First Report of Heterorhabditis amazonensis from Venezuela and Characterization of Three Populations

Naiyulin Morales, Patricia Morales-Montero, Vladimir Puza, Ernesto San-Blas

Abstract


During a survey in western Venezuela in 2011, three new populations of Heterorhabditis amazonensis (LPV081, LPV156, and LPV498) were isolated. Some differences were found in terms of morphometry compared with the original description; however, the distance from the anterior end to the excretory pore is the most variable character; significantly shorter in all infective juveniles and in other developmental stages depending on the population. According to a Principal Component Analysis, LPV498 possesses more differences in morphometric characteristics and can be separated from the other two. Those intraspecific differences could be attributed to the geographic origin of the nematode. Molecular studies of ITS regions demonstrated that the sequences of the Venezuelan strains were identical to those of the type species originally isolated in the Brazilian Amazonian forest. This is an interesting fact because in several studies on heterorhabditids, intraspecific variability has been recorded. Herein, we present the first report of H. amazonensis in Venezuela and the characterization of three populations of this species.

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