Claudia Nischwitz, Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan 84322;
Zafar A. Handoo, and
Maria N. Hult, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Nematology Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705; and
Mark E. Schmitt and
Michael A. McClure, School of Plant Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson 85721
Several species of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) are known to have significant presence on turfgrass in golf course greens, particularly in the western United States. Nematodes isolated from a golf course in King County, WA were identified as Meloidogyne minor based on analysis of the large ribosomal subunit (LSU 28S D2-D3 expansion segment), the internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 (ITS rDNA), the intergenic spacer region 2 (IGS2), and the nuclear protein-coding gene Hsp90. Sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) primers that were originally designed to be specific for M. fallax were found to cross-react with M. minor. A population from California was determined to be M. fallax based on juvenile tail morphology and analysis of the ribosomal markers and Hsp90, comprising the first report of this species in North America. Using trees based on Hsp90 genomic alignments, the phylogenetic relationships of these populations and known root-knot nematode species were congruent with previous trees based on ribosomal genes. Resolution of M. fallax and M. chitwoodi using Hsp90 was equivalent to species separation obtained with 28S or 18S rDNA alignments. The strengths and weaknesses of ribosomal and Hsp90 markers, and the use of SCAR polymerase chain reaction as diagnostic tools are discussed.