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Unikont facts for kids

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Sponge in the foreground
and two corals in the background
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Unikonta
Cavalier-Smith, 2002


Unikonts are one of the five superkingdoms in the classification of Eukaryotes. They are part of the taxonomy system of Thomas Cavalier-Smith.


The group is claimed to be a clade. It includes eukaryotic cells that:

The unikonts include opisthokonts (animals, fungi, and related forms) and Amoebozoa. By contrast other well-known eukaryotic groups are often referred to as bikonts. Bikonts include Archaeplastida (plants and relatives), Excavata, Rhizaria, and Chromalveolata. These groups may have two flagella (although there are many exceptions).


The unikonts have a triple-gene fusion that is lacking in the bikonts. The three genes code for enzymes which make pyrimidine nucleotides. This must have involved a double gene fusion, a rare pair of events, which supports the shared ancestry of Opisthokonta and Amoebozoa.

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