Genus (biology)

Article

July 5, 2022

The genus is a taxonomic category between the family and the species, grouping species with a significant degree of similarity. It is part of the scientific name of the species, that is, the binomial name (genus name followed by a qualifier designating the species) both in a Latin-based designation. The names of the genres are written in italics and the initials in capital letters, for example, Homo, Pinus, etc. It is an abstract yet intuitive enough concept, which was already present in normal vocabulary, before it was adopted in naturalistic scientific terminology. Thus, botanists, since antiquity, identify the different types of oaks, the oak, the cork oak or the coscoll as different species, while recognizing them all together, as oaks (which today in day are found within the genus Quercus). More modernly, the genus is also preserved in the phylogenetic classification to indicate a close genetic kinship between different species. Any living or extinct being, when described, must be ascribed to a genus, according to the established binomial nomenclature system. by Carl von Linné. A generic noun is a Latin or Latinized noun in the singular (or assimilated) nominative. Its origin can be arbitrary (surname, place name, surnames, etc.). The first letter of the genus name is always written in capital letters and must be written in the Latin alphabet (accents and diacritical marks are excluded). The name of the species (also in Latin characters) is currently always written in lower case. Although there are Latin links such as æ, œ in ancient works, from 1993, Article 60.6 of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (version called Tokyo) requires that these links be separated: "[...] Ties -æ, œ- to indicate that these letters are pronounced together will be replaced by the separate characters -ae and oe -." The reason, essentially practical, is to facilitate the classification of computerized taxa. Scientific names, formed by the sum of the gender name and the specific epithet, must be written within the normal text using differentiated characters (whether in italics or bold). Each genus contains one or more species that, in turn, can be subdivided into subspecies or other secondary taxonomic categories: for example, the emperor penguin (Latin name: Aptenodytes forsteri) and the king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) are two different species. belonging to the genus Aptenodytes, within the family of penguins (Spheniscidae). Some disciplines, such as mycology or botany, to better classify especially complex taxonomic groups, use finer subdivisions of the genera: subgenus, section, subsection. There are also several taxonomic categories, more or less used, to group several genera that may be within the same family especially complicated: lineage, tribe ... The human species belongs to the genus Homo, the only living species within this genus, although there are numerous fossil species of the same genus that may or may not be considered our ancestors.

See also

List of plant genera

References