Pratylenchus smoliki is a new species of root-lesion nematode described from corn-soybean production fields in the Central Great Plains of North America. It is characterized by populations with relatively abundant males, two lip annuli, females with a round functional spermatheca and a conoid to subcylindrical tail with a non-crenate, smooth terminus. In host preference tests, corn and wheat produce the largest nematode populations, whereas sorghum and soybeans produce less than 20% the numbers observed on corn. Scanning electron microscopy reveals that the en face patterns compare to those seen in Pratylenchus pseudocoffeae, P. scribneri, P. hexincisus, and P. alleni. The pattern is described as rectangular to trapezoidal subdorsal and subventral lips adjoining oral disc, but with a clear demarcation between the oral disc and the subdorsal and subventral sectors. A Maximum Likelihood COI tree recognizes P. smoliki as a moderately-well-supported clade with several haplotype subgroups. A Maximum Likelihood partial 28S tree provides strong support for the P. smoliki clade and reinforces the close relationships between species with similar en face patterns. Topotype specimens of P. alleni were demonstrably different from P. smoliki using DNA markers. The geographic range of P. smoliki overlaps with the ranges of P. alleni, P. scribneri, P. neglectus, P. hexicisus, and P. dakotaensis. The observed host range (corn, rye, sunflower, and wheat) suggests that P. smoliki may be native to the tallgrass prairie region of the Great Plains.

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Life Sciences, other