Characterisation of, and entomopathogenic studies on, Pristionchus aerivorus (Cobb in Merrill & Ford, 1916) Chitwood, 1937 (Rhabditida: Diplogastridae) from North Carolina, USA

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During a survey of entomopathogenic nematodes in North Carolina, USA, a Pristionchus species was recovered using the Galleria bait method. Morphological studies with light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, mating tests with reference strains, as well as molecular analyses of the near-full-length small subunit rRNA gene (18S) and D2-D3 expansion segments of the large subunit rRNA gene (28S) identified this isolate as Pristionchus aerivorus. Exposed Galleria larvae were killed within 48 h and high numbers of nematodes were recovered from the cadavers about 5 days later. Preliminary tests revealed that this nematode is capable of infecting at least two other insect species (Helicoverpa zea and Tenebrio molitor) under laboratory conditions. The status of the genus Chroniodiplogaster is discussed and confirmed as a junior synonym of Pristionchus based on morphological observation and molecular phylogenetic analysis.


International Journal of Fundamental and Applied Nematological Research



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  • Baiting and mating of Pristionchus aerivorus. A: Tenebrio molitor beetle larva cadaver in White trap for rearing nematodes; B: Pristionchus aerivorus multiplying in T. molitor larva cadaver; C: Progenies (females, males, juveniles and eggs) in a culture plate from a mating study of S4B1 from Raleigh, NC, USA, with RS5106 of P. aerivorus from Germany. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

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  • Photographs of stenostomatous form of Pristionchus aerivorus (A-E: Male; F-K: Female). A: Entire body; B: Paired spicules; C: Lateral view of tail region; D: Lateral view of tail region showing genital papillae and bursa-like thickened cuticle; E, F: Pharyngeal region; G: Entire body; H: Reflexion of ovary; I: Lateral view of vulva; J: Ventral view of vulva; K: Tail region. Abbreviations: ad = anterior dorsal genital papilla; v + number = ventral genital papillae; v + number + d = ventro-lateral papillae.

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  • Scanning electron microscope photographs of stenostomatous form of Pristionchus aerivorus male. A: Lip region en face view showing two amphidial apertures (ap), six labial sensilla (ls) and four cephalic sensilla (cs); B: Dorsal view of tail region; C: Ventral-lateral view of tail region; D: Ventral view of tail region showing paired spicules and genital papillae. Abbreviations: ad = anterior dorsal genital papilla; pd = posterior dorsal genital papilla; Ph = phasmid, v + number = ventral genital papillae, v + number + d = ventro-lateral papillae, vs = ventral single genital papilla.

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  • Scanning electron microscope photographs of stenostomatous form of Pristionchus aerivorus female. A: Lip region en face view showing two amphidial apertures (am) and six labial sensilla (ls); B: Tail lateral view; C: Tail ventral view showing anus; D: Vulva region showing vulva and fine longitudinal striae; E: Excretory pore.

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  • The 10 001st Bayesian likelihood tree inferred from 18S under the GTR + I + G model (−lnL = 5105.6045; AIC = 10 231.209; freqA = 0.2478; freqC = 0.21; freqG = 0.2659; freqT = 0.2755; R(a) = 0.6123; R(b) = 1.9606; R(c) = 1.6541; R(d) = 0.2389; R(e) = 3.7959; R(f) = 1; Pinvar = 0.4584; Shape = 0.6877). Posterior probability values exceeding 50% are given on appropriate clades. ‘Full’ represents the sequence with ca 1670 bp near-full-length 18S sequence, the rest sequences with ca 500 bp 5′ end 18S sequence.

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  • The 10 001st Bayesian likelihood tree inferred from 28S D2-D3 under the GTR + I + G model (−lnL = 3029.1047; AIC = 6076.2095; freqA = 0.2128; freqC = 0.2114; freqG = 0.3239; freqT = 0.2518; R(a) = 0.364; R(b) = 1.2095; R(c) = 0.3822; R(d) = 0.2694; R(e) = 3.6856; R(f) = 1; Pinvar = 0; Shape = 0.391). Posterior probability values exceeding 50% are given on appropriate clades.

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  • Time to host death (h) after inoculation of two hosts with 250 Pristionchus aerivorus IJ under laboratory conditions.

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