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The rules of binomial nomenclature are regulated by International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN).

Some of the rules are:

  1. Independent names for plants and animals.
  2. The scientific name consists of 2 epithets. First is the generic name and second is the species name.
  3. Genus name is a noun and species name is an adjective.
  4. The scientific name must be in Greek or Latin language.
  5. Scientific name should not be more than 12 and less than 3 letters.
  6. Generic name should come first and must begin with a capital alphabet. This is followed by the species name which starts by a small letter. Eg. Mangifera indica
  7.  Same name should not be used for two or more species under the same genus.
  8. Scientific name should be printed in italics.
  9. When hand-written, the genus and species should be underlined separately.
  10. Name of the author who first described the species should be written after the specific name in Roman type.
    e.g. Mangifera indica L.
    Here, L stands for Linnaeus.
  11. Mentioning the author’s name after the species name is called as Citation.
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Universal rules of nomenclature are as follows:

a. Biological names are generally in Latin and written in italics.

b. The first word in biological name represents the genus. The second component denotes the specific epithet.

c. Both the words in a biological name, when hand written are separately underlined, or printed in italics to indicate their Latin origin.

d. The first word denoting genus starts with a capital letter while the specific epithet starts with a small letter.

Example: Mango - Mangifera indica.

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