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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #277600


Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Title: Minimizing the chaos following the loss of article 59: suggestions for a necessary discussion

item Gams,, Walter - Retired Non ARS Employee
item Humber, Richard
item Jaklisch,, Walter - University Of Vienna
item Kirschner,, Roland - National Central University - Taiwan
item Stadler,, Marc - Helmholtz Centre

Submitted to: Mycotaxon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2012
Publication Date: 4/12/2012
Citation: Gams,, W., Humber, R.A., Jaklisch,, W., Kirschner,, R., Stadler,, M. 2012. Minimizing the chaos following the loss of article 59: suggestions for a necessary discussion. Mycotaxon. 119:495-507. DOI: 10.5248/119.495.

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript addresses the authors’ opinions on a proposed change in the assignment of scientific names to fungal organisms that was passed by committee decision at the 2011 Melbourne Botanical Congress. The decisions require that any one fungal organism will have only one valid scientific name, while in the past a rule-based process was used to describe different functional and morphological states of a fungus, such as those with sexual and asexual states. Among those fungi most severely affected are the insect pathogens in the order Hypocreales. This manuscript offers some examples of the difficult choices to be made and some of the ways in which these changes will affect taxonomy and nomenclature of fungi. These points are raised to continue discussion in advance of a 2012 workshop in the Netherlands and prior to a final outcome by a newly selected committee.

Technical Abstract: We believe that the decision at the 2011 Melbourne Botanical Congress to suppress the dual nomenclature for pleomorphic fungi was premature since the great majority of fungal genera still remain inadequately typified and need molecularly based revisions. We deplore the move from a clearly rule-determined nomenclature to a system of names to be decided by committees. The new system cannot be implemented until experts publish well justified recommendations about which generic names should be accepted and suppressed among alternative morphs before the responsible committees act officially. Prioritization vs. suppression is not the same as conservation vs. rejection. If a teleomorphic generic name is suppressed, it still remains valid and legitimate and can continue to serve as basis for names of higher-rank taxa. We present some suggestions with examples to help guide the impending work of these nomenclatural committees: In most cases the teleomorph genus name should be prioritized unless convincing arguments favor preference of the anamorphic name. Paraphyletic genera must be recognized. Unless the phylogenetic positions of all type species for possible morphs are confirmed, no prioritization can be fixed. When a species has a name in the prioritized genus that is younger than the corresponding name in the suppressed genus, only priority of extant names in the prioritized genus should count.