Navigation Links
Bringing botany into the 21st Century

Botanical taxonomy, which extends to include the formal scientific naming of all plants, algae and fungi has gone through a landmark change in the procedure scientists need to follow when they describe new species. Details of the forthcoming changes to the newly-named 'International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants' are laid out by Dr Sandra Knapp and colleagues in an article published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. It has been suggested that perhaps only 10% of all species in the world have been named, and new species are discovered on a daily basis. Currently, in an era when scientific research is increasingly published online, the names and descriptions of all new species of algae, fungi and plants still must be lodged as printed copies at the libraries of several botanical institutions.

This existing, somewhat archaic, requirement for printed descriptions of new species to be deposited in relevant institutions has been a frustrating requirement of the code for scientists choosing to publish in online-only journals, such as BMC Evolutionary Biology. They have had to ensure that a printed copy of their article is also archived at several relevant institutions in addition to the version available online. This has become an impediment to science, not to mention creating a great deal of administrative hassle in the more efficient digital age. When the cost to scientists and institutions of subscribing to hard copies of journals is becoming prohibitive, not to mention the delays between article acceptance and publication inherent to publishing in print, why should online-only journals be penalised by the Code?

Changes to the international Code for naming algae, fungi or plants are decided on every six years at the International Botanical Congresses (IBC). Earlier this year, at the XVIII IBC held in Melbourne, Australia, it was decided that from 1 January 2012 scientists who describe new taxa (species, genera, families) will be able to publish their discoveries entirely online. Dr Sandra Knapp, from the Natural History Museum in London explained that, "From January, authors will be able to use either Latin or English to distinguish their new taxon from all others, and authors describing new plants, algae and fungi will be able to publish these novelties in appropriately registered electronic-only journals or books. This does not mean that new names can appear on websites or in ephemeral on-line resources. It does mean that new names will be more accessible, and that publication of new species in algae, fungi and plants will now be keeping pace with the exciting changes happening in the publishing world. Botanists and mycologists will have to work closely with the editors and publishers of these types of articles to be sure the rules of the Code are followed, but these new changes will bring names of organisms treated under the Code to wider audiences and will increase accessibility of biodiversity information when we need it most in order to help conserve what is rapidly being lost."

These changes that will appear in the 'Melbourne Code' as it will be known, are so important to biological and medical taxonomists that this information has simultaneously been published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, and several other journals including Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Brittonia, Cladistics, MycoKeys, Mycotaxon, New Phytologist, North American Fungi, Novon, Opuscula Philolichenum, PhytoKeys, Phytoneuron, Phytotaxa, Plant Diversity and Resources, Systematic Botany and Taxon.


Contact: Guy Melzack
BioMed Central

Related biology news :

1. Bringing better grapes a step closer to reality
2. Bringing dehydrated plants back to life
3. Bringing the world of agriculture to the classroom
4. Elsevier introduces Protein Viewer, bringing science to life
5. American Journal of Botany named a top 10 most influential journal of the century
6. Scientists discover 21st century plague
7. Synthetic biology key in the 21st century
8. Nearly a century later, new findings support Warburg theory of cancer
9. Darwins legacy in 21st century biology
10. Information warfare in the 21st century: Ideas are sometimes stronger than bombs
11. Engineering innovative solutions for 21st century medicine
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/19/2015)... 19, 2015  Based on its in-depth analysis of ... BIO-key with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan Award ... Sullivan presents this award to the company that has ... needs of the market it serves. The award recognizes ... expands on customer base demands, the overall impact it ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... , Nov. 18, 2015  As new scientific ... children, doctors and other healthcare providers face challenges in ... families and patients. In addition, as more children continue ... a patient,s adulthood and old age. John ... The Children,s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) . ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... , November 17, 2015 Paris ... 2015.   --> Paris from 17 ... DERMALOG, the biometrics innovation leader, has invented the first ... fingerprints on the same scanning surface. Until now two different ... Now one scanner can capture both on the same ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... MarkLogic, the Enterprise NoSQL database platform provider, creating a seamless approach to ... Content Intelligence capabilities provide a robust set of semantic tools which create ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Nov. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/--  Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: ... that it has closed the sale of its global ... (GBT- NYSE Euronext) in a transaction valued at approximately ... facilities and a total of approximately 1,000 employees spread ... St. Louis area. This entire workforce ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... MUMBAI , November 26, 2015 ... --> Accutest Research ... accredited Contract Research Organization (CRO), has ... Chase Cancer Center - Temple Health ... ,     (Photo: ) ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) announced  today that its ... (Rights Plan) in an effort to preserve the value ... 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). ... its NOLs could be substantially limited if the Company ... of the Code. In general, an ownership change occurs ...
Breaking Biology Technology: