Molecular and morphological observations on Parasitodiplogaster sycophilon Poinar, 1979 (Nematoda: Diplogastrina) associated with Ficus burkei in Africa

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A Parasitodiplogaster sp. was isolated from syconia of Ficus burkei from Pretoria, South Africa, and determined to be conspecific with P. sycophilon, originally described by Poinar in 1979 from Harare, Zimbabwe, and also from F. burkei. Examination of type material of P. sycophilon revealed inaccuracies in the former description necessitating a redescription which is provided herein. Additionally, the original description lacked molecular data, which is also provided. Originally, the stoma of P. sycophilon was described as reduced without teeth. However, we observed a large dorsal stegostomal tooth and an almost equally-sized right subventral tooth which was typologically similar to the stoma of P. laeviagata from Florida. In addition, a pore-like phasmid was observed in both males and females just above the tail tip. Most other characters were as formerly described. Based upon molecular inferences from sequences of the D2/D3 expansion segments of the rDNA of the large subunit (LSU), P. sycophilon is not clearly defined relative to the neotropical Parasitodiplogaster species that have been described and sequenced from figs in the Section Urostigma, Subsection Americana (i.e., P. laevigata, P. popenema, P. citrinema, and P. trigonema), or to P. australis from Australia ex. F. virens (Section Urostigma, Subsection Urostigma), or to P. maxinema from neotropical figs from the Section Pharmacosycea, Subsection Pharmacosycea. Further work is needed to elucidate the molecular phylogeny of the Parasitodiplogaster lineages that may have co-speciated with the African figs of the Section Urostigma, Subsection Galoglychia.

Molecular and morphological observations on Parasitodiplogaster sycophilon Poinar, 1979 (Nematoda: Diplogastrina) associated with Ficus burkei in Africa

in Nematology



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    Parasitodiplogaster sycophilon. A: Anterior region; B: Stoma (ventral view); C: Tail region (male); D: Tail tip (female); E: Spicule (lateral view); F: Gubernaculum (lateral view); G: Entire male; H: Entire female; I: Vulval region (overview and muscle); J: Vulval region (oviducts and eggs); K: Vulval region (vaginal glands); L: Tail region (lateral view).

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    Adult Parasitodiplogaster sycophilon. A-C: Stoma morphology observed on live nematodes (right lateral view); D: Diagrammatic representation of stoma and stoma elements (ch = cheilostom; gym =gymnostom; meta = metastegostom; pro/meso = pro/mesostegostom; telo = telostegostom; dpg = dorsal pharyngeal gland).

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    Photomicrographs of adult Parasitodiplogaster sycophilon. A-C: Male tail region with papillae (P1-P7) indicated by arrows; D, E: Spicule and gubernaculum (ventral view); F-H: Female vulval region in different focal planes.

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    Molecular phylogeny of Parasitodiplogaster spp. and Koerneria sp. Koerneria sp. is used as an outgroup for Parasitodiplogaster. Bayesian analysis using the D2/D3 LSU ribosomal subunit including bootstrap values. The 10 001st Bayesian tree inferred from D2/D3 under TrN + G model (−lnL = 3276.3745; freqA = 0.1885; freqC = 0.2184; freqG = 0.3343; freqT = 0.2588; R(a) = 1; R(b) = 2.4778; R(c) = 1; R(d) = 1; R(e) = 7.4965; R(f) = 1; Pinva = 0; Shape = 0.3644). Posterior probability values exceeding 50% are given on appropriate clades. The vertical lines to the right of species names unite species isolated from the same plant host with the Ficus Section name given next to the vertical line.

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