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item Wiersema, John

Submitted to: Taxon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/8/2007
Publication Date: 8/31/2007
Citation: Wiersema, J.H., Dahlberg, J. 2007. The nomenclature of Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench (Gramineae). Taxon. 56(3):941-946.

Interpretive Summary: Accurate scientific names of plants are essential for communication especially concerning important crop plants. Sorghum ranks fifth in world grain production. At present confusion exists about the correct scientific names for the subspecies of the annual wild and weedy relatives of domesticated sorghum. The set of rules that govern the scientific names of plants known as the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature provides guidance in this regard. To resolve this confusion, new combinations are made at the subspecific rank so that accurate and stable names can be applied to these subspecies. This research will be used by botanists who need to communicate about the relatives of domesticated sorghum especially those involved in breeding for improved sorghum plants.

Technical Abstract: The currently used subspecific names for the annual wild and weedy relatives of domesticated sorghum either lack valid publication or have not had their priority established over competing names of equivalent priority. These problems are resolved with valid publication of the new combination Sorghum bicolor subsp. verticilliflorum and establishment of its priority, and that of S. bicolor subsp. drummondii, over competing synonyms.