Naming of microorganisms

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Chapter: Pharmaceutical Microbiology : Fundamental features of microbiology

Microorganisms, just like other organisms, are normally known by two names: that of the genus (plural = genera) and that of the species. The former is normally written with an upper case initial letter and the latter with a lower case initial letter, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus or Escherichia coli.


NAMING OF MICROORGANISMS

 

Microorganisms, just like other organisms, are normally known by two names: that of the genus (plural = genera) and that of the species. The former is normally written with an upper case initial letter and the latter with a lower case initial letter, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus or Escherichia coli. These may be abbreviated by shortening the name of the genus provided that the shortened form is unambiguous, e.g. Staph. aureus, E. coli. Both the full and the shortened names are printed in italics to designate their status as proper names (in old books, theses or manuscripts they might be in roman type but underlined). The species within a genus are sometimes referred to by a collective name, e.g. staphylococci or pseudomonads, and neither these names, nor names describing groups of organisms from different genera, e.g. coliforms, are italicized or spelt with an upper case initial letter.


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