The nematode Pristionchus pacificus has originally been developed as a satellite organism for comparison to Caenorhabditis elegans. A 10X coverage of the whole genome of P. pacificus is available, making P. pacificus the first non-Caenorhabditis nematode with a fully sequenced genome. The macroevolutionary comparison between P. pacificus and C. elegans has been complemented by microevolutionary studies of closely related strains and species within the genus Pristionchus. In addition, new understanding of the biology of Pristionchus from field studies, demonstrating a close association with various scarab beetles and the Colorado potato beetle, supports consideration of this nematode in studies of ecosystems. In the course of field studies on four continents more than 1,200 isolates were established from 15,000 beetle specimens representing 18 Pristionchus species. Two remarkable features of the Pristionchus-beetle association are the high species specificity of the interaction and the interception of the beetle's sex communication system for host recognition by the nematodes, as suggested by chemotaxis studies. Evolutionary interpretations of differences in developmental, behavioral and ecological patterns require a phylogenetic framework of the genus Pristionchus.
Mayer, W. E., Herrmann, M., & Sommer, R. J. (2007). Phylogeny of the nematode genus Pristionchus and implications for biodiversity, biogeography and the evolution of hermaphroditism. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-7-104