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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
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An integer associated to a surface which measures the number of holes in the surface.
A taxonomic category that includes groups of closely related species; the principal subdivision of a family.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. Biology any of the taxonomic groups into which a family is divided and which contains one or more species. For example, Vulpes (foxes) is a genus of the dog family (Canidae)
2. Logic a class of objects or individuals that can be divided into two or more groups or species
3. Maths a number characterizing a closed surface in topology equal to the number of handles added to a sphere to form the surface. A sphere has genus 0, a torus, genus 1, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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The smallest number in this set is the minimum genus of the graph G, and the largest is the maximum genus of G.
Description of two new species (Hypopi) of genus Acotyledon Oudemans (Acarina: Acaridae) from Pakistan.
Using combinatorial results on the representation of graph embeddings by permutations (see [1, Section 4.1] or [21]) leads to define the genus of a permutation.