It's a Micro World after all is a blog dedicated to discussing pretty much whatever I feel like. When I delve into scientific matters it will primarily be discussing microbiology (agricultural, bioenergy, and environmental focus). Otherwise, I'll probably ramble on about sports and life.
My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.
Please wait while my tweets load
I am fascinated by some of the naming conventions I come across when looking at new bacterial species. Having cultured, and identified novel organisms myself (currently working up four novel strains), I always find this subject fascinating, so much so that I've blogged this topic once before. Most times the names given to these organisms are very conservative, but sometimes the people who have identified them get "creative" … or the names themselves just turn out to be amusing to me.
So, I’ve collected a handful here to giggle over.
Case #1: Fervidicoccus fontis - http://ijs.sgmjournals.org/cgi/content/full/60/9/2082
Fervidicoccus (Fer.vi'di.coc'cus. L. adj. fervidus hot; L. masc. n. coccus a berry and, in biology, a coccoid cell; N.L. masc. n. Fervidicoccus coccus which grows at high temperatures).
fontis (fon'tis. L. gen. masc. n. fontis of a spring or fountain, referring to the isolation of the type strain from a terrestrial hot spring).
Translation: hotberry fountain.
Case #2: Bacillus nealsonii - http://ijs.sgmjournals.org/cgi/reprint/53/1/165
Bacillus nealsonii (neal’son.i.i. N.L. gen. n. nealsonii referring to Kenneth H. Nealson, a well-known American microbiologist).
I have no idea who Kenneth Nealson is by the way.
Case #3: Legionella drancourtii - http://ijs.sgmjournals.org/cgi/content/full/54/3/699
Legionella drancourtii (dran.cour'ti.i. N.L. gen. n. drancourtii in honour of Michel Drancourt for his work on intracellular micro-organisms, especially Rickettsiae).
As with Kenneth Nealson, the same goes with Michel Drancourt.
Case #4: Cryptococcus anemochoreius - http://ijs.sgmjournals.org/cgi/content/full/56/11/2703
Cryptococcus anemochoreius (a.ne.mo'cho.rei.us. Gr. n. anemos wind; Gr. adj. choreios of, or belonging to, a dance; N.L. masc. adj. anemochoreius referring to the windblown nature of the isolate).
Translation: Wind dancer.
Case #5: Chryseobacterium gregarium - http://ijs.sgmjournals.org/cgi/content/full/58/5/1069
Chryseobacterium gregarium (gre.ga'ri.um. L. neut. adj. gregarium belonging to the flock/herd; an ordinary species of the genus).
It appears to be somewhat common to name microorganisms after individuals. I've seen microorganisms named after professors, "famous" microbiologists, wives, wives of "famous" microbiologists. I haven't seen microorganisms named after rock stars ... I guess we leave that up to arachnologists (is there even such a thing?).
So has anyone else come across a microorganism (or any organism for that matter) with a weird name?
This post has been viewed: 407 time(s)
It only took one comment to drag this post into the gutter. It's a new record!
Hey, gotta keep it classy. I loathe people who name stuff after themselves or others as a mode of asskissing.
Rift, that is indeed a very cool name!
GR, I do intend on naming one of the organisms I've found after someone ... of course she happens to be my goddaughter, so I don't think that'd qualify as ass-kissing. My boss suggested I name one of them after my wife (at the time). I'm thinking that's akin to getting your significant others name tattoo'd onto your body ... it never ends up the way you think it will (unless of course you're thinking it'll lead to a crumbling of the relationship and then you're spot on)!
Named after the midichlorians in Star Wars
I could swear I have seen a bacterium named after a rock star, but I can't remember where I saw it.
CK, hands down ... the best name for a microbe I've seen yet!
Thanks! If you haven't read this paper, check it out, it has some good ones:
Truper, HG (1999) How to name a prokaryote? FEMS Microbiology Reviews 23(2): 231-249.