, Volume 639, Issue 1, pp 245–259 | Cite as

Recent changes (2008) in cyanobacteria taxonomy based on a combination of molecular background with phenotype and ecological consequences (genus and species concept)

  • Jiří KomárekEmail author


Taxonomic classification is a method for recognizing and registering the world’s organism diversity, in the context of continual changing knowledge about evolutionary (genetic) and ecological relations and phenotype variation. The present system of cyanobacteria must be modified according to combined markers, in which molecular data (as an indisputable genetic basis) should be correlated with biochemical, ultrastructural, phenotypic and ecological data. New data are necessary in order to correct or up date the system; thus, the classification must continually be revised and supplemented. The greatest problem is to transfer all modern data derived from molecular investigations to experimental research and establish the necessary and correct nomenclatural rules for scientific practice. The molecular approach must be the baseline for the reorganisation of our knowledge; however, it should explain and be in agreement with morphological and ecological variation of cyanobacterial genotypes. The present article summarizes the main conclusions, derived from modern cyanobacterial diversity studies.


Cyanobacteria Taxonomy Molecular evaluation Ecology Taxonomic classification Genera Species concept Nomenclature 



This work was supported by grant GA AVCR No. IAA600050704. The author is thankful to all colleagues who are interested in the reorganization of the modern taxonomic system of cyanobacteria. This work was presented as an invited paper at the Bat Sheva de Rothschild seminar on Phytoplankton in the Physical Environment—The 15th Workshop of the International Association of Phytoplankton Taxonomy and Ecology, IAP (Israel).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of BotanyCzech Academy of SciencesTřeboňCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic

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