By R. E. Alston, B. E. Turner

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Finally, it is highly probable that innovations have appeared even in the fundamental pathways, from time to time, which have been preserved in the descendants of the organisms in which the change occurred. Thus it is not gross exaggeration or mere wishful thinking to assert that a natural system of classification is potentially available based on comparative biochemistry. Actually, comparative biochemistry, itself, may be studied at several levels. At one level emphasis is upon the distribution of certain classes of substances, such as, for example, the isoquinoline type alkaloids.

It is tempting to dismiss this type of argument summarily as not worthy of rebuttal. It follows from such reasoning that the person making such a statement believes that the vast majority of compounds have evolved again and again throughout the plant kingdom or that chemical substances appear, somewhat capriciously, via a mechanism that transcends the usual order so that their appearance has no real phylogenetic meaning. Since the latter argument has been decimated through biochemical genetics, it need not be taken seriously.

BIOCHEMICAL CATEGORIES With the accumulation of chemical data from various plant groups it seems likely that some serious attempt will be made to erect a special nomenclature to deal with those categories so delimited. Tetenyi (1958) has already proposed a series of infraspecific categories such as chemouar, chemoforma, and chemocultivar, and so on to designate appropriate races or forms of chemically defined taxa. We are inclined to agree with Lanjouw (1958) "that chemical strains or varieties formed in the wild should be treated as ordinary infraspecific we doubt that these groups, unless accompanied by morphological divergence, should bear formal names according to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.

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