#120 Why we cant use common names for insect diseases

Rex Nelson

I have been annotating insect damage traits and have been very unsatisfied by using the common name of the "disease" or insect damage. This web site (very authoritative) has an entry which exemplifies the problem (http://bugguide.net/node/view/12522) for Spodoptera ornithogalli damage. This web site reports that the common names are yellow-stripped armyworm and cotton cutworm. This is problematic because there are two different TO terms for cutworm resistance (TO:0000317) and armyworm resistance (TO:0000273). I fear that this will only continue as we annotate more organisms. I still believe that the best way to approach disease and insect resistance is to use the binomal as the term and use the common names as synonyms. There are problems with both of these approaches but IMHO using the binomial presents less potential for confusion for the users and annotators.


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