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What is Binomial Nomenclature?

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What is Binomial Nomenclature?

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Binomial Nomenclature is the formal system of naming organisms. It is composed of two parts – the first part of the name identifies the genus of an organism and the second part (specific epithet) of the name identifies the species of an organism.

The binomial aspect of this system means that each organism is given 2 names, a ‘generic name’ which is called the genus and a ‘specific name’ which denotes species together the generic name and specific name of an organism constitutes scientific name.

This system of giving a scientific name to an organism is introduced by a Swedish physician and botanist, Carl Linnaeus in 10th edition of his book ‘Systema naturae’.

The application of binomial nomenclature is based on agreed principles, and criteria, which are provided in international codes.



Basically, there are five international codes for Binomial Nomenclature

(a) ICBN International code of Botanical Nomenclature
(b) ICZN International code of Zoological Nomenclature
(c) ICNB International code of nomenclature Bacteria
(d) ICVN International code of viral Nomenclature
(e) ICNCP International code for Nomenclature of cultivated plants.

Certain Rules for Binomial Nomenclature
(1) Both the parts in scientific name must be underlined when handwritten or printed in italics to indicate their latin origin.
(2) The first word denoting the genus starts with a capital letter while the specific epithet starts with small letter.

The specific scientific name of an organism is needed to avoid the confusion of multiple common names that may differ based on region culture or nature language.