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Title: Pelodera termitis sp. n. and two other rhabditid nematode species associated with the Turkestan termite Anacanthotermes turkestanicus from Uzbekistan

item Carta, Lynn
item Handoo, Zafar
item Lebedeva, N
item Raina, Ashok
item Zhuginisov, T
item Khamraev, A

Submitted to: International Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/5/2010
Publication Date: 12/1/2010
Citation: Carta, L.K., Handoo, Z.A., Lebedeva, N.I., Raina, A.K., Zhuginisov, T.I., Khamraev, A.S. 2010. Pelodera termitis sp. n. and two other rhabditid nematode species associated with the Turkestan termite Anacanthotermes turkestanicus from Uzbekistan. International Journal of Nematology. 20:(2)125-134.

Interpretive Summary: In Central Asia, Turkestan harvester termites damage houses and dead and live trees and shrubs similarly to the Formosan subterranean termite in the United States. The latter invasive insect pest causes almost 2 billion dollars in damage per year in the Southern United States. A major problem for homeowners and foresters worldwide is the lack of environmentally safe termite control. Therefore, a collaboration of scientists from ARS and Uzbekistan looked inside Uzbek termites for microscopic roundworms known as nematodes that could possibly be used as biological control agents against termites in both countries. This paper reports the discovery of two nematode species, one new to science, within sick termites. The report includes measurements, drawings, microscopic photographs, and DNA sequence data from one nematode. Because these live nematodes and termites could not be imported from Uzbekistan, related nematodes were examined for their ability to kill dampwood termites in a Louisiana laboratory. One of the three examined nematode species killed the termites well. The results are significant because these nematodes could be exploited as possible biological control agents for termites. This information will be used by researchers developing methods for termite control.

Technical Abstract: Biological, ecological and faunistic studies were made on two nematodes associated with mortality of the Turkestan termite, Anacanthotermes turkestanicus, in Uzbekistan. One of these is Caenorhabditis anacanthotermiae n. sp., morphologically similar in some regards to beetle-associated C. plicata and Caenorhabditis sp. 3 PS1010, but differing from other species primarily by male spicule and tail ray pattern, stoma features, and female tail shape. Acrobeloides sp. cf. amurensis was a second nematode identified through morphometrics and the D3 region of the large subunit (28S) rDNA. Its sequence was identical to that of a hermaphroditic culture of Acrobeloides sp. cf. amurensis Truskova, 1971 (PS1146), originally from Blythe, California, but with a longer body length and slightly shorter V ratio. In laboratory tests conducted with the damp wood termite Zootermopsis nevadensis workers, cultured specimens of Caenorhabditis sp. 3 and C. plicata caused up to 65% mortality, whereas cultured specimens of Acrobeloides PS1146 caused only 10-15% mortality with no invasion of living termites.