Morphological and molecular characterisation of Panagrellus spp. (Cephalobina: Panagrolaimidae): Taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships

S. Patricia Stock, Steven A. Nadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The genus Panagrellus currently comprises 12 known species. These nematodes have a worldwide distribution and have been found in a variety of habitats such as slime flux, thermal springs, insect frass and spoiled cider. Diagnosis of Panagrellus species is rather problematic since few morphological features can be used to discriminate between species and the original publications do not indicate the number of specimens measured and lack standard descriptions of variance. In this study we review the taxonomic status of several species from this genus combining classical morphological data and molecular sequences. Eleven live isolates and fixed material from currently available type specimens representing six Panagrellus species were included. Morphological analysis included the examination of qualitative and quantitative characters of males and females. The taxonomic utility of morphometric data was evaluated by means of multivariate statistics (principal component and canonical discriminant analyses). Phylogenetic inference was based on analysis of nucleotide sequences from the LSU rDNA gene and morphological characters. Parsimony tree topologies inferred from nucleotide datasets strongly supported monophyly of the P. dubius isolates, but not the P. redivivus isolates. Phylogenetic interpretation of these rDNA sequence data suggests that both the P. redivivus and P. dubius isolates each include more than a single species. Only two of the 15 morphological characters evaluated were variable within the ingroup taxa. A long spicule bifurcation length maps on the combined evidence trees as a putative synapmorphy for P. dubius, whereas male D% was homoplastic within isolates of that species. The diagnosis of the genus Panagrellus is emended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-938
Number of pages18
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • 28S rDNA
  • Evolutionary relationships
  • Free-living nematodes
  • Molecular
  • Morphology
  • Phylogeny
  • Systematics
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Morphological and molecular characterisation of Panagrellus spp. (Cephalobina: Panagrolaimidae): Taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this