It finally happened! Today the nomenclature of the genus Lactobacillus has been revisited. The new situation allows a much more comprehensive understanding of the importance of the lactobacilli and a more detailed and reliable communication.
Today the nomenclature of the genus Lactobacillus, together with some other related taxa like the pediococci, leuconostocs, fructobacilli, etc… has been revisited. The single genus has been split into 25 genera.
Whole genome sequences of all type strains were used to compare and weigh the commonalities and differences between the species and draw nice dendrograms. The results you can see here.
The use of a refined nomenclature allows for a much more detailed and reliable communication. Also, this would create a stable nomenclatural framework
A full transition from old to new nomenclature will take time, probably years. The new situation allows a much more comprehensive understanding of the importance of the lactobacilli. QPS or GRAS annotations will need to be updated. Consumers and administrators will need to get used to the new names appearing on the labels of foods and food supplements, and researchers and regulators too will start to use the new names.
To see a complete overview it is possible to consult the original IJSEM paper, but also to visit the official website of the Taxonomic Subcommittee, where you will find a link to a tool that allows you to simply check the conversion ‘old’ to ‘new’ or vice versa here, or here and here.
We therefore think that the taxonomic challenge announced today will aim to ensure a shared and stable language to identify bacteria correctly, a turn out to be a blessing in the end.
This also explained by the IPA science committee.