The genus Pristionchus (Kreis, 1932) consists of more than 30 soil nematode species that are often found in association with scarab beetles. Three major radiations have resulted in the “maupasi species group” in America, the “pacificus species group” in Asia, and the “lheritieri species group,” which contains species from Europe and Asia. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that a group of three species, including the gonochorists P. elegans and P. bucculentus and the hermaphrodite P. fissidentatus, is basal to the above-mentioned radiations. Two novel species are described here: Pristionchus paulseni sp. n. from Taiwan and P. yamagatae sp. n. from Japan by means of morphology, morphometrics and genome-wide transcriptome sequence analysis. Previous phylotranscriptomic analysis of the complete Pristionchus genus recognized P. paulseni sp. n. as the sister species of P. fissidentatus, and thus its importance for macro-evolutionary studies. Specifically, the gonochorist P. paulseni sp. n. and the hermaphrodite P. fissidentatus form a species pair that is the sister group to all other described Pristionchus species. P. paulseni sp. n. has two distinct mouth forms, supporting the notion that the mouth dimorphism is ancestral in the genus Pristionchus.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other