The number of names for streptomycetes that is in the scientific literature now is exceeded only by those for organisms placed in the genus Cohn 1872. The genus Waksman and Henrici 1943 may well rank in first place if names in the patent and quasiscientific literature are included. The overwhelming number of names and the lack of a precise definition of a particular species or subspecies, of type or neotype strains, and of certain essential details have brought about problems in assessing the status of many names. The major problems encountered in a 2-year study are discussed, and a simple format is suggested, use of which may help to clarify future nomenclature.


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