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genomorphGenomorph (ger.)

  • 1)   A group of superficially similar but not closely related species.  

    {Diphyphyllum} and {Diphystrotion}, though differing from Lithostrotion in what might reasonably be supposed to be generic characters, yet do not constitute true genera, but are expressions of a trend which some external or internal stimulus has provoked to rapid development in a colony, in certain individuals of a colony, so that the individual anticipates an evolution which is familiar in other stocks, both nearly and distantly related, and is there seen to be a phyletic, and not an individual trend—a trend which results in new generic forms. We propose to call these forms which anticipate, but do not constitue, new genera—genomorphs; and to indicate them by genomorphic names, which are to be recognized as such by being placed in braces.

    Smith, S. & Lang, W.D. (1930). Descriptions of the type-specimens of some Carboniferous corals of the genera “Diphyphyllum”, “Stylastræa”, “Aulophyllum”, and “Chætetes”. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Including Zoology, Botany, and Geology 5 (ser. 10), 177-194: 179.


    The forms described below are […] following Smith (1930, p. 180), not referred to Lithostrotion s.s., but to the genomorph, Diphyphyllum.

    Kelly, W.A. (1942). Lithostrotiontidae in the Rocky Mountains. Journal of Paleontology 16, 351-61: 358.


    genomorph 1: A polyphyletic taxon of generic or subgeneric rank containing a group of superficially similar but not closely related species. 2: A species that differs from the genotype as a result of evolutionary changes over a prolonged period of time.

     Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 101.

  • 2) The informational structure of a gene pool. (HWB)

    Saussure made a distinction between ‘parole’ and ‘langue’, being the deep hidden structure of language, unconsciously shared by communicating persons. We shall suggest that the corresponding pair of concepts in biology is that of ‘the single genome’ (parole) as distinct from ‘the deep structure of the gene pool’ (langue). Since this deep structure may be regarded as a kind of ‘informational morphology’ at the genetic level, we shall term it the genomorph.

    Hoffmeyer, J. & Emmeche, C. (1991). Code-duality and the semiotics of nature. In: Anderson, M. & Merrell, F. (eds.). On Semiotic Modeling, 117-166: 157.