A Nondestructive Method of Determining Bursaphelenchus xylophilus Infestation of Monochamus spp. Vectors

Xu Zhang, W. Terrell Stamps, Marc J. Linit


Pine wilt is caused by the nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, which is transported to host trees in the trachea of Monochamusspp. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). The study of the relationship between the nematode and its beetle vectors has been hampered by the inability to estimate nematode presence or density within live beetles. This report describes a rapid method for estimating nematode load within live M. carolinensis and M. alternatus by visual examination of the atrium of the first abdominal spiracle. Visual estimates of nematode numbers correlated highly with actual nematode numbers. This method is a timesaving technique for determining relative numbers of B. xylophilus in pine wilt research. Key words: Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, Monochamus carolinensis, Monochamus alternatus, nematode, trachea, phoresy, pine wilt.

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