The rDNA internal transcribed spacer region as a taxonomic marker for nematodes

T. O. Powers, T. C. Todd, A. M. Burnell, P. C.B. Murray, C. C. Fleming, A. L. Szalanski, B. A. Adams, T. S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Scopus citations


The ITS region from a wide taxonomic range of nematodes, including secernentean and adcnophorcan taxa, and free-living, entomopathogenic, and plant-parasitic species, was evaluated as a taxonomic marker. Size of the amplified product aided in the initial determination of group membership, and also suggested groups that may require taxonomic reevaluation. Congeneric species often displayed identically sized ITS regions, but genera such as Pratylenchus and Tylenchorhynchus had species with large differences in size. ITS heterogeneity in individuals and populations was identified in several nematode taxa. PCR-RFLP of ITSI is advocated as a method of taxonomic analysis in genera such as Helicotylenchus that contain numerous species with few diagnostic morphological characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-450
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nematology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1997


  • Diagnosis
  • Genetics
  • ITS
  • Internal transcribed spacer region
  • Molecular ecology
  • Nematode
  • Systematics
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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