cells of their own. Apart from cellular organisms, these entities (viroids, plasmids, mobile elements and viruses among others) are the only ones with distinct genetic identities but which are not included in any traditional tree of life. We suggest to introduce or, rather, revive the distinct category of acellular organisms, Acytota, as an additional, undeservedly ignored full-fledged kingdom of life. Acytota are indispensable players in cellular life and its evolution. The six traditional kingdoms (Cytota) and Acytota together complete the classification of the biological world (Biota), leaving nothing beyond.