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A synopsis of the genus Bursaphelenchus Fuchs, 1937 (Aphelenchida: Parasitaphelenchidae) with keys to species

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The 75 valid species of the genus Bursaphelenchus are listed together with their synonyms. Diagnostic characters and their states are discussed and illustrated. Tabular and traditional text keys are provided for the genus. Two new subspecies are proposed to distinguish populations of B. piniperdae and B. poligraphi, as described by Rühm (1956), from the original descriptions of these species published by Fuchs (1937). Known records of Bursaphelenchus species with their associated natural vectors, plants and plant families are given. Dendrograms of species relationships (UPGMA, standard distance: mean character difference) based on combined taxonomic characters and also on spicule characters only, are provided. Discussion as to whether the species groups are natural or artificial (and therefore purely diagnostic) is based on their relationships in the dendrogram and the vector and associated plant ranges of the species. Of the six species groups distinguished, two appear to represent natural assemblages, these being the xylophilus-group (with ten species) and the hunti-group (seven species), of which two, B. cocophilus and B. dongguanensis, form the cocophilus-cluster which is separated on the dendrogram from the main clusters. The remaining four species groups appear to be artificial and purely diagnostic in function, namely the aberrans-group (four species); the eidmanni-group (six species); the borealis-group (five species), and the piniperdae-group (43 species). Two new subspecies, both in the piniperdae-group, viz. B. piniperdae ruehmpiniperdae n. subsp. and B. poligraphi ruehmpoligraphi n. subsp., are proposed and diagnosed from B. piniperdae piniperdae and B. poligraphi poligraphi the respective type subspecies. Bursaphelenchus dongguanensis is regarded as being a valid member of the genus and its transfer to Parasitaphelenchus is rejected.


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