We determined the complete mitochondrial genome sequences for Bursaphelenchus mucronatus, one species of pinewood nematode. The genome is a circular-DNA molecule of 14,583. bp (195. bp smaller than its congener Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) and contains 12 protein-coding genes (lacking atp8), 22 tRNA genes, and 2 rRNA genes encoded in the same direction, consistent with most other nematodes. Based on sequence comparison of mtDNA genomes, we developed a PCR-based molecular assay to differentiate B. xylophilus (highly pathogenic) and B. mucronatus (relatively less virulent) using species-specific primers. The molecular identification system employs multiplex-PCR and is very effective and reliable for discriminating these Bursaphelenchus species, which are economically important, but difficult to distinguish based on morphology. The comparison of the mitochondrial genomes and molecular identification system of the two species of Bursaphelenchus spp. should provide a rich source of genetic information to support the effective control and management (quarantine) of the pine wilt disease caused by pinewood nematodes.
- Bursaphelenchus mucronatus
- Bursaphelenchus xylophilus
- Complete mitochondrial genome
- Molecular identification
- Multiplex PCR