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Use of Sex Pheromones in the Taxonomic Differentiation of Bursaphelenchus Spp. (Nematoda), Pathogens of Pine Trees

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For more content, see Nematology.

Intraspecific chemical communication between individuals of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus and B. mucronatus was examined in the laboratory. Males of B. xylophilus and B. mucronatus were attracted to their respective homospecific females. Males of B. mucronatus were not attracted to B. xylophilus females, and B. xylophilus males were not attracted to B. mucronatus females. This behaviour of B. xylophilus and B. mucronatus is considered to be a response to sex pheromones released by the respective females. Neither B. xylophilus nor B. mucronatus were attracted to chemicals released by B. fraudulentus or Aphelenchoides rhyntium. The species specific nature of the behavioural responses of these nematodes support the concept that B. xylophilus and B. mucronatus are distinct species.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6


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