Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Molecular characterization and species delimiting of plant-parasitic nematodes of the genus Pratylenchus from the penetrans group (Nematoda: Pratylenchidae).

Abstract

Root-lesion nematodes of the genus Pratylenchus are an important pest parasitizing a wide range of vascular plants including several economically important crops. However, morphological diagnosis of the more than 100 species is problematic due to the low number of diagnostic features, high morphological plasticity and incomplete taxonomic descriptions. In order to employ barcoding based diagnostics, a link between morphology and species specific sequences has to be established. In this study, we reconstructed a multi-gene phylogeny of the Penetrans group using nuclear ribosomal and mitochondrial gene sequences. A combination of this phylogenetic framework with molecular species delineation analysis, population genetics, morphometric information and sequences from type location material allowed us to establish the species boundaries within the Penetrans group and as such clarify long-standing controversies about the taxonomic status of P. penetrans, P. fallax and P. convallariae. Our study also reveals a remarkable amount of cryptic biodiversity within the genus Pratylenchus confirming that identification on morphology alone can be inconclusive in this taxonomically confusing genus.