Description of Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp. (Nematoda: Criconematidae) and notes on other nematode species discovered in an ericaceous heath bald community in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA

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A new species of Mesocriconema and a unique assemblage of plant-parasitic nematodes was discovered in a heath bald atop Brushy Mountain in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp., a species with males, superficially resembles M. xenoplax. DNA barcoding with the mitochondrial COI gene provided evidence of the new species as a distinct lineage. SEM revealed significant variability in arrangement of labial submedian lobes, plates, and anterior and posterior annuli. Three other nematodes in the family Criconematidae were characterised from the heath bald. Ogma seymouri, when analysed by statistical parsimony, established connections with isolates from north-eastern Atlantic coastal and north-western Pacific coastal wet forests. Criconema loofi has a southern Gulf Coast distribution associated with boggy soils. Criconema cf. acriculum is known from northern coastal forests of California. Understanding linkages between these species and their distribution may lead to the broader development of a terrestrial soil nematode biogeography.

Description of Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp. (Nematoda: Criconematidae) and notes on other nematode species discovered in an ericaceous heath bald community in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA

in Nematology

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References

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Figures

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    Neighbour joining tree of 550 Mesocriconema COI DNA sequences with 1000 bootstrap replication values located at branch nodes. Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp. specimens are shown without colour together with the nearest neighbour haplotype group, M. discus. Other Mesocriconema haplotype groups are indicated by coloured blocks. Numbers associated with coloured haplotype groups refer to taxon labels in Powers et al. (2014). Haplotype groups that coincide with species names are labelled on the periphery of the circular tree. Nematode Identification Numbers (NID) are associated with specimen labels and refer to individual specimens in the text, tables and figures. Singletons are designated by the letter ‘S’.

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    Images of Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp., females from heath bald on Brushy Mountain, GRSM. A-E, light microscope images, F-H, SEM images. A: Entire body, NID 2629; B: Head and pharynx, NID 5961; C: Tail and S-shaped vagina, NID 5958; D: Head, face view with oral disc, two submedian lobes, and labial plate, NID 5958; E: Tail with low, arcuate vulval flap, ventral view, NID 5985; F: Face view with oral disc flanked by amphid apertures, four submedian lobes and four labial plates, NID 4641; G: Head, profile view, NID 4642; H: Tail, NID 4642. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685411.

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    Drawing of Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp. female. A: Face view, B: Entire body, C: Tail region.

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    Scanning electron micrographs of female Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp. from Brushy Mountain, GRSM. A: Entire body; B-F: Variation in anastomoses and cuticle anomalies. A: NID 4633; B: Anastomosis near head, NID 4633; C: Unusual disruptions of annuli near mid-body, NID 4634; D: Anastomosis near tail, NID 4650; E: Convoluted tail annuli, NID 4634; F: Tail with hint of crenation on annulus margin, NID 4633.

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    Scanning electron micrographs of Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp. from Brushy Mountain, GRSM. All are female heads, profile view. First labial annulus often divided. A: NID 4637; B: NID 4643; C: NID 4634; D: NID 4635.

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    Scanning electron micrographs of Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp. females from Brushy Mountain, GRSM illustrating variation in face views. A: First labial annulus incomplete, NID 4649; B: First lip annulus merging with labial plate, NID 4646; C: ‘Normal’ face view, NID 4640; D: NID 4644.

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    Scanning electron micrographs of Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp. females from Brushy Mountain, GRSM illustrating tail terminus variation and vulval flap. A: NID 4637; B: NID 4641; C: NID 4647; D: NID 4649; E: NID 4644; F: NID 4648.

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    Light microscope images of male and juvenile stages, Mesocriconema ericaceum n. sp. A: Male entire body, NID 5953; B: Male tail with straight spicule, subterminal bursa and expanded terminal annuli, NID 5953; C: Male mid-body with four lateral lines, NID 5953; D: Juvenile anterior with crenate annuli, NID 2638. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685411.

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    Light microscope images of Mesocriconema involutum, paratype female from USDA Beltsville National Nematology Collection slide T-3920, P.A.A. Loof, collector. A: Head, B: Tail, C: Entire body. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685411.

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    Light (A-D): and scanning (E-I) micrographs of Ogma seymouri from Brushy Mountain, GRSM. A: Female head and anterior paired scales on annuli, NID 2631; B: Female tail, NID 2631; C: Male entire body, NID 2632; D: Female entire body, NID 2631; E: Female head, profile view, NID 4662; F: Female tail, NID 4669; G: Female head, face view, NID 4661; H: Female mid-body cuticle with longitudinal rows of scales, NID 4660; I: Female entire body, NID 4665. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685411.

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    A TCS statistical parsimony network of COI haplotype relationships in Ogma seymouri and Criconema loofi. Blue dots indicate collection sites. Red circles denote unique COI haplotypes for O. seymouri. Green circles denote unique haplotypes for C. loofi. Hash marks in O. seymouri network indicate hypothesised intermediate haplotypes separated by a single substitution. Break marks between C. loofi haplotypes indicate genetic distance as raw uncorrected p-values. NID numbers representing each haplotype are inside coloured circles.

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    Light microscope images of Criconema loofi from Brushy Mountain, all females. A: Head, NID 2635; B: Tail with terminal three annuli surrounded by sheath, NID 2635; C: Tail, lacking terminal sheath, NID 2634; D: Entire body, NID 2634. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685411.

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    Light microscope images of Criconema cf. acriculum from Brushy Mountain, all females. A: Entire body, NID 5992; B: Head with pair of similar sized labial annuli, NID 5979; C: Tail and rectangular vulval flap, NID 5980; D: Tail, NID 5979; E: Mid-body cuticle, NID 5980; F: Reproductive tract with terminal portion of ovary reflexed, NID 5991. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685411.

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