molecular species?

Robin Panza panzar at CLPGH.ORG
Mon May 20 20:45:09 CDT 1996

>I would be interested to know if the codes of nomenclature and/or
>common usage requires it that the names of organism have to be
>based on a morphological description.  Assuming that it allows the
>unambiguous identification of a particular organism, could a
>molecular sequence, (be it as a gel, a paper hardcopy or an electronic
>file) become the name bearing type?

Ornithologists have been known to specify species based on song, which is
non-morphological.  Therefore, I would assume that a definitive sequence would
be allowable, as well.  However, it is the *individual* from whom the song (or
sequence) was determined that is the type, not the sonagram (or sequence), per
se.  I don't know exactly how this applies to bacteria, but assume that a type
colony is kept on hand (in stasis, to prevent evolution?).

Since I'm no expert at theICZN, I've sent my opinion to you, not Taxacom.

Robin Panza                     panzar at
Section of Birds
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Pittsburgh  PA  15213

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