genera / species

Discussion in 'Plants: Nomenclature and Taxonomy' started by garciamedavar, May 14, 2012.

  1. garciamedavar

    garciamedavar Member

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    Hello!

    I'm a law student trying to understand the variety protection system, so I need help from you experts.
    If I'm not wrong, plants are identified by a binomial name, which refers both to the genus and the species it belongs to.
    Also, a genus covers many species.

    Well, the international treaty says that each State should protect "at least 15 plant genera OR species".

    I'm confused by the conjuction OR, because protecting fifteen genera would mean much more than protecting fifteen species.

    Fifteen species could theorically all belong to the same genus, and in that case, that State would be protecting just one genus and fifteen species.

    On the other hand, the treaty could mean that each State has to protect fifteen genera, which would cover many more species.

    Could anyone please explain me this? It would be easier if the treaty said "fifteen genera" or "fifteen species"; but not "fifteen genera or species".

    Thank you very much!
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    What treaty are you referring to?

    On the surface, it sounds like OR should have been avoided, but it would be helpful to see context.
     
  3. garciamedavar

    garciamedavar Member

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    Thanks for answering. It's the UPOV treaty:

    "Each Contracting Party shall apply the provisions of this Convention, to at least 15 plant genera or species and, at the latest by the expiration of a period of 10 years from the said date, to all plant genera and species."

    It is clear that after ten years the Convention aplies to all species but in the meantime I can't figure if it shall apply to at least fifteen genera or fifteen species.

    Thanks for answering again.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    So, article 3(2)(i)?

    Well, you have the taxonomic hierarchy correct (1 to many species in each genus). And, yes, theoretically only 15 species would have to be "protected" for entry into the convention. But, developing and "protecting" new plant varieties based on what can be done with one species removes a lot of tools available to the plant breeder.

    Practically, to develop new varieties of plants, it is often necessary to for plant breeders to work with them as a genus (or sometimes multiple genera) for the benefits of hybridization between species in breeding work.

    I interpret the 15 genera requirement as slightly more onerous to enter the convention, but not by much in a practical sense.
     
  5. garciamedavar

    garciamedavar Member

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    thank you very much. I guess the 'or' conjunction was badly chosen while negotiating the convention.
     

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