Molecular rDNA phylogeny of Telotylenchidae Siddiqi, 1960 and evaluation of tail termini

L. K. Carta, A. M. Skantar, Z. A. Handoo

Abstract


Three stunt nematode species, Tylenchorhynchus leviterminalis, T. dubius and T. claytoni were characterized with segments of small subunit 18S and large subunit 28S rDNA sequence and placed in molecular phylogenetic context with other polyphyletic taxa of Telotylenchidae. Based upon comparably sized phylogenetic breadth of outgroups and ingroups, the 28S rDNA contained three times the number of phylogenetically informative alignment characters relative to the alignment total compared to the larger 18S dataset even though there were fewer than half the number of taxa represented. Tail shapes and hyaline termini were characterized for taxa within these subfamily trees, and variability discussed for some related species. In 18S trees, similar terminal tail thickness was found in a well-supported clade of three Tylenchorhynchus: broad-tailed T. leviterminalis branched outside relatively narrow-tailed T. claytoni and T. nudus. Terminal tail thickness within Merliniinae, Telotylenchinae and related taxa showed a mosaic distribution. Thick-tailed Trophurus, Macrotrophurus and putative Paratrophurus did not group together in the 18S tree. Extremely thickened tail termini arose at least once in Amplimerlinius and Pratylenchoides among ten species of Merliniinae plus three Pratylenchoides, and three times within twelve taxa of Telotylenchinae and Trophurinae. Conflicting generic and family nomenclature based on characters such as pharyngeal overlap are discussed in light of current molecular phylogeny. Contrary to some expectations from current taxonomy, Telotylenchus and Tylenchorhynchus cf. robustus did not cluster with three Tylenchorhynchus spp. Two putative species of Neodolichorhynchus failed to group together, and two populations of Scutylenchus quadrifer demonstrated as much or greater genetic distance between them than among three related species of Merlinius.

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