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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: One Scientific name for Fungi: How and when can this happen?

item Rossman, Amy

Submitted to: Inoculum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2009
Publication Date: 6/8/2009
Citation: Rossman, A.Y. 2009. One Scientific name for Fungi: How and when can this happen?. Inoculum. 60(3):38

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Discussions about use of just one name for each fungal species have been in progress for over a decade. The general consensus is that this needs to happen. With the upcoming International Mycological Congress in 2010 and the International Botanical Congress the following year, it seems time to agree on the guidelines for moving in that direction. The most logical approach for unifying scientific names of pleiomorphic fungi, i.e. those that have more than one reproductive state, is to apply the Principle of Priority. In cases where this would result in loss of a commonly used name or numerous name changes, that scientific name should be conserved. Such conservation may be required for generic names such as Bipolaris 1959 over Cochliobolus 1934. If Bipolaris were conserved, no name changes would be required in order to recognize only one name for each species. Conservation may also be expedient for species names. Examples will be presented to explore the feasibility of applying the Principle of Priority to agree on one scientific name for each fungal species. Changes in the ICBN to recognize one scientific name for fungi would essentially be eliminating Article 59. With the use of molecular tools to determine phylogenies, the usefulness of this Article has passed. The ICBN should be changed such that after a certain data only one correct scientific name could be applied to one fungal species. It’s time for mycologists to end the confusion and join the ranks of most biologists in allowing only one scientific name for each species.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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