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infra- or intraspecific?

Arturo Sanchez asanchez at cibnor.mx
Wed Jan 28 11:59:05 EST 1998

I've been working on marine yeast molecular taxonomy, with some species
of Rhodotorula (Rhodotorula rubra and Rhodotorula graminis) and some
strains of Debaryomyces vanrijii var. vanrijii. In my results I found
some differences in the strains of Deb. vanrijii vanrijii, based on
RFLP and RAPD. So, I discussed that the variations in our data are due to
the sensibility in this techniques, making it sensitive enough to
differentiate not only species level but infraspecific. My tutor says
that I shouldn't use the term "infraspecific", but "intraspecific".
I am considering that the term infraspecific refers to levels "below"
species level 9 (i.e., subspecies, variety, form). She insists that the
right term is intraspecific. Even thinking that a strain is not a
taxonomic rank, I am refering to it as infraspecific.

So the question is:
What term should I use, infraspecific or intraspecific?
Am I right, or not?

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