Abstract Detail


Renner, Susanne [1].

Why all Codes of Nomenclature, not just the Zoological Code, should allow nuclear DNA sequences (or assembled genomes) as type material of species names.

The type method was proposed in 1843, but botanists and mycologists only fully accepted it in 1935. The method solves the problem of how one might attach language (metaphysics) to biological entities, which for practical and theoretical reasons are never completely known.It does this by permanently attaching a name (two words) to a specimen or illustration that serves as a name-bearer (nomenclatural type). In all current codes, descriptions are a VOLUNTARY alternative to diagnoses, and whatever descriptions or diagnoses say is irrelevant if it is contradicted by the type. Given the relative unimportance of descriptions, but essentialness of types, there are now discussions in all taxonomic communities to permit genomic data as nomenclatural types, with zoologists and researchers of uncultivated prokaryotes the furthest along. Indeed, the commission on zoological nomenclature voted on 2 Nov. 2016 to permit sequences to serve as de facto types (search ‘Declaration 45’ for details). In this talk, I will discuss why botanists and mycologists might consider the approach taken by zoologists. In short, a nomenclatural type has to fulfil three criteria: (1) It has to be storable for a long time, ideally cheaply & forever; (2) it has to be retrievable from all over the World, ideally from a database; and (3) it has to be uniquely identifiable via a Digital Identifier. In cases where traditional herbarium vouchers cannot be preserved (and each case will need to be justified), genomic data might often be as useful as illustrations, which are currently permitted as sole nomenclatural types, even in the mycological code.

1 - Washington University, Biology, 1 Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO, 63130

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Abstract ID:52
Candidate for Awards:None

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