Separation of Three Species of Ditylenchus and Some Host Races of D. dipsaci by Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism


  • Karen R. Wendt
  • Thierry C. Vrain
  • John M. Webster


This study examined the ribosomal cistron of Ditylenchus destructor, D. myceliophagus and seven host races of D. dipsaci from different geographic locations. The three species showed restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) in the ribosomal cistron, the 18S rDNA gene, and the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS). Southern blot analysis with a 7.5-kb ribosomal cistron probe differentiated the five host races of D. dipsaci examined. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the ITS, followed by digestion with some restriction endonucleases (but not others), produced restriction fragments diagnostic of the giant race. Because the PCR product from D. myceliophagus and the host races of D. dipsaci was about 900 base pairs and the ITS size in D. destructor populations was 1,200 base pairs, mixtures of populations could be detected by PCR amplification. ITS fragments differentiated between D. dipsaci and Aphelenchoides rhyntium in mixed populations. This study establishes the feasibility of differentiation of the host races of D. dipsaci by probing Southern blots with the whole ribosomal cistron. Key words: Ditylenchus destructor, D. dipsaci, D. myceliophagus, DNA, host race, internal transcribed spacer, nematode, polymerase chain reaction, restriction fragment length polymorphism, ribosomal DNA, sibling species.