Cyanobacteria

General remarks

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.
The situation was solved in 2021 by accepting that names of Cyanobacteria validly published under the ICN are also accepted as validly published under the ICNP.
A selection of publications on nomenclature of Cyanobacteria (cited in chronological order):
1971-1980
1991-2000
2001-2010
2011-2020
2021-2025

Class

Chroobacteria (validly published under the ICNP, rejected name)

Gloeobacteria (validly published under the ICNP, rejected name)

Hormogoneae (validly published under the ICNP, rejected name)

Family

Prochloraceae (validly published under the ICNP)

Prochlorotrichaceae (validly published under the ICNP)

Genus

Foliisarcina (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Halospirulina (validly published under the ICNP)

Phyllonema (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Prochlorococcus (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Prochloron (validly published under the ICNP)

Prochlorothrix (validly published under the ICNP)

Rubidibacter (validly published under the ICNP)

Schmidlea (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Order

Chroococcales (validly published under the ICNP, rejected name)

Gloeobacterales (validly published under the ICNP, rejected name)

Nostocales (validly published under the ICNP, rejected name)

Oscillatoriales (validly published under the ICNP, rejected name)

Pleurocapsales (validly published under the ICNP, rejected name)

Prochlorales (validly published under the ICNP)

Stigonematales (validly published under the ICNP, rejected name)

Species

Aphanothece luteola (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Crinalium epipsammum (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Foliisarcina bertiogensis (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Gonium hyalinum (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Halospirulina tapeticola (validly published under the ICNP)

Leptolyngbya geysericola (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Microcystis aeruginosa (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code), illegitimate name, later homonym)

Phormidium geysericola (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Phyllonema aviceniicola (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Prochlorococcus marinus (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Prochloron didemni (validly published under the ICNP)

Prochlorothrix hollandica (validly published under the ICNP)

Protococcus roseopersicinus (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Rubidibacter lacunae (validly published under the ICNP)

Schmidlea luteola (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Subspecies

Prochlorococcus marinus subsp. marinus (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))

Prochlorococcus marinus subsp. pastoris (validly published under the ICN (Botanical Code))