Discovery and identification of meloidogyne species using COI DNA barcoding

Thomas Powers, Timothy Harris, Rebecca Higgins, Peter Mullin, Kirsten Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


DNA barcoding with a new cytochrome oxidasec subunit 1 primer set generated a 721 to 724 bp fragment used for the identification of 322 Meloidogyne specimens, including 205 new sequences combined with 117 from GenBank. A maximum likelihood analysis grouped the specimens into 19 well-supported clades and four single-specimen lineages. The "major" tropical apomictic species (Meloidogyne arenaria, Meloidogyne incognita, Meloidogyne javanica) were not discriminated by this barcode although some closely related species such as Meloidogyne konaensis were characterized by fixed diagnostic nucleotides. Species that were collected from multiple localities and strongly characterized as discrete lineages or species include Meloidogyne enterolobii, Meloidogyne partityla, Meloidogyne hapla, Meloidogyne graminicola, Meloidogyne naasi, Meloidogyne chitwoodi, and Meloidogyne fallax. Seven unnamed groups illustrate the limitations of DNA barcoding without the benefit of a wellpopulated reference library. The addition of these DNA sequences to GenBank and the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) should stimulate and facilitate root-knot nematode identification and provide a first step in new species discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-412
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Nematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018


  • COI
  • DNA barcoding
  • Meloidogyne
  • Plant parasitic nematodes
  • Root-knot nematodes
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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