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Plural form of genus name


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#1 overhauser

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:10 AM

Am I correct in assuming that if I want to refer to the members of the genus Bacillus in a plural sense, using "Bacilli" would be incorrect? I suppose that I must write something such as "species of Bacillus," correct? Sorry for asking what such a trivial question, but I cannot seem to find a definitive answer.

#2 hobglobin

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:20 AM

yes genus names stay as they are:
there are many Bacillus species...
or I've tons of Bacillus cells...
etc...
One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

#3 gebirgsziege

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:25 AM

Taxonomically it is correct to use Bacillus spp. It is sp. for one not further defined Bacillus species (i.e. we isolated one strain of Bacillus sp.), spp. for more than one Bacillus species (like in Bacillus spp. form spores, or we isolated 5 Bacillus spp., namely....). "Species of Bacillus" is technically correct as well, but usually the shorter spp. is used.

Bacilli would be used if you are referring to e.g. more than one Bacillus, e.g. on the microscopic picture you see Bacilli forming endospores.
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#4 overhauser

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 08:40 AM

Taxonomically it is correct to use Bacillus spp. It is sp. for one not further defined Bacillus species (i.e. we isolated one strain of Bacillus sp.), spp. for more than one Bacillus species (like in Bacillus spp. form spores, or we isolated 5 Bacillus spp., namely....). "Species of Bacillus" is technically correct as well, but usually the shorter spp. is used.

Bacilli would be used if you are referring to e.g. more than one Bacillus, e.g. on the microscopic picture you see Bacilli forming endospores.


So if were to refer to, for example, Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus subtilis, as Bacilli, this would be correct? As long as "Bacilli" is capitalized and italicized this would differentiate it from both the taxonomic class and the name for rod-shaped bacteria?

#5 gebirgsziege

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:02 PM

No, if you are refering to a list of genera you need to use "Bacillus spp." or "different species of Bacillus" or "Bacillus species"

"bacilli" can only be used when you are referring to a number of individual Bacillus sp(p). cells.
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)




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