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Zoolog Sci. 2008 Aug;25(8):861-73. doi: 10.2108/zsj.25.861.

First report of parthenogenesis in the genus Bursaphelenchus Fuchs, 1937: a description of Bursaphelenchus okinawaensis sp. nov. isolated from Monochamus maruokai (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).

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  • 1Forest Pathology Laboratory, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Ibaraki, Japan.


An evolutionarily interesting nematode, Bursaphelenchus okinawaensis sp. nov., is described and illustrated. The new species has several characteristic morphological traits, i.e., four lateral lines in both sexes, lack of a vulval flap in females, and a triangular spicule shape and stout P4 caudal papillae in males, and characteristic biological traits, including phoretic association with Monochamus maruokai, a species of longhorn beetle, parthenogenetic reproduction, and a high frequency of dauer production. Bursaphelenchus okinawaensis sp. nov. shares several important traits with various phylogenetic groups within the genus. The new species shares its spicule shape with B. hellenicus and B. hofmanni. It shares four lateral lines, P4 caudal papillar structure (size and position), and female vulval shape with the 'hunti' group, although it was molecularly inferred to be phylogenetically closer to the 'xylophilus' group and B. africanus. The autapomorphic traits of B. okinawaensis sp. nov. are parthenogenetic reproduction and high frequency of dauer production. All other nominal Bursaphelenchus nematodes have bisexual reproduction and tightly synchronized dauer production. The unique morphological and biological traits of B. okinawaensis sp. nov. suggest genetic flexibility within the genus. The importance of the morphology and arrangement of the caudal papillae is discussed relative to the phylogeny of the genus.

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