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Separation of Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida (Tylenchida: Heteroderidae) using morphology and morphometrics

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Two Globodera rostochiensis and two G. pallida populations (pure and mixed) were analysed by identification methods based on morphology/morphometrics. To assess the accuracy of the identification, PCR analysis was performed on the same specimens. The investigation comprised juveniles, cysts and males. Seven of the most commonly used morphological/morphometric characters were examined: stylet length, length of stylet shaft plus knobs and stylet knob shape of second-stage juveniles; number of cuticular ridges between anus and vulval basin, distance between anus and vulval basin and Granek's ratio of cysts; and spicule shape of males. Altogether, 480 specimens were analysed and assessed. There were statistically significant differences between means of the G. rostochiensis and G. pallida populations in most characters and, in part, between populations of the same species. However, no individual morphological-morphometric character proved to be discriminant for species determination as in all cases there was a large overlap. A statistical discriminant analysis showed that with our populations, the values of a commonly used table of characters for separation of the two species had to be adjusted in order to produce the break points. By judging more than one character, the identification process could be considerably improved, suggesting the possibility of designing a computerised expert system.


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