New Hot Paper in Plant & Animal Science Looks to Clarify the Classification of Fungi

In our most recent edition of New Hot Papers, “Epitypification and neotypification: guidelines with appropriate and inappropriate examples” (Fungal Divers. 69 [1]: 57-91 November 2014), was named the New Hot Paper for Plant & Animal Science in Essential Science Indicators. Currently in the Web of Science, this paper has 61 citations.

Below, corresponding author Dr. Kevin Hyde talks about the paper and its implications in the area of scientific nomenclature.

Why do you think your paper is highly cited?

It endeavors to clarify an issue that many involved in fungal and plant systematics need to address, but have little guidance on how to proceed.

Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or synthesis of knowledge?

It provides a pragmatic way of resolving an issue that is not adequately covered under the internationally agreed rules, taking note of proposals made to change those, but yet to be formally approved.

Would you summarize the significance of your paper in layman's terms?

Fixing the precise application of scientific names is fundamental to their use. With advances in DNA sequencing, fixing the applications by molecular methods, especially agreed BarCode sequences, has been found to be essential in many groups of organisms. The proposals and examples in this paper show a way forward that can be adapted when the anticipated rule changes occur in July 2017.

How did you become involved in this research, and how would you describe the particular challenges, setbacks, and successes that you've encountered along the way?

We have devoted much of our careers, in several cases now over 50 years, in resolving issues in the classification of fungi, especially the clarification of generic concepts. We are now making proposals to facilitate stability in the application of generic names through molecular studies on the type species of those genera, i.e., the ones on which the name is based.

Where do you see your research leading in the future?

There will be changes in the international rules concerning fixing the application of scientific names, and contributing to a list of the generic names of fungi of which the application is fixed and protected from any competing names.

Do you foresee any social or political implications for your research?

We will be contributing to the reduction of changes in the scientific names of organisms.


Dr. Kevin D. Hyde
Center of Excellence in Fungal Research
Mae Fah Luang University
Chiang Rai, Thailand