Proposal to include the categories kingdom and domain in the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes

Markus Göker*, Aharon Oren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Observations made after introduction of the phylum category into the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (ICNP) indicate that the addition of a category should usually be conducted before informal names at that rank become widely used. It is thus investigated whether it would be beneficial to add further categories. An extrapolation from the number of names validly published under the ICNP at the distinct principal categories was conducted. This extrapolation indicated that two principal ranks above phylum rank would also harbour validly published names if the according categories were covered by the ICNP. The appropriate categories would be kingdom and domain, regarded as separate principal ranks. The benefit from introducing these ranks is confirmed by analysing the previous taxonomic activity above phylum level and the nomenclatural problems associated with this activity. An etymological examination of the way names of taxa above genus level are formed under distinct codes of nomenclature provides hints for implementing additional categories. According emendations of the ICNP are proposed to include kingdom and domain as a means of further stabilizing prokaryotic nomenclature.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number005650
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023

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