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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Type and Other Reference Cultures for Taxonomic Research

Author
item Kurtzman, Cletus

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Names of taxa at the rank of family or below are based on nomenclatural types, i.e., living cultures for bacteria or preserved specimens or illustrations for plants and fungi. Use of molecular methods for the study of microbial systematics has repeatedly demonstrated that strains of many species are misidentified, and that some apparently separate species are conspecific. These observations emphasize the importance of using a single isolate, the type strain, as the exemplar for a taxon. One problem is that the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN), the nomenclatural code under which fungi are placed, generally requires that type material be dead and dried. Dead, dried holotypic material may not yield intact macromolecules making necessary the use of living ex-type cultures, should they have been derived from the original specimen. The practice of accepting lectotypes and neotypes as replacements for lost type material (holotype) is questionable unless molecular characters from the holotype were previously determined and prove to be comparable with the proposed replacement. Similarly, cultures designated as "authentic" may not represent the same species. The need to revise ICBN concerning type material is now obvious, as is the need to require that living type materials be deposited in an internationally accessible culture collection. A similar requirement for deposit needs to be made regarding "key strains" cited in all scientific publications if this germplasm is to be available for future study.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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