Phylogenetic Analyses of Meloidogyne Small Subunit rDNA


  • Irma Tanding De Ley
  • Paul De Ley
  • Andy Vierstraete
  • Garrit Karssen
  • Maurice Moens
  • Jaques Vanfleteren


18s, globodera, meloidogyne spp., nacobbus, nematode, phylogeny, rdna, root-knot nematode, ssu, subanguina, zygotylenchus


Phylogenies were inferred from nearly complete small subunit (SSU) 18S rDNA sequences of 12 species of Meloidogyne and 4 outgroup taxa (Globodera pallida, Nacobbus abberans, Subanguina radicicola, and Zygotylenchus guevarai). Alignments were generated manually from a secondary structure model, and computationally using ClustalX and Treealign. Trees were constructed using distance, parsimony, and likelihood algorithms in PAUP* 4.0b4a. Obtained tree topologies were stable across algorithms and alignments, supporting 3 clades: clade I = [M. incognita (M. javanica, M. arenaria)]; clade II = M. duytsi and M. maritima in an unresolved trichotomy with (M. hapla, M. microtyla); and clade III = (M. exigua (M. graminicola, M. chitwoodi)). Monophyly of [(clade I, clade II) clade III] was given maximal bootstrap support (mbs). M. artiellia was always a sister taxon to this joint clade, while M. ichinohei was consistently placed with mbs as a basal taxon within the genus. Affinities with the outgroup taxa remain unclear, although G. pallida and S. radicicola were never placed as closest relatives of Meloidogyne. Our results show that SSU sequence data are useful in addressing deeper phylogeny within Meloidogyne, and that both M. ichinohei and M. artiellia are credible outgroups for phylogenetic analysis of speciations among the major species.