During the last decade bacterial taxonomy has undergone remarkable changes. New categories of information of potential taxonomic value have become available (eg chemotaxonomy, DNA base composition, DNA-DNA hybridization, etc) which make possible very fine distinctions between organisms and reveal dissimilarities not detected before. In addition phylogeny has attracted increasing attention and phylogenetic relationships are now an important basis in the classification of bacteria. The integrated use of phenotypic and genotypic characteristics will have great influence not only on classification. It has also strongly influenced bacterial nomenclature and will continue to do so. 

The naming of bacteria is controlled by the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria (Lapage et al., 1992). The correct name of a bacterial taxon is based on: 

                      1. Valid publication 
                      2. Legitimacy 
                      3. Priority of publication  

Since 1 January 1980, priority of bacterial names is based upon the APPROVED LISTS OF BACTERIAL NAMES (Skerman et al., 1980). Names that were not included in the APPROVED LISTS lost standing in bacterial nomenclature. 

Valid publication of new names and new nomenclatural combinations can only be made by publication in the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC BACTERIOLOGY (IJSB)/ INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC AND EVOLUTIONARY MICROCBIOLOGY (IJSEM) (from January 2000), either as an original article or in the "VALIDATION LISTS" regularly appearing in that journal. The VALIDATION LISTS constitute valid publication of new names and new combinations that were previously effectively published outside the IJSB/IJSEM. 

Names not considered to be validly published should no longer be used or should be used in quotation marks (e.g."Bacillus mesentericus") to denote that the name is not validly published. 

The APPROVED LISTS contain more than 2200 names at the genus level and below and 124 names of higher taxa. 146 Validation Lists have been published (November 2012). To date, the total number of validly published bacterial species names is 11643 of which about 1751 are synonyms belonging to 2182 different named genera of which about 124 are synonyms.

BACTERIAL NOMENCLATURE UP-TO-DATE includes all bacterial names which have been validly published since January 1 1980 and nomenclatural changes which have been validly published since then. It will be updated with the publication of each new issue of the IJSEM. 

BACTERIAL NOMENCLATURE UP-TO-DATE has been compiled by the Leibniz Institute DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH. It is also available on disk and in a printed version. DSMZ accepts no responsibility for any errors. 

The risk group classification is based on the list produced by the German Occupational Safety and Benefit Authority of the Chemical Industry (last edition: 01/2011). Use of the file:

bactname1112.xls (Microsoft Excel format) includes these fields (columns):

field 1:  genus name
field 2:  species epithet
field 3:  subspecies epithet
field 4:  reference (volume:pages in the IJSB)          
            without * : validation list
            * : original publication
field 5:  status (AL=Approved Lists, VL=Validation List, VP=Validly Published in IJSB/IJSEM)
field 6:  authorities                                  
field 7:  remarks
field 8:  risk group (according to the German BG Chemie (1) List 2011)
           (+ = possibly hazardous,
            p = pathogenic for plants,
            t = pathogenic for animals,
            n = pathogenic for invertebrates
            TA = species of which strains are known, which have been widely
                 used safely in technical applications for extended/long
                 periods of time)
field 9:  collection number(s) and/or strain designation of type strain
field 10: record number
field 11: record number of the linked name (the name currently in use)

(1) German Occupational Safety and Benefit Authority of the Chemical Industry