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Molecular and morphological observations on Parasitodiplogaster sycophilon Poinar, 1979 (Nematoda: Diplogastrina) associated with Ficus burkei in Africa

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A Parasitodiplogaster sp. was isolated from syconia of Ficus burkei from Pretoria, South Africa, and determined to be conspecific with P. sycophilon, originally described by Poinar in 1979 from Harare, Zimbabwe, and also from F. burkei. Examination of type material of P. sycophilon revealed inaccuracies in the former description necessitating a redescription which is provided herein. Additionally, the original description lacked molecular data, which is also provided. Originally, the stoma of P. sycophilon was described as reduced without teeth. However, we observed a large dorsal stegostomal tooth and an almost equally-sized right subventral tooth which was typologically similar to the stoma of P. laeviagata from Florida. In addition, a pore-like phasmid was observed in both males and females just above the tail tip. Most other characters were as formerly described. Based upon molecular inferences from sequences of the D2/D3 expansion segments of the rDNA of the large subunit (LSU), P. sycophilon is not clearly defined relative to the neotropical Parasitodiplogaster species that have been described and sequenced from figs in the Section Urostigma, Subsection Americana (i.e., P. laevigata, P. popenema, P. citrinema, and P. trigonema), or to P. australis from Australia ex. F. virens (Section Urostigma, Subsection Urostigma), or to P. maxinema from neotropical figs from the Section Pharmacosycea, Subsection Pharmacosycea. Further work is needed to elucidate the molecular phylogeny of the Parasitodiplogaster lineages that may have co-speciated with the African figs of the Section Urostigma, Subsection Galoglychia.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Genetics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa; 2: 4Nematode Assay Section, Agronomic Division, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, 4300 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA; 3: 3Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida-IFAS, 3205 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7719, USA


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