Species Delimitation and Description of Mesocriconema nebraskense n. sp.(Nematoda: Criconematidae), a Morphologically Cryptic, Parthenogenetic Species from North American Grasslands


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Journal of Nematology

Society of Nematologists

Subject: Life Sciences


ISSN: 0022-300X
eISSN: 2640-396X





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VOLUME 49 , ISSUE 1 (March 2017) > List of articles

Species Delimitation and Description of Mesocriconema nebraskense n. sp.(Nematoda: Criconematidae), a Morphologically Cryptic, Parthenogenetic Species from North American Grasslands


Keywords : biogeography, cryptic species, nematode distribution, network analysis, plant-parasitic nematodes, tallgrass prairies,
, phylogeny.

Citation Information : Journal of Nematology. Volume 49, Issue 1, Pages 42-66, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/jofnem-2017-045

License : (CC BY 4.0)

Received Date : 25-January-2017 / Published Online: 21-July-2017



Nematode surveys of North American grasslands conducted from 2010 to 2015 frequently recovered a species of criconematid nematode morphologically resembling Mesocriconema curvatum. These specimens were recovered from remnant native prairies in the central tallgrass ecoregion of North America, and not from surrounding agroecosystems. Historical records indicate that M. curvatum is a cosmopolitan species feeding on a wide range of agronomic and native plants. DNA barcoding indicates North American grasslands contain at least 10 phylogenetically distinct lineages of Mesocriconema that resemble, but are not, M. curvatum. Analysis of the two most common lineages reveals two distinctly different population structures. The variation in population structure suggests unique evolutionary histories associated with their diversification. These two major lineages share a sympatric distribution and their slight morphological differences contrast with a high level of genetic separation. Based on their genetic divergence, fixed diagnostic nucleotides, population structure, species delimitation metrics, and a sympatric distribution, we believe that one of these distinct lineages warrants formal nomenclatural recognition. Herein, we provide formal recognition for Mesocriconema nebraskense n. sp. and discuss its relationship to other Mesocriconema lineages discovered in native North American grasslands.`

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