Xenorhabdus spp., are gram-negative bacterial symbionts of entomopathogenic nematodes in the genus Steinernema. A specialized and intimate relationship exists between nematode and bacteria, affecting many of their life history traits, such as nutrition, dispersal, host-finding, foraging and defense from biotic and abiotic factors. Xenorhabdus currently comprises more than 20 species isolated from Steinernema spp. with diverse host range, host foraging behavior, reproductive modes and environmental tolerance. Xenorhabdus phylogenies have historically been based on 16s rDNA sequence analyses, and only recently has data from housekeeping genes been employed. The prevalence of lateral gene transfer among bacteria calls for a wider perspective when considering their phylogeny. With the increasing number of Xenorhabdus species and strains, various perspectives need to be considered for investigating the evolutionary history of these nematode bacterial symbionts, In this study, we reconstruct the evolutionary histories of 30 species of Xenorhabdus considering the traditional 16s rDNA gene region as well as the housekeeping genes recA and serC. Datasets were analyzed individually and then combined, using a variety of phylogenetic criteria.
- 16s rDNAs
- Housekeeping genes
- Nematode symbionts
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics