Validly published names of Cyanobacteria are mostly ☞ validly published under International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). But because Cyanobacteria are prokaryotes, some of their names were validly published under the ☞ ICNP. These names are listed here, together with names validly published under the ICN that are synonyms of names validly published under the ICNP. Names that were inadvertently included in a ☞ Notification List or ☞ Validation List even though they do not qualify for being validly published under the ICNP are also listed. These names may well qualify for being validly published under the ICN but this may imply a distinct date of valid publication and a distinct interpretation of the nomenclatural type. Note that some of the names shown here may be ☞ illegitimate or ☞ rejected or even disputed as being validly published. See also the page on nomenclature.
One could argue that Cyanobacteria are prokaryotes and, consequently, it is an anomaly to treat them under the ICN. However, there are a variety of obstacles that would need to be overcome before the nomenclature of Cyanobacteria could be integrated in the ICNP. First, the vast majority of the thousands of ☞ validly published names of Cyanobacteria were validly published under the ICN. Second, the ICNP requests axenic cultures deposited in two distinct culture collections as ☞ nomenclatural types of species and subspecies names; nomenclatural types of validly published names of species or subspecies of Cyanobacteria are usually descriptions, herbarium specimens or non-axenic cultures. Third, the valid publication of new names or new combinations under the ICNP would hardly work because most Cyanobacteria are still not available as axenic cultures; alternatively, a modification of the ICNP would be required to permit non-axenic cultures to serve as nomenclatural types under certain circumstances. Fourth, given the huge number of already validly published names, moving these names from the ICN to the ICNP would require of a new set of ☞ Approved Lists. Fifth, the ☞ conservation of names of Cyanobacteria that made it into such lists, did not have ☞ priority but were associated with taxa that can be better characterized using modern methods would be advisable in many situations; but conservation of names is more usual under the ICN than under the ICNP.
A selection of publications on nomenclature of Cyanobacteria (cited in chronological order):
- Oren A. Cyanobacterial systematics and nomenclature as featured in the International Bulletin of Bacteriological Nomenclature and Taxonomy / International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology / International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2011; 61:10-15.
- Oren A, Garrity GM. Proposal to change General Consideration 5 and Principle 2 of the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2014; 64:309-310.
- Palinska KA, Surosz W. Taxonomy of cyanobacteria: a contribution to consensus approach. Hydrobiologia 2014; 740:1-11.
- Oren A. Comments on: "A polyphasic approach leading to the revision of the genus Planktothrix (Cyanobacteria) and its type species, P. agardhii, and proposal for integrating the emended valid botanical taxa, as well as three new species, Planktothrix paucivesiculata sp. nov.ICNP, Planktothrix tepida sp. nov.ICNP, and Planktothrix serta sp. nov.ICNP, as genus and species names with nomenclature standing under the ICNP," by V. Gaget, M. Welker, R. Rippka, and N. Tandeau de Marsac, Syst. Appl. Microbiol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.syapm.2015.02.004. Syst Appl Microbiol 2015; 38:159-160.
- Pinevich AV. Proposal to consistently apply the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (ICNP) to names of the oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria (cyanobacteria), including those validly published under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN)/International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants (ICN), and proposal to change Principle 2 of the ICNP. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2015; 65:1070-1074.
- Oren A, Ventura S. The current status of cyanobacterial nomenclature under the "prokaryotic" and the "botanical" code. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 2017; 110:1257-1269.