Heterorhabditidoides rugaoensis n. sp. (Rhabditida: Rhabditidae), a Novel Highly Pathogenic Entomopathogenic Nematode Member of Rhabditidae

Ke Y. Zhang, Xiu H. Liu, Jin Tan, Ying Wang, Lei Qiao, Gabriel Yedid, Chen S. Dai, Ru L. Qiu, Xiu W. Yan, Hao W. Tan, Zhen Y. Su, Ren Lai, Guo F. Gao


A novel entomopathogenic nematode species, Heterorhabditidoides rugaoensis n. sp. RG081015, collected from Rugao, China, is described. The new species is morphologically very similar to H. chongmingensis but can be distinguished from it on the basis of some morphological characteristics, combined with molecular data and a cross-hybridization test. Males of the new species can be recognized on the basis of body length averaging 1396.2 mm; lateral field with one ridge; metastome isoglottoid with one hemispherical swellings comprised of two to three well-developed warts; asymmetric spicules; peloderan bursa. In IJs, EP = 134.5 mm; ES = 149.3 mm; tail length = 82.5 mm; and a = 20.5. Hermaphroditic females have four to five lateral ridges. The 18S rDNA and ITS sequences of the two nematodes share 99% and 98% identity, respectively. Phylogenetic trees of 18S rDNA and ITS indicate that the new species is most closely related to H. chongmingensis; thus, the two nematodes belong to the same genus. Failure of crosshybridization between them indicates that nematode strain RG081015 is a novel species and is described herein as H. rugaoensis n. sp. The LC50 of the novel species against Galleria mellonella were 24.35 IJs /ml within 48 hours of infection. Morphological characteristics, genetic similarity analyses, and phylogenetic relationships provide strong evidence that some species of Oscheius/Insectivora-group should be reassigned to the genus Heterorhabditidoides.

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