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Biological Control
Vol. 37, No. xx, 2006, Pages: 32–49

Biodiversity and systematics of nematode–bacterium entomopathogens

Byron J. Adamsa,*, Andras Fodorb, Heather S. Koppenhöferd, Erko Stackebrandte, S. Patricia Stockf, Michael G. Kleinc

Microbiology and Molecular Biology Department, Evolutionary Ecology Laboratories, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602-5253, USA.


Nematodes are one of the most abundant animals on earth, and bacteria comprise the most biologically and phylogenetically diverse domains of organisms. On at least two separate occasions a soil dwelling nematode and a bacterium have entered into a mutualistic, insecticidal association. From such origins arose two distinct lineages of nematode–bacterium entomopathogens, Steinernema–Xenorhabdus and Heterorhabditis–Photorhabdus. Herein, we present a summary and discussion of the known evolutionary diversity and systematics of these two groups relative to other nematodes and bacteria, and their shared evolutionary history.

Keywords:Biodiversity, Heterorhabditis, Steinernema, Photorhabdus, Xenorhabdus, Taxonomy, Systematics, Evolution, Entomopathogenic nematodes, Mutualism, Symbiosis,taxonomy.

Corresponding author: Fax: +1 801 422 0519

E-mail: bjadams@byu.edu


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