Paraphyly and (Yeast) Classification

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2016 Dec;66(12):4924-4929. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001474. Epub 2016 Sep 6.


Yeast systematics has wholeheartedly embraced the phylogenetic approach. Central to this has been the unspoken convention that taxa at all ranks be strictly monophyletic. This can result in a proliferation of small genera and instances of nomenclatural instability, counter to the expected benefit of phylogenetic systematics. But the literature abounds with examples, at all taxonomic levels, where paraphyly is a reality that can no longer be ignored. The very concepts of Bacteria or Archaea, under the constraint of monophyly, are in peril. It is therefore desirable to effect a shift in practices that will recognize the existence of paraphyletic taxa.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Classification / methods*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Yeasts / classification*