Necessity and rationale for the proposed name changes in the classification of Mollicutes species. Reply to: ‘Recommended rejection of the names Malacoplasma gen. nov., Mesomycoplasma gen. nov., Metamycoplasma gen. nov., Metamycoplasmataceae fam. nov., Mycoplasmoidaceae fam. nov., Mycoplasmoidales ord. nov., Mycoplasmoides gen. nov., Mycoplasmopsis gen. nov. [Gupta, Sawnani, Adeolu, Alnajar and Oren 2018] and all proposed species comb. nov. placed therein’, by M. Balish et al. (Int J Syst Evol Microbiol, 2019;69:3650–3653)
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This response summarizes the highly disordered state of the Mollicutes taxonomy that existed until recently, where most Mollicutes taxa lacked proper circumscriptions and their names were not in accordance with the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes and illegitimate. We also summarize the comprehensive phylogenomic and comparative genomic studies forming the basis for the proposed changes in the classification of Mollicultes species. Our responses to the concerns raised by Balish et al., show that the proposed taxonomic changes do not violate any essential point of the Code. Instead the proposed name changes rectify numerous taxonomic anomalies that have long plagued the classification of Mollicutes species, leading to a better understanding of their evolutionary relationships and bringing their nomenclature in conformity with the Code.
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