The International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (ICNP) formerly the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria (ICNB) or Bacteriological Code (BC) governs the scientific names for Bacteria and Archaea. It denotes the rules for naming taxa of bacteria, according to their relative rank. As such it is one of the nomenclature codes of biology.
Originally the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature dealt with bacteria, and this kept references to bacteria until these were eliminated at the 1975 IBC. An early Code for the nomenclature of bacteria was approved at the 4th International Congress for Microbiology in 1947, but was later discarded.
The latest version to be printed in book form is the 1990 Revision, but the book does not represent the current rules, as the Code has been amended since (these changes have been published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM)). The 2008 Revision has since been published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM). rules are maintained by the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP; formerly the International Committee on Systematic Bacteriology, ICSB).
The base-line for bacterial names is the Approved Lists with a starting point of 1980. New bacterial names are reviewed by the ICSP as being in conformity with the Rules of Nomenclature and published in the IJSEM.
As of 2011, the formal separation of the botanical and bacteriological codes continues to cause problems with the nomenclature of certain groups.
- Buchanan, R. E., and Ralph St. John-Brooks. (1947, June) (Editors). Proposed Bacteriological Code of Nomenclature. Developed from proposals approved by International Committee on Bacteriological Nomenclature at the Meeting of the Third International Congress for Microbiology. Publication authorized in Plenary Session, pp. 61. Iowa State College Press, Ames, Iowa. U.S.A. Hathi Trust  .
- Buchanan R. E., St. John-Brooks R., Breed R. S. (1948). International bacteriological code of nomenclature. Journal of Bacteriology 55:287–306. link  . Reprinted 1949, Journal of General Microbiology 3, 444–462.
- International Committee on Bacteriological Nomenclature. (1958, June). International code of nomenclature of bacteria and viruses. Ames, Iowa State College Press. BHL  .
- Lapage, S.P., Sneath, P.H.A., Lessel, E.F., Skerman, V.B.D., Seeliger, H.P.R. & Clark, W.A. (1975). International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria. 1975 Revision. American Society of Microbiology, Washington, D.C
- Lapage, S.P., Sneath, P.H.A., Lessel, E.F., Skerman, V.B.D., Seeliger, H.P.R. & Clark, W.A. (1992). International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria. Bacteriological Code. 1990 Revision. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C. link  .
- Parker, C.T., Tindall, B.J. & Garrity, G.M. (2019) International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes. 2008 Revision. Microbiology Society doi:https://ijs.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/ijsem/10.1099/ijsem.0.000778  )