Annual Conference 2022: Phylogenomics – Deed poll for bacteria? panel discussion

The Phylogenomics - Deed poll for bacteria? session will include a speaker panel discussion of questions submitted by delegates in advance of the conference. Please enter any questions you would like to include below:

Information about the session

Rapid and economical DNA sequencing has resulted in a revolution in phylogenomics. The impact of such rapid changes in nomenclature on practical aspects of microbiology is inconvenient in the least and, in relation to infectious disease diagnosis, potentially dangerous. Since the first discovery of microbes, bacterial classification has been a work in progress. Initially based on multiple metabolic, physiological, biochemical and descriptive characteristics combined with the environmental source, sequence data has now transformed our ability to determine evolutionary relationships. In addition, metagenomic and metataxonomic sequencing has resulted in the discovery of novel microbes, many yet to be cultured.

As a result, occasional name changes and additional bacterial discovery have accelerated at an unprecedented pace. The five large volumes of the second edition of Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology (inclusive of Archaea) took from 2001 to 2012 to complete, It remains the key reference source for bacterial description and taxonomy but the current rate of change requires consideration of how to maintain an up-to date globally agreed reference source. In this session we will: discuss the impact of nomenclature change on practical microbiology, including infectious disease; consider the future for pragmatic name change with wider consultation on change; overview the intricate and highly necessary rules of bacterial nomenclature, which sometimes appear unfathomable to the non-specialist and; explore the future of globally agreed referencing systems for bacterial phylogeny.