Phylogenetic analysis of Deladenus nematodes parasitizing northeastern North American Sirex species.
The parasitic nematode Deladenus siricidicola is a biological control agent of the invasive woodwasp, Sirex noctilio. Since the discovery of S. noctilio in pine forests of northeastern North America in 2005, a biological control program involving the Kamona strain of D. siricidicola has been under consideration. However, North American pine forests have indigenous Sirex spp. and likely harbor a unique assemblage of associated nematodes. We assessed phylogenetic relationships among native Deladenus spp. in the northeastern United States and the Kamona strain of D. siricidicola. We sequenced three genes (mtCO1, LSU, and ITS) from nematodes extracted from parasitized Sirex spp. collected inside and outside of the range of S. noctilio. Our analyses suggest cospeciation between four North American Sirex spp. and their associated nematode parasites. Within two S. noctilio individuals we found nematodes that we hypothesize are normally associated with Sirex nigricornis. One individual of the native S. nigricornis contained Deladenus normally associated with S. noctilio. We discuss nematode-host fidelity in this system and the potential for non-target impacts of a biological control program using D. siricidicola against S. noctilio.