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Redescription of four species of North American Bursaphelenchus Fuchs, 1937 (Nematoda: Parasitaphelenchinae) from Massey's type material

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The type specimens of four Bursaphelenchus species described by Massey, i.e., B. tritrunculus, B. willi, B. scolyti and B. maxbassiensis, were re-examined and photo-documented to update the descriptions in the light of a contemporary understanding of the genus. Detailed spicule morphology, lateral field (probably with two lines), hemizonid and a three-celled structure at the uterus-postuterine sac junction of females were observed for B. tritrunculus, all features not originally described. Based on spicule and vulval structure, B. tritrunculus is hypothesised to be related to the 'hunti' group of the genus. The type material of B. willi was in poor condition and several morphological features have been lost, although variation of excretory pore position and additional features of spicule morphology were observed and described. Bursaphelenchus willi is a morphologically atypical species within the genus. With only two pairs of male caudal papillae and an inconspicuous narrow 'bursa', it appears typologically similar to the Cryptaphelenchus lineage, although females have a functional rectum and anus. Re-isolation and molecular characterisation are needed to help define the precise status of this species. The spicule morphology of B. scolyti was different from the original description, the species being similar to several European species. Bursaphelenchus scolyti shares several morphological and biological characters with B. xerokarterus, i.e., spicule and female tail morphology and host (vector) insect. Re-isolation of B. xerokarterus and comparisons between it and B. scolyti are necessary to assess possible conspecificity. Three females and several juveniles of B. maxbassiensis were available for examination. It has unusual lip and stylet morphology and an anteriorly located excretory pore. The inconspicuous rectum and anus are similar to some other genera of aphelench. The precise phylogenetic position of B. maxbassiensis was not confirmed, partly because male specimens were not available. Re-isolation and wider comparisons involving molecular phylogenetic inferences, i.e., with other aphelench genera, are necessary.

Affiliations: 1: Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS, 3205 College Avenue, Davie, FL 33314, USA, Forest Pathology Laboratory, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan;, Email:; 2: Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS, 3205 College Avenue, Davie, FL 33314, USA


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