The Revised Classification of Eukaryotes



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 60, Issue 3, 321, Article first published online: 11 March 2013

Correponding Author: Sina M. Adl, Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8, Canada–Telephone number: +306 966 6866; FAX number: +306 966 6881; e-mail:


This revision of the classification of eukaryotes, which updates that of Adl et al. [J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 52 (2005) 399], retains an emphasis on the protists and incorporates changes since 2005 that have resolved nodes and branches in phylogenetic trees. Whereas the previous revision was successful in re-introducing name stability to the classification, this revision provides a classification for lineages that were then still unresolved. The supergroups have withstood phylogenetic hypothesis testing with some modifications, but despite some progress, problematic nodes at the base of the eukaryotic tree still remain to be statistically resolved. Looking forward, subsequent transformations to our understanding of the diversity of life will be from the discovery of novel lineages in previously under-sampled areas and from environmental genomic information.