Genome Similarity Implies that Citrus-Parasitic Burrowing Nematodes do not Represent a Unique Species

D. T. Kaplan, C. H. Opperman


Burrowing nematodes from Central America, Dominican Republic, Florida, Guadeloupe, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico were characterized for their ability to parasitize citrus, but citrus parasites were found only in Florida. Sequence tag sites originally amplified from a citrus-parasitic burrowing nematode were polymorphic among 37 burrowing nematode isolates and were not correlated with citrus parasitism, nematode isolate collection site, or amplification of a 2.4-kb sequence tag site (DK#1). Results of a RAPD analysis and characterization of the isozymes phosphoglucose isomerase, lactate dehydrogenase, and malate dehydrogenase indicated that the burrowing nematode isolates were highly similar. Citrus parasitism in Florida appears to be associated with limited changes in the burrowing nematode genome. Findings did not substantiate a previous report that R. citrophilus was present in Hawaii. Overall, these data do not support assignment of sibling species status to burrowing nematodes that differ with respect to citrus parasitism. Key wards: anthurium, banana, citrus, evolution, genetics, isozymes, molecular biology, nematode, phylogeny, quarantine, Radopholus, RAPD, STS, taxonomy.

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