Why and how to use the SeqCode

William B. Whitman*, Maria Chuvochina, Brian P. Hedlund, Konstantinos T. Konstantinidis, Marike Palmer, Luis M. Rodriguez-R, Iain Sutcliffe, Fengping Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The SeqCode, formally called the Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes Described from Sequence Data, is a new code of nomenclature in which genome sequences are the nomenclatural types for the names of prokaryotic species. While similar to the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (ICNP) in structure and rules of priority, it does not require the deposition of type strains in international culture collections. Thus, it allows for the formation of permanent names for uncultured prokaryotes whose nearly complete genome sequences have been obtained directly from environmental DNA as well as other prokaryotes that cannot be deposited in culture collections. Because the diversity of uncultured prokaryotes greatly exceeds that of readily culturable prokaryotes, the SeqCode is the only code suitable for naming the majority of prokaryotic species. The start date of the SeqCode was January 1, 2022, and the online Registry (https://seqco.de/) was created to ensure valid publication of names. The SeqCode recognizes all names validly published under the ICNP before 2022. After that date, names validly published under the SeqCode compete with ICNP names for priority. As a result, species can have only one name, either from the SeqCode or ICNP, enabling effective communication and the creation of unified taxonomies of uncultured and cultured prokaryotes. The SeqCode is administered by the SeqCode Committee, which is comprised of the SeqCode Community and elected administrative components. Anyone with an interest in the systematics of prokaryotes is encouraged to join the SeqCode Community and participate in the development of this resource.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Early online date7 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

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