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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #224464

Title: Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria

item Bull, Carolee

Submitted to: International Society for Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2008
Publication Date: 8/20/2008
Citation: Bull, C.T., Vinatzer, B.A. Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria. International Congress of Plant Pathology, Torino, Italy, August 24-29, 2008.

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Taxonomy is the process of the classification, the application of names (nomenclature), and the practice of identification. Classification is an iterative process that follows the scientific method. Knowledge of relationships from previous findings is refined using the most powerful methods available. The validity of the results and conclusions are scrutinized through the peer review process. The scientific community begins to use the new classification system if, in their scientific opinion, it is an improvement over previous classifications. Over the past 20 years DNA: DNA hybridization and sequence analyses of individual genes informed classifications. Now new inexpensive technology allows researchers to compare sequences of multiple genes and even of entire genomes to study the genetic diversity of bacterial populations and classify organisms. If these studies include appropriate type strains, the information generated may be developed into proposals that could result in changes in nomenclature. The application of names to circumscribed taxa is conducted according to rules and standards presented by internationally recognized codes of nomenclature. The International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes regulates the nomenclature for species, subspecies and higher taxa. The International Standards for Naming Pathovars of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria, regulates the nomenclature of pathovars and provides recommendations for changes in nomenclature that involve the proposal of pathovars as species or subspecies. Results from current genomic studies may lead to the identification of genetic signatures for Pseudomonas syringae pathovars that could be used as justification for proposal of some pathovars as distinct species.