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Minimal standards for the description of new taxa

One of the functions of the Subcommittees on Taxonomy is to recommend to the ICSB (now ICSP) through the Judicial Commission minimal standards for the description of new taxa for the purpose of establishing validity of publication. Such recommendations shall include a list of characters and methods for their assessment, and shall be reviewed, at the request of the Judicial Commission, at regular intervals. If accepted by the ICSB (now ICSP), they shall be published in the IJSB (now IJSEM) and other microbiological journals. They shall specify the minimal requirements only and shall in no way limit the extent of investigation beyond these limits. The Judicial Commission may, at the request of any specialist in the field of study, wether a member of the Subcommittee or not, call for a revision of the minimal standards if the evidence before the Commission is considered sufficient to warrant such a call.
Reference: Statutes of the International Committee on Systematic Bacteriology of the International Union of Microbiological Societies. Article 9, Organization and Functions of Subcommittees on Taxonomy. In: LAPAGE (S.P.), SNEATH (P.H.A.), LESSEL (E.F.), SKERMAN (V.B.D.), SEELIGER (H.P.R.) and CLARK (W.A.): International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria (1990 Revision). American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C., 1992, pp. 152-155.

According to Recommendation 30b, before publication of the name and description of a new species, the examination and description should conform at least to the minimal standards (if available) required for the relevant taxon of bacteria [see also: Rule 27, Chapter 4 (Advisory Notes) and Appendix 7 (Publication of a New Name)].
Reference: LAPAGE (S.P.), SNEATH (P.H.A.), LESSEL (E.F.), SKERMAN (V.B.D.), SEELIGER (H.P.R.) and CLARK (W.A.): International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria (1990 Revision). American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C., 1992, XLII + 189 pages.

According to the Report of the ad hoc committee for the re-evaluation of the species definition in bacteriology, "Minimal characteristics should be provided and follow the guidelines set forth by various subcommittees of the ICSP. Where such guidelines do not exist, descriptions should follow guidelines for closely related taxa."
Reference: STACKEBRANDT (E.), FREDERIKSEN (W.), GARRITY (G.M.), GRIMONT (P.A.D.), KÄMPFER (P.), MAIDEN (M.C.J.), NESME (X.), ROSSELLO-MORA (R.), SWINGS (J.), TRÜPER (H.G.), VAUTERIN (L.), WARD (A.C.) and WHITMAN (W.B.): Report of the ad hoc committee for the re-evaluation of the species definition in bacteriology. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2002, 52, 1043-1047.
Original article in IJSEM Online

 

A list of published minimal standards is provided below in chronological order.
[See also SHIRLING (E.B.) and GOTTLIEB (D. (1966). Methods for characterization of Streptomyces species. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1966, 16, 313–340 (not a minimal standard, but a standard reference work). Original article in IJSEM Online]

 

Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Mycoplasmatales (now Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Mollicutes)

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE ON SYSTEMATIC BACTERIOLOGY, SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE TAXONOMY OF MYCOPLASMATALES: Proposal for minimal standards for descriptions of new species of the order Mycoplasmatales. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1972, 22, 184-188.
Original article in IJSEM Online

Note: The Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Mollicutes (formerly the Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Mycoplasmatales) will publish other "minimal standards" in 1979, in 1995, and in 2007 (see: Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1979, 29, 172-180, Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1995, 45, 605-612, and Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2007, 57, 2703-2719).

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Brucella

CORBEL (M.J.) and BRINLEY-MORGAN (W.J.): Proposal for minimal standards for descriptions of new species and biotypes of the genus Brucella. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1975, 25, 83-89.
Original article in IJSEM Online

CORBEL (M.J.) and BRINLEY-MORGAN (W.J.): Errata. Proposal for minimal standards for descriptions of new species and biotypes of the genus Brucella. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1975, 25, 243
Original article in IJSEM Online

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Subcommittee on Moraxella and Allied Bacteria (now Subcommittee on Taxonomy of Neisseriaceae)

BØVRE (K.) and HENRIKSEN (S.D.): Minimal standards for description of new taxa within the genera Moraxella and Acinetobacter: proposal by the subcommittee on Moraxella and allied bacteria. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1976, 26, 92-96.
Original article in IJSEM Online

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Mollicutes

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE ON SYSTEMATIC BACTERIOLOGY, SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE TAXONOMY OF MOLLICUTES*: Proposal of minimal standards for descriptions of new species of the class Mollicutes. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1979, 29, 172-180.
Original article in IJSEM Online

*: E.A. Freundt (Chairman), R.F. Whitcomb (Secretary), M.F. Barile, J.M. Bové, G.S. Cottew, H. Ernø, R. Lemcke, J. Maniloff, H. Neimark, S. Razin, D. Taylor-Robinson, J.G. Tully and P. Whittlestone.

Notes:

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Subcommittee for Taxonomy of Methanogenic Bacteria (now subcommittee on the taxonomy of Methanoarchaea)

BOONE (D.R.) and WHITMAN (W.B.): Proposal of minimal standards for describing new taxa of methanogenic bacteria. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1988, 38, 212-219.
Original article in IJSEM Online

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Subcommittee for the Taxonomy of Rhizobium and Agrobacterium (now Subcommittee for the Taxonomy of Agrobacterium and Rhizobium)

GRAHAM (P.H.), SADOWSKY (M.J.), KEYSER (H.H.), BARNET (Y.M.), BRADLEY (R.S.), COOPER (J.E.), DE LEY (D.J.), JARVIS (B.D.W.), ROSLYCKY (E.B.), STRIJDOM (B.W.) and YOUNG (J.P.W.): Proposed minimal standards for the description of new genera and species of root- and stem-nodulating bacteria. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1991, 41, 582-587.
Original article in IJSEM Online

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Subcommittee for Taxonomy of the Mycobacteria (now Subcommittee for Taxonomy of the genus Mycobacterium)

LEVY-FREBAULT (V.V.) and PORTAELS (F.): Proposed minimal standards for the genus Mycobacterium and for description of new slowly growing Mycobacterium species. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1992, 42, 315-323.
Original article in IJSEM Online

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Campylobacter and Related Bacteria

URSING (J.B.), LIOR (H.) and OWEN (R.J.): Proposal of minimal standards for describing new species of the family Campylobacteraceae. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1994, 44, 842-845.
Original article in IJSEM Online

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Mollicutes

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE ON SYSTEMATIC BACTERIOLOGY, SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE TAXONOMY OF MOLLICUTES*: Revised minimum standards for description of new species of the class Mollicutes (Division Tenericutes). Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1995, 45, 605-612.
Original article in IJSEM Online

*: R.F. Whitcomb (Chair), J.G. Tully (Secretary), J.M. Bové, J.M. Badbury, G. Christiansen, I. Kahane, B.C. Kirkpatrick, F. Laigret, R.H. Leach, H.C. Neimark, J.D. Pollack, S. Razin, B.B. Sears, and D. Taylor-Robinson.

Note: The Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Mollicutes first published a "Proposal for minimal standards for descriptions of new species of the order Mycoplasmatales" in 1972 (see: Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1972, 22, 184-188) and a "Proposal of minimal standards for descriptions of new species of the class Mollicutes" in 1979 (see: Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1979, 29, 172-180).

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Halobacteriaceae

OREN (A.), VENTOSA (A.) and GRANT (W.D.): Proposed minimal standards for description of new taxa in the order Halobacteriales. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1997, 47, 233-238.
Original article in IJSEM Online

Note: On 7 August 2008, the subcommittee on the taxonomy of Halobacteriaceae discussed whether any changes in the Recommended Minimal Standards document are necessary at present. It was recommended that the current recommendation for PCR amplification of 16S rRNA genes followed by sequencing of the product should be replaced by cloning and sequencing of a number of 16S rRNA gene clones, this is in view of the presence of multiple copies of the gene with different sequences in many members of the family. No need was felt for additional changes to the Recommended Minimal Standards.
Reference: OREN (A.) and VENTOSA (A.): International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Halobacteriaceae Minutes of the meetings, 7 August 2008, Istanbul, Turkey. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2008, 58, 2465-2467.
Original article in IJSEM Online

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Staphylococci and Streptococci

FRENEY (J.), KLOOS (W.E.), HAJEK (V.), WEBSTER (J.A.), BES (M.), BRUN (Y.) and VERNOZY-ROZAND (C.): Recommended minimal standards for description of new staphylococcal species. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1999, 49, 489-502.
Original article in IJSEM Online

Note: According to the "Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Staphylococci and Streptococci" some of the recommendations stated in the "Recommended minimal standards" are possibly impractical in certain cases, particularly the requirement for peptidoglycane types. - Reference: WHILEY (R.A.) and KILIAN (M.): International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes. Subcommittee on the taxonomy of staphylococci and streptococci. Minutes of the closed meeting, 31 July 2002, Paris, France. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2003, 53, 915-917.
Original article in IJSEM Online

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Campylobacter and Related Bacteria

DEWHIRST (F.E.), FOX (J.G.) and ON (S.L.W.): Recommended minimal standards for describing new species of the genus Helicobacter. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2000, 50, 2231-2237.
Original article in IJSEM Online

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Flavobacterium and Cytophaga-like Bacteria

BERNARDET (J.F.), NAKAGAWA (Y.) and HOLMES (B.)* : Proposed minimal standards for describing new taxa of the family Flavobacteriaceae and emended description of the family. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2002, 52, 1049-1070.
Original article in IJSEM Online

*: For the Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Flavobacterium and Cytophaga-like bacteria of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes.

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Photosynthetic Prokaryotes

IMHOFF (J.F.) and CAUMETTE (P.): Recommended standards for the description of new species of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 54, 1415-1421.
Original article in IJSEM Online

Note: The recommended standards were supported by the Subcommittee on the taxonomy of photosynthetic prokaryotes of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes.

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Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Pasteurellaceae

CHRISTENSEN (H.), KUHNERT (P.), BUSSE (H.J.), FREDERIKSEN (W.C.) and BISGAARD (M.): Proposed minimal standards for the description of genera, species and subspecies of the Pasteurellaceae. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2007, 57, 166-178.
Original article in IJSEM

Note: Former member of the ICSP Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Pasteurellaceae Mogens Kilian and present members Patrick Blackall, Robert Davies, Olivier Gaillot, Thomas Inzana, Reinier Mutters and Niels Nørskov-Lauritsen, although not co-authors of the paper, taked part in these minimal standards.

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International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Halomonadaceae

ARAHAL (D.R.), VREELAND (R.H.), LITCHFIELD (C.D.), MORMILE (M.R.), TINDALL (B.J.), OREN (A.), BEJAR (V.), QUESADA (E.) and VENTOSA (A.): Recommended minimal standards for describing new taxa of the family Halomonadaceae. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2007, 57, 2436-2446.
Original article in IJSEM Online
ERRATUM. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2008, 58, 2673.
Erratum in IJSEM Online

Note: The proposals presented in the paper by Arahal et al. have been endorsed by the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Halomonadaceae.

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Mollicutes

BROWN (D.R.), WHITCOMB (R.F.) and BRADBURY (J.M.): Revised minimal standards for description of new species of the class Mollicutes (division Tenericutes). Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2007, 57, 2703-2719.
Original article in IJSEM Online

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of the Suborder Micrococcineae

SCHUMANN (P.), KÄMPFER (P.), BUSSE (H.J.) and EVTUSHENKO (L.I.)*: Proposed minimal standards for describing new genera and species of the suborder Micrococcineae. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2009, 59, 1823-1849.
Original article in IJSEM Online

* For the Subcommittee on the taxonomy of the suborder Micrococcineae of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes.

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Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of the Genus Bacillus and Related Organisms

LOGAN (N.A.), BERGE (O.), BISHOP (A.H.), BUSSE (H.J.), DE VOS (P.), FRITZE (D.), HEYNDRICKX (M.), KÄMPFER (P.), RABINOVITCH (L.), SALKINOJA-SALONEN (M.S.), SELDIN (L.) and VENTOSA (A.): Proposed minimal standards for describing new taxa of aerobic, endospore-forming bacteria. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2009, 59, 2114-2121.
Original article in IJSEM Online

Note: The proposals have been endorsed by the Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of the Genus Bacillus and Related Organisms of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes.

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