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Bursaphelenchus fagi sp. n. (Nematoda: Parasitaphelenchidae), an insect-pathogenic nematode in the Malpighian tubules of the bark beetle, Taphrorychus bicolor (Herbst.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae), in European beech, Fagus silvatica L.

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Bursaphelenchus fagi sp. n. is described from the bark of European beech, Fagus silvatica. All propagative stages of the nematode are numerous in larval galleries of the beech bark beetle, Taphrorychus bicolor, while dauer juveniles aggregate in Malpighian tubules of adult beetles. The new species is characterised by the body length of 871 (763-1110) μm in female and 852 (718-992) μm in male, very slender body (a = 56.8 (50.4-67.1) and 64.5 (56.5-73.8) in female and male, respectively), and spicules 15.2 (14.0-17.0) μm long. The extended anterior vulval lip in female, lateral fields with four incisures, and number (7) and arrangement of male caudal papillae may indicate that B. fagi sp. n. is closely related to the xylophilus group. It differs from this group by the relatively small, claw-like spicules with narrow capitulum, indistinct condylus in almost continuous line with dorsal lamina, and lack of distinct cucullus at the spicule tip. The close relation of B. fagi sp. n. with the xylophilus group has been confirmed by DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the 28S rDNA region. Bursaphelenchus fagi sp. n. most closely resembles B. tokyoensis and B. idius, but can be separated by differences in the arrangement of the male caudal papillae, a unique feature for each species. The taxonomic separation of the new species is also confirmed by the unique molecular profile of the ITS region (ITS-RFLP). The mass presence of dauer juveniles of B. fagi sp. n. in Malpighian tubules of adult T. bicolor leads to degradation of the tubule cellular epithelium and local expansion of its basement membrane. These changes clearly indicate direct pathogenicity of the nematode to its vector insect. In laboratory rearing, B. fagi sp. n. can grow and reproduce on Botryotinia fuckeliana cultures.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Pest Control, Institute of Plant Protection, Wladyslawa Wegorka 20, 60-318 Poznan, Poland


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