Ten reasons why a sequence-based nomenclature is not useful for fungi anytime soon

Marco Thines, Pedro W. Crous, M. Catherine Aime, Takayuki Aoki, Lei Cai, Kevin D. Hyde, Andrew Nicholas Miller, Ning Zhang, Marc Stadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The large number of species still to be discovered in fungi, together with an exponentially growing number of environmental sequences that cannot be linked to known taxa, has fuelled the idea that it might be necessary to formally name fungi on the basis of sequence data only. Here we object to this idea due to several shortcomings of the approach, ranging from concerns regarding reproducibility and the violation of general scientific principles to ethical issues. We come to the conclusion that sequence-based nomenclature is potentially harmful for mycology as a discipline. Additionally, a classification based on sequences as types is not within reach anytime soon, because there is a lack of consensus regarding common standards due to the fast pace at which sequencing technologies develop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalIMA Fungus
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 28 2018


  • Biodiversity
  • ICN
  • Nomenclature
  • Systematics
  • Voucherless taxa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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