Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Bacillota AKA Firmicutes

The US National Center for Biotechnology Information recently updated the names of more than three dozen bacterial and archaeal phyla, surprising many researchers, according to The Scientist.

As NCBI notes in a blog post, the largest affected phyla include Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Firmicutes is now Bacillota and Proteobacteria has become Pseudomonadota, while Actinobacteria is now Actinomycetota and Bacteroidetes has become Bacteroidota.

As The Scientist notes, the name changes stem from new rules set by the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes. Iain Sutcliffe, the ICSP chair, tells The Scientist that these and the other changes aim to rectify an oversight made in 1936 that enabled informal names to proliferate. This, it adds, is an "attempt to impose order," and phyla names now have to end in "-ota" and should derive their name from genera they include.

The seemingly sudden changes have taken some researchers by surprise, The Scientist says, adding that some are worried it will make their work harder and others are worried that it could lead to disconnects between older and newer research that could have implications for disease or food safety work.

The Scan

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.

Active Lifestyle Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in People at High Genetic Risk

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that an active lifestyle goes a long way in type 2 diabetes prevention.

Beneficial, Harmful Effects of Introgression Between Wild and Domesticated European Grapes

A paper in PNAS shows that European wild grapevines were an important resource for improving the flavor of cultivated wine grapes.

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.