Microsatellite variation in the pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Steiner and Buhrer) Nickle in South Korea

Jongwoo Jung, Hyeiim Han, Sung Hee Ryu, Won Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is the causative agent of pine wilt disease, which has caused heavy economic losses to the South Korean forest industry. In this study, we investigated the genetic variation among South Korean pinewood nematodes using newly developed micro-satellite loci. In order to ensure sufficient templates for the amplification of multiple loci required for individual identification, we employed an amplifying step of restricted fragments during the microsatellite development procedure. We found atypical genetic patterns in this non-native pest species: high allelic diversity and population structure. The large number of alleles may be the result of continuous and/or large-scaled introduction, which apparently went unnoticed before the first official report of pine wilt disease in Korea in 1998, or may come from gene pools of closely related species through genetic introgression after hybridization. Ecological properties of this species, such as a vector-mediated life cycle, may have contributed to ITS population structure, which may be enhanced by governmental efforts to prevent dispersal of this disease. As a geographic population structure was not observed, geographic patterns of genetic variation appear to be more affected by anthropogenic mediation than by natural dispersion through vector insects. And genotypes of Korean populations were compared to genotypes found in neighboring countries such as China and Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalGenes and Genomics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Bursaphelenchus xylophilus
  • Microsatellites
  • Pine wilt disease
  • Pinewood nematode
  • South Korea


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