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Proteins and Enzymes as Taxonomic Tools

Elsevier Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1016/s0065-2164(08)70191-6


Publisher Summary According to the International Code of Nomenclature, organisms must be assigned to a species. When an organism is to be named, a dossier of its characteristics is prepared to determine whether the organism has already been described. If the organism does not fit into an already described species, it must be described to receive recognition as a “new” species according to the appropriate code. This ritual constitutes a memorial to Linnaeus who created order in the previously chaotic classification of plant and animal macroorganisms. In the beginning, microbial classification followed Linnaean protocol. Although considerable progress has been made in the preparation of increasingly more sophisticated dossiers, the microbial taxonomist seems to have produced increasingly greater Linnaean chaos in certain groups. Perhaps the situation is best appreciated by considering an opinion offered by a macrobial taxonomist. Whatever other functions may be attributed to taxonomy—such as investigating phylogeny, the creation of a data storage and retrieval agency is surely an inescapable one.

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