On the species status of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne ulmi Palmisano & Ambrogioni, 2000 (Nematoda, Meloidogynidae)
OPEN ZooKeys | 24 Dec 2013
M Ahmed, BT van de Vossenberg, C Cornelisse and G Karssen
The root-knot nematode Meloidogyne ulmi is synonymised with Meloidogyne mali based on morphological and morphometric similarities, common hosts, as well as biochemical similarities at both protein and DNA levels. M. mali was first described in Japan on Malus prunifolia Borkh.; and M. ulmi in Italy on Ulmus chenmoui W.C. Cheng. Morphological and morphometric studies of their holo- and paratypes revealed important similarities in the major characters as well as some general variability in a few others. Host test also showed that besides the two species being able to parasitize the type hosts of the other, they share some other common hosts. Our study of the esterase and malate dehydrogenase isozyme phenotypes of some M. ulmi populations gave a perfectly comparable result to that already known for M. mali. Finally, phylogenetic studies of their SSU and LSU rDNA sequence data revealed that the two are not distinguishable at DNA level. All these put together, leave strong evidences to support the fact that M. ulmi is not a valid species, but a junior synonym of M. mali. Brief discussion on the biology and life cycle of M. mali is given. An overview of all known hosts and the possible distribution of M. mali in Europe are also presented.
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