Electronic Registration

B. J. Tindall bti at DSMZ.DE
Mon Nov 19 08:34:12 CST 2001

At 09:01 16.11.2001 -0600, Joel Hallan wrote:
>While Bacteria [3000 names] does have such a site, they are extremely well
>funded as a group and the number of names of bacteria is rather small [half
>a per cent or less] with relatively few names being added compared to the
>rest of life.

First of all there are currently 5000 names in circulation. Secondly there
used to be a hell of a lot more. The work in reducing the number of names
and locating the types was done - to my knowledge WITHOUT ANY funding - in
the 1970s. The current websites get NO funding AT ALL and the "registration
journal" is funded by sales, not by page charges and certainly not by
external funding.
I would also like to challenge the view usually expressed out side of
microbiology that there are only a small number of bacteria which live on
this Earth. The current data set indicates that the small percentage of
organisms currently identified represents only a very small fraction of
what is really out there. There are numerous examples of very close ( and
specific) associations between plant or animal species and bacteria. Within
Europe and within Germany there are NO programmes for studying bacterial
diversity (I have been told that one funding body says - the task is so
vast that we do not know where to start, which is why they provide not
funding at all) - this is compared to programmes centering on plants and
animals - so I really find it difficult to work out where the concept comes
from of being "extremely well funded" - I would say "very well organised to
make excellent use of the very limited funding available" would be a better
phrase!! The study of bacterial diversity really only started about 150
years ago - just a fraction of the time devoted to studying plants and
Sorry - can't agree there!

>Joel Hallan
>Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp

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