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Open Access One Fungus = One Name: DNA and fungal nomenclature twenty years after PCR

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Some fungi with pleomorphic life-cycles still bear two names despite more than 20 years of molecular phylogenetics that have shown how to merge the two systems of classification, the asexual "Deuteromycota" and the sexual "Eumycota". Mycologists have begun to flout nomenclatorial regulations and use just one name for one fungus. The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) must change to accommodate current practice or become irrelevant. The fundamental difference in the size of fungi and plants had a role in the origin of dual nomenclature and continues to hinder the development of an ICBN that fully accommodates microscopic fungi. A nomenclatorial crisis also looms due to environmental sequencing, which suggests that most fungi will have to be named without a physical specimen. Mycology may need to break from the ICBN and create a MycoCode to account for fungi known only from environmental nucleic acid sequence (i.e. ENAS fungi).

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Keywords: AMSTERDAM DECLARATION; ENAS; MYCOCODE; NOMENCLATURE; PLEOMORPHIC FUNGI

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2011

More about this publication?
  • Scope: All aspects of pure and applied mycological research and news.
    Aims: The flagship journal of the International Mycological Association. IMA Fungus is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, full colour, fast-track journal. Papers on any aspect of mycology are considered, and published on-line with final pagination after proofs have been corrected; they are then effectively published under the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. The journal strongly supports good practice policies, and requires voucher specimens or cultures to be deposited in a public collection with an online database, DNA sequences in GenBank, alignments in TreeBASE, and validating information on new scientific names, including typifications, to be lodged in MycoBank. News, meeting reports, personalia, research news, correspondence, book news, and information on forthcoming international meetings are included in each issue.

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