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NCERT Solutions Class 11 Biology Chapter 2 - Biological Classification

Q1: Discuss how classification systems have undergone several changes over a period of time?
Ans: Early classification systems were based primarily on observable characteristics such as morphological features, anatomy, and external appearances. However, with the advent of modern scientific tools and techniques, such as DNA sequencing and molecular analysis, our understanding of the relationships among organisms has significantly improved. This has led to revisions and refinements in classification systems.

Different Classification Systems over a period of timeDifferent Classification Systems over a period of time

  • Aristotle's classification system for plants and animals failed to classify all known organisms.
  •  Linnaeus later proposed a two-kingdom system, but it could not differentiate between unicellular and multicellular organisms or eukaryotes and prokaryotes. 
  • Carl Woese proposed the more modern three-domain system based on genetic and molecular evidence. 
  • To address these issues, R.H. Whittaker proposed a five-kingdom system based on characteristics such as cell structure and mode of nutrition, consisting of Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.

Q2: State two economically important uses of:
(a) Heterotrophic bacteria
(b) Archaebacteria
(a) Heterotrophic bacteria

  • They act as decomposers and help in the formation of humus.
  • They help in the production of curd from milk.
  • Many antibiotics are obtained from some species of bacteria.
  • Many soil bacteria help in the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen.

(b) Archaebacteria

  • Methane gas is produced from the dung of ruminants by methanogens.
  • Methanogens are also involved in the formation of biogas and sewage treatment.ArchaebacteriaArchaebacteria

Q3: What is the nature of cell-walls in Diatoms?

  • The cell walls of diatoms are made of silica.
  • Their cell wall construction is known as a frustule.
  • It consists of two thin overlapping shells that fit into each other such as a soapbox.
  • When the diatoms die, the silica in their cell walls gets deposited in the form of diatomaceous earth.
  • This diatomaceous earth is very soft and quite inert.
  • It is used in the filtration of oils, sugars, and for other industrial purposes.

Q4: Find out what do the terms ‘Algal bloom’ and ‘Red-tides’ signify.

  • Algal bloom refers to an increase in the population of algae or blue-green algae in the water, resulting in discolouration of the water body. This causes an increase in the biological oxygen demand (BOD), resulting in the death of fishes and other aquatic animals.Algal BloomAlgal Bloom
  • Red tides are caused by red dinoflagellates (Gonyaulax) that multiply rapidly. Due to their large numbers, the sea appears red in colour. They release large amounts of toxins in the water that can cause the death of a large number of fishes.Red TideRed Tide

Q5: How are Viroids different from Viruses?
Ans: Viroids were discovered in 1917 by T.O. Denier. They cause potato spindle tuber disease. They are smaller in size than viruses. ViroidsViroidsViroids are different from viruses in the following ways:

Viroids: small, naked, circular RNA molecules without a protein coat

  • Reproduction: rely on host plant's cellular machinery for replication, replicate in nucleus using host's RNA polymerase enzyme.
  • Host Range: infect plants only, do not infect animals or humans.
  • Disease Symptoms: cause plant diseases, such as stunting, deformations, and changes in pigmentation.
  • Treatment: no antiviral drugs available, management involves preventive measures like removing infected plants.
  • Evolution: relics of the RNA world, believed to be the early stage of life on Earth.

Viruses: larger and more complex, have genetic material enclosed in a protein coat called a capsid

  • Reproduction: obligate intracellular parasites, require host cell to replicate, use host cell's machinery to produce new virus particles
  • Host Range: can infect a wide range of hosts, including animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria
  • Disease Symptoms: can cause a wide range of diseases, including common cold, flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19
  • Treatment: some viral infections can be treated with antiviral drugs, managed through supportive care and prevention through vaccination
  • Evolution: originated from various genetic elements that acquired the ability to infect cells and reproduce.

Q6: Describe briefly the four major groups of Protozoa.
Ans: Protozoa are microscopic unicellular protists with the heterotrophic mode of nutrition. They may be holozoic, saprobic, or parasitic.
These are divided into four major groups:

NCERT Solutions Class 11 Biology Chapter 2 - Biological Classification

(i) Amoeboid Protozoa or Sarcodines

  • They are unicellular, jelly-like protozoa found in fresh or seawater and in moist soil. 
  • Their body lacks a periplast. Therefore, they may be naked or covered by a calcareous shell. 
  • They usually lack flagella and have temporary protoplasmic outgrowths called pseudopodia.
  •  These pseudopodia or false feet help in movement and capturing prey. 
  • They include free-living forms such as Amoeba or parasitic forms such as Entamoeba.

(ii) Flagellated Protozoa or Zooflagellates

  • They are free-living, non-photosynthetic flagellates without a cell wall. 
  • They possess flagella for locomotion and capturing prey. 
  • They include parasitic forms such as Trypanosoma, which causes sleeping sickness in human beings. 

(iii) Ciliated Protozoa or Ciliates

  • They are aquatic individuals that form a large group of protozoa. 
  • Their characteristic features are the presence of numerous cilia on the entire body surface and the presence of two types of nuclei. 
  • All the cilia beat in the same direction to move the water-laden food inside a cavity called gullet. 
  • They include organisms such as Paramecium, Vorticella etc.

(iv) Sporozoans

  • They include disease-causing endoparasites and other pathogens.
  • They are uninucleate and their body is covered by a pellicle.
  • They do not possess cilia or flagella.
  • They include malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium.

Q7: Plants are Autotrophic. Can you think of some plants that are partially Heterotrophic?

  • Plants have an autotrophic mode of nutrition as they contain chlorophyll pigment. Thus, they have the ability to prepare their own food by the process of photosynthesis.
  • Dodder is a holoparasitic plant that penetrates its roots into higher plants' vascular bundles and sucks their nutrients for its own growth, Monotropa hypopit (Dutchman’s pipe) a saprophytic plant that lacks chlorophyll and feeds on dead and decaying matter.
  • Some insectivorous plants are partially heterotrophic.

Pitcher PlantPitcher Plant

  • They have various means of capturing insects so as to supplement their diet with required nutrients derived from insects, causing proliferation of growth. 
  • The examples include pitcher plant (Nepenthes), Venus flytrap, bladderwort, and sundew plant.

Q8: What do the terms Phycobiont and Mycobiont signify?

  • Lichens are formed by a symbiotic association between algae and fungi. 
  • Phycobiont refers to the algal component of the lichens and mycobiont refers to the fungal component.LichenLichen
  • Algae contain chlorophyll and prepare food for fungi whereas the fungus provides shelter to algae and absorbs water and nutrients from the soil. This type of relationship is referred to as symbiotic.

Q9: Give a comparative account of the classes of Kingdom Fungi under the following:
(i) Mode of Nutrition
(ii) Mode of Reproduction
(a) Phycomycetes: This group of fungi includes members such as Rhizopus, Albugo, etc.

  • Mode of nutrition: They are obligate parasites on plants or are found on decaying matter such as wood.
  • Mode of reproduction:
    • Asexual reproduction occurs through motile zoospores or non-motile aplanospores produced endogenously in the sporangium. 
    • Sexual reproduction may be of isogamous, anisogamous, or oogamous type. It results in the formation of thick-walled zygospore.

(b) Ascomycetes: This group of fungi includes members such as Penicillium, Aspergillus, Claviceps, and Neurospora.

  • Mode of nutrition: They are sporophytic, decomposers, parasitic or coprophilous (growing on dung).
  • Mode of reproduction:
    • Asexual reproduction occurs through asexual spores produced exogenously, such as conidia produced on conidiophores.
    • Sexual reproduction takes place through ascospores produced endogenously in sac-like asci and arranged inside ascocarps.

(c) Basidiomycetes: This group of fungi includes members such as Ustilago, Agaricus and Puccinia.

  • Mode of nutrition: They grow as decomposers in soil or on logs and tree stumps. They also occur as parasites in plants causing diseases such as rusts and smuts.
  • Mode of reproduction:
    • Asexual reproduction takes place commonly through fragmentation. Asexual spores are absent. 
    • Sex organs are absent but sexual reproduction takes place through plasmogamy. It involves the fusion of two different strains of hyphae. The resulting dikaryon gives rise to a basidium. Four basidiospores are produced inside a basidium.

(d) Deuteromycetes: This group of fungi includes members such as Alternaria, Trichoderma, and Colletotrichum.

  • Mode of nutrition: Some members are saprophytes while others are parasites. However, a large number act as decomposers of leaf litter.
  • Mode of reproduction:
    • Asexual reproduction is the only way of reproduction in Deuteromycetes. It occurs through asexual spores called conidia. 
    • Sexual reproduction is absent in Deuteromycetes.

Q10: What are the characteristic features of Euglenoids?

EuglenoidEuglenoidSome characteristic features of Euglenoids are as follows:

  • Euglenoids: unicellular organisms with an elongated or spindle-shaped body
  • Flagella: possess one or two long whip-like flagella that enable them to move through water
  • Chloroplasts: contain chloroplasts responsible for photosynthesis
  • Eyespot: have a light-sensitive pigmented spot that allows them to detect light and move towards it
  • Pellicle: have a flexible, proteinaceous layer that provides structural support to the cell
  • Reproduction: reproduce asexually by binary fission, and sexually through conjugation
  • Habitat: mostly found in freshwater habitats, but can also thrive in soil or marine environments.

Q11: Give a brief account of viruses with respect to their structure and nature of genetic material. Also name four common viral diseases.

  • Viruses are sub-microscopic infectious agents that can infect all living organisms. 
  • A virus consists of genetic material surrounded by a protein coat. The genetic material may be present in the form of DNA or RNA.
  • Most of the viruses, infecting plants, have single-stranded RNA as genetic material. 
  • On the other hand, the viruses infecting animals have single or double-stranded RNA or double-stranded DNA. 
  • Bacteriophages or viruses infecting bacteria mostly have double-stranded DNA. Their protein coat called capsid is made up of capsomere subunits. 
  • These capsomeres are arranged in helical or polyhedral geometric forms. 
  • A.I.D.S, small pox, mumps, and influenza are some common examples of viral diseases.

Q12: Organise a discussion in your class on the topic – Are viruses living or nonliving?

NCERT Solutions Class 11 Biology Chapter 2 - Biological Classification

  • Characteristics of Living Organisms: These may include traits such as cellular organization, ability to grow and reproduce, metabolism, and response to stimuli. 
  • Viral Structure and Reproduction: Viruses are composed of genetic material (DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein coat, but they are not made up of cells and do not have the organelles necessary for independent metabolic processes. Viruses also require a host cell to reproduce, as they cannot carry out cellular functions on their own. This raises questions about their status as living organisms.
  • Viruses as Parasites: Viruses are considered obligate intracellular parasites, as they rely on a host cell to reproduce and cannot reproduce outside of a living host. Comparing this with the characteristics of living organisms, which are typically considered to be capable of independent reproduction.
  • Debates in the Scientific Community: Whether viruses are living or non-living is a subject of ongoing debate among scientists. Some scientists consider viruses as living organisms because they can evolve, mutate, and reproduce, albeit with the help of a host cell. Others argue that viruses lack essential characteristics of living organisms and are therefore considered non-living.

Summarize the different perspectives and evidence discussed during the discussion. Highlight that the classification of viruses as living or non-living is still a matter of scientific debate and that different scientists may hold different views.

The document NCERT Solutions Class 11 Biology Chapter 2 - Biological Classification is a part of the NEET Course Biology Class 11.
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FAQs on NCERT Solutions Class 11 Biology Chapter 2 - Biological Classification

1. What are the different levels of classification in biological classification?
Ans. The different levels of classification in biological classification are kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.
2. What is the importance of biological classification in the field of science?
Ans. Biological classification helps in organizing and categorizing organisms based on their similarities and differences, which aids in studying and understanding the diversity of life forms on Earth.
3. How do scientists determine the classification of a new species?
Ans. Scientists determine the classification of a new species by studying its physical characteristics, genetic makeup, behavior, and habitat to place it in the appropriate taxonomic group.
4. What is the significance of binomial nomenclature in biological classification?
Ans. Binomial nomenclature provides a standardized system for naming organisms using a two-part Latin name (genus and species), which helps in accurately identifying and communicating about different species worldwide.
5. How has the classification system evolved over time in the field of biology?
Ans. The classification system has evolved over time in biology due to advancements in scientific knowledge, technology, and understanding of evolutionary relationships among organisms, leading to the development of more precise and comprehensive classification schemes.
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