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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2004 Sep;54(Pt 5):1895-902.

A proposal for further integration of the cyanobacteria under the Bacteriological Code.

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  • 1The Institute of Life Sciences and the Moshe Shilo Minerva Center for Marine Biogeochemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904 Jerusalem, Israel.


This taxonomic note reviews the present status of the nomenclature of the cyanobacteria under the Bacteriological Code. No more than 13 names of cyanobacterial species have been proposed so far in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM)/International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology (IJSB), and of these only five are validly published. The cyanobacteria (Cyanophyta, blue-green algae) are also named under the Botanical Code, and the dual nomenclature system causes considerable confusion. This note calls for a more intense involvement of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP), its Judicial Commission and its Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Photosynthetic Prokaryotes in the nomenclature of the cyanobacteria under the Bacteriological Code. The establishment of minimal standards for the description of new species and genera should be encouraged in a way that will be acceptable to the botanical authorities as well. This should be followed by the publication of an 'Approved List of Names of Cyanobacteria' in IJSEM. The ultimate goal is to achieve a consensus nomenclature that is acceptable both to bacteriologists and to botanists, anticipating the future implementation of a universal 'Biocode' that would regulate the nomenclature of all organisms living on Earth.

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