Rapid identification of cyst (Heterodera spp., Globodera spp.) and root-knot (Meloidogyne spp.) nematodes on the basis of ITS2 sequence variation detected by PCR-single-strand conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) in cultures and field samples

J P Clapp, C D van der Stoel, W H van der Putten
Molecular Ecology 2000, 9 (9): 1223-32
Cyst and root-knot nematodes show high levels of gross morphological similarity. This presents difficulties for the study of their ecology in natural ecosystems. In this study, cyst and root-knot nematode species, as well as some ectoparasitic nematode species, were identified using the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) sequence variation detected by polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP). The ITS2 region was sufficiently variable within the taxa investigated to allow species to be separated on the basis of minor sequence variation. The PCR primers used in this study were effective for 12 species with three genera within the Heteroderinae (Globodera pallida, G. rostochiensis, Heterodera arenaria/avenae, H. ciceri, H. daverti, H. hordecalis, H. mani, H. schachtii, H. trifolii, Meloidogyne ardenensis, M. duytsi and M. maritima). However, pathotypes of Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis could not be distinguished. The method was tested at two coastal dune locations in The Netherlands (one in the lime-poor dunes of the north and one in calcareous dunes of the south) to determine the population structure of cyst nematodes. At each site, cyst nematodes were associated with three plant species: two plant species on the foredune (Elymus farctus and Ammophila arenaria) and one plant species occurring further inland (Calamagrostis epigejos). Two species of cyst nematodes, H. arenaria and H. hordecalis, were found. H. arenaria associated with vigorous A. arenaria and H. hordecalis in association with degenerating A. arenaria and C. epigejos. The field survey demonstrated that in coastal dunes abiotic factors may be the important affecting the distribution of cyst nematodes.

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