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Molecular diversity of Radopholus similis (Cobb 1913) Thorne (1949) (Nematoda: Pratylenchidae) affecting banana from Costa Rica


Radopholus similis is one of the most important diseases in banana in tropical/subtropical regions worldwide. The knowledge of its molecular diversity in specific areas could help to understand its distribution, ways of expansion, control methods, differential pathogenicity, and sustainable plant breeding programs. This study explores the molecular diversity of R. similis in an extensive survey in banana plantations in Costa Rica using two molecular markers, one genomic (ITS region) and another mitochondrial (COI). The results showed a low molecular variability, being dominated by a prevalent haplotype in both markers. Three haplotypes have been detected for each molecular marker respectively. The haplotypes present in Costa Rica are similar to others found in other areas of Central America (Colombia, Panama) and these haplotypes are also distributed worldwide. These results suggested a unique or limited number of introductions of this pathogen in Central America and a possible expansion within the continent by infected plant material.

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Data availability

R. similis GenBank accession number sequences: ON479314-ON479316 and ON479582-ON479584.


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The authors thank further anonymous reviewers and editors for their effort in reviewing the manuscript and helping to improve this study.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by all authors. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Juan E. Palomares-Rius.

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The authors certify that 1) no special permits were required for the fieldwork investigations, 2) soil samplings did not involve any species endangered or protected in Costa Rica, 3) the soil samples analyzed in this study were obtained farming areas that are not under protection in any way.

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Torres, P.E., Segura, R., Sandoval, J. et al. Molecular diversity of Radopholus similis (Cobb 1913) Thorne (1949) (Nematoda: Pratylenchidae) affecting banana from Costa Rica. Eur J Plant Pathol (2022).

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  • rRNA
  • ITS
  • Burrowing nematode
  • COI