Systematic Bacteriology

Many microbiologists advised the Trust that a new edition of the Manual was urgently needed. Of great concern to us was the steadily increasing time interval between editions; this interval reached a maximum of 17 years between the seventh and eighth editions. To be useful the Manual must reflect relatively recent information; a new edition is soon dated or obsolete in parts because of the nearly exponential rate at which new information accumulates. A new approach to publication was needed, and from this conviction came our plan to publish the Manual as a sequence of four subvolumes concerned with systematic bacteriology as it applies to taxonomy. The four subvolumes are divided roughly as follows: (a) the Gram-negatives of general, medical or industrial importance; (b) the Gram-positives other than actinomycetes; (c) the archaeobacteria, cyanobacteria and remaining Gram-negatives; and (d) the actinomycetes. The Trust believed that more attention and care could be given to preparation of the various descriptions within each subvolume, and also that each subvolume could be prepared, published, and revised as the area demanded, more rapidly than could be the case if the Manual were to remain as a single, comprehensive volume as in the past. Moreover, microbiologists would have the option of purchasing only that particular subvolume containing the organisms in which they were interested.

The Trust also believed that the scope of the Manual needed to be expanded to include more information of importance for systematic bacteriology and bring together information dealing with ecology, enrichment and isolation, descriptions of species and their determinative characters, maintenance and preservation, all focused on the illumination of bacterial taxonomy. To reflect this change in scope, the title of the Manual was changed and the primary publication becomes Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology. This contains not only determinative material such as diagnostic keys and tables useful for identification, but also all of the detailed descriptive information and taxonomic comments. Upon completion of each subvolume, the purely determinative information will be assembled for eventual incorporation into a much smaller publication which will continue the original name of the Manual, Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, which will be a similar but improved version of the present Shorter Bergey's Manual. So, in the end there will be two publications, one systematic and one determinative in character.

An important task of the Trust was to decide which genera should be covered in the first and subsequent subvolumes. We were assisted in this decision by the recommendations of our

Advisory Committees, composed of prominent taxonomic authorities to whom we are most grateful. Authors were chosen on the basis of constant surveillance of the literature of bacterial systematics and by recommendations from our Advisory Committees.

The activation of the 1976 Code had introduced some novel problems. We decided to include not only those genera that had been published in the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names in January 1980 or that had been subsequently validly published, but also certain genera whose names had no current standing in nomenclature. We also decided to include descriptions ofcertain organisms which had no formal taxonomic nomenclature, such as the endosymbionts of insects. Our goal was to omit no important group of cultivated bacteria and also to stimulate taxo-nomic research on "neglected" groups and on some groups of undoubted bacteria that have not yet been cultivated and subjected to conventional studies.

The invited authors were provided with instructions and exemplary chapters in June 1980 and, although the intended deadline for receipt of manuscripts was March 1981, all contributions were assembled in January 1982 for the final preparations. The Manual was forwarded to the publisher in June 1982.

Some readers will note the consistent use of the stem -var instead of -type in words such as biovar, serovar and pathovar. This is in keeping with the recommendations of the Bacteriological Code and was done against the wishes of some of the authors.

We have deleted much of the synonymy of scientific names which was contained in past editions. The adoption of the new starting date of January 1, 1980 and publication of the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names has made mention of past synonymy obsolete. We have included synonyms of a name only if they have been published since the new starting date, or if they were also on the Approved Lists and, in rare cases with certain pathogens, if the mention of an old name would help readers associate the organism with a clinical problem. If the reader is interested in tracing the history of a name we suggest he or she consult past editions of the Manual or the Index Bergeyana and its Supplement. In citations of names we have used the abbreviation AL to denote the inclusion of the name on the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names and VP to show the name has been validly published.

In the matter of citation of the Manual in the scientific literature we again stress the fact that the Manual is a collection of authored chapters and the citation should refer to the author, the chapter title and its inclusive pages, not the Editor.

To all contributors, the sincere thanks of the Trust is due; the Editor is especially grateful for the good grace with which the authors accepted comments, criticisms and editing of their manuscripts. It is only because of the voluntary and dedicated efforts of these authors that the Manual can continue to serve the science of bacteriology on an international basis.

A number of institutions and individuals deserve special acknowledgment from the Trust for their help in bringing about the publication of this volume. We are grateful to the Department of Biology of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for providing space, facilities and, above all, tolerance for the diverted time taken by the Editor during the preparation of the book. The Department of Microbiology at Iowa State University of Science and Technology continues to provide a welcome home for the main editorial offices and archives of the Trust and we acknowledge their continued support. A grant

(LM-03707) from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health to assist in the preparation of this and the next volume of the Manual is gratefully acknowledged.

A number of individuals deserve special mention and thanks for their help. Professor Thomas O. McAdoo of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has given invaluable advice on the etymology and correctness of scientific names. Those assisting the Editor in the Blacksburg office were R. Martin Roop II, Don D. Lee, Eileen C. Falk and Michael W. Friedman and their help is sincerely appreciated. In the Ames office we were ably assisted by Gretchen Colletti and Diane Triggs during the early period of preparation and by Cynthia Pease during the major portion of the editing process. Mrs. Pease has been responsible for the construction of the List of References and her willingness to handle the cumbersome details of text editing on a big computer is gratefully acknowledged.

John G. Holt

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