In this study, we provide morphological and molecular characterisation of three known species of the Criconematoidea, namely Criconema cylindraceum, Paratylenchus alleni and P. steineri, recovered from Iran. Descriptions, morphometric data, drawings and photomicrographs are provided, and comparisons are made with closely related species. Phylogenetic analysis using the D2-D3 expansion segments of the 28S rRNA gene revealed that C. cylindraceum formed a cluster with Ogma decalineatus, a species with a similar head structure, but with differences in cuticle ornamentation, tail shape and morphometric characters. Moreover, P. alleni grouped with species of Paratylenchus having four lateral lines and a short stylet (< 40 μm), exceptionally including the unresolved P. straeleni, while P. steineri formed a clade with long stylet species, including P. teres and P. wuae. The taxonomic placement of C. cylindraceum in Criconema, rather than in Criconemoides, is justified, and P. teres is molecularly differentiated from P. steineri, the two species differing in having or lacking a stylet in the fourth-stage juvenile.
The second population of Pratylenchoides riparius, including females and males, is described and illustrated based upon morphological, morphometric and molecular data. The present population from Iran is characterised by some differences with the type population of the species from Hungary in stylet length (24-26 vs 21-22 μm), slightly longer body (1002-1230 vs 830-960 μm), pharynx (202-211 vs 182-190 μm) and tail (64-85 vs 48-57 μm), areolated outer bands of the lateral field (vs non-areolated), widening of the lateral field near tail terminus (vs lateral incisures connecting each other) and presence of males (vs absent). The taxonomic status of the species with regarding the data from the type and presently recovered population, as well as the closely similar species is discussed. The newly recovered population was studied based upon its molecular phylogenetic charactes using the D2-D3 of 28S rRNA and the partial 18S rRNA gene sequences and the results revealed that it forms a clade with P. magnicauda in 28S, but occupies a distant placement from it in 18S phylogeny.
An undescribed species from the rhizosphere of tamarisk, Tamarix passerinoides, Telotylenchus tamariscus n. sp., is illustrated and described based on morphological, morphometric and molecular approaches. The new species is characterised by female characters including body size of ca 1 mm, areolated lateral fields, cephalic region rounded, distinctly set off from the body contour, stylet 19.5 (18.5-20.5) μm long with posteriorly directed basal knobs, pharyngeal glands overlapping intestine dorso-laterally, subcylindrical tail bearing 32 (25-37) cuticular annuli and ending in an annulated terminus, and male spicules and gubernaculum 27 (25-29) and 13 (12.5-14.5) μm long, respectively. Morphologically, our population comes close to several known species of the genus, including T. avaricus, T. aerolatus, T. indicus, T. ventralis, T. paaloofi and T. namibiensis. In the 18S rRNA phylogenetic tree, it occupied a phylogenetic position in close affinity with two sequences of T. ventralis. In the 28S rRNA tree, the genus Telotylenchus did not form a monophyletic group, our isolate clustering with an unknown population of Histotylenchus and four isolates of Tylenchorhynchus mediterraneus in a clade well separated from another clade that included three other isolates tentatively named as Telotylenchus sp.
A new species of Coslenchus from north-western Iran is illustrated and described using morphological, morphometric and molecular data. Coslenchus persicus n. sp. is characterised by a medium-sized body of 694-810 μm, often 18 (seldom 20-22) longitudinal ridges excluding lateral field, head with four distinct annuli, stylet 9.6-10.8 μm long, pharyngeal basal bulb large and cylindrical, spermatheca offset and ovate, without sperm, vulval flaps extending for two annuli, 5-7 μm in length, tail striated with finely to bluntly rounded tip, 110-153 μm long and without males. The new species comes close to C. assamensis, C. diversus, C. japonicus, C. leiocephalus, C. maritus, C. multigyrus, C. paramaritus, C. pastor, and C. polonicus, but can be distinguished from all by differences in body length, stylet length and shape of basal bulb, post-vulval uterine sac, tail and certain morphometric data. Molecular data are provided for the characterisation of the new species using ribosomal genes (18S and 28S rRNA). In the 18S rRNA tree, the new species was placed in a clade including one isolate of Coslenchus sp. from Iran. In the reconstructed 28S rRNA phylogenetic tree, C. persicus n. sp. clustered with other known Coslenchus species.
We present a copper alloy statuette confiscated by the Iranian security forces in the surroundings of Jiroft (Kerman, Iran) with other artifacts of the 3rd millennium B.C. Its iconography is discussed with synthetic reviews of selected snake-related iconographic themes in coeval ancient Mesopotamia, Iran, and southern Central Asia. Two micro-fragments, analyzed by ESEM, revealed the alloy and an unusual decorative treatment of its surface. The statuette hints at an important mythological or religious identity so far unknown.
Thirteen species of Pratylenchidae: Pratylenchus coffeae, P. delattrei, P. loosi, P. neglectus, P. penetrans, P. pseudopratensis, P. thornei, P. vulnus, Pratylenchus sp., Pratylenchoides alkani, P. ritteri, Hirschmanniella sp. and Zygotylenchus guevarai were collected from different crops and plants throughout Iran. The specimens were identified using morphological and molecular methods. Morphometrics and morphology are given for Pratylenchus sp., P. delattrei, Pratylenchoides alkani and Hirschmanniella sp. The D2-D3 expansion segments of the 28S rRNA gene were amplified and sequenced for all 13 species studied. Diagnostic PCR-ITS-RFLP profiles are given for Pratylenchus delattrei, P. penetrans, P. pseudopratensis, Pratylenchus sp., Pratylenchoides alkani and P. ritteri. Pratylenchus neglectus and P. thornei, collected from cereal fields, P. loosi from tea plantations, P. coffeae from banana, P. penetrans from ornamental plants, P. vulnus from pines and Z. guevarai from almonds showed a high level of similarity in the D2-D3 sequences with corresponding GenBank sequences. Nucleotide differences between Iranian populations and reference species were in the intraspecific range. Pratylenchus delattrei, found in vegetable fields, and Pratylenchus sp. from palm rhizosphere, formed a highly supported clade with P. zeae, the two former species being morphologically very close to the latter except in tail shape. Pratylenchus pseudopratensis, from cereal fields, clustered with P. vulnus with low support. Phylogenetic relationships within Pratylenchus species were mainly congruent with those obtained in previous studies. Despite the morphological similarities between P. ritteri and P. alkani, the D2-D3 of 28S rRNA gene sequences differed by 5 bp. Hirschmanniella sp., from a rice field, formed a clade with H. loofi and H. kwazuna.
The genus Pratylenchoides has recently been transferred from the family Pratylenchidae to Merliniidae. To investigate further the relationship between these ‘Pratylenchus-like’ species (residing in the subfamily Pratylenchoidinae) and the subfamily Merliniinae, more than 500 soil samples were collected from various natural and agronomic habitats in the northern and north-western provinces of Iran. In this study, paratypes or populations of 22 species of Pratylenchoides, including the Iranian populations of P. alkani, P. crenicauda, P. erzurumensis, P. laticauda, P. nevadensis, P. ritteri and an undescribed species, were studied. Intra- and interspecies variation of the following characters were investigated: position of the pharyngeal gland nuclei, shape of female and male head, striation of female tail terminus, number of lateral lines at mid-body and in phasmid region for females, presence of intestinal fasciculi, and shape of sperm. Combining morphological and molecular data prompted us to propose two clusters of related Pratylenchoides species. One cluster includes P. crenicauda, P. variabilis and P. erzurumensis, whereas the second cluster consists of P. alkani, P. nevadensis and P. ritteri. Our data point to a sister positioning of P. magnicauda vis-à-vis all Pratylenchoides species included in this research. Analyses of SSU rDNA (for family and subfamily relationships) and partial LSU rDNA sequences (for intrageneric relationships) data revealed: i) the distal and nested positioning of all Pratylenchoidinae within the Merliniidae; ii) the single transition from ectoparasitism to migratory endoparasitism within the family Merliniidae corresponds with the current subfamily partitioning; and iii) support for the monophyletic nature of the genus Pratylenchoides.
Neolobocriconema iranense sp. n. is described from a forest in Iran. Females of N. iranense sp. n. are characterised by having a body length of 453 (371-569) μm, 78-87.5 μm long stylet, presence of a single lip annulus of smaller diam. than the adjacent body annulus and which has a smooth margin and four distinct submedian lobes, 37-43 wide, retrorse body annuli with crenate, dentate and lobulate margins, the latter becoming slightly longer on the last few annuli, annuli with numerous longitudinal grooves corresponding with the crenations, vulva without an overhanging dorsal lip and situated on posteriormost three or four annuli, and anus located on the last annulus. The J2 has 12 longitudinal rows of scales and the ?J4 has eight to ten longitudinal rows of broad, irregular scallops. SEM photographs of females are provided. In the presence of a single lip annulus, N. iranense sp. n. comes close to seven of the 13 species in Neolobocriconema. It can, however, be differentiated from them all in characters such as a shorter body length, shorter or longer stylet, different cuticular structures on the annuli, and in the absence of longitudinal rows of scales or scallops.
Six known species belonging to the genus Criconemoides, including some poorly
known ones, are discussed, viz., C. parvus, C. informis, C. mongolensis, C.
avicenniae, C. myungsugae and C. neoaxestis. The three latter species are
reported for the first time since their original description and represent
new records for Iran. Males of C. myungsugae were found for the first time
and are described herein. Additional figures and measurements are provided
for all of the aforementioned species, while SEM photographs,
photomicrographs, illustrations and short notes are given for some of the
species to supplement older or inadequate descriptions.
During a nematological survey of the family Tripylidae, two new and two known species of the genus Tripyla, namely T. paraffinis sp. n., T. parafilicaudata sp. n., T. glomerans and T. setifera, were identified and described from soil samples collected from the rhizosphere of forest trees in northern Iran. Three populations of T. paraffinis sp. n., found in different locations, are described and morphometric data of the type and other populations provided. Tripyla paraffinis sp. n. is characterised by its body length of 1.21-1.89 mm, dorsal tooth wedge-shaped and triangular, short outer labial and cephalic sensilla, tail bent ventrad and gradually tapering to the end, horn-shaped spicules bearing a distinct constriction in the middle, and presence of 16-20 ventromedian supplementary papillae. Tripyla parafilicaudata sp. n. is described and illustrated from four different locations. It is characterised by females with a body length of 1.48-1.95 mm, dorsal tooth hook-shaped, vaginal wall with a downward pointing tooth-like projection in the middle, long outer labial and setiform cephalic sensilla, long tail, sausage-shaped spermatozoa, males with horn-shaped spicules and 11-17 ventromedian supplementary papillae. Tripyla glomerans and T. setifera are new records for the Iranian nematofauna. The results of phylogenetic analyses based on sequences of the partial 18S and D2-D3 expansion segments of 28S rRNA from T. paraffinis sp. n. and T. parafilicaudata sp. n. and other species in the genus clearly support the proposal of T. paraffinis sp. n. and T. parafilicaudata sp. n. as new species, as well as indicating that Tripyla shares a more recent common ancestor with Tobrilus, Tripylella, Prismatolaimus, Diphtherophora and two trichodorids, Trichodorus and Paratrichodorus. The Tripylidae is placed in a main clade within the Triplonchida.