Comments on taxonomic status and host association of some Laimaphelenchus spp. (Rhabditida: Aphelenchoidea)

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A reverse taxonomic approach for characterisation of several populations of an aphelenchid nematode recovered from declined oak trees in the Zagros forests, Ilam, western Iran, revealed that their 28S rDNA D2-D3 sequences matched two available sequences of the same genomic fragment belonging to two species, Laimaphelenchus belgradiensis and L. hyrcanus. Further morphological studies yielded new morphological traits that had been overlooked in their original descriptions, and a new hypothesis helping to disentangle these taxa, which have the same 28S sequences and the same phylogenetic placement, is proposed. In a similar fashion, the taxonomic status of some other species of the genus having a similar morphology or similar genomic sequences are reviewed. The possibility of proposing new synonyms was evaluated and tentative reasons for the new habitat of the recovered populations of Laimaphelenchus from the Zagros forests discussed.


International Journal of Fundamental and Applied Nematological Research



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  • Phylogenetic tree reconstructed using nine 28S rDNA D2-D3 sequences of Laimaphelenchus species/isolates, three Aphelenchoides spp., and two species of Pseudaphelenchus Kanzaki & Giblin-Davis, 2009 in Kanzaki et al., 2009 as the outgroup taxa, using Bayesian inference under the GTR + I + G model. Clade A is indicated.

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  • A: Topotypes of Laimaphelenchus hyrcanus (a possible junior synonym of L. belgradiensis) showing vulva (v) and end of post-vulval uterine sac (PUS); B: L. deconincki recovered from the sampling point of the species by Asghari & Eskandari (2014) in northern Iran (arrowhead showing projection at posterior lip of vulva); C: Male posterior end of L. belgradiensis recovered from the Zagros forests in the present study (arrowheads showing numbered caudal papillae).

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  • Main morphometric data for Laimaphelenchus belgradiensis Oro, 2015 recovered from wood samples of dead oak trees in Zagros forests, Ilam, and two females of the Iranian population of L. deconincki as reported by Asghari & Eskandari (2014). All measurements are in μm and in the form: mean ± s.d. (range).

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