Login

Join for Free!
119246 members


What do you call a species only detected once in nature?

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

Moderator: BioTeam

What do you call a species only detected once in nature?

Postby radiolarian » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:05 am

Hello, first post here. I am working on an article that discusses an organism, specifically a gilled mushroom in the order Strophariaceae, that has only been found once in nature. Saying that the organism is "critically endangered" or "extinct in the wild" seems incorrect as nothing is known about the historical distribution. A biologist could not isolate a new species of diatom and then say that it is "critically endangered" simply because it had never been found previously. Yet I cannot find an appropriate terms for this sort of organism, there are equivalent terms used in linguistics like hapax legomenon i.e. a word that only occurs once in a text, but what do you call such an organism only found once in the environment? I am posting this question in the microbiology subforum because I imagine this is quite a common occurrence amongst those who study bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Lastly, if one finds an organism that is genetically and phenotypically distinct enough to be called a new species, yet they have only found one specimen, is that sufficient evidence to publish their findings in the appropriate taxonomic journal?
radiolarian
Garter
Garter
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:25 am

Postby JorgeLobo » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:12 pm

You speak of it as an organism rather than offering a specific epithet. How was it actualy described and in what (published) forum? But it is an interesting question - esp. if that single description is based on visual observation of a single basidiocarp. Overall. the status of this "organism" sounds pretty weak. Agree with the description -"endangered" is more a policy than technical description and it's hard to claim a negative (extinct) in the context you offered . You really don't need to coin a term - just say it was described only once.

As for the last question - I believe yes if one has both unqiue phenotypic and genotypic characterization. Seen this in bacteria taxonomy.
JorgeLobo
Coral
Coral
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:12 am

Postby canalon » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:16 pm

More information on what and how to publish new species (description, deposit in international collections and so on) can probably be found here:
http://ijs.sgmjournals.org/site/misc/ifora.xhtml
Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
User avatar
canalon
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:46 pm
Location: Canada


Postby JackBean » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:52 am

About two years ago, new species of spider was published based on two specimen
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
User avatar
JackBean
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
 
Posts: 5692
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:12 pm

Postby JorgeLobo » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:39 pm

Canalon - that ref is largely for microorganisms. For fungi observed in natural via basidiocarps, classification wasand to a lrge extent stil is based on detailed basidiocarp anatomy and basidiospore description from specimens gathered in the field. These are typically deposited in regional herbaria. Complexities of pure culture, plody etc. have limited more rigorous efforts. I've not worked in this area for years and understand there has been some progress.
I hope radiolarian can say more about the elements of his post..

Jack - can you give us a ref for the spider taxonomy?
JorgeLobo
Coral
Coral
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:12 am

Postby canalon » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:43 am

Sorry, my bad. This time I was the one reading too fast.
Cannot help WRT to fungi, I have no sense of humor ;)
Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
User avatar
canalon
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:46 pm
Location: Canada

Re: What do you call a species only detected once in nature?

Postby radiolarian » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:00 am

Hi, sorry for being vague. Although I was referring to a specific species, my question is ultimately more general/hypothetical. I know of another example where a specimen thought to be a new species, or at the very least a highly unusual strain of P. pelliculosa, was collected in Telluride. When I asked someone who had seen the specimen why it was not described in a taxonomic journal (Mycotaxon etc.) they said "two specimens are required for formal taxonomic identification." I don't believe this is true though, or if it is the problem would be simple to rectify by culturing the single collected specimen and then publish on what is grown in a laboratory.

Anyway, like I said in the OP, I imagine this is a fairly common occurrence in bacteriology, virology, mycology etc. and I was wondering what scientists usually do when they discover a single specimen of something new.
radiolarian
Garter
Garter
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:25 am

Postby JackBean » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:21 pm

http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
User avatar
JackBean
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
 
Posts: 5692
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:12 pm

Postby JorgeLobo » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:59 pm

Thanks Jack - interesting name and mating practices.
JorgeLobo
Coral
Coral
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:12 am

Postby JackBean » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:58 am

Indeed. But I was looking on the article again and I'm not sure it was based on two specimen anymore :-/
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
User avatar
JackBean
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
 
Posts: 5692
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:12 pm


Return to Microbiology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests