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Description of Schistonchus microcarpus n. sp. (Nematoda: Aphelenchoididae), an associate of Ficus microcarpa in China

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Schistonchus microcarpus n. sp. was recovered from the syconia of Ficus microcarpa from Shenzhen and Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, during a survey of nematode biodiversity from 2007 to 2009. It is characterised by possessing the combined characters of a short post-uterine sac (PUS) (3-11 μm or <0.4 vulval body diam. (VBD) long), excretory pore located just posterior to the head but anterior to the conus level of the stylet, prominent amphids, three pairs of subventral papillae on the male tail (one pair adcloacal, one pair halfway between cloaca and tail terminus, and one pair near tail tip), unique recurved and sickleshaped spicules with finely rounded tip with cucullus, amoeboid sperm, and rounded male tail tip with or without mucron. Schistonchus microcarpus n. sp. is morphologically differentiated from all other described species in this genus by the possession of a spicule with a cucullus on the tip. Schistonchus microcarpus n. sp. was easily differentiated from other sequenced species by the partial small subunit rRNA gene (SSU) and D3 expansion segments of the large subunit rRNA gene (LSU). Phylogenetic analysis with partial SSU sequences suggests that S. microcarpus n. sp. is in a highly supported monophyletic clade with sequenced Schistonchus species except for S. hirtus. Based upon inferences using D3 LSU sequence data, it forms a clade with an undescribed species of Schistonchus ex F. benjamini from Australia and is part of a larger clade of Schistonchus that mostly share the character of an anteriorly placed excretory pore. Sequences of partial mtDNA COI (590 bp) from males of S. microcarpus n. sp. with and without a mucronate tail tip were identical, proving that these two morphotypes are conspecific.

Affiliations: 1: Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering, Department of Plant Protection, Guangzhou 510225, P. R. China; 2: Nematode Assay Section, Agronomic Division, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, 4300 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA; 3: Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida-IFAS, 3205 College Avenue, Davie, FL 33314-7719, USA;, Email:; 4: Guangdong Xin'An Polytechnic, Department of Biotechnology, Shenzhen 5108052, P. R. China; 5: South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Longdong, Guangzhou 510650, P. R. China


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