Domain: Prokarya

Kingdom: Bacteria

Phylum: Cyanophyta

Class: Cyanophyceae

Order: Chroococcales

Family: Microcystaceae

Genus: Microcystis

Species: Microcystis aeruginosa

Prokaryotic organisms are classified as such because they, unlike the eukaryotes, do not have membrane bound organelles. Not including the eukarya we note that the tree splits into bacteria and archae. The archae are usually considered extremophiles due to their extreme environments. Microcystis however goes under the bacteria kingdom because it does not live in extreme conditions. The prefix cyano- brings understanding to the phyhlogeny of this organism, as it lets one assume that the organism is green. The order chroococcales is a group of cyanobacteria that form colonies of cocci (round) shaped cells. The family of this organism contains bacteria that float on the surface. Organisms of the microcystis genus are found in freshwater and its species name lets others know that it is the specific toxin producing organism. Micro- pertains to microscopic or small, -cystis pertains to creating clusters or sacs, aeruginosa pertains to blue-green, and the aer- can be attributed to the fact that the bacteria is aerobic (meaning it needs oxygen).