[Taxacom] Fungal barcodes required for species descriptions

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Oct 9 22:46:36 CDT 2015


Tim said: >Stephen Thorpe's response misses the point because, if you don't contribute the barcode sequence to the community as part of your description of a new species, how can anyone else querying the barcode database possibly determine whether they've found an individual your new species? Not providing a barcode is like not providing diagnostic morphological characters in your description<

Really! Obviously, if you don't contribute a bar code, then people can't query the barcode database to determine whether they've found an individual your new species! What they can do is read your description and look at your illustrations and determine the species by morphological comparison (not quite the trendy flash way of doing things, but still rather effective!) Sure, if the specimen you are trying to ID doesn't have the relevant diagnostic bits, then you have got a problem, but that applies equally to all organisms. What if you only have a small vegetative bit of a monocot? Same problem. The issue boils down in part to how often identifications of non-diagnostic specimens are needed. But even if they are needed urgently all the time, there is another solution! Someone can find a matching diagnostic specimen and sequence that, putting it on the barcode database. That's what we are going to have to do for most already described species (which is
 possibly most species in the world). I just don't see any particular reason to make sequencing mandatory for new species descriptions.


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