But...(Use of types)

Eric Swann erics at PUCCINI.CRL.UMN.EDU
Fri Nov 8 12:51:21 CST 1996

It might not be possible to get the sort of information from the type
which is required to make the comparison.  For example, if a molecular
systematist obtains the type, and somehow manages to get the curator to
allow DNA extraction from the specimen, what happens if the PCR fails to
amplify the target DNA?  If it's not possible to use the type for
sequence comparisons, then is the systematist prohibited from, for
example, making a transfer of a species from one genus to another?

If such a transfer IS allowable, then what is the purpose of working
with the type in the first place?  No new information was gained, and a
bit of the type was lost.  Is it possible that there are some taxonomic
processes which do not require consultation of the type, or in which use
of the type is not logically justified?

Eric Swann
Department of Plant Biology
University of Minnesota

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