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Hybridization and Phylogeny of the Pine Wood Nematode (b uRsaphelenchus Spp.)

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Reciprocal crosses were made between the following four strains of the pine wood nematode (Bursaphelenchus spp.) : i) a strain of B. xylophilus (rounded tail or "R" form); ii) a strain of B. mucronatus (mucronate tail or "M" form), both from Japan; iii) a French strain morphobiometrically identical to B. mucronatus and found in declining Pinus pinaster in the Landes forest; iv) a strain isolated from Abies balsamea in Minnesota (U.S.A.), also resembling B. mucronatus but shown by Wingfield et al. (1983) to hybridize with B. xylophilus and not with B. mucronatus. The results confirm the reproductive isolation of B. mucronatus and B. xylophilus. The French strain gives fertile hybrids with both B. mucronatus and with B. xylophilus; it also gives fertile hybrids with the strain from Minnesota when the parents are left with the F1, but not when they are separated from it. The hypothesis is forwarded that the Japanese and American strains of the pine wood nematodes have derived from a common stock from Western Europe, with existing populations now forming a "circle of species" (Ticehurst, 1938) which has been closed by the introduction of the American strain in Japan. A Supraspecies is proposed to include the existing populations of the pine wood nematode.

Affiliations: 1: Station de Recherches de Nématologie et de Génétique moléculaire des Invertébrés, INRA, B.P. 2078, 06606 Antibes, France


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