PCR-ribotyping of Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus isolates from the Caribbean region in relation to the taxonomy and geographic distribution of their nematode hosts

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Nov;64(11):4246-54. doi: 10.1128/AEM.64.11.4246-4254.1998.


The genetic diversity of symbiotic Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus bacteria associated with entomopathogenic nematodes was examined by a restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes (rDNAs). A total of 117 strains were studied, most of which were isolated from the Caribbean basin after an exhaustive soil sampling. The collection consisted of 77 isolates recovered from entomopathogenic nematodes in 14 Caribbean islands and of 40 reference strains belonging to Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus spp. collected at various localities worldwide. Thirty distinctive 16S rDNA genotypes were identified, and cluster analysis was used to distinguish the genus Xenorhabdus from the genus Photorhabdus. The genus Xenorhabdus appears more diverse than the genus Photorhabdus, and for both genera the bacterial genotype diversity is in congruence with the host-nematode taxonomy. The occurrence of symbiotic bacterial genotypes was related to the ecological distribution of host nematodes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Enterobacteriaceae / classification*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / genetics
  • Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Enterobacteriaceae / physiology
  • Geography
  • Insecta / parasitology
  • Nematoda / isolation & purification
  • Nematoda / microbiology*
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics*
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Soil / parasitology
  • Species Specificity
  • Symbiosis
  • West Indies


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Soil