Summary of Nomenclature and GUIDs

Sally Hinchcliffe S.Hinchcliffe at KEW.ORG
Fri Nov 11 14:44:03 CET 2005

Hi all
in response to Yde (and Rod too on a side discussion) - I think we're
straying into discussion of CBOL itself & as I know they are still in
the policy drafting stage, maybe some of these comments would be best
directed straight to the people concerned

Not sure which is the 'official' home page out of these two


> >>[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an unpublished candidate name like sp A, sp.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!
> Yde

*** Sally Hinchcliffe
*** Computer section, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
*** tel: +44 (0)20 8332 5708
*** S.Hinchcliffe at

More information about the tdwg-tag mailing list