Approaches in Nematode Taxonomy                                                                                                                                                            Rev. 11/13

Excerpted from a lecture by Philippe Castagnone-Serena INRA/University of Nice, France (ONTA meeting, La Serena, Chile, 2013)

Accurate species-level identification is essential for implementation of management strategies of plant-parasitic species.  Several approaches are available, each with advantages and constraints:


                The traditional approach


o   There is not huge diversity among nematodes

o   There is intraspecific variation in virulence and biology

o   The approach is time consuming requiring multiple measurements of multiple individuals

o   Requires specific skills and training


                Including antibodies, ELISA tests and isoenzymes


o   Known patterns are limited to a few genera

o   Depends on high quality of proteins

DNA-based Technologies

                Techniques that probably originated with Curran et al (1988) with use of RFLPs and have expanded with developments in technology.

                Evolving Methods:

o   Real-time PCR – portable equipment available, 90-minute process.

o   LAMP – loop-mediated isothermal amplification, requires <1 hour.

o   Barcoding – based on mithochondrial DNA or Ribosomal DNA

o   Barcode of Life project currently has 1600 barcodes available.

Integrated Taxonomy

                Requirements for future development of Nematode Systematics.

o   Need morphological, morphometric and biological taxonomy to delineate ‘species” boundaries, at whatever level of difference is considered sufficient or useful as a category designation.

o   The need to establish and assign a taxonomic binomial to a molecular signature.


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