Reniform nematodes of the genus Rotylenchulus are semi-endoparasites of numerous herba-ceous and woody plant roots that occur largely in regions with temperate, subtropical, and tropical climates. In this study, we compared 12 populations of Rotylenchulus borealis and 16 populations of Rotylenchulus macrosoma, including paratypes deposited in nematode collections, confirming that morphological characters between both nematode species do not support their separation. In ad-dition, analysis of molecular markers using nuclear ribosomal DNA (28S, ITS1) and mitochondrial DNA (coxI) genes, as well as phylogenetic approaches, confirmed the synonymy of R. macrosoma with R. borealis. This study also demonstrated that R. borealis (= macrosoma) from Israel has two distinct rRNA gene types in the genome, specifically the two types of D2-D3 (A and B). We provide a global geographical distribution of the genus Rotylenchulus. The two major pathogenic species (Rotylenchulus reniformis and Rotylenchulus parvus) showed their close relationship with warmer areas with high annual mean temperature, maximum temperature of the warmest month, and minimum temperature of the coldest month. The present study confirms the extraordinary morphological and molecular diversity of R. borealis in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East and comprises a paradigmatic example of remarkable flexibility of ecological requirements within reniform nematodes.
- Bayesian inference
- Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1
- D2-D3 expansion domains of 28S rRNA gene