genus(redirected from Genus (biology))
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.
genus,in taxonomy: see classificationclassification,
in biology, the systematic categorization of organisms into a coherent scheme. The original purpose of biological classification, or systematics, was to organize the vast number of known plants and animals into categories that could be named, remembered, and
..... Click the link for more information. .
a major taxonomic category that phylogenetically unites closely related species. For example, various cat species (European wildcat, jungle cat, leopard cat) are united in the genus Felis. Various pine species (Scotch pine, Siberian pine) form the genus Pinus. The scientific name of a genus is designated by a single Latin word.
Genera may consist of many species. For example, some insect and plant genera contain hundreds or thousands of species. Some genera comprise only one or a few species.
Genera having only one species, such as Desmana or Welwitschia, are called monotypic. Genera with several species are often divided into subgenera, which unite especially closely related species. Each genus belongs to a family, but between these two taxonomic categories there are often intermediate ones. For example, tribes are grouped in subfamilies, which in turn are grouped in families.
In paleobotany there also are organ genera and formal genera.
V. G. GEPTNER and M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV