Binomial Nomenclature: Definition, Rules and Advantages


 Any object known to human beings is given a name to describe and communicate ideas about it. The process of Naming the object is known as Nomenclature.

                             Types of Nomenclature

1. Vernacular name

2. Scientific name

1. Vernacular Name

It is also called a common name. The vernacular name is a nickname given by locals in their native tongue. These are not given by any scientist or biologist are even given by local people in their area.

Drawbacks of Vernacular name

It has several drawbacks some are as follows

1. The vernacular or common is not given to every organism

2. The name is communicated in different areas by different languages.

3. The Vernacular or common name can create confusion among people. E,g Rose is known by various names in different cultures, such as Rajopa in Tamil, Golap in Bangla, and Gulab in Kashmiri, among others.

2. Scientific Name

To tackle the challenges of ordinary or local names scientists recommended a name that was accepted globally and used globally. Scientific names refer to the title given to living creatures by biologists or scientists based on particular principles or laws

The scientific names are of two types

1.Bi-Nomial Nomenclature

2.Tri-Nomial Nomenclature

Bi-Nomial Nomenclature

The Binomial System of Nomenclature was proposed by Gaspard Bauhim in Book Pinax in 1623. The rules and regulations or principles were given by Carl Linnaeus in the book Philosophia Botanica in 1751.  Binomial Nomenclature is the process of giving the scientific name to an organism that consists of two words. it is also known as Binary nomenclature because the name given to an organism by biologists comprise of two words. The first usage was given by Carl Linnaeus in the book Species Plantarum in 1753 and in this book he named 5900 plant Species. The second usage by Carl Linnaeus in the book Systemae Naturae and he named 4326 Animal Species. The first valid publication of names of plants was in 1753. While first valid publication of names of animals was in 1758.

Rules for Binomial Nomenclature

There are almost 76 rules/articles but some important ones are as follows

  1. Each Animal or Plant is to be given a single Scientific name of the binomial nomenclature.
  2. The Name given should consist of two words. The first word represents the genus and is called the Generic name while the second word represents the species and is called a specific name or Specific epithet.
  3. The Generic name begins with a capital letter and The Specific name begins with a small letter.
  4. The name should be in Latin.
  5. The name when it is written by hand it is underlined and when printed it is written in italics.
  6. The name of the author is written after the biological name in an abbreviated form never underlined and never italicized it is always written in Roman.
  7. The name should be descriptive i.e it should be based on somebody’s characters or stage of development of the organism.
  8. One of the most important rules in Binomial nomenclature is the principle of priority or rule of priority. According to the principle of priority if more than one valid name is given to biological organisms the name first given is correct and the rest.
  9. A third word can be used to represent the sub-species.

            Advantages of Scientific Names

  1. Scientific names are international and are of universal acceptance irrespective of the language of the people.use of the local name is often misleading and leads to confusion.
  2. All the names are in Latin and are used universally.
  3. The names are uniformly binomial i.e. composed of two words.
  4. The names are descriptive and they represent some characteristics of an organism.
  5. The names are independent and show a generic relationship.

                            Plants with Scientific Names

Some plants with their scientific names are as follows

S.NOEnglish NameHindi NameBotanical NameFamily
01.WheatGehunTriticum aestivumPoaceae
02.MaizeMakkaZea maysPoaceae
03.RiceDhaanOryza sativaPoaceae
04.PeasMatarPisum sativumPapilionaceae
05.Kidney beanVilayati semPhaseolus vulgarisPapilionaceae
06AlmondBadamPrunus amygdalusRosaceae
07WalnutAkhrotJuglans regiaJuglandaceae
08RadishMuliRaphanus sativusCruciferae
09CarrotGajarDaucus carotaApiaceae
10OnionPyazAllium cepaLiliaceae
11GarlicLahsunAllum sativumLiliaceae
12CabbageBand GobhiBrassica oleraceaeBrassicaceae
13TomatoTamatarLycopersicon esculentumSolanaceae
14BrinjalBainganSolanum melongenaSolanaceae
15PearNashpatiPyrus communisRosaceae
16MangoAamMangifera indicaAnacardiaceae
17LemonNimbuCitrus limonRutaceae
18BananaKelaMusa paradisiacaMusaceae
19GrapesAngoorVitis viniferaVitaceae

      Tri-Nomial Nomenclature

The Tri-Nomial Nomenclature was given by Lamark. According to this Nomenclature, the name of an organism consists of three words that is why it is called a trinomial system of Nomenclature. The first name is called Generic name, The second name is called Species name or Species epithet and the third name is known as Sub-species for Animals or variety for Plants.

Note: When species and sub-species are the same it is called Autonym. These are valid in Zoological as well as Botanical Nomenclature.

         Species = sub-species/variety

Gorilla (common name) Gorilla (Generic name) gorilla (species name) gorilla (sub-species name). It suggests that an organism has the same common name as well as a scientific name.

When the Genus and species epithet of an organism are the same it is called Tautonym. These are valid in Zoological Nomenclature but invalid for Botanical Nomenclature.

When there is one name for two organisms it is called Homonym but it is invalid.

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