Cartoon of bacterium used with permission of the Society for General Microbiology (see http://www.microbiologyonline.org.uk/home)
"Names, especially those ascribed to organisms, serve as a primary entry point into the scientific, medical, and technical literature and figure prominently in countless laws and regulations governing various aspects of commerce, public safety and public health. These names also serve as a primary entry point into many of the central databases that the scientific community and the general public now rely upon."
Since January 2000, names of prokaryotes change at a rate approaching 750 validly published names every year. Keeping up with changes in prokaryotic nomenclature has always been problematic. "List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature" was conceived as a solution to this problem. It provides accurate information about the current status of a name, synonyms, and other useful information.
In 1975, the Bacteriological Code (1975 Revision) introduced a new concept, that of the valid publication of names of prokaryotes. The publication of the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names (Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1980, 30, 225-420) was part of this concept, and set a new starting point in prokaryotic nomenclature. The Approved Lists of Bacterial Names contain 2,212 names of genera, species or subspecies, and 124 names of higher taxa.
The International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria (1990 Revision) is the cornerstone of prokaryotic nomenclature. It states that the name of a taxon is validly published, and therefore has standing in nomenclature, if one of the following criteria is met:
1) The name is cited in the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names.
2) The name is published in papers in the International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology (IJSB) or in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM) and conforms to requirements laid down in the Bacteriological Code.
3) The name is validly published by announcement in a Validation List.
In addition to valid publication of a name, the Bacteriological Code (1990 Revision) also states that only correct names are to be used, i.e. based on valid publication, legitimacy, and priority of publication (Principle 6).
Purposes of the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature
List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature includes, alphabetically and chronologically, the nomenclature of prokaryotes and the nomenclatural changes as cited in the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names or validly published in the International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology (IJSB) or in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM).
The citations of names are in the correct format according to the Bacteriological Code (1990 Revision), and the nomenclatural types are provided. Abbreviations and addresses of collections from which designated type strains are available are listed alphabetically in the file Culture collections of prokaryotes. Basonyms and synonyms are included to clarify the previous names or histories of individual taxa.
List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature is extensively annotated to clarify the Rules which govern the scientific nomenclature.
The names in this list are "valid" only in the sense of being validly published as a result of conformity with the Rules of Nomenclature. The inclusion of a name on this list is not to be construed as taxonomic acceptance of the taxon to which the name is applied. Indeed, some of these names may, in time, be shown to be synonyms, or the organisms may be transferred to another genus, thus necessitating the creation of a new combination.
Some names not validly published are also cited in the file Some prokaryotic names without standing in nomenclature.
The List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature will be updated with the publication of each new issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.
As says Le Gros, cited by Buchanan et al.(Index Bergeyana, Williams & Wilkins Company, Baltimore, Md, 1966, pp. VII-XII), "Dans ce genre de travail il est presque impossible de ne pas faire d'erreurs..." (In this kind of work it is very difficult to avoid errors). So, the author (J.P. Euzéby) would greatly appreciate factual information concerning any errors or corrections for this list.
For more information, see:
Copyright © J.P. Euzéby