Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 9 (1), 51-61

Archaea--timeline of the Third Domain


Archaea--timeline of the Third Domain

Ricardo Cavicchioli. Nat Rev Microbiol.


The Archaea evolved as one of the three primary lineages several billion years ago, but the first archaea to be discovered were described in the scientific literature about 130 years ago. Moreover, the Archaea were formally proposed as the third domain of life only 20 years ago. Over this very short period of investigative history, the scientific community has learned many remarkable things about the Archaea--their unique cellular components and pathways, their abundance and critical function in diverse natural environments, and their quintessential role in shaping the evolutionary path of life on Earth. This Review charts the 'archaea movement', from its genesis through to key findings that, when viewed together, illustrate just how strongly the field has built on new knowledge to advance our understanding not only of the Archaea, but of biology as a whole.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 43 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Bioinformatics. 2006 Nov 1;22(21):2688-90 - PubMed
    1. Science. 1980 Jul 25;209(4455):457-63 - PubMed
    1. Extremophiles. 2008 Sep;12(5):651-6 - PubMed
    1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jun 15;89(12):5685-9 - PubMed
    1. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2002 Jun;13(3):253-61 - PubMed

Publication types

MeSH terms


LinkOut - more resources