Intraspecific Variability of Rotylenchulus reniformis from Cotton-growing Regions in the United States

  • Paula Agudelo
  • Robert T. Robbins
  • James McD. Stewart
  • Allen L. Szalanski
Keywords: cotton, genetic variation, morphometrics, reniform nematode, reproductive index, ribosomal dna, rotylenchulus reniformis


Reniform nematode (Rotylenchulus reniformis) is a major pest of cotton in the southeastern United States. The objective of this study was to examine the variation of reniform nematode populations from cotton-growing locations in the United States where it is prevalent. Multivariate analysis of variance and discriminant analysis were used to determine the variability of morphology in males and immature females. Reproduction indices of populations were measured on selected soybean and cotton genotypes in the greenhouse. High variability in morphometrics and reproduction was observed within all the populations, and several differences were found among populations. DNA sequences of the nuclear ribosomal first internal transcribed spacer region (ITS1) were compared among populations from the United States and to sequences of populations from Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, and Japan. No polymorphic nucleotide sites were observed among the amphimictic populations. Only a parthenogenic population from Japan was distinct. The phenotypic polymorphism of the species in the United States could impact the effectiveness of management strategies based on host plant resistance.