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Xu Wang, Yiwu Fang, Munawar Maria, Jianfeng Gu and Jianjun Ge


Bursaphelenchus rockyi n. sp., isolated in Peking, China, from peat moss imported from Russia, is described. It is characterised by a lateral field with four lines, excretory pore located at the base of the nerve ring or slightly posterior, spicule 15.9 (15.1-17.3) μm long along the chord and with high condylus and a rounded tip, rostrum triangular or conical with bluntly pointed tip, lamina curvature becoming more pronounced at 60% of total length, six caudal papillae with P3 and P4 adjacent to each other, bursa small, starting posterior to P4, vulval lips hemispherical and protruding, and tail conical with finely rounded or mucronated terminus. The new species belongs to the fungivorus-group and is most similar to B. arthuri, B. arthuroides, B. fungivorus and B. seani, but can be distinguished from related species by morphological and sequencing results.

Amanda K. Hodson, Janina Milkereit, Gavin C. John, David A. Doll and Roger A. Duncan


Fumigants, such as 1,3-dichloropropene and chloropicrin, have become key to pre-plant pest management in almond production. Whilst the use of these fumigants has become increasingly restricted due to human health concerns, less is known about their below-ground non-target effects in orchards and how nematode communities recover from fumigation over time. In this study, replicated trials compared 1,3-dichloropropene + chloropicrin to non-treated controls in two almond orchards in California, USA. Nematode communities, nematode indices and nematode metabolic footprints were quantified soon after fumigation and for 2 years afterwards. Fumigation reduced the Herbivore Metabolic Footprint in year 1, and populations of Pratylenchus vulnus in year 3. Fumigation also reduced populations of larger omnivores and predators, resulting in lower levels of the Structure Index at one site. Populations of fungal-feeding nematodes were more adversely affected by fumigation than bacterial-feeding nematode populations. At both sites, fumigation still influenced nematode community composition 2 years after treatment application.

Sergei A. Subbotin


Rapid diagnosis tools for detection of root-knot nematodes play an important role in the disease control and eradication programme. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assays were developed targeting the IGS rRNA gene of the pacara earpod tree root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne enterolobii. The RPA assays using TwistAmp® Basic and TwistAmp® exo kits allowed detection of M. enterolobii from gall tissues and crude nematode extracts of all stages of target species without a DNA extraction step. The results of real-time RPA assays using a real-time fluorescent detection of a series of crude nematode extracts showed reliable detection with sensitivity of 1/10 of a second-stage juvenile in a RPA reaction tube after 15-20 min. The RPA assay provides affordable, simple, fast and sensitive detection of M. enterolobii.

Jialian Xie, Fang Yang, Yanping Wang, Yunliang Peng and Hongli Ji


To fulfil different research purposes, five methods to inoculate Aphelenchoides besseyi onto seedlings and panicles of rice, Oryza sativa, were evaluated in this study and the efficiency of the inoculation methods assessed by success rates and recovery rates. Among the three methods leading to the infection of young seedlings without obvious mechanical wounds, i.e., water flotation, seed soaking and leaf spraying, the inoculation of 125 nematodes plant−1 by the water flotation method gave rise to the highest success rate and recovery rate, 95.6 and 8.3%, respectively, in growth chamber experiments. When conducted in the plastic house, seed soaking and leaf spraying of 125 nematodes plant−1 resulted in 75.6 and 66.7% success rate, respectively, and 155.7 and 178.1% recovery rates, respectively. The injection or spraying of 2000 nematodes panicle−1 at the booting or flowering stage gave 100% infection.

Eduardo Moreno and Ralf J. Sommer

Nematodes respond to a multitude of environmental cues. For example, the social behaviours clumping and bordering were described as a mechanism of hyperoxia avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans and Pristionchus pacificus. A recent study in P. pacificus revealed a novel regulatory pathway that inhibits social behaviour in a response to an as yet unknown environmental cue. This environmental signal is recognised by ciliated neurons, as mutants defective in intraflagellar transport (IFT) proteins display social behaviours. The IFT machinery represents a large protein complex and many mutants in genes encoding IFT proteins are available in C. elegans. However, social phenotypes in C. elegans IFT mutants have never been reported. Here, we examined 15 previously isolated C. elegans IFT mutants and found that most of them showed strong social behaviour. These findings indicate conservation in the inhibitory mechanism of social behaviour between P. pacificus and C. elegans.

Yuuki Nakabayashi, Takuya Aikawa, Michinari Matsushita and Kazuhiko Hoshizaki


Detection of pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is fundamental for effective control of pine wilt disease. Recent molecular techniques, such as DNA detection, have enhanced detectability of the nematodes whereas appropriate field sampling has received less attention. In order to elucidate a sampling design that most efficiently detects B. xylophilus using a commercially-distributed DNA detection kit, we compared detection levels of B. xylophilus using wood chips taken from various positions on dead trees. Results showed that the DNA kit had a higher detection level than the conventional method, and that trunk samples had higher levels than branch samples. Statistical model revealed that among-tree variation influenced the detectability more strongly than within-tree variation. Our results suggest that, in practice, with limited resources for control, it is more efficient to take samples from many trees with a minimum number from each tree, rather than taking many samples from a small number of trees.

Bart P. Braeckman and Ineke Dhondt

The insulin/IGF-1 signalling (IIS) pathway connects nutrient levels to metabolism, growth and lifespan in eukaryotes ranging from yeasts to humans, including nematodes such as the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. The link between ageing and the IIS pathway has been thoroughly studied in C. elegans; upon reduced IIS signalling, a genetic survival program is activated resulting in a drastic lifespan extension. One of the components of this program is the upregulation of antioxidant activity but experiments failed to show a clear causal relation to longevity. However, oxidative damage, such as protein carbonyls, accumulates at a slower pace in long-lived C. elegans mutants with reduced IIS. This is probably not achieved by increased macroautophagy, a process that sequesters cellular components to be eliminated as protein turnover rates are slowed down in IIS mutants. The IIS mutant daf-2, bearing a mutation in the insulin/IGF-1 receptor, recapitulates the dauer survival program, including accumulation of fat and glycogen. Fat can be converted into glucose and glycogen via the glyoxylate shunt, a pathway absent in vertebrates. These carbohydrates can be used as substrates for trehalose synthesis, also absent in mammals. Trehalose, a non-reducing homodimer of glucose, stabilises intracellular components and is responsible for almost half of the lifespan extension in IIS mutants. Hence, the molecular mechanisms by which lifespan is extended under reduced IIS may differ substantially between phyla that have an active glyoxylate cycle and trehalose synthesis, such as ecdysozoans and fungi, and vertebrate species such as mammals.

Yao A. Kolombia, Gerrit Karssen, Nicole Viaene, P. Lava Kumar, Lisa Joos, Danny L. Coyne and Wim Bert

The yam nematode, Scutellonema bradys, is a major threat to yam (Dioscorea spp.) production across yam-growing regions. In West Africa, this species cohabits with many morphologically similar congeners and, consequently, its accurate diagnosis is essential for control and for monitoring its movement. In the present study, 46 Scutellonema populations collected from yam rhizosphere and yam tubers in different agro-ecological zones in Ghana and Nigeria were characterised by their morphological features and by sequencing of the D2-D3 region of the 28S rDNA gene and the mitochondrial COI genes. Molecular phylogeny, molecular species delimitation and morphology revealed S. bradys, S. cavenessi, S. clathricaudatum and three undescribed species from yam rhizosphere. Only S. bradys was identified from yam tuber tissue, however. For barcoding and identifying Scutellonema spp., the most suitable marker used was the COI gene. Additionally, 99 new Scutellonema sequences were generated using populations obtained also from banana, carrot, maize and tomato, including the first for S. paralabiatum and S. clathricaudatum, enabling the development of a dichotomous key for identification of Scutellonema spp. The implications of these results are discussed.

Leah E. Vang, Charles H. Opperman, Michael R. Schwarz and Eric L. Davis

Spirotetramat (Movento™, Bayer CropScience) (SPT), an effective insecticide, has also demonstrated potential activity as a nematicide. No significant effects on hatching rates of Caenorhabditis elegans, Meloidogyne incognita or Heterodera glycines were observed when eggs were soaked in a maximum concentration of 105 ppm of technical grade spirotetramat-enol (SPT-enol), the active form in plants. Synchronised first-stage juveniles of C. elegans soaked in SPT-enol concentrations as low as 30 ppm demonstrated arrested juvenile development with calculated EC95 of 44-48 ppm. Single applications of formulated SPT (Movento 240SC) were applied to plant foliage at the labelled insecticidal rate of 87.6 g a.s. ha−1 at 1-week intervals on soybean plants inoculated with H. glycines or tomato plants inoculated with M. incognita in glasshouse tests. SPT consistently inhibited nematode development to reproductive maturity when applied at 1-2 weeks after inoculation. Optimal SPT application timings coincide with early stages of root infection, when nematodes are still in vulnerable juvenile stages.

Jörg A. Ott, Nikolaus Leisch and Harald R. Gruber-Vodicka

Eubostrichus fertilis sp. n. is described from fine subtidal sands in the Belize Barrier Reef system using LM and SEM illustrations and the sequence of the 18S rRNA gene. The new species is one of the smallest (mature specimens ranging from 1.88 to 3.03 mm) and the stoutest (a = 36-80) of all previously described Eubostrichus species. The closest relatives are E. parasitiferus and E. hopperi. It differs from the former in the more posterior position of the vulva and the postanal porids, and from the latter in the smaller size of the amphids, the shorter cephalic setae and the shape of the tail. Furthermore, it is remarkable for the prominent extent of the female genital system. Females have up to 18 eggs of similar size in their uteri. The body of the worm is covered by large (up to 45 μm long) crescent-shaped bacteria attached with both poles to the cuticle of the worm in a spiral pattern. The genus Eubostrichus is phylogenetically well supported on the basis of the 18S rRNA gene sequence. Eubostrichus gerlachi nom. nov. (= E. parasitiferus apud Gerlach, 1963 nec Chitwood, 1936) is proposed.