Enzymatic Relationships and Evolution in the Genus Meloidogyne (Nematoda: Tylenchida)


  • P. R. Esbenshade
  • A. C. Triantaphyllou


Thirty populations of Meloidogyne of diverse geographic origin representing 10 nominal species and various reproductive, cytological, and physiological forms known to exist in the genus were examined to determine their enzymatic relationships. The 184 bands resolved in the study of 27 enzymes were considered as independent characters. Pair-wise comparisons of populations were performed in all possible combinations to estimate the enzymatic distances (ED) and coefficients of similarity (S). A phylogenetic tree was constructed. The apomictic species M. arenaria, M. microcephala, M. javanica, and M. incognita shared a common lineage. M. arenaria was highly polytypic, whereas conspecific populations of M. javanica and M. incognita were largely monomorphic. The mitotic and meiotic forms of M. hapla were very similar (S = 0.93), suggesting that the apomictic race B evolved only recently from the meiotic race A. The five remaining meiotic species (M. chitwoodi, M. graminicola, M. graminis, M. microtyla, and M. naasi - each represented by a single population) were not closely related to each other or to the mitotic species. Key words: biochemistry, biosystematics, electrophoresis, enzymes, evolution, Meloidogyne spp., root-knot nematode, phylogeny, taxonomy.