Summary of Nomenclature and GUIDs

Yde de Jong yjong at SCIENCE.UVA.NL
Fri Nov 11 15:26:55 CET 2005

>>[Yde] A detail I would like to discuss  within this context in the
>>near future is the best possible way to link species names to
>>genetic resources (e.g. DNA barcodes).
>[Sally] This is something that CBOL have been discussing. I think
>that their current draft is that barcode sequences should be linked
>to the best available name (ie a well defined concept if there's a
>checklist, otherwise a name from a nomenclator, & only if there's
>nothing available from a nomenclator should they go for just a name,
>or even
>an unpublished candidate name like sp A, sp. B ).
>When CBOL were discussing the link to names earlier this year (in
>May) things weren't so well advanced on the GUID front so their
>approach may need to be reviewed if we do get a good system of GUIDs
>in place for names or concepts. However I know that they are
>including GBIF in the discussions so hopefully whatever they come up
>with will be compatible with whatever we come up with ...

Thanks Sally and Rod (for technical comments). Yes I agree that
linking to the best available (checklist/index) concept or
(nomenclator) name seems to be the proper way, however, here exactly
my fear begins. I simply don't believe that because of the inherent
instability of taxon concepts and because of the taxonomical
under-education of most molecular workers this will provide a
reliable model. I am afraid that when no very strict regulations on
identification, voucher typification and naming of used lab-specimen
will be established, we will not only end up with a similar bad
situation as currently in GeneBank (30% of the sequenced taxa wrongly
identified and no vouchers for control), but also an unworkable
taxonomic framework because of disintegrating taxon concepts.
Especially because the expected expansion of DNA barcodes will be
much larger compared to current sequence data, which could enforce
fuzzy working.
Of course ideally DNA barcoding should proceed from type specimen
(not found realistic in our museum) when possible and professional
taxonomists should be closely involved. I know CBOL is working on
guidelines for vouchering, and so on, but still...

Sorry about my sceptics and have a nice weekend!


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