A PCR Assay to Identify and Distinguish Single Juveniles of Meloidogyne hapla and M. chitwoodi


  • V. M. Williamson
  • E. P. Caswell-Chen
  • B. B. Westerdahl
  • F. F. Wu
  • G. Caryl


Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) bands that distinguish Meloidogyne hapla and M. chitwoodi from each other, and from other root-knot nematode species, were identified using a series of random octamer primers. The species-specific amplified DNA fragments were cloned and sequenced, and then the sequences were used to design 20-mer primer pairs that specifically amplified a DNA fragment from each species. Using the primer pairs, successful amplifications from single juveniles were readily attained. A mixture of four primers in a single PCR reaction mixture was shown to identify single juveniles of M. hapla and M. chitwoodi. To confirm specificity, the primers were used to amplify DNA from several isolates of M. hapla that originated from different crops and locations in North America and also from isolates of M. chitwoodi that differed in host range. In characterizing the M. hapla isolates, it was noted that there was a mitochondrial DNA polymorphism among isolates for cleavage by the restriction endonuclease DraI. Key wards: diagnostic, DNA, Meloidogyne chitwoodi, Meloidogyne hapla, PCR, root-knot nematode, SCAR, STS.