Phylogenetic Analysis of Geographically Diverse Radopholus similis via rDNA Sequence Reveals a Monomorphic Motif


  • D. T. Kaplan
  • W. K. Thomas
  • L. M. Frisse
  • J. L. Sarah
  • J. M. Stanton
  • P. R. Speijer
  • D. H. Marin
  • C. H. Opperman


banana, citrus, evolution, genetics, its1, 28s, nematode, pathotype, phylogeny, quarantine, race, radopholus, similis, rdna, species concepts, taxonomy


The nucleic acid sequences of rDNA ITS1 and the rDNA D2/D3 expansion segment were compared for 57 burrowing nematode isolates collected from Australia, Cameroon, Central America, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Florida, Guadeloupe, Hawaii, Nigeria, Honduras, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Uganda. Of the 57 isolates, 55 were morphologically similar to Radopholus similis and seven were citrus-parasitic. The nucleic acid sequences for PCR-amplified ITS1 and for the D2/D3 expansion segment of the 28S rDNA gene were each identical for all putative R. similis. Sequence divergence for both the ITS1 and the D2/D3 was concordant with morphological differences that distinguish R. similis from other burrowing nematode species. This result substantiates previous observations that the R. similis genome is highly conserved across geographic regions. Autapomorphies that would delimit phylogenetic lineages of non-citrus-parasitic R. similis from those that parasitize citrus were not observed. The data presented herein support the concept that R. similis is comprised of two pathotypes-one that parasitizes citrus and one that does not.