Botanical, mycological, zoological, and prokaryotic species names follow the Linnaean format, consisting of an italicized Latinized binomen with a capitalized genus name and a lower case species epithet (e.g., Homo sapiens). Virus species names, however, do not follow a uniform format, and, even when binomial, are not Linnaean in style. In this thought exercise, we attempted toconvert all currently official names ofspecies included in the virusfamily Arenaviridae and the virus order Mononegavirales to Linnaean binomials, and to identify and address associated challenges and concerns. Surprisingly, this endeavor was not as complicated or time-consuming as even the authors of this article expected when conceiving the experiment.

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Systematic Biology
Department of Virology

Postler, T.S. (Thomas S.), Clawson, A. N., Amarasinghe, G. K., Basler, C.F. (Christopher F.), Bavari, S. (Sbina), Benko, M. (Mária), … Kuhn, J. H. (2017). Possibility and challenges of conversion of current virus species names to Linnaean binomials. Systematic Biology, 66(3), 463–473. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syw096