To hyphenate or not to hyphenate

B.J.Tindall bti at DSMZ.DE
Thu Oct 30 07:52:06 CST 2003

Well, actually the BioCode only solves this problem for new names published
after 1st January 200x. This means that such problems (relating to the
past) would be dealt with via the "special Codes" which operated before
that date. The answer for the ICZN/ICBN is to do as the Bacteriological
Code did and simply say "drop the hyphen".

In the case of prokaryotes, the split from the ICBN in the 1930s has meant
that although "bacteria" are traditionally plants, they are not covered by
the ICBN. However, if you look in the ING database you will find that
botany still lists names which are clearly accepted as being prokaryotes
and regulated by the Bacteriological Code. In some of these cases you will
also find a note to say that when the taxon was described it was considered
to be a "botanical taxon" and the name has been retained for purposes of
homonymy. So someone has tackled this problem some time ago in
botany/prokaryotes. There are still some problems, but this could simply be
a case of lack of information transfer.

In the case of cyanobacteria they may be ambireginal from a traditional
point of view, but I see no reason to fight over them. If one could bring
the ICBN and the Bacteriological Codes close enough together the same names
and types could be recognised simultaneous under both Codes - this means a
willingness to work together and invest time. The interesting aspect is
that the ICBN already has a mechanism for recognising names of "algae"
published in accordance with other Codes. Unfortunately, due to the
bacteriological name indexing system we don't have lists of cyanobacterial
names, which means that it is the Bacteriological Code which needs to move
towards the ICBN.

As for ambireginal protist I recall some years ago that people working in
this area were unhappy with their organisms being classified either as
plants or animals (if I recall Trypanosomes may even have remains of
chloroplasts) and were either willing to look at something like the
BioCode, or the other alternative would be to create their own Code. The
latter may well be a reality - see:
The collapse of the two-kingdom system, the rise of protistology and the
founding of the International Society for Evolutionary Protistology (ISEP),
by F. J. R. Taylor. IJSEM Papers in Press, published online 3 October 2003.
DOI 10.1099/ijs.0.02587-0

Since we have access to the journal I am not sure whether others on this
list would have access to this "paper in press". I also had the feeling
that some people working on fungi also weren't too happy with being
classified as "botanists" instead of "mycologists"! However, this could be
because fungi are closer to humans than we previously thought - aren't they
Paul ;-)?


At 15:07 29.10.2003 -0800, Paul Kirk wrote:
>or until the BioCode is accepted and used by everyone ... :o)
>Paul Kirk
>CABI Bioscience
>-----Original Message-----
>Sent: 29/10/03 22:09
>Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] To hyphenate or not to hyphenate
>Hi all,
>I hope you will forgive the intrusion of someone who is not presently
>actively involved with either ICBN, ICZN, or bacteriology as I open
>can of worms that I, at least, see as relevant:
>How long does a "tradition" have to be in existence to fit the
>of "traditionally", whether applied to ICBN or ICZN or any other
>I would say, without stretching it at all, that the present tradition is
>classify the slime molds as NEITHER plants nor animals, no matter what
>tradition was when it was stated that the ICBN, for example, stated that
>slime molds were traditionally classified as plants.  It really is
>stretching it too far, as I see it, to say that our present tradition is
>classify them as either plants or animals.
>Therefore, perhaps you can do whatever you please with the hyphenation
>any other nomenclatural issue regarding Dictyostelium, until a new code
>passed for Protista or, if you are a splitter, a smaller group such as
>cellular slime molds, in accord with what I consider to be our present

* Dr.B.J.Tindall      E-MAIL bti at                           *
* DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH *
* Mascheroder Weg 1b, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany                *
* Tel.: ++ 531 2616 0 (general)                                    *
* Tel.: ++ 531 2616 224 (direct)                                   *
* Fax:  ++ 531 2616 418                                            *
*                                                                  *
* Homepage:                          *
* E-MAIL: contact at (general enquiries)                      *
*         sales at (sales)                                    *

More information about the Taxacom mailing list