A3: Epithet Epitaphs

Assignment 3:Due Jan. 28, 2019 (10 pts)

Research and write a short biography (100-250 words) of someone for whom a microbiological species is named, along with an explanation of the Latin binomial name.


From  Biology-Online.org:

In taxonomy, a species is assigned a particular name called binomial (or scientific) name. The binomial name of a species is based on the binomial nomenclature system. It has to have two parts, i.e. the genus name and the specific epithet. For example, in  Escherichia coli  (the binomial name of a certain bacterial species), the genus name is  Escherichia  and the specific epithet is the  coli.

The  genus  name and the specific epithet are often based on the species’ distinctive features or descriptions derived from Latin and Greek languages. The specific epithet begins in small letter whereas the genus name starts in a capital letter. Both the genus name and the specific epithet are in italicized form. The genus name may be abbreviated but not the specific epithet. For instance, the scientific name for cat,  Felis domesticus, can be abbreviated into  F. domesticus.


Make sure to add your post to the “A3: Epithet Epitaphs‘ category for full credit!

Please also post the link to your post on the sign-up sheet after you’ve completed it. This makes it even easier for me to find and grade it.


Example (written by Dr. Eric Collins, 2018 BIOL 342 instructor):

Escherichia coli  is named after its discoverer, Theodor Escherich, an Austrian professor in the late 1800’s;  coli,  of or relating to bacteria normally inhabiting the intestine or colon. Escherich studied medicine at the University of Würzburg in Germany and then worked at a hospital there. He received his doctorate in 1882 studying cholera in children. There he became very interested in the welfare of children, as his physician father was before him, and particularly the high mortality rates associated with intestinal diseases in children. He discovered the bacterium we now know as  E. coli  in 1885.  At the time, it was not widely known or accepted that microorganisms were responsible for diarrhea. Even today, diarrhea kills almost a million people per year and is “the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5’. In his time, Escherich was not primarily known as a microbiologist, but was known as an excellent physician. Nevertheless he studied bacterial agents in breast milk, bladder infections, and fecal matter, and their involvement in such diseases as tetanus, diptheria, and tuberculosis. He later moved to Vienna and become famous, eventually starting the “Imperial Institute of Maternal and Child Care’ to fight against high infant mortality rates. Escherich died unexpectedly at age 54, speaking strangely in French as a result of a  cerebral hemorrhage.


“Theodor Escherich.’  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.  11 Jan. 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Escherich

Friedmann H. 2014. Escherich and  Escherichia, EcoSal Plus 2014; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.ESP-0025-2013

“Global Diarrhea Burden’.  Centers for Disease Control. 11 Jan. 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/global/diarrhea-burden.html

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