ICB: Naming organisms in an age of molecular-based biodiversity discovery

Objectives and Challenges

Development of an international group and framework for dissemination of "Protocols for the recognition, registration and management of names and information on organisms
using a digital infrastructure
”. The development of these protocols and guidelines for best practice will
harmonise modern molecular-based biodiversity discovery with our legacy of information on the
living world from hundreds of years of scientific research. This will bring together scientists across the
fields of biology to work together towards an interoperable view on the naming of organisms and will
ultimately tame potentially disruptive technologies to help communities build on the foundations of
biodiversity sciences, improving practice across the field.

The International Committee for Bionomenclature (ICB) was created in 1995 by joint decision of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) and the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) – the Founding Unions.

Leader

Elinor Miche & Regine Jahn

Steering Committee

Ellinor Michel, Regine Jahn, Richard Pyle. Additional SC members: MJ Adams, N Cellinese, JC David,
D Fautin, GM Garrity, W Greuter, DL Hawksworth, PM Kirk, Sandra Knapp, J McNeill, D Remsen, G Rosenberg, B Tindall, J Todd, J van Tol, N Turland.

IUBS Scientific Members involved

International Committee for Bionomenclature (ICB, the applicant organisation)

International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT)

International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi (ICTF)

International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN)

Organisation for Phyto-Taxonomic Investigation of the Mediterranean Area (OPTIMA)

International Society for Phylogenetic Nomenclature (ISPN)

International Commission for the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants (ICNCP)

Biodiversity Information Standards, Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG)

Field of Research

Biodiversity science – nomenclature, taxonomy and biodiversity bioinformatics

Questions addressed

Promote guidelines and an international agenda on nomenclatural activities in a world in which discovery of biodiversity is increasingly based on molecular tools and delivered digitally. Molecular discovery is currently diverging from type-based naming and information on biodiversity is becoming fractured without a coherent digital infrastructure. As with the Codes of nomenclature, we are in need of a unified infrastructure for registering new entities and integrating knowledge about them.

Programm in Detail (2012-2015)

Detailed Programme

Contact and Website

http://www.bionomenclature.net

BioCode

Preceding BioCode Working Group (2008-2011)

The Committee has supported the Biocode Programme, whose work resulted in

1) the BioCode Framework for Principles and Rules Regulating the Naming of Organisms and

2) Biological nomenclature terms for facilitating communication in the naming of organisms.

The Committee continues to explore new programmes and works though its members to bring the communities of scientists naming all organisms together. New life-wide challenges to cataloging, registering and managing knowledge of biodiversity have arisen from the very rapid application of molecular tools to the process of biodiversity discovery and their apparent incompatability with naming as mandated by the traditional codes of nomenclature. In its project ‘Naming organisms in an age of molecular-based biodiversity discovery’, the International Committee for Bionomenclature will promote the development of a forum that will lead to agreed protocols in the registration and management of information about all types of organisms discovered with new and emerging molecular tools.

Leader

Elinor Michel

Steering Committee

Regine Jahn (Deputy Secretary); Members: MJ Adams, N Cellinese, JC

David, D Fautin, GM Garrity, W Greuter, DL Hawksworth, Sandra Knapp, PM

Kirk, J McNeill, David Patterson, R Pyle, D Remsen, G Rosenberg, B

Tindall, J Todd, J van Tol, N Turland.

Countries involved

Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, USA

IUBS Scientific Members involved

International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT), International Committee for Bionomenclature, Organisation for Phyto-Taxonomic Investigation of the Mediterranean Area (OPTIMA), Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG)

BioNomenclature

Preceding BioNomenclature Working Group (before 2008)

Development of a new international group driving discussion of cutting-edge issues in the conjunction of molecular biology and the naming of roganisms and with that, an internationally agreed framework for dissemination of protocols for the recognition, registration and management of organisms described using  the tools of molecular-based biodiversity discovery.

The project will drive forward an international agenda on nomenclatural activities in a world in which discovery of biodiversity is increasingly based on molecular tools. This discovery process is currently not compatible with type-based naming and we are in need of a unified system of naming and registering these new entities and integrating our knowledge of them with that of currently named diversity.

Assembly of an international working group to address the needs for formal recognition of species discovered using only molecular tools. Programme outputs:

(1) An appendix to the International Committee for Bionomenclature BioCode Framework dealing with policies and guidelines for nomenclature and registration of taxa identified using only molecular identifiers.

(2) A new forum for discussion and development of an international agenda on this rapidly developing subject.