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Fungal nomenclature evolving: changes adopted by the 19th International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen 2017, and procedures for the Fungal Nomenclature Session at the 11th International Mycological Congress in Puerto Rico 2018


This article summarizes the key changes in the rules relating to the nomenclature of fungi made at the XIX International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen, China, in July 2017. Most significant was the decision to transfer decision-making on matters related only to the naming of fungi from International Botanical to International Mycological Congresses (IMCs). The rules relating to fungi are to be grouped together in a separate section of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). The way in which the Fungal Nomenclature Session will operate at the upcoming IMC in Puerto Rico in 2018 is summarized and the timetable for new proposals is presented. In addition, approval for names included on lists of protected names to be protected against unlisted as well as known competing names were passed, as were some simplifications relating to the naming of pleomorphic fungi. From 1 January 2019, it will also be necessary to deposit details of lecto-, neo-, and epitypifications in one of the recognized repositories of fungal names in order for them to be validly published and to establish their priority. Various aspects relating to typifications were referred to a new Special Committee, with a separate Special Subcommittee charged with addressing the issue of using DNA sequences as types for all groups covered by the ICN. It is anticipated that the Shenzhen Code will be published in the first half of 2018.


At the VIIIth International Mycological Congress (IMC8) in Cairns, Australia, in 2006, some delegates expressed a desire for mycologists to become responsible for the rules governing the nomenclature of fungi. In response to that concern, proposals as to how that might be achieved were published (Hawksworth et al. 2009) and these were debated and endorsed at IMC9 in Edinburgh in 2010 (Norvell et al. 2010). That Congress also favoured the use of English as an alternative to Latin for validating diagnoses or descriptions of new taxa, requiring the deposit of key nomenclatural information in approved depositories for valid publication, electronic publication, lists of protected names, and a move to the end of the separate naming of morphs of a single species. These issues were debated further at the “One Fungus = One Name” symposium in Amsterdam in April 2011, from which emerged the Amsterdam Declaration on Fungal Nomenclature (Hawksworth et al. 2011), providing a road map for the future direction of fungal nomenclature.

Changes to the nomenclatural rules for algae, fungi, and plants as set out in what had been called the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature have been discussed in the Nomenclature Section of six-yearly International Botanical Congresses (IBCs). The XVIIIth IBC in Melbourne in July 2011 considered and approved proposals to re-name the Code as the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants and heralded in English as an alternative to Latin. In relation to rules related to fungi, the Congress also approved deposit in recognized repositories for key nomenclatural information as a requirement for valid publication, preparation of lists of names protected against names they were listed as protected over, and the end to the separate naming of morphs of the same species, while still favouring names typified by the sexual morph (Hawksworth 2011, McNeill et al. 2012). The Melbourne IBC did not, however, approve changes in the rules to move decision-making on matters concerning fungi from IBCs to IMCs, but formed a Special Subcommittee to consider the issue and report to the next IBC in 2017 (May 2016).

Issues continued to be debated at the “One Genus = Which Gene?” and “Genera of Fungi” symposia in Amsterdam in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and proposals based on those discussions were published (Hawksworth 2014). Nomenclature Sessions convened during IMC10 in Bangkok in 2014 considered the changes proposed, and there was again strong support for the production of lists of names protected against any listed or unlisted names, equal treatment for sexually and asexually typified names for morphs of the same species, removal of the remaining exemptions for lichen-forming fungi, mandatory registration of later typifications in the recognized name repositories, provision of diagnostic statements, and movement of decision making on fungal matters to IMCs (Redhead et al. 2014). Formal proposals to effect those modifications at the next IBC in 2017 were subsequently drafted, considered by the International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi (ICTF) and published (Hawksworth 2015; May et al. 2016). The subject of this contribution is the actions taken on proposals by the 2017 IBC and the resulting implications for fungal nomenclature at the next IMC in 2018.


The Nomenclature Section of the XIXth International Botanical Congress (IBC) in Shenzhen, China, in 17–21 July 2017 considered 397 proposals to modify the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN; McNeill et al. 2012), some of which were of particular significance to mycologists. The decisions of the Section were subsequently ratified by the closing ceremony of the IBC on 29 July 2017, and became effective from that date unless an alternative date was specified.

An annotated synopsis of all 397 proposals is provided by Turland & Wiersema (2017), and the action taken on those proposals by the Section is summarized by Turland et al. (2017). Note that final wordings and placements of text in the ICN will be determined at a meeting of the Editorial Committee for the Shenzhen Code to be held on 11–15 December 2017 in Berlin. It is anticipated that the final version of the Code will be published by mid-2018.

The Shenzhen Nomenclature Section was attended by 155 delegates (collectively carrying an additional 427 institutional votes). This was a substantially lower number of delegates than at the previous two IBCs, although the situation was different for mycologists. Sixteen mycologists were amongst the number of delegates, compared with just seven and ten at the previous two IBCs in 2005 and 2011, respectively; it was gratifying that so many Chinese mycologists, especially younger ones, had been able to attend. Nevertheless, the number of mycologists present at IBC Nomenclature Sections has been far less than the number who have attended the informal nomenclature sessions and debates of the last several International Mycological Congresses. This disparity in representation of the mycological community in decision making forums that control fungal nomenclature has been a driving factor in proposing the move of ‘fungi governance’ (the way that decisions about matters in the Code relating solely to fungi are made) from IBCs to IMCs.

The major changes to the rules in the Code relating to fungi that were enacted at the Shenzhen IBC are summarised below, starting with rules about fungal names and ending with the ground-breaking changes to fungi governance; followed by an explanation of the procedures that will be in place at the newly instituted Fungal Nomenclature Session of the 2018 International Mycological Congress.

Protected Names

In order to avoid confusion, the proposal to refer to names on lists developed by international working groups and proposed to be safeguarded as “protected” was approved. This was important to make the distinction from names which are “conserved” as that system continues and will be able to deal with cases where names on the protected lists compete. The proposal to term names over which names on the list were protected as “suppressed” was, however, rejected as such names would have an identical status to the current lists of rejected names in the ICN Appendices. The provision that excluded the possibility of names of lichen-forming fungi being included in lists of protected names was also deleted as that became superfluous with a change made in regard to names of pleomorphic fungi (see p. 213).

Of major importance, the IBC approved the proposal that names on the lists would be protected against unlisted names. This opens the prospect of protection of major lists of familiar names, such as one based on the “without prejudice” list proposed for generic names of fungi (Kirk et al. 2013). This mechanism has the potential to be a major stabilizing effect in preventing the take-up of long-forgotten names for names now being employed. Further, there is no requirement that would inhibit the lists of protected names being updated.

Pleomorphic Fungi

Concern had been expressed at the Melbourne IBC that the use of priority of publication alone as a criterion for deciding the correct name of a fungal species that had sexually and asexually typified morphs could lead to unfortunate changes in names. Consequently, a complex procedure was introduced to deal with such situations — requiring rejection of a formal proposal to reject an earlier asexually typified name in favour of a later sexually typified one (Art. 57.2). This requirement had proved unnecessarily complicated, and mycological practice has come to ignore it (May 2015). Article 57.2 was deleted in Shenzhen, which means that now, where there are competing asexually and sexually typified names, the choice can be made irrespective of the morph represented by the types of the names. An earlier asexually typified name can now be taken up over a sexually typified one without any need for formal action.

Hawksworth et al. (2013) proposed that where the same species epithet had been deliberately utilized in one genus when a new morph was discovered for an already known species in another genus, such cases should be treated as new combinations from the first to the second genus rather than separate names. This proposal would potentially avoid the take-up of unfamiliar epithets because familiar epithets (only priorable from their introduction as a new morph) would otherwise be pre-occupied in the desired generic name. This proposal was not accepted, but instead referred to a Special Committee due to concerns about unintended consequences where the types of the two names utilising the same epithet were not conspecific. It was also considered desirable to have at hand a complete list of the cases covered by the proposal. An alternative approach to amending the Code is also now available — by submitting lists of ‘same epithet’ new names for protection, as required for nomenclatural stability, via working groups set up under Art. 14.13.

Lichen-Forming Fungi

The names of lichen-forming fungi had been excluded from the rule according priority for sexually typified morphs at the Melbourne IBC (Art. 57.2) because of concerns over possible disruption, even though pleomorphism is almost unknown amongst lichens. With the deletion of Art. 57.2, this is no longer an issue.

As the first focus of the lists of names to be protected under Art 14.13 concerned competing names in pleomorphic fungi, lichen-forming fungi had also been excluded from inclusion on such lists. This led to a situation that while names of lichenicolous or saprobic species in a genus could potentially be included on lists of protected names, those of lichen-forming fungi in the same genus could not. This anomaly was removed and opens the possibility of names of lichen-forming taxa being include in lists of protected names.

With these two deletions, names relating to lichen-forming fungi are now treated in an identical manner to those of other fungi. The only provision relating solely to lichen-forming fungi remaining in the ICN is the ruling that names given to “lichens” refer to the fungal partner. This is a welcome clarification, especially for fungi of uncertain biology.



Tracking down places where lectotypes, neotypes or epitypes have been published can be a major cause of frustration and uncertainty. It was therefore agreed that from 1 January 2019 it would be mandatory for such future typification acts to be registered in one of the three approved repositories of fungal names (i.e. Fungal Names, Index Fungorum, or MycoBank). Later typifications not so registered will not be regarded as validly published.

Cultures as types

Whereas metabolically inactive cultures of fungi (e.g. lyophilized or in liquid nitrogen) have been acceptable as nomenclatural types of names since 1993, metabolically active living cultures (e.g. slants, cultures or under oil, cultures even in refrigeration) are not. As it is not always made clear in publications whether a cited culture is preserved in a metabolically active state, the requirement to state this in the protologue from 1 January 2019 was introduced. If that is not done after that date, the name will not be considered as validly published.

DNA sequences as types

Numerous environmental samples include DNA sequences not conforming to any described taxa and, in some instances, it has been considered desirable to give unseen taxa formal scientific names, especially when repeatedly recovered. Some mycologists have endeavoured to circumvent the need for a physical specimen by preserving the sample from which the DNA was isolated (Kirk 2012) or publishing an illustration of the alignments (Lücking & Moncada 2017), though in at least one instance just the sequence was cited (De Beer et al. 2016). A set of proposals to permit sequence data alone to be acceptable as a type (Hawksworth et al. 2016) was rejected, and as the topic was considered of wider significance than for fungi alone, a Special Committee was appointed to address the matter and report to the next IBC. This rejection means that names where DNA sequences were designated as “holotypes” are not validly published.


The requirement to establish that an extant type was “demonstrably ambiguous” before designating an epitype has been a particular problem for mycologists when DNA sequence data was seen as essential in order to precisely fix the application of a name, but it was not possible to even be allowed to attempt to extract DNA from the type which the epitype would interpret. While the proposal to insert “in the opinion of the author” was rejected, the inclusion of a new example to illustrate this situation was approved in principle and referred to the Editorial Committee. The proposal to rephrase the current rule was also referred to the new Special Committee on Typification.


As illustrations of fungi are not always sufficiently diagnostic for the taxon to which they are considered to refer, it had been proposed that they could not be designated as lectotypes unless they exhibited diagnostic features. Both that proposal and ones that suggested that illustrations alone should not in the future be designated as neotypes or epitypes types of fungal names were referred to the new Special Committee on Typification. A proposal from the floor to modify the definition of illustration to make clear it was of an anatomical or morphological diagnostic feature, in order to explicitly exclude DNA sequence alignments (see p. 213), was debated and referred to the same Special Committee.

Largely mechanical type selection

Following the report of the Special Committee on Publications Using a Largely Mechanical Method of Selection of Types (McNeill et al. 2016) a new Article was approved that establishes criteria for determining whether or not publications (appearing prior to 1 January 1935) adopted a largely mechanical method of type selection. Such criteria include statements that the ‘American Code’ was being followed, or, for publications appearing prior to 1 January 1921, the fact that authors were employees or recognized associate of the New York Botanical Garden. Proposed examples included some lectotypifcations of fungal names by W A Murrill (1869–1957) that must be superseded, as they are considered to be largely mechanical.


The Recommendation that permits a colon (“:”) to be used in an author citation to indicate that a name has been sanctioned for use in specified works by Persoon and Fries continues to confuse even experienced mycologists and is often not understood at all by non-mycologists, which has implications in all-biota databases. Nevertheless, the proposal to delete the Recommendation was defeated. The use of “nom. sanct.” as an alternative to the colon to indicate the special nomenclatural status of a sanctioned name was, however, approved.


The ICN currently recommends that the introduction of names that already exist in bacteriology or zoology should be avoided. From 1 January 2019, it was agreed that a new name proposed for a fungus that was a homonym of an existing bacterial or protozoan name would be treated as illegitimate.


Semantic issues about ‘names’ in the current wording of Art. 42 (on registration) raised by Kirk & Yao (2016) were referred to the Editorial Committee. Other issues around registration of new fungal names and combinations remain unresolved, including the correctability or otherwise of miscited identifiers and whether details as originally lodged when obtaining an identifier may be altered. Being specific to fungal names, these issues can be the subject of proposals to be considered at the next IMC.

Special Forms

Although names in the rank of “special form” have been ruled as not governed by the ICN since the Edinburgh IBC of 1964, they were included as a formal category from 1910 until that date. The 1964 decision had no date and so was retroactive, which meant that any new combinations based on names of special forms up to that time was unclear. However, a proposal to clarify the position, suggesting that where names in the rank of special form complied with other requirements for valid publication they were acceptable as basionyms, was rejected.


The detailed proposals to transfer responsibility for changing rules related only to the nomenclature of fungi from IBCs to IMCs (May et al. 2016) prepared by the Special Subcommittee appointed for that purpose (May 2016) were designed to mirror those used by the Nomenclature Section meetings of IBCs with some minor modifications: there would be no institutional votes; proposals to change the Code solely relating to fungi would in future be published in IMA Fungus; and to reduce possibilities of confusion, the IMC meeting would be referred to as a “Fungal Nomenclature Session” and names of the officers would be modernized (Chair instead of President, and Secretary instead of Rapporteur-général). The Subcommittee also proposed that the NCF was to be elected at IMCs and not IBCs.

Subsequent to the report of the Subcommittee, it was suggested that all matters solely relating to fungi be placed in a separate section in the ICN, a view supported by the ICTF and IMA Executive Committee (Miller et al. 2017). For convenience, the separate section is here referred to as Chapter F (although the final designation in the Shenzhen Code may differ). It would be matter in ‘Chapter F’ that would be subject to change at IMCs. The suggestion to create a separate section was accepted as a “friendly” amendment to the formal proposal on fungi governance by the Subcommittee members prior to the Shenzhen meetings. The Section approved the amended proposal on a card vote: 346 “yes” votes (266 institutional and 80 personal), i.e. 65.8 % for the changes. It was gratifying to see that the number of personal votes was 80 as there were only 16 mycologists present. With algologists, bryologists, and palaeobotanists represented by an even lower number of delegates (three or less), the changes enacted for governance of the nomenclature of fungi offer a model in how nomenclature might be more directly governed in different categories of organisms, while retaining the overarching apparatus of the Code and its associated committees.

We wish to make clear that the change in governance relates to the rules themselves, and that the NCF will continue to deal, as at present, with proposals for conservation or rejection of names, adoption of lists of names for protection, requests for binding decisions on problematic cases, and confirmation of approved repositories. Further, rules that relate to all organismal groups covered by the ICN in other sections of the Code will continue to apply to organisms treated as fungi. These other rules will not be subject to change at IMCs (unless specifically limited to organisms treated as fungi) and will continue to be subject to change at IBCs.

The Subcommittee’s proposal that the NCF was to be elected at IMCs and not IBCs was also approved.

Fungal Nomenclature Session at IMC11 (2018)

Following the changes to the governance provisions of the ICN, the Fungal Nomenclature Session (FNS) at IMC 11 in Puerto Rico in July 2018 will consider and decide on formal proposals that either change any of the rules in the newly organized fungal chapter of the Code or introduce new rules that relate only to fungi. Overall, the procedures in the IMC Nomenclature Session will mirror those at IBCs, with the exception that there are no institutional votes. The FNS will be held on one day, running for between a half and a full day, depending on the number of proposals submitted. The Session will be organised and run by the Fungal Nomenclature Bureau.

Fungal Nomenclature Bureau

The Fungal Nomenclature Bureau (FNB) of the International Mycological Congress is responsible for running the FNS, including defining the sequence and timing of debates and advising the Chair on procedural matters. The FNB comprises the following officers: Chair of the FNS; up to five Deputy Chairs; Secretary; Deputy Secretary; and Recorder.

The Chair is elected by the NCF in consultation with the General Committee for Nomenclature (GC) prior to the IMC. The Chair chairs the debates and is responsible for their harmony and timely conclusion; recognizes and silences speakers; may end a debate; decides on procedural matters not covered in Div. III of the Code; and is authorized to move a resolution on behalf of the FNS at a plenary session of the same IMC that the decisions and appointments of the FNS be approved.

The Deputy Chairs are appointed by the FNB, either in advance of the Congress or from those present at the FNS. A Deputy Chair serves in place of the Chair if and when requested.

The Secretary of the FNS is elected by the previous IMC, on the suggestion of the Nominating Committee of the FNS. For the inaugural FNS in 2018, given that the changes to the Code that enable a FNS were enacted at the 2017 IBC, the Secretary of the 2017 IMC FNB was elected at that time. The Nominating Committee of the 2017 IBC Nomenclature Section proposed Tom W May (Australia) as the Secretary, a choice confirmed by the Plenary Session of the 2017 IBC. The Deputy Secretary is appointed by the Secretary and approved by the NCF in consultation with the GC. The Deputy Secretary assists and, if necessary, serves in place of the Secretary.

The Recorder is appointed by the IMC Organizing Committee in consultation with the Secretary. The Recorder is responsible for co-ordinating the local facilities needed by the FNS, such as the venue and its equipment, and in particular for the detailed recording of the proceedings of the Session and for facilitating the voting.

An invitation will be extended to the Rapporteur-général for the next International Botanical Congress (as appointed by the previous IBC) to attend the FNS as a non-voting advisor.

Who can attend

Attendees of the IMC NS must be registered to attend at least one day of the International Mycological Congress.

Nominating Committee

The FNS appoints a Nominating Committee that proposes the Secretary of the FNB for the Nomenclature Session of the following IMC in 2022; and any changes to the membership of the NCF. The nominations of the Nominating Committee are subject to approval by the FNS and ultimately the plenary session of the IMC.


The FNS may consider setting up Special Committees addressing particular issues (solely related to fungi), generally those raised in proposals that are not accepted, but considered to be of continuing significant interest. Should Special Committees be set up, their reports would be received by the FNS of the next Congress. Membership of Special Committees is confirmed by the NCF in consultation with the GC.

The FNS also has the power to establish ad hoc committees to consider specific questions and report back to the Session. Due to the brevity of the Session it is highly unlikely that ad hoc committees will be required.

‘Chapter F’

A useful suggestion in the discussions on fungal governance in the lead-up to the Shenzhen IBC was to place all material in the Code that solely relates to organisms considered to be fungi in a separate section of the Code (provisionally referred to here as ‘Chapter F’; see p. 214). The new chapter F will include existing Articles related to fungi from the Melbourne Code and the new Articles applying solely to fungi that were introduced at the Shenzhen IBC (Table 1).

Table 1 Material in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants specific to fungi. Changes implemented at the Shenzhen IBC are in bold

There are three types of proposal that mycologists can make to amend the Code in relation to material that solely relates to fungi: (1) propose an amendment to material currently in Chapter F; (2) propose an entirely new Article, Recommendation or Example to be added to Chapter F; or (3) take existing material from other sections of the Code, and propose to modify it, with the amendments concomitantly limited to fungi.


Proposals to change material in the section of the ICN that solely relates to fungi must be submitted to IMA Fungus by 1 March 2018, where they will be published in a section edited by the journal’s Editor-in-Chief and followed by a Synopsis of proposals prepared by the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the FNB (that includes the opinions of the NCF and the GC on the proposals).

Mycologists preparing proposals to amend the Code for consideration by the FNS should consult Turland & Wiersema (2013) for general advice on preparing proposals to amend the Code. In particular, proposals should be concise, include the rationale for the change, and state explicitly what text is to be altered, deleted, or added in the fungal section of the Code, along the lines of ‘insert a new Article’, ‘change an existing Article to read’, or ‘add the following Example’. In general, proposals that contribute to nomenclatural stability are more likely to be successful. Proposals on the same issue may be submitted by different groups of authors, as long as they contain amendments to the Code. Where there are wider issues of significance to consider that require a more discursive approach, mycologists are encouraged to prepare a separate paper to be submitted to IMA Fungus (or some other journal).

If there is any doubt as to whether a proposal ‘relates solely to fungi’ the appropriateness of putting the proposal before the FNS will be decided by the NCF in consultation with the GC.

Until now, proposals to amend the Code have been based on the Code arising from the previous IBC. In the case of the 2018 IMC FNS, the appropriate Code will be the Shenzhen Code, which will also be the basis for discussions in the FNS. However, it is likely that the printed version of the Shenzhen Code will not be available prior to the deadline for submitting proposals to amend the material in Chapter F of the Code. Therefore, mycologists preparing proposals should utilise the Melbourne Code in association with the text of the proposals to amend the Code that were adopted by the Shenzhen IBC (successful proposals relating to fungi were adopted word for word except for a minor addition to Prop. 363 on the election of the NCF by IMCs). Confirmation of wording in the final text of the Shenzhen Code can be provided by the FNB Secretary or Editor-in-Chief of IMA Fungus (both of whom are members of the Editorial Committee for the Shenzhen ICN).

As noted above (p. 215), the FNS will not consider proposals to conserve or reject names, lists of names proposed for protection, or requests for binding decisions — such proposals should continue to be submitted to the journal Taxon for consideration by the NCF.

Approval of repositories

Under Art. 42.3, the NCF is empowered to formally appoint repositories that issue identifiers for names of fungi (and from 1 Jan 2019, that issue identifiers for typification acts for names of fungi) or to cancel such appointments. Such decisions on the appointment of repositories are subject to ratification by a subsequent IMC. Although not spelt out in the new Div. III, it will be appropriate for any decisions by the NCF on repositories to be put before the FNS prior to ratification by the Plenary Session of the IMC.

Guiding vote

The set of published proposals will be made open for a guiding vote, which will be on-line. A link will be sent to all those eligible to vote. Those entitled to vote in the on-line ballot include members of the IMA (i.e. those who attended IMC10), members of organizations affiliated with the IMA and those who have published proposals or are members of the NCF. Organizations affiliated with the IMA are: (1) its member mycological organizations (MMOs), which include the Australasian, British, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Indian, Indonesian, Norwegian, and Swedish Mycological Societies; the Mycological Societies of America, China, Japan, and the Republic of China; and the German and Korean Societies of Mycology; and (2) the British Lichen Society and the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology. Each eligible person has one vote, irrespective of how many categories they fall under.

Other pertinent organizations may be added to those eligible to vote, as agreed by the FNB. In the report of the Special Subcommitee on Fungi Governance (May 2016) the low representation from Africa and Latin America among the IMA MMOs was noted. The preferred method of engaging with the guiding vote for national and regional organizations is through affiliation with the IMA. For international societies, organizations that could be considered for inclusion in the guiding vote (after approval by the FNB) include, but are not limited to, the International Association for Lichenology (IAL) and the International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi (ICTF). These organizations will be contacted about participation of their members in the guiding vote. Any other international organization that wishes to enable their members to participate should contact the Secretary, Fungal Nomenclature Bureau by 31 December 2017.

Proposals that do not receive more than 75 % support in the guiding vote will not be considered by the FNS unless raised from the floor with at least five seconders. Any Examples proposed will be automatically passed to the Editorial Committee for consideration.

Amended and new proposals

A member of the FNS may propose an amendment to a proposal to amend the Code. If accepted by the original proposer(s), such a ‘friendly’ amendment does not require the support of other members (seconders). Otherwise, an amendment to an existing proposal may be introduced by a member of the Session only when seconded by five other members.

At Nomenclature Sections of IBCs, it has also been possible to introduce new proposals ‘from the floor’. As with ‘unfriendly’ amendments, a new proposal may be introduced only when seconded by five other members. At the one-week IBC Nomenclature Sections, proposals from the floor have usually dealt with ‘tidying up’ of proposals accepted earlier in the week, where unintended consequences have been detected; or significant re-wording of proposals discussed already, where there was agreement on the general intent of the proposal, but time is needed to draft a clear new wording, presented as a new proposal.

The facility to introduce new proposals from the floor is present in the revised fungi governance rules. However, new proposals will be strongly discouraged as experience shows these are often too hastily prepared and subsequently found to have unforeseen ramifications. Due to the short (one day or less duration) of the FNS, new proposals (not related to those already published) will only be added to the business of the FNS at the commencement of the Session (and must have been communicated to the Secretary along with the necessary secondment by five others prior to the Session).

No institutional votes

In contrast to the IBC NS, there are no institutional votes at the IMC NS. Each person attending the Session has one vote.

Nocard vote

At the IBC NS a ‘card vote’ may be called for, to facilitate counting of the combination of individual and institutional votes. Because there are no institutional votes at the IMC NS, there is no need for a card vote. Voting will be by show of hands.


Aqualified majority (at least 60 %) of votes cast in the Session will be required to accept a proposal to amend the ICN, end discussion of a topic and proceed to a vote (i.e. “to call the question”), or accept a time limit for a particular debate.

A simple majority (more than 50 %) will be sufficient for all other purposes. These other purposes will include electing the Nominating Committee, accepting the Code as modified at the previous IMC, choosing between alternative proposals, accepting an amendment to a proposal, referring items to the Editorial Committee, establishing and referring items to a Special-purpose Committee, establishing an ad hoc committee, and approving the nominations of the Nominating Committee.

Confirmation by Plenary Session

Actions of the IMC NS are confirmed by a resolution put before the Plenary Session of the IMC.

Reporting and modifications to the Code

The proceedings will be recorded. The FNB will serve as the Editorial Committee for the revision of the fungal section of the ICN, as required, with guidance from the Rapporteur-général appointed by the IBC. A report on approved actions from the FNS will be published in IMA Fungus, along with the wording of the new version of Chapter F, which will also be amended in the on-line version of the Code. The hard copy of the Shenzhen Code (to be published in 2018) will include a statement that mycologists should be aware that there may be subsequent changes, reflected in the on-line version of the Code, arising from the 2018 and 2022 IMC Nomenclature Sessions.


  • 31 December 2017 — Organizations wishing to be added to those whose members are eligible to participate in the Guiding vote to contact Secretary FNB

  • 1 March 2018 — Proposals to amend the Code specific to fungi to be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief, IMA Fungus 1 April 2018 — Proposals published in IMA Fungus 30 April 2018 — Synopsis of proposals published in IMA Fungus

  • 1 May 2018 — Online Guiding vote commences

  • 10 June 2018 — Online Guiding vote ends

  • 15 July 2018 — Results of Guiding vote made available at IMC11

  • 18 July 2018 — IMC11 Fungal Nomenclature Session

  • 1 November 2018 — Report of the Fungal Nomenclature Session and revised version of the fungal section of the ICN published in IMA Fungus


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DLH is grateful to the Chinese Academy of Sciences for enabling him to attend the Shenzhen IBC during a visit to the Key State Laboratory for Mycology of the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

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Correspondence to David L. Hawksworth.

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Hawksworth, D.L., May, T.W. & Redhead, S.A. Fungal nomenclature evolving: changes adopted by the 19th International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen 2017, and procedures for the Fungal Nomenclature Session at the 11th International Mycological Congress in Puerto Rico 2018. IMA Fungus 8, 211–218 (2017).

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Key words

  • Code
  • governance
  • ICN
  • lichens
  • pleomorphic fungi
  • typification